The Best Calisthenics Exercises for Beginners and a Simple Routine

In this post you will find information of the exercises you can do as a beginner and a simple routine that you can do for the first couple of months or as long as you want.

And here are the exercises included in the routine:

  • Dips
  • Push ups
  • Inverted rows
  • Pull ups
  • Lunges
  • Squats

Before I explain the exercises let me tell you a little something about the workout.

The first thing you need to do before your workout is to warm up your body properly for any physical activity. I wrote an article about it(Calisthenics Warm Up, is it Necessary?), but to keep it simple, warm up your joints by performing a simple joint rotation(arm swings, leg swings etc.).

The routine

The workout routine is simple, train 3 times a week(M,W,F or T,T,S) and make sure you have a nice rest between workouts(you become strong during the rest after the workout, and no you will not get stronger if you rest all the time) and a two day rest period between the third and the first workout day(for an example Friday, 3rd training day, Sat,rest day, Sun, rest day,Monday, 1st training day of the next week).


Before you continue to the workout routine, you should stop for a second and write down your goals that you want to achieve with this workout. And be specific when you write down your goals. For an example write down, I want to perform 10 dips or 10 clapping push ups, whatever you like, just be specific with your goals.

And here is the routine:

  • 2x Pushing exercises(dips and push ups)
  • 2x Pulling exercises(pull ups and inverted rows)
  • 2x Leg exercises(lunges and squats)

You should start off with the exercises you want first, if you want to achieve the 10 reps of  dips, you should start with the pushing exercises first and if you want to perform 10 pull ups, you should start with the pulling exercises first.

Always strive for the rep range of 3-12, which is the rep that will help develop muscle strength and gain muscle mass. Also rest for a minute between sets and rest for two minutes between exercises.

The exercises

Push ups


By performing the push ups you will gain strength in your core, shoulder muscles, chest muscles and triceps muscles. If you can not perform a single rep with a good form, you should try performing push ups on the wall or elevated push ups, to make it easier for yourself. Advance to the next progression when you can perform the push up with good form.

What I mean by good form is, to keep your body straight, don’t bend your knees, keep your legs straight, tighten your core muscles in, keep your elbows close to the body and perform the move with full range of motion, touch the floor with your chest and extend your elbows as much as you can.



The dips are just as important as the push ups. This exercises will increase your pushing strength even more than the classic push up. If you can not perform 3 reps with good form, perform push ups instead, I recommend doing more push ups if you can not do 3 reps with proper form.

Proper form is very important, because you maybe targeting the wrong muscles, and your goal is not that.

You can start with your legs behind you, or whatever is comfortable for you(I do that because I am tall and I can not perform this exercise with my legs straight). You can lean forward a little, to target the chest muscles more and also remember to lock your shoulders at the top(I have a bad habit from the weighted dips, don’t mind that), lower your self until your biceps is parallel to the ground. Keep your elbows in. Exhale at the top, inhale while you are lowering your body.

Inverted Rows(also known as Body-weight Rows)


All you need to perform this exercise is a lower bar, or you can use the parallels like me. It is a great exercise for your back muscles, biceps and shoulder muscles, but your main focus here is at your back muscles. It is also a great exercise , that will give the strength to perform the full pull up.

If you perform it with your elbows out you focus more on your rear shoulder muscles, and if your perform it with your shoulders in you focus more on your bicep muscles. What ever you like, I prefer to do it with elbows out, just because I like my rear deltoids more than my biceps.

Keep your body straight, make sure that you have good grip on your feet, and also on the bar, perform it by bending your elbows only.

Pull ups



So this is probably the hardest exercise on the list for  a beginner, it is ok if you can not perform it, you replace it with a negative pull ups, jump up and get your self as the second picture and just lower yourself slowly, to build up the strength to do it. It may take some time, don’t give up on it.

The pull up focuses your back muscles, shoulder muscles, biceps muscles and forearm muscles. You can do passive hang to develop grip strength and endurance.

In the beginning is ok to perform the exercise with your legs in front of you or by swinging/kipping a little bit, but that is not your goal, your goal is to do it with your body straight. And always strive to pull as high as you can.

Squats and Lunges

I wrote an article about basic leg exercises, you can read more on that here:Basic Calisthenics Training Program – Leg exercises.


After 3-7 months you can change your workout routine. Your results depend on you, your genes, how you workout, your lifestyle, what you eat, and even what you drink, your rest time, your sleep time. It depends on a lot of things, but mostly depends on you and your consistency, because if you quit you will be the same. Challenge your self! Start working out, I don’t care if you start this routine or someone else’s, just start training, start moving.

I’ve collected all of the most common or the most needed calisthenics equipment, check it out: The Best Calisthenics Equipment!

If you think that I have to add something, please contact me or write it bellow in the comment section. Do you think that I have to add something else to the routine?


By | 2015-06-28T19:32:01+00:00 June 17th, 2015|Basic, Blog, Workout|0 Comments

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