Check out the best calisthenics exercises that everyone should do, as chosen by Jeff from Athlean X.
10 Best Calisthenics Exercises Everyone Should Do
“Whether you have access to weights or not, there are 10 calisthenic exercises that everyone must do if they want to build their best body ever. In this video, I’m going to break down each of these 10 bodyweight exercises to help you easily identify the calisthenic movements that are going to keep the gains coming, regardless of where you train.”
Best Calisthenics Exercises Everyone Should Do – Pull Up
“The list starts off with what some call the king of all bodyweight exercises – the pullup. This upper body exercise is one of the best vertical pulling moves you can include in your pull or back workout. That said, even if you had access to a full gym and could do a lat pulldown or a barbell row or deadlift, this is still an exercise that you would want to include in your workout in order to see your best muscle gains.”
Best Calisthenics Exercises Everyone Should Do – Chin Up
“The next exercise looks similar but has different benefits. We’re talking about the chinup. With a simple switch of the hand position to an underhand supinated grip, you can shift some of the focus away from the lats and onto the biceps. I credit this one bodyweight exercise (along with the barbell curl) as the two most responsible for helping me to build big biceps from an early age.”
Best Calisthenics Exercises Everyone Should Do – Push Up
“The next calisthenic exercise that everyone must do is a pushup. Now, it is important that you find the version of this movement that challenges you in order for it to provide the benefits I know it’s capable of. Don’t just keep increasing the reps until you are doing 100 pushups a day, as I’ve pointed out before, but find the one that is more capable of providing the overload needed to drive new muscle growth.”
Slick Curl Floor Bridge
“The slick floor bridge curl is one of the most irreplaceable exercises in your posterior chain exercise options. It is one of the only ones that can train both the glutes and hamstrings dynamically together (if you perform the bridge on every rep) but more importantly, the one that allows these two extremely important muscle groups to work together as they prefer to.”
“The reverse hyper is not one of those bodyweight exercises that builds muscle, at least not directly, but is no less important for everyone to do. This is because it strengthens the low back and glutes and helps to create the support and stability that makes the big lifts easier. Even the bench press can benefit from the hip extension strength needed to create the leg drive to assist the bar’s upward push.”
Dead Arm Hang
“The dead arm hang is one of those moves that, like the reverse hyper, is not going to build muscle but is going to help develop your toughness as well as your grip and hand strength that will pay off on other exercises. Even the shoulder stability developed by doing this bodyweight beast of an exercise is going to help you to better stabilize on exercises like the row and deadlift that have traction stresses built into them.”
Hanging Leg Raise
“The hanging leg raise is an ab exercise that should be in everyone’s program. If you cannot perform the version with your legs held out straight then you want to do the bent knee variation. There are simply no more challenging, but rewarding, ab exercises than some version of a hanging one. Pick the one you can do, and do it.”
“The handstand press is a closed chain exercise for the shoulders that provides many benefits beyond just the strength built through pressing your own bodyweight. This is particularly good for those that have shoulder stability weakness or even labrum issues. The compressive stresses here are a good thing for helping to strengthen the entire shoulder girdle.”
“The inverted row is an irreplaceable bodyweight exercise for back. It is extra effective if you learn to attack the bar with your sternum rather than just allowing the bar to take your body for the ride as it often does during a standard barbell row.”
Best Calisthenics Exercises Everyone Should Do – Dip
“Finally, the dip is a great bodyweight only exercise for building up the chest, shoulders and triceps. Even if you have access to a bench press and a cable crossover machine, you’re always going to want to find a way to work the dip into your workout program especially if your best lower chest development is something you seek to attain.”
Video – Best Calisthenics Exercises Everyone Should Do
Add the Pallof Press and Cable Crunch into your training.
Try BOXROX Pro.
- Pull Up: Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash
- handstand push up: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.