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You’ve heard that bodyweight exercises are the way to build strength and flexibility, plus they are used by top Tiktok stars like Aramis Andreatas @ramiswanders, Samer Delgado @fitnessblazt and Hassan Ashraf @hassanashraf_sw. But, what if you’ve never worked out? What if this is the first step in your fitness journey? Don’t worry. We found the best calisthenics equipment for beginners.
Not only did we find the best equipment for you, but we also have great calisthenics tips for beginners. Even if you can’t do a single pull up, you’ll find out how to build yourself with the least amount of effort.
Read on and find out how to improve your fitness.
Pull Up Bar / Dip Bar
An essential piece of equipment, pull up bars allow you to work most of your upper body with one fluid motion. It’s even better if the bar allows for dips as this targets your triceps and forearms to make them scream. This bar can quickly build up your pecs, lats, biceps, and more.
So, what should you look for in a pull up bar? Stability is the biggest thing. You don’t want the bar to fall off your doorway or mount. Remember, it’s holding your whole body, so a stable bar is essential so you don’t fall and hurt yourself.
Aside from that, you’ll want a bar that has different grip positions. This allows you to adjust the difficulty and work different muscles. It should also be convenient to use. For example, an indoor bar should be able to connect to your door frame, or it should have a mount that is simple to install.
Pull Up Tips for Beginners:
- The easiest pull up is the chin up. Your palms should be facing you and your grip is fairly close (about shoulder width). This allows your biceps to help carry your weight upwards.
- Use assistance bands. These are like resistance bands (and often can be used to add resistance with other exercise movements), but it helps to lift your weight through the pull up.
Looking for other calisthenics equipment lists? Here are some of the best for you:
- Calisthenics Equipment for Home (Build Your Dream Gym)
- Calisthenics Equipment for Outdoor (Love Your Outdoor Gym)
- Calisthenics Equipment for Beginners (Get Social Media Fit)
I don’t know about you, but gymnastic rings make me immediately think of Olympic athletes, their bulging muscles, and the agility it takes to effortlessly move their bodies through different holds and positions. No, your first time on the rings won’t look as graceful, but that’s OK! It’s just a matter of time before you’re that strong.
Much like a pull-up bar, this allows you to work your upper body as you lift and hold your body. The difference is that it’s a little easier to work your core and lower body as well, and you’ll gain extra strength from balancing your body. If you check out those awesome Instagram fitness and Tiktok fitness videos, then you’ll know that lots of them are showing off superior hold strength.
While mastering rings is hard, starting out with them is fairly easy. Don’t worry, we’ve got some beginner tips for you.
Beginner Tips for Gymnastic Rings:
- Start by placing the rings lower to the ground. That way you shouldn’t hurt yourself too much if you fall or lose your grip.
- Consider getting gym mats as well, they’ll help absorb the impact of any falls.
- Use this like a pull up bar at first as you get stronger and improve your balance. Do chin ups and dips until they become easier.
- Try L-sits for just 5-10 seconds when you start. Remember, you’re new and your muscles need to grow. Those 5-10 seconds will make you feel amazing.
Sometimes bodyweight exercises get too easy. What are you supposed to do when you want more of a challenge, but you only want to continue using bodyweight movements? That’s where resistance bands come in. While many people use resistance bands instead of dumbbells for strength training, they are equally useful with bodyweight movements.
You can quickly add these bands to nearly any movement for additional resistance and better gains.
But wait, you’re a beginner, do you really need more resistance? Maybe having less would be better. Don’t worry, resistance bands can help here as well. For example, they assist you while doing pull ups as they reduce resistance. Simply wrap it around the bar, put your foot through the bottom loop, and pull ups become much easier.
Another benefit is that bands tend to put less strain on your joints than actual weights.
Beginner Tips for Resistance Bands:
- Only use resistance bands for added resistance once the original movement is too easy
- If used properly, bands can be increase and decrease resistance, making them ideal for beginners
- Be patient while learning how to incorporate bands, they may be a little uncomfortable at first
If you don’t like crunches or just don’t find them effective, then an ab roller can be a fun way to change your exercise. Not only that, but they are surprisingly easy for newcomers to use. An ab roller allows you to roll your bodyweight down and then use your abs to come back up. Advanced users can roll until their nose touches the floor.
This is great calisthenics equipment for beginners because you control the resistance. If you’re new, then roll down slightly, enough for your abs to still bring you back to a sitting position. The roller might seem intimidating at first, but give it time because your abs will adjust.
Beginner Tips for Ab Rollers:
- Start slow at first. If you can only go down a few inches, then that’s fine. Roll enough for your abs to get strength, not to failure.
- If your abs hurt too much, then give it a break. It’s better to stop exercising early than hurt yourself.
- Don’t be intimidated, just give this a try and your abs will get stronger with practice.
Your body is going to hurt, a lot. Calisthenics are no joke. You are going to work your body way harder than you expect, but the gains are worth it. However, you need to make sure that you recover between workouts so that you give it your all, and so that you don’t stop before the gains are apparent.
A foam roller is ideal for that. These rollers can be used on your neck, back, arms, and legs to dig into muscle knots and remove them. While some rollers have spikes to dig really deep, beginners should be fine with smoother (more comfortable) rollers.
Use these to help your body relax. They are also great for stress and for giving yourself a massage.
Beginner Tips for Foam Rollers:
- These are meant to be used slowly. Don’t try to rush through a session. Give yourself at least 20-30 seconds for each muscle group.
- Be sure to prop the roller either on the floor or wall (best for some back and neck stretches). Don’t push it into your body yourself, that won’t help too much with most stretches.
- Comfort is fine. You’re just starting out, so you don’t need a super firm roller with spikes, save that for when you’re advanced.
A weight vest can be good for beginners if used properly. Much like resistance bands, these add resistance to any movement. They’re amazing for squats, pull ups, and other intense movements. But remember, you’re a beginner! Unlike resistance bands, these can’t be used to make exercises easier, but vests can still be useful.
If you’re looking to do low-intensity movement while still training your body, then walking with a weighted vest can help improve your strength with minimal wear on your joints. You can also use this for any exercises that seem too easy.
This is a good investment now that will pay off when you’re more advanced, plus it can help make your walks burn more calories while working your muscles harder.
Beginner Tips for Weight Vests:
- Don’t use this if an exercise is too difficult at your normal bodyweight. Wait until you’re stronger and give it a try.
- Buy weighted vests that have compartments for weights. This makes it easier to increase and decrease the weight as needed.
- Use this initially for low-resistance movements, like walking, that you can easily accomplish.
While parallettes look difficult, you can work your way into them as you get stronger and more accustomed to them. These are like tiny parallel bars that sit on the ground as you use them for balancing, push ups, L-sits, handstands, planches, and more. Their low height makes them very safe as any falls or tumbles won’t be as dangerous.
There are several different ones to choose from. There are various heights, bar thicknesses, and materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. While plastic is often the least expensive, wood and metal are far better.
Beginner Tips for Parallettes:
- Start out slow, this is a good way to get used to balancing your bodyweight.
- Parallettes are also great for push ups as they give you a better grip.
- For newcomers it’s best to choose lower parallettes so that any falls don’t hurt you that much.