10 beginner-friendly calisthenics exercises, and how to do them at home

·6-min read

Exercising daily is one of the best ways to keep yourself fit and healthy, both mentally and physically. Whether it is stepping out for a run, hitting the gym or exercising in the comfort of your home, spending a few minutes to an hour working out every day, is essential and fruitful in many ways. And if you’re a beginner wondering how to embark on your fitness journey, calisthenics can be a great way out.

What is calisthenics workout?

A form of weight and strength training that involves using your own body weight instead of added weights, calisthenics help in developing a person’s strength, endurance, flexibility and coordination. No matter what your athletic ability is, you can always start by indulging in some of the most basic exercises and slowly build upon them and work your way up the difficulty ladder with advanced calisthenics exercises.

These can be performed and practised with little equipment (like a pull-up bar, rings or a dip bar) or none at all. Additionally, from lower body muscles to upper body strength, these bodyweight training exercises work holistically on your entire body instead of targeting specific muscles. (Read more: Why you must try calisthenics)

Woman doing jump rope as a calisthenics exercise
Image Credit: Mart Production/Pexels

Apart from enhancing a person’s strength, stamina and agility, calisthenics exercises also boost metabolism leading to a faster calorie burn. Also, these put less pressure on joints thereby reducing the risk of muscle and joint injuries that are otherwise high in weight training. You can also find control over your body and notice that its flexibility and coordination get improved over time.

If this calisthenics workout wisdom irks you to give this form of strength training a shot, we’ve also enlisted a few of these easy bodyweight exercises that you can start with. When you are able to do these flawlessly, you can switch up to their advanced variations.

You can go through the tutorials below for calisthenics exercises, take note of the instructions and get set training!

Here are some of the best calisthenics exercises for beginners

Squats

  • Start by standing straight with your feet parallel and exactly under your shoulders.

  • Start bending the knees while pushing the hips back like you sit down on a chair.

  • Keep your chest upright, your face and head forward and squat as deeply as possible. Try to not extend your knees beyond the toes to avoid injury.

  • Push yourself back to the normal standing position.

Lunges

  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart in a neutral stance and your hands on your waist.

  • Step forward with the right foot in front of your body, bending the knee at a right angle so that your thigh is parallel to the floor.

  • The left leg should consequently bend downwards at a right angle, almost touching the floor.

  • Leveraging the right heel, push yourself back in a standing position bringing both feet together.

  • Repeat with the left leg.

Side lunges

  • Stand straight with your feet exactly below your shoulders with them being rolled, your chest out and palms folded together.

  • Now, with your right leg, take a step to the right and start bending your right knee and lower body towards the right. Ensure that your hips are pushed out, your weight is on the right leg and your knee isn’t overshooting the right foot.

  • Come back to the starting position and repeat with the left leg.

Jumping jacks

  • Start by standing in a straight stance with your arms at your side and your feet together.

  • Jump while kicking your legs out wide with your arms simultaneously going overhead from the sides to clap.

  • Now, jump once more to bring your feet and arms together and land in the starting position.

Bicycle crunches

  • Lie down on your mat with your back properly pressed against it and your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor.

  • Now, place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing out. Raise your head so that you’re looking at your knees. Ensure that you’re not tucking your neck in.

  • Raise your legs (with knees still bent at a right angle) so that they are parallel to the floor.

  • Now, extend your right leg out and crunch (while rotating your body) to make your right elbow touch your left knee.

  • Pull your right leg back to the starting position and extend your left leg out, followed by a crunch so that your left elbow touches your right knee. Now bring your left leg back to the starting position which completes one repetition.

Sit-ups

  • Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet planted firmly on the ground. Ensure that your back is pressed on the floor and hands are either crossed over your chest or extended out over your head.

  • Now, engage your core and use it to lift your upper body above the ground into the sitting position (with knees still bent).

  • Exhale and slowly go down to lie back on the floor in the starting position.

Plank

  • Get down on your mat in a pushup position but with your forearms lying flat on the floor.

  • Engage the core muscles and try to keep your body straight.

  • Hold the position as long as possible without letting your hips go or sink downwards or your head scrunching inwards.

Wall push-ups

  • Stand straight and two-three steps away from the wall, facing it parallelly. Put your hands on the wall and keep them shoulder-width apart.

  • Inhale and bend your elbows and lean towards the wall stopping when your chest (or head) is about to touch the wall.

  • Now, exhale and push yourself back to return to the starting position.

Jump rope

  • Hold the jump rope by its handles with both arms at the same distance from the body.

  • Rotate the rope with your wrists (not elbows or shoulders) swinging it over and under your body, while you jump over it every time it goes from underneath your feet.

  • To keep your landing soft and protect your ankle and knee joints, make sure to point your toes while jumping up and keep your knees slightly bent.

Donkey Kicks

  • Get down on all fours on your mat with your elbows and hands directly under the shoulders and knees hip-width apart.

  • Engage your core and raise your right leg as if to touch the ceiling with your foot. Do not extend the leg out and keep it bent at the knee at a right angle.

  • Bring it back to the starting position and repeat with the same leg.

  • Do a few rounds with one leg before changing to the other.

(Main Image Courtesy: Elina Fairytale/Pexels; Featured Image Courtesy: Mart Production/Pexels)

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.

The post 10 beginner-friendly calisthenics exercises, and how to do them at home appeared first on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

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