If you're just starting to work out and want a simple yet effective plan, think about trying calisthenics. It's all about using your own body weight for exercises that help you get stronger, boost endurance, become more flexible, and improve coordination. Calisthenics keeps things uncomplicated – no need for fancy gym gear. It's a great choice for beginners because it focuses on basic moves that build a healthier and more active lifestyle. Imagine your body as your gym, and basic exercises as the building blocks of your fitness journey. It's a straightforward way to get fit without needing lots of equipment.
What is Calisthenics?
Calisthenics, a word derived from the Greek "kalos" (beautiful) and "sthenos" (strength), embodies the beauty and strength it brings to your fitness journey. The beauty of calisthenics lies in its versatility – you can do it anywhere, at any time, and with minimal equipment.
Engaging in calisthenics helps you build functional strength, making everyday tasks easier and more efficient. Additionally, it enhances posture, balance, coordination, mobility, and flexibility. Embracing calisthenics contributes to better cardiovascular health, calorie burning, and the development of lean muscle mass.
What's fantastic about calisthenics is its inclusivity; it suits individuals of all fitness levels and ages. You can tailor the difficulty of exercises by adjusting repetitions, sets, rest time, range of motion, or incorporating variations. For instance, if a regular push-up is challenging, modify it by doing it on your knees or against a wall. If it's too easy, elevate the difficulty by attempting it with one arm or on an unstable surface.
Calisthenics Workout Plan for Beginners
Before you start any workout program, make sure to consult your doctor and warm up properly. A good warm-up should include some light cardio (such as jogging or skipping) and dynamic stretches (such as arm circles or leg swings) to increase your blood flow and prepare your muscles and joints for the exercises.
The following calisthenics workout plan for beginners consists of three workouts per week, each focusing on a different muscle group: upper body, lower body, and core. You should rest at least one day between each workout to allow your muscles to recover and grow. You can also add some cardio or flexibility training on your rest days.
Each workout consists of four exercises that you should perform in a circuit format, meaning that you should do one set of each exercise without resting in between. After completing one circuit, rest for one to two minutes and repeat the circuit two more times. You should aim for 10 to 15 repetitions per exercise, but feel free to adjust the number according to your fitness level and goals.
1. Upper Body Workout
The upper body workout targets your chest, back, shoulders, arms, and upper abs. The exercises are:
Push-ups: Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Bend your elbows and lower your chest until it's close to the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.
Pull-ups: Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip and your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Lower yourself back down until your arms are fully extended and repeat. If you don't have access to a pull-up bar, you can use a door frame or a sturdy table.
Dips: Place your hands on the edge of a bench or chair behind you and extend your legs in front of you. Bend your elbows and lower your hips until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat.
Plank Up-Downs: Start in a plank position with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Lift one arm and place your hand on the floor where your elbow was. Do the same with the other arm and come into a push-up position. Then reverse the movement and return to the plank position. That's one repetition. Alternate the leading arm each time.
2. Lower Body Workout
A lower body workout could consist of the following exercises:
Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing slightly outwards. Keep your chest up, your core tight and your back straight. Bend your knees and lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Push through your heels and stand up. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Lunges: Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips. Take a big step forward with your right foot and lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your left knee is hovering above the floor. Keep your torso upright and your core engaged. Push through your right heel and return to the starting position. Switch legs and repeat for 10 to 15 reps per side.
Glute bridges: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms by your sides and squeeze your glutes. Lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for a second and lower back down. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
Calf raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Lift your heels off the ground and balance on the balls of your feet. Squeeze your calves and hold for a second. Lower back down and repeat for 10 to 15 reps.
3. Core Workout
A sample core calisthenics workout plan for beginners could look like this:
Plank: Lie on your stomach with your elbows under your shoulders and your toes on the floor. Lift your body and keep it in a straight line from head to heels. Squeeze your core and glutes and hold for as long as you can.
Side plank: Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder and your legs stacked. Lift your hips and keep your body in a straight line from head to feet. Squeeze your core and hold for as long as you can. Switch sides and repeat.
Reverse crunch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head or on the floor. Lift your hips off the floor and bring your knees toward your chest. Lower your hips back to the floor and repeat.
Bicycle crunch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders off the floor and twist your torso to bring your right elbow to your left knee. Switch sides and repeat in a cycling motion.
You can do this workout plan two or three times a week, taking a day off between sessions. Change the reps, sets, or time based on your fitness level. As you get better, make it harder by doing more intense, frequent, or complex exercises.
This is a beginner's calisthenics workout plan for you to try. Listen to your body and adjust as needed. Calisthenics is a fun way to get fit. I hope you like the plan and see the results soon!
Start calisthenics at home for beginners with this no-equipment video guide.