how to start calisthenics -

How to Start Calisthenics – A Beginner’s Guide

Let’s First start this Guide of How to start calisthenics,

With the Question what is Calisthenics?. To which in simple terms

it is a form of exercises, consists of bodyweight.

So, exercises like: Pushups, Pullups, Dips, Squats, Lunges, Handstand Pushups, etc. All are in Calisthenics.

Reason for Choosing Calisthenics:

There are many reasons to start Calisthenics, Some of them are:

1) Great for Beginners: if you are beginner, and never exercise before, then calisthenics is very easy, fun and safe for you.

2) Less Injury: In weight training, there are very high chances to get injure. In calisthenics, there is very chance of injury which makes it more favourable for beginners

3) Build Foundational Strength: calisthenic exercises are mostly compound, which means to perform the exercise, it needs more than one muscles or joints. This makes good for building basic strengths.

4) Accessible: you can do pushups, practice handstand anywhere from the gym to park, to your backyard. This reduces the excuses in weekends.

5) Less Equipment Requirement: for calisthenics, you need your body, and a pullup bar. That’s it. if you are advanced then you may need some weight vest, and rings. But in basic that’s you need, this also very cost effective. No need for Gym Membership.

6) Fun: there is a diversity of exercises in calisthenics, like: for a pushup only there are different grip pushups, different angle pushups, pseudo planche pushups, Handstand Pushups.

If you are getting then you can always try a different exercises for stimulating different muscles.

7) Improve Overall Physique: For calisthenics, you not only focuses on muscle and strengths, you also need to focuses on endurance, flexibility, mobility.

Also Calisthenics exercises are mostly compound therefore, you will train more than one muscles which also helps you to burn more calories.

Calisthenics is also comprises of many upper body exercises, which helps you to build very strong upper body.

Types of Calisthenics:

There are also different forms of Calisthenics, which you can try after mastering your basic calisthenics:

1# Gymnastics:

gymnastics, male, performance
Gymnastics exercises on rings

Gymnastics focuses on control, flexibility, and strengths.

2# Freestyle Calisthenics:

calisthenics handstand pushups
handstand pushups

Freestyle Calisthenics focuses on various skills, and proper execution in the flow. It mainly involves mostly skills that can be shown in pullup bars.

But it also consists of handstand variations, planche variations, and move from tuck plache to handstand like combinations.

3# Weighted Calisthenics:

weighted calisthenics pullups
weighted pullups

Weighted Calisthenics is advance Calisthenics when you master your basic exercises then,

you start to add weights in your basic exercises. Like in Pushups, Pullups, Dips, Squats.

The way you add weights are either by Weighted vests, dumbells, plates, or resistance bands.

How to Start Calisthenics:

To start calisthenics, we first need to master the basic exercises. These are exercises from where you can build strength for more advance exercises.

They are:

1) Pushups
2) Pullups
3) Dips
4) Squats

How to Do the Exercises:

1# Pushups

pushups - how to start calisthenics
Photo by James Barr on Unsplash


1. Get into pushup position: hand shoulder width, body straight, legs straight.

2. Lower Yourself: don’t flare your elbows outwards, keep them lock inside, just let your body go down.

3. Stop just an inch before your chest touches your ground

4. Push yourself back up, keeping your body straight and elbows tucked in.

What if I can’t able to Do Pushups? Then, You will do Negative Pushups or Incline Pushups.

Then Slowly move towards the pushups.

2# Pullups

pullups and chinups
pull up on left, chin up on right


1. Hang from the Bar: have a good grip

2. Activate your Scapula: try to yourself without bending your arm, you will see that your shoulder will move downwards away from your ears.

3. Pull yourself up: Imagine pulling your elbows downwards to touch your back. This will helps you to use more of your back to pull rather then your biceps.

4. From the top, lower yourself slowly, taking 2 seconds.

Now, Pullups are very hard exercise, which most people struggles to do. So,

Try Doing to Negative Pullups, or Inverted Rows. Then progressing to pullups.

3# Dips

dips - how to start calisthenics
Photo by Frame Kings on Unsplash

For Dips, you need a parallel bar. What you Don’t Have it?, No, Problem take two chairs, and make it your parallel bar. Don’t Make Excuses.


1. Lower yourself down, While leaning a little bit forward: more you lean, more easier it gets

2. Don’t Flare or move your elbows: Keep your elbows lock in place, Just move your body

3. Stop when your elbows creates a 90 degree angle

4. Push yourself: make sure you keep your elbows lock.

What if you can’t do it? then, do Bench Dip or Negative Dips.

4# Squat, I will skip it as it is very simple

Calisthenics FAQs:

Here are the frequently asked Question:

Can I build muscles with Calisthenics?

Yes, You can build muscles with calisthenics. If you want proof then look for the people who built a good physique with Calisthenics.

What are Negative Reps?

Negative Reps or also known as Eccentric Training is doing the negative part of the exercise only, where your muscles are lengthening.

For Example: In pushups, the negative part is when you lower your body.

Negative reps are done when you can’t able to do the exercise. As your muscles can handle more weight in negative part.

So, to do it: you will just very slowly lower yourself in pushup until you hit the floor then, get back up normally and then start again. More on this

Go to this Guide: Eccentric Training: very powerful tool for muscle building

What if I can’t Able to do the Basic Exercises?

You will either do negative reps (explained above) of the calisthenics exercises or you will do the easier variation of those.

Like if you can’t able to pushups or pullups then, do incline pushups and inverted rows.

In the next Article of this Guide, I will cover on How to do those Exercises.


I split the guide so that it do not get very long. This will make it easy to read.

This is just the Overview and Introduction of How to start calisthenics guide.

In the Next Article, I will cover how to do those basic exercises if you can’t able to do,

Then, how to do the workout, and how to progress from there, if you have master the basics.

So, Subscribe to Theneway to get the notification when I post the Article.

Until Then,
Be the Best,

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