Performing calisthenics exercises is a great way to start if you want to make your fitness journey a success. Because there are no fitness machines required, calisthenics workouts will help you build muscle, gain strength and improve flexibility with limited risks and without ever signing up for a public gym membership.

Another great advantage of these exercises is, you can always perform them with much ease regardless of time or location. Unlike exercises that require equipment, calisthenics offers a variety of workout options that aims to benefit your overall being. But just like any other workout, gaining from these exercises requires that you choose and stick to the right program.

This post will share with you an easy-to-follow calisthenics workouts plan that has worked for many and will without work for you. But before that, here are some two most common myths you should do away with.

Misconceptions about calisthenics

  • You can’t build weight using calisthenics workouts because they don’t involve the use of equipment. If you been doing research about calisthenics, you might have come across athletes such as Brendan Myers and many others. These athletes have built astounding muscular bodies by performing only calisthenics workouts. Also, you must remember that muscle building isn’t limited to a specific exercise.
  • Calisthenics workouts are limited to athletes with a particular type of body. Many people try to compare themselves with gymnasts they see in Olympics and other competitions only to end up disappointed. The truth is, having a slim and well-toned body will make it easy for you to perform a variety of gymnasts’ movements. But this doesn’t imply that you won’t benefit from calisthenics. Besides, the heavier your body is, the more resistance you will experience.

These are the two common calisthenics workouts myths that have been preventing many people from realizing their fitness goals. But as you can see, they are not facts. Whether you are slim or chubby, you can always engage in any workout and calisthenics workouts aren’t exempted.

Having noted that, let’s jump straight to our 4-week calisthenics workout plan

Week 1

If you’ve never engaged in any vigorous workouts, it is important to start slow. Keep in mind; you don’t want to end up with a torn muscle or any other injury that might prevent you from realizing your goal. The exercises that you will perform the first week are intended to help prepare your body for more intensive calisthenics workouts.

What to do

  • Warm up – Before you begin any workout, it is important that you warm up. It doesn’t have to be intensive, but ensure it is sweaty. You can start with an 8-minute light jog or if you don’t want to step outside, a 20-minute rope jump.
  • Stretch – Stretching will not only make you flexible for calisthenics workouts but will also prevent injuries. After warming up, don’t give your muscles time to cool down. Start stretching immediately. When stretching ensure you’ve stretched your hamstrings, arms, quads, legs, lower back, shoulders, ankles and most importantly your neck. These stretches should take approximately, 30 minutes.
  • Knee-to-chest jump – Knee-to-chest jump is intended to improve your muscle mobility as well as stretch your groin. Stand with your feet about 10 cm apart. Squat as much as you can. Jump explosively into air bringing your knees to your chest and then land gently. Repeat the procedure continuously aiming for ten repetitions of three sets.
  • Push-ups – When done, it is time to give your upper body some strength. Get into a plank position and flatten your palms on the floor. Make sure that your toes are pointing and touching the floor. With your back straightened, lower yourself until your chest is slightly above the ground. Pause for a second and then raise yourself up until your arms are straightened. Repeat these steps aiming for ten repetitions of two sets.
  • Modified Bicycle Crunch – This exercise offers almost the same benefits as regular sit-ups. The only difference is that they target a variety of core muscles. Sit down and bend your knees. With your heels flat on the ground, bring your hands to the sides of your head and behind your ears. Raise your left knee bringing it towards your right elbow. Return your left knee and then repeat for your right leg. Continue alternating for approximately, 20 seconds.
  • Squat jump – Squats will help build your leg muscles for more intense calisthenics workouts. Stand and create approximately 10 cm of space between your legs. Squat, squeeze your abs and then jump explosively. Land gently and lower yourself back to squat. Repeat these steps aiming for eight reps of 3 sets.

Week 2

By the second week, your body should be prepared enough to take your calisthenics workout plan a step further. Your exercises should be a little bit intense but remember not to force your body to do what it can’t. For this week, you will be introducing your body to two new calisthenics workouts including, pull-ups and triceps dips. Also, you will repeat squats, modified crunch and push-ups you did in the first week.

First, warm up and stretch as you did in week one then perform these exercises.

  • Pull-ups – this workout will help strengthen the muscles in your triceps, chests, and shoulders. With both your palms facing forward, grab the pull up bar. At this position, your arms should be fully extended. Pull your elbows down to pull your torso up until the upper part of your chest is above the bar. Lower yourself to your initial position and then repeat. Aim for eight repetitions of two sets.
  • Triceps dips – This exercise aims to tone the muscles that run throughout the back of your upper arm. To perform this exercise sit down in front of a bench. Your legs should be straight on the floor with your palms flat on a bench and hip-width apart. Straighten both your arms to lift your butt off the floor. Pause and then bend your elbows slightly to bring your butt towards the floor, but not touching. Repeat the steps several times aiming for 15 repetitions of two sets.

For squats, modified bicycle crunch and pushups, follow the steps mentioned in week one. But this time aim for 20 repetitions of 2 sets of push-ups and 20 repetitions of two sets of squats.

For the remaining two weeks, you are only required to increase the intensity a little bit.

Week 3

  • Warm up and stretch as usual then perform these exercises.
  • Pull-ups – Aim for three sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Dips – Aim for three sets of 20 repetitions.
  • Push-ups – Aim for three sets of 20 repetitions
  • Modified Bicycle crunch – Aim for two sets of 15 to 20 seconds
  • Squat jump – Aim for three sets of 20 repetitions.

Week 4

Week four is the last week of this workout plan, and you should already be seeing the results. Your body should be fully prepared, meaning you can increase the intensity. However, you should not push yourself so hard. Here is what you will do.

  • Warm up and stretch as usual then perform these exercises.
  • Pull-ups – Aim for two sets of 20 repetitions.
  • Dips – Aim for two sets of 30 repetitions.
  • Push-ups – Aim for three sets of 20 repetitions
  • Modified Bicycle crunch – Aim for two sets of 1 minute.
  • Squat jump – Aim for three sets of 20 repetitions.

Last tip – Repeat week four exercises for the other weeks aiming to increase the intensity as you go.

This calisthenics workout plan will help prepare your body for other workouts that you will need to perform well in your sport. You are supposed to start slow and gradually build up the intensity as you go. Last, but not least, don’t forget to eat well and drink more water.