When you think of calisthenics, what comes to mind? Most likely, you imagine someone performing bodyweight exercises in a park or on a playground. While those are great places to do calisthenics, you don’t need to go anywhere special to get started. In fact, all you really need is some basic equipment that you can use at home. Check out the list below to see what you’ll need!
1. Gymnastics Rings
Gymnastics rings are the most multifaceted piece of calisthenics equipment that you can purchase because of the simple fact that you can hit all of the calisthenics foundational movements with them. Pull, push, Squat as well as core training.
Rings engage the stabilizer muscles because we use our body control to keep them steady. This not only increases our strength but makes bodyweight workouts on the bars easier.
Example Exercises on the Gymnastics rings:
Pull: Ring Chin Ups, Ring Rows
Push: Ring Dips, Ring Flys
Ring Squat: Unstable Bulgarian Split Squat, Assisted Pistol Squats
Core: Ring Knee Raises
2. Parallel Dip Bars
Parallel Dip Bars are another extremely versatile piece of equipment that can be used in the comfort of your own home or in your backyard. When it comes to home workout equipment, maximizing the number of exercises we can perform on a piece of equipment is key.
The Dip Bars allow us to perform pull and push bodyweight exercises that are more calisthenics beginner friendly than gymnastics rings. Due to the stability of dip bars, we don’t need as much advanced body control to perform bodyweight push and pull movements.
Example Exercises on the home parallel bars
Beginner Push: Parallel Bar Dips, Incline Push Ups
Advanced Push: Tuck Planche Push Ups, Handstand Push Ups
Beginner Pull Movements: Horizontal Rows
Advanced Pull Movements: Tuck Front Lever Pulls, Front Lever Holds
Beginner Core Movements: Parallel Bar Knee Raises, Parallel Bar Leg Raises
Advanced Core Movements: V-Sit
3. Pull-Up Bar
The home pull-up bar comes in many forms and can fit any budget, from the super affordable doorway pull-up bar to the more expensive, super stable Base Blocks Pull up bar that takes up a bit more space. Depending on your budget and available home space there is a pull-up bar that will work for your situation.
The Pull-up bar is an essential piece of equipment for pull movements and the key to developing a bigger and more sculpted back. There are also a plethora of skill movements that you can train using just a pull-up bar.
Example exercises using a home pull-up bar
Beginner Pull Movements: Pull-ups, Chin-ups, Hangs
Advanced Pull Movements: Slow Muscle up (On Base Blocks), Front Lever
Beginner Core Movements: Hanging Leg Raises, Hanging knee Raises
Advanced Core Movements: Ice Cream Makers, Toes to bar leg raises
Parallettes are the best piece of home workout equipment to train calisthenics skills, but also a great piece of equipment to train beginner push exercises as well. They are typically compact and portable, so they can be used at home or brought to a park or gym.
If you are looking to train calisthenics skills such as handstand or planche, Parallettes
will be a crucial piece of equipment to expedite your progress on these movements.
Example exercises using Parallettes
Beginner Parallette Push Movements: Push-ups, Frog Holds
Advanced Parallette Push Movements: Handstand Push-ups, Tuck Planche Push-ups
Core Movements: L-Sit Hold
5. Weight Vest
Weight Vests are often adjustable or come in different sizes. No matter your strength level you can benefit from having a weight vest to increase resistance on bodyweight movements.
Weight vests can increase strength to help us progress to harder movements and help increase muscle mass.
Best calisthenics exercises to do with a weight vest: Pull-ups, Push-ups, Dips
6. Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are an absolute must-have for calisthenics athletes of all levels. Resistance bands can be used to make exercises easier by creating less resistance or can be used to make exercises more difficult by adding resistance.
Resistance bands are the perfect supplement to help us learn movements with proper form or assist us in our calisthenics skills journey.
Resistance bands are a nonnegotiable for beginners starting calisthenics without the strength to do foundational movements like pull-ups, chin-ups and parallel bar dips.
Once you purchase a set of resistance bands, you might be interested in purchasing my 8-week beginner calisthenics program that helps you transition from using bands for beginner calisthenics exercises to no longer needing assistance for pull-ups, chin ups and dips.
You can access the 8 week program here:
Most common beginner Exercises to use bands: Pull-ups, Chin-ups, parallel bar dips
Advanced exercises/ skills to use resistance band assistance: Muscle ups, front lever, planche progressions
7. Slant Board
The slant board is the perfect lower body addition to your home workout setup. A small piece of equipment that can lead to huge progress in your bodyweight training journey. The slant board was popularized by Ben Patrick ( Knees over toes guy) and is a tool used to “Bulletproof” your knees.
Slant boards are great for those who have had chronic knee pain and weak quads. The slant allows us to have a better posture on squats and loads up the weight on our quads. Traditional squats can still be implemented as well, but the slant board is a supplemental piece of equipment perfect for the bodyweight athlete.
Beginner Slant Bored exercises: Bodyweight squats
Advanced Slant bored Exercises: Pistol Squats, Weighted Squats
Need Assistance on your calisthenics Journey? Work with me one on one:
Programs and merch available here: