If you’re looking for a way to get in shape, but don’t have the time or money to join a gym, calisthenics may be your best option. The best calisthenics equipment is not only affordable but will last you a lifetime if taken care of properly!
This form of exercise only requires your body weight, a few simple pieces of equipment and some space. It’s also an excellent way to build muscle and burn fat.
The benefits of calisthenics are countless. It’s a full-body workout that can be progressed to nearly any level of fitness, so you never have to worry about hitting a plateau or injuring yourself.
Calisthenics is also a great way to build confidence and pride in your body as you see yourself getting stronger, leaner and more muscular!
In this article, not only will we provide the best recommendations for affordable equipment for home workouts, we will explain the crucial exercises for each piece of essential equipment and tell you about a unique workout that you can use on a daily basis to help on your journey towards ultimate fitness!
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Rogue Gymnastic Rings
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Rogue Monster Bands
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Rogue Mobility WOD Door Strap
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The Best Calisthenics Equipment
#1 Pullup Bar
One of the most important pieces of equipment for calisthenics is a pull-up bar. A basic pull-up bar is extremely affordable and convenient to install, it can be set up easily in any doorway simply with the help of some screws.
This equipment provides an easy way to vary your workout routine allowing you to keep workouts exciting and fresh as opposed to just standard pushups or sit ups.
You can easily switch from doing chin-ups to hanging leg raises providing some of the best full body workouts available. Other popular exercises also include the following.
This is where you grip the pull up bar with your hands facing away from you and then lift yourself until your chin reaches over it. Explode with your arms to increase the intensity, you can increase or decrease the width of your arms to work on different muscle groups. We advise doing one set of each (close grip, standard and wide grip)
This exercise can be done by hanging straight down on a pull-up bar, while keeping both legs together. The leg raise should be performed in one fluid motion so that at no point are both
Hang from a pull-up bar, bend your knees up towards the ceiling until your knees are at a 90 degree angle to your waist, carry out this movement at a slow place to ensure good form.
This exercise is difficult but well worth the effort. Begin from a hanging position then pull yourself up towards the bar so your chest touches it, lower back down again to a hang and repeat for as many reps as you can do comfortably.
Straight Bar Dips
This exercise is similar to the muscle up with a few small differences. Start in a dead hang position, then bend your arms until they are at 90 degrees and push yourself back up again so you can get used to this movement for when doing the muscle-up.
#1 – P-3 Pull-up
The complete P-3 Pull-Up System can be set up vertically or horizontally. The height ranges from 7′ 6″ – 8′ on the center of the bar but this can be adjusted based on ceiling height or athlete height.
With its unique support arm to keep the rig sturdy, it can hold over 500+ lbs. The foot bar can be moved up and down the rack for multiple calisthenic workouts.
- Customizable to an individual’s specific space and/or needs
- All-in-one system: Pull up bar, sit-up bar, rings station
- Plyometric training with pull ups and dips
- Low profile for easy storage or ceiling mount
- Eliminates the need for a separate rig
#2 Gymnastic Rings
Another great piece of equipment you can use in your home workouts are gymnastic rings. This type of exercise is becoming more and more popular with the rise in the popularity of bodyweight training exercises.
Gymnastic rings are a great way to add variety to your routine and get the very best from your home workouts. They provide an extra challenge for you, enabling you to work on all parts of your body while also working at building strength in these areas too. Benefits include flexibility, and balance which are vital when it comes to calisthenics.
These pieces of equipment come with handles attached allowing you to perform various types of exercise with a wide range of difficulties. Rings are also available in different sizes which have their own importance when you’re performing certain types of movements or exercises.
For instance, if doing muscle-ups then larger gymnastic rings are required to give you enough space for your hands. If you’re using smaller rings we recommend using more of an explosive movement to get yourself up over the ring.
Gymnastic Rings are also great for doing core exercises on them, one being gymnastics hanging leg raises which have been mentioned previously in this article. If you’re looking at getting your own set then look no further we have found some great recommendations of the highest quality.
Gymnastics rings are one of the most underrated pieces of equipment as you can do many different types of exercises including push up variations which provide a very intense upper body workout used by athletes all over the world, not just gymnasts. Some of our favourite uncommon exercises are listed below.
A popular exercise where you pull yourself towards the rings, keeping your chest facing downwards so that when pulling up it’s in line with them.
In a dip position, raise one leg off the ground. Keep the leg raised throughout the movement then lower it again in the starting position.
This exercise is also known as a front lever hold. You can perform it by hanging from the rings with your arms straight and core tight, then lift yourself up into the position shown above.
This is one of the most difficult core exercises you can do which requires a lot of strength and stability. With your legs straight, lift them up so that they’re in line with the rings then lower yourself down again to get started on another set.
#2 – Rogue Gymnastic Rings
Rogue Rings are made with a 1.25” 14-gauage steel tubing, powder coated using a zinc phosphate plating providing you a firm but a grip-friendly exterior coat. The buckle system and ring straps are easily adjustable, environmentally versatile, and ultra durable.
They can be easily packed away in a carry bag and takes very little space. With elastic straps, these rings give you a lot more freedom and durability than standard nylon.
- Handmade in America
- Rogue’s steel rings are built to last
- 10% stronger than the competition
#3 Suspension Trainer (TRX)
Suspension trainers are very unique pieces of equipment that are used in many different ways. They are designed to use your body weight as resistance by hanging it from any suitable overhead anchoring point, then attaching handles or foot cradles before performing various exercises on them.
Suspension trainers enable you to do a wide range of very effective gym-style exercises which can be done anywhere. They are extremely portable and easy to set up, meaning you can take them with you on your travels or even work out outside in the fresh air.
The benefits of suspension training include working multiple muscle groups at once as well as improving stability. This is because it requires core strength throughout each exercise which improves body control along with balance too. The most effective exercises are.
This targets upper back muscles, perfect for posture and strengthening shoulders. Make sure to keep elbows wide as you pull yourself towards the handles/cradle in front of you with a slight bend at the elbow so that it’s not locked out.
Are also known as hanging knee raises. Hang from the suspension trainer with your feet in cradles or handles, then lift your legs towards you while keeping them straight.
Inverted Push ups
A great way to work the chest and arms. You can perform this exercise by hanging from a suspension trainer with your feet in cradles or handles, then position yourself under the anchor point so that you’re facing upwards (inverted). Place your hands on the ground underneath you for support before pushing up until you have a straight body with your chest in line with the handles.
An extremely effective exercise that works the legs, butt and core. To do this, place your feet in cradles or handles attached to a suspension trainer so that you’re facing away from it with both hands holding onto a handle in front of you. Then take one large step sideways before lowering yourself towards the ground until your knee bends at roughly a 90 degree angle. Avoid leaning forwards or backwards too much to get the most effective results from it.
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The TRX suspension training system is a portable gym where you have everything you need to train inside, outside, and on the go. Weighing in less than a pound, it also comes with indoor and outdoor anchors, mesh bags, 2 workout guides, and access to the TRX training club app.
It is a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to train every body part regardless of where you are. A great piece of equipment if you’re always on the go.
- Burn off calories more quickly than traditional methods
- Increase balance and stability with every workout
- Develop strength in all major muscle groups
- Can be used in or outdoors with the respective anchors
#4 Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are extremely versatile pieces of equipment that have many different functions. They can be used to perform a wide range of exercises for people who train at home, or in the gym by using them on their own resistance machines if preferred. This is because they provide variable amounts of tension throughout each exercise which increases muscle recruitment and ensures you get the most effective workout possible.
To use resistance bands, you can either attach them to a fixed point or loop one around your ankle for example before performing exercises that are designed specifically for these types of training aids. The benefits include being able to target muscle groups that usually get left behind when using free weights because they’re weaker than other muscles surrounding them. This is because resistance bands provide constant tension throughout the entire motion which also helps to improve muscle control and coordination of each movement too. Another great thing about this equipment is that they come in all types of difficulty so the exercise can be as strenuous as you want. The most effective exercises are the following.
Position the band behind your body with feet shoulder width apart, then grasp handles in each hand. Keep a straight body while pushing your elbows out at roughly a 45 degree angle.
Place the band underneath one foot, then grasp handles in each hand. Once you’re in position, lift the weights up and out to your sides until they reach shoulder height before lowering them back down again for one rep.
Attach the band to a fixed point in front of you, then grasp handles in each hand before leaning forward a few steps. Once in position, push your elbows back behind you until they reach shoulder height before lowering them for one rep.
Attach the band to a fixed point in front of you, then grasp handles firmly with both hands. Keep your elbows tucked by your sides so that they don’t move too much before curling them up towards your shoulders for one rep.
#4 – Rogue Monster Bands
Rogue Monster Bands are the most versatile, on-to-go accessory for resistance training. As they can help you through pull-up assistance, mobility work to bench press and banded squats.
It comes in 8 different color coded version. Measuring in at 41”, the natural latex rubber comes in different thicknesses, overall resistances, and widths depended on the colored band.
If you’re looking to add resistance to your workouts to get that push over the top, these Rogue Monster Bands will help you do the job.
- Expandable, so it’s great for all shapes and sizes
- Customize the resistance of the band for specialized workouts
- (8) different colours to choose from that can be used together or separately
#5 Parallettes / Dip Bars
Parallel Bars / Dip bars are extremely effective pieces of equipment that can help to improve upper body strength and muscle endurance. This piece of equipment comes in all different types of heights depending on what body parts you want to focus on. We recommend the taller style that allows your feet to dangle, this allows more exercises to be accessible.
Dip bars are used to perform a variety of different exercises that target your chest, shoulders and triceps. A lot of people don’t realise just how effective they can be for working out because they allow you to use additional weight which means the muscles have to work harder throughout each rep. This helps them grow larger with time too so it’s important to use them as often as possible. The most effective exercises using a dip station include.
Start by gripping the bars with hands shoulder width apart, then lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the ground before pushing yourself back up again for one rep. Ensure you keep elbows tucked in close to avoid injury at all times.
Lying Tricep Extensions
Get into position with your chest against the bars, then lower yourself until your arms are fully extended before repeating for one rep. Try not to lock elbows at any point if possible because this reduces the effectiveness of the exercise and puts too much strain on them which can lead to injury instead.
Place your hands on the bars shoulder width apart, then lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle before pressing back up again for one rep. A close grip will target triceps more than chest muscles so it’s best to use an overhand grip with this exercise instead if you want bigger pecs as well as strong triceps.
This exercise is slightly more advanced but provides a great burn for the core. It is done by holding your body up with arms fully extended underneath the bars. Try to point your toes towards the ceiling to get full extension on your legs. Start by gripping onto them before lowering yourself down as far as possible to perform one rep, then slowly raise yourself back up again for another one. Don’t forget to squeeze that core!
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Gravity Fitness Parallette Dip Bars are one of the best tools for those who are learning how to master their own body weight. With 38mm thicker handles, it helps improve your grip strength, grip, and reduces the stress on your wrist.
These parallettes are ideal for anyone with an interest in gymnastics, CrossFit, street workouts, calisthenics, or anyone who wants to improve their functional strength.
With a 50 x 50mm box section feet, these are one of the most stable dip bars in the market today.
- Ergonomically-friendly equipment
- Practical heights
- Easy to assemble
#6 Door Anchoring
Door anchoring is an effective way to build the muscles that support your shoulders, which can help you reduce injury risk and improve posture. It’s also a great workout for those who are into sports because it helps to increase strength in multiple planes of movement – something which isn’t always possible with traditional weights exercises so it really stands out from the crowd.
The most effective exercises using door anchoring include:
One Arm Pull Downs
Place one hand over the top of the door and grip onto the handle with your other arm, then slowly lower yourself until you’re at least parallel to the floor before pushing back up again for one rep. Ensure that each side is worked equally by changing the position of your arms each time you perform this exercise. Below are just some of the amazing exercise ideas.
Place both hands on top of the handles, then lean forward to let your body hang down within a few inches from the floor before slowly pulling back up again for one rep. Keep elbows tucked in close throughout the movement and avoid flaring them out or they’ll become ineffective at the expense of shoulder joint muscles instead.
Place one hand on top of the door and grip onto the handle, then slowly lower yourself until your elbows are fully extended before repeating for one rep. Ensure that each side is worked equally by changing the position of your arms with every set so it doesn’t become too easy to target one side more than the other.
To perform this exercise you hold your arms at the chest gripping the bands then step back and away from the door to let your body fall down as far as possible before standing up again for one rep. Place one leg behind the other as you are squatting at a 30-degree angle.
#6 – Rogue Mobility WOD Door Strap
The Rogue Door Strap gives you a simple and portable solution for any stretching exercise or dynamic mobility work. With a 1000LB weight capacity, you can easily set it up in your living room, office, or garage. All you need is a solid door that closes tight and you’re ready to go.
The strap is made out of a double stitched black nylon webbing connected with a heavy duty black steel carabiner. With a 0.75” thick black nylon sewen from the seven layers of black webbing, these straps will last you for a long time.
The strap won’t chip paint or damage doors and is very easy to set up.
- Eliminates the need for expensive equipment
- Portable and can easily be taken anywhere
- Durable, high weight capacity
- Works on any type of door (a solid close is all it needs)
#7 Weighted Vests
Weighted vests are a fantastic way to increase the intensity of your workouts, especially if you’re new to strength training and need a way to work your way up from lighter weights gradually. It’s also great for increasing functional strength because you can add weight that replicates real life scenarios like carrying shopping bags or holding a child’s hand without worrying about injuring yourself.
There are so many different ways to use a weight vest in your workout that you’ll never get bored with it because each time, the exercises will be slightly different. It’s hard to pick our favourites because of the variety this equipment provides but some of our favourite options are.
Double Thrust Burpees
This is a really fun way to get your heart rate up while working out all the major muscle groups in your body quickly and effectively. Start on your hands and knees, then jump both feet forward into plank position before jumping them back again, then launch up vertically with your hands above your head to perform one rep.
Squats With Weighted Vest
Step forward into a deep squat position, then drive up through your heels as you push yourself back up to a standing position before repeating for one rep. Ensure that each side is worked equally by changing the weight positioning of your arms with every set so it doesn’t become too easy to target one side more than the other.
Weighted Shoulder Presses
Stand upright and hold weight in each hand, then slowly raise them up until your arms are straight above your head. Ensure that you keep control of the movement throughout by keeping your core tight and not allowing the extra weight to pull you off balance.
Weighted Vest Star Crunch
Start lying on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat, then place a weight across your upper back. Walk your hands away from each other until you feel a slight tension in your core, then curl up into a crunch position to target abdominal muscles before returning down for one rep. Ensure that each side is worked equally by changing the weight positioning of your arms with every set so it doesn’t become too easy to target one side more than the other.
Step forward into a deep lunge position with your hands on your hips, then slowly push yourself back up to a standing position before repeating for one rep. Ensure that each side is worked equally by changing the weight positioning of your arms with every set so it doesn’t become too easy to target one side more than the other.
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The Cap Barbell weighted vest is made from durable and breathable nylon with removable solid iron weights. The weight can easily be increased or decreased easily but taking out the weights from the pockets.
As the best is a one-size-fits-all, this is a great option for those who are shorter as it can be adjusted to fit any height securely.
This piece is very reasonable considering all the workouts you can do, making it the perfect choice if you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank but still offers all the benefits of more expensive options.
- Great quality
- Perfect for all levels of fitness
You can not forget about chalk! This is a vital piece of equipment for calisthenics because it helps to grip the bar. Chalk is a fine powder that you apply to your hands and allows it to dry before gripping onto the bars, this will help with any slips or drops from having sweat on your hands therefore it often ends up preventing injury. Chalk gives an extra element of control over heavy weight. It also makes you look like a boss!
There are many different types of chalk available including liquid chalk which has an easier application process than powdered versions, but either will do the trick it’s all based on your personal preference.
Chalk is great for those who are prone to calluses or skin rips because it helps with that sticky grip whilst reducing friction.
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Liquid Chalks helps you keep your hands dry without making a mess on the floor. The fast drying formula gets you ready to perform immediately while it easily slides off with a little soap and water.
No messy power or dust, this long-lasting chalk allows you to lift heavy weights without slipping. With antibacterial properties in their formula, you won’t have to worry about sharing equipment.
- Smooth application without clumping or drying out hands
- Long lasting product with one application
Full Calisthenics Workout For Beginners
These exercises can be combined together to form an intense full body workout, remember to push yourself but ensure you are able to work out consistently 3-5 times a week as this is the major key to seeing results
There are so many different variations of calisthenic workout and that is the beauty of this form of workout, our most popular workout is listed below as these exercises really provide a full body workout that focuses on not one but all factors of painting a healthy body for example, strength, stability and flexibility.
We find 5-8 reps with 3 sets seems to be the perfect sweet spot that we have found incredible results with.
- Pull ups – 8 reps
- Ring rows – 5 reps
- Inverted push ups – 8 reps
- Lateral raises – 8 reps
- Dips – 8 reps
- Inverted hangs – 5 reps
- Chest flys – 8 reps
- Squats with a weight vest – 8 reps
- Star crunch with weight vest – 8 reps
- Double thrust burpees – 8 reps
Don’t forget to stretch!
Can I do calisthenics without equipment?
only give you body weight as resistance. There are many different exercises and variations of movements that can be used to achieve results for example, handstand push ups or muscle up’s. Calisthenics with equipment can be a lot less technical and simple for beginners.
Can you build large amounts of muscle just by using calisthenics?
Yes, It is possible to build large amounts of lean muscle using calisthenics however this type of exercise will not be the best for bulking up due to its metabolic nature which means it burns more calories than it can put on mass, we do recommend that you use a mixture of weight training and cardio in order to see results.
How do you prevent injury when doing calisthenics?
The most common cause of injury when doing calisthenics is improper form, to prevent this you should always ensure your abs are tightened and engaged so that there is no movement in the hips or lower back. Another way to avoid injury during exercises such as squats, push ups etc would be to reduce the weight being used to something which can still be completed with good form.
How long will it take to see results?
It is different for each person but we have found that the longer calisthenics is done consecutively, the faster you will see results as your body adapts so it’s important to keep working at it! We find people tend to give up before they start to see any results which is a real shame, but if you keep going and push yourself outside of your comfort zone then the rewards will be worth it.
These exercises can be combined together to form an intense full body workout, remember start today as tomorrow is not promised and consistency is the major key to seeing results.
The equipment listed above is a great starting point for those who are just getting started with calisthenics, as well as being perfect for those looking to increase their fitness and work on becoming stronger. There is no need to spend tons of money however these options do tend to be the most helpful in terms of creating an intense workout environment that can lead you towards your goals.
We wish you luck on your goal to ultimate fitness!