This post will cover a basic calisthenics training routine for beginners that you can do at home with no equipment. We will cover how you are to perform each of the exercises and include a video demonstration.
The routine consists of seven separate exercises the Plank (max hold), Squats (8 reps), Lunges (8 reps), Push-Ups (8 reps), Laying Down Leg Raises (8 reps), Mountain Climbers (as many as you can complete), and the Pike-Push-Up (8 reps).
You need to finish each exercise with a rest time of 45 seconds between each one.
When you complete a cycle (one cycle requires completing all seven exercises) rest for 3 minutes before starting the next cycle. You are to complete three cycles to finish the routine.
Although we are just using our body weight for this routine, you still need to focus on ensuring you are using the correct form for each of the movements.
For some of the outlined exercises, we will provide easier variations. You should use them if you are not yet powerful enough to carry out the ones described in the image above.
Progressive Overload Unmodified Exercises
If you can complete each exercise with proper form for the required reps its time to start increasing the difficulty.
Continuing to do the same number of reps will result in no progress in your fitness level.
For you to continue increasing your strength, you need to keep challenging your body.
You can do this by either slowing down your movement for the exercise adding to your muscles time placed under tension or adding additional repetitions to each of the different actions.
Progressive Overload Modified Exercises
If you need to use an alternate version, focus on increasing the number of repetitions you can complete.
When you can do ten reps without your form breaking down you should attempt the unmodified exercise outlined.
If you find that you are still not able to complete the exercise, go back to performing the alternate until you can do 15 and then try the initial exercise again.
Do as many reps of the unmodified exercise as you can, but if you cannot complete the required numbers of reps add in the modified exercise to complete the set.
Keep using this method until you can complete each exercise with the proper amount if repetitions.
Keep practicing and increasing the number of repetitions you are doing until you can complete the unmodified activity.
While this routine is a full body training regiment, there is a minimal focus on strengthening your back.
If you want to add additional training for your back you can add the Superman exercise, Shoulder Raises, and Opposite Arm and Leg Extension.
Check out our post, Upper Back Workouts Without Weights for different exercises you can do for your back at home without equipment.
The lunges and squats will work your lower body muscles.
The plank and mountain climbers will help you to condition your core muscles.
Push-ups and Pike push-ups will focus on your chest, triceps, and shoulder muscles.
Superman exercise, shoulder raises, and Opposite Arm and Leg Extension you can add for additional training to your back muscles if you want.
How To Do The Exercises In This Calisthenics For Beginners At Home Routine
Exercise One: The Plank How To
- Place your arms in line with your shoulders, have your hands planted on the floor and your toes grounded on the floor.
- Bend your elbows 90 degrees and move to resting your weight on your forearms, not on your hands. Your elbow should be in line with your shoulders.
- Your body is to form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
- Flex your glutes(buttocks) and abdominal(stomach) muscles to help engage your core.
- Hold this position far as long as you can without your body breaking the straight line from your shoulders to ankles.
Plank Variation: Arms Extended Plank
- You can perform the plank with your arms extended, always leave a small hollow in your hands to protect the wrists.
Plank Variation: Knee Plank
- You will be using the extended arms method, but instead of only using your toes to ground your body you are to place your knees on the floor as well.
Plank Video Demonstration
Exercise Two: Calisthenic Squats How To
- Face Forward. You can hold your arms out to help with balance. Push your chest out while pulling your shoulders back. Your feet should be slightly closer than shoulder width with the toes pointing out 45 degrees.
- Focus on keeping most of your weight on the heels of your feet.
- Breath in as you squat down. Push your knees out and move your hips back. Focus on keeping the lower back neutral.
- Continue lowering your body until your hip crease is all the way past your knees.
- After your hip crease is past the knees, raise your body back by driving up from your heels. Keep your knees out, make sure they do not cave in towards one another and have your chest up. Lock your hips and knees at the top.
- Repeat for seven more repetitions.
Squatting is a natural movement and has no equivalent variation leg exercise that is as useful. Just keep practicing this exercise, and you will see your repetitions increase quickly.
Calisthenic Squat Video Demonstration
Exercise Three Lunges How To
- Your upper body is to be kept straight with your shoulders back and keep your chin up do not look down.
- To keep your chin up pick a spot in front of you and keep looking there throughout the set.
- Flex your core throughout the entire movement.
- Take a step forward with on leg and lower your hips until your knees are at around 90 degrees.
- The front knee is to be directly over the ankle make sure that it is not beyond this point.
- Your back leg should not touch the floor if it does you have lowered your body too far.
- Your weight should be on your heels as you lift back into the risen position.
- Bring your leg back in line with the other and repeat with the opposite leg.
Lunges Variation Exercise Step-Ups
- You require at least two stairs to complete these. You can alter the difficulty by changing the height of the stair.
- Go to a spot with stairs.
- Place your foot on the first or second step.
- Use the foot on the step to press and push yourself up.
- Don't let the foot on the floor help in lifting you up.
- Lift all the way up and lower the leg that was on the floor back to the floor.
- repeat for the number of reps you are doing and then switch your feet positions and repeat for the other leg.
Lunges Video Demonstration
Exercise Four: Push-Ups How To
- Your hands should be placed directly under your shoulder with your toes grounded into the floor to stabilize your lower half.
- Keep your core flexed throughout the entire movement.
- Your body should be neutral and form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
- Pull the shoulder blades back and down, making sure to keeping your elbows tucked close to your body.
- Inhale as you slowly lower your body while keeping your body neutral. Focus on a spot on the floor about three feet in front of you to keep your neck in a neutral position. Continue lowering your body until your chest grazes the floor.
- Exhale as you push your body up towards the starting position.
- You have now completed one repetition repeat for seven more.
Push-Ups Alternate Exercise Knee Push-Up
- If you find that you can not yet perform, a push-up focus on using the knee push-up variation. Follow the same procedure as described above except instead of using your toes to stabilize you will be resting on your knees.
Push-Ups Video Demonstration
Exercise Five: Laying Down Leg Raises How To
- If you have a bench lay on it with your legs hanging off of the edge to increase the range of motion for the exercise. Otherwise lay on the floor if you do not have an available bench.
- Have your heels about one inch off of the floor while you are performing your repetitions. Your heels should not touch the floor until you have completed all repetitions in your set.
- Keep your core flexed throughout this entire set.
- Tuck your hands under your glutes with palms facing the floor.
- Keep your legs with a slight bend at your knees. And your lower back stationary on the floor throughout the movement. Make sure not to arch your back at any time.
- Raise your legs off of the floor until there is close to 90-degree bend in your hips.
- Slowly lower your legs to the starting position, remember your heels should not touch the floor as you lower always have them about an inch off of the floor.
Laying Down Leg Raises Alternate Exercise: More Planking
If you are not able to perform laying leg raises you should continue to focus on the plank to help strengthen your core muscles.
Over time if you keep focusing on the plank you should find that your core muscles have increased in strength to the point where you will be able to perform this movement.
You can also check out our post on Isometric Abdominal Exercises to help strengthen your core area.
Laying Down Leg Raises Video Demonstration
Exercise Six: Mountain Climbers How To
- Move into the arms extended plank position.
- Put your hands directly under the shoulders.
- Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
- Lift your right foot off the floor and bring your knee as close to your chest as you can.
- You are now in the starting position.
- Lift your left leg towards your chest with your hip and knee flexed as you extend your right foot back to its starting position.
- Your legs should move in an explosive movement.
- Keep alternating your legs until your form begins to break.
Mountain Climbers Alternate
If you are having difficulty with this exercise, use a slow and steady motion for the knee to chest movement. Continue practicing and increasing your pace of the knee to chest action.
Mountain Climbers Video Demonstration
Exercise Seven: Pike Push-Ups How To
- Get into a push-up position on the floor.
- Have your arms shoulder width apart and fully extended.
- Lift your hips up so your body is in the shape of an upside-down V.
- Keep your legs and arms as straight as possible.
- You are now in the starting position.
- Lower your body by bending the elbows until the top of your head almost touches the floor.
- Pause for a second and then use your arms to push yourself until your arms are straight again.
- Repeat this action for seven more repetitions.
Pike Push-Ups Alternate Exercise: Decline Push-Up
If you are not yet strong enough to complete the pike push-up. Focus on adding strength with decline push-ups. Use the decline version until you develop enough strength for the Pike Push-up.
Follow the same procedure as the regular push-up. Except instead of having your toes on the floor use a step or chair to have the legs elevated. You are now in the starting position for Decline Push-up.
Pike Push-Ups Video Demonstration
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