Calisthenics is a great way to build muscle and get fit. In many ways it is a lot more convenient than having to drag yourself to the gym every morning and it can also be cheaper than paying for a gym membership in the long term. When starting to get into calisthenics and bodyweight training there are only a few basic pieces of equipment that are required. All of them are relatively cheap and there are tonnes of different ways they can be used for an all around full body calisthenics workout.
Pull Up Bars
If you only get one piece of equipment from this list get this one. The pull up bar is essential to any calisthenics workout routine. They are so versatile and can target so many different muscles. You can do pull ups, Chin ups, Knee raises and Leg raises to hit abs and even things like reverse shoulder shrugs to hit your traps!
There are three main variations of the pull up bar. The first being the Doorway Pull Up Bar which I would recommend for beginners because they are relatively cheap and can be put up in any doorway and don’t take up much space.
The next one is the Freestanding Pull Up Bar these are usually meant for outdoor use and allow you to perform lots more exercises. These are a great next step up from a doorway bar when you feel you have outgrown it.
Lastly Wall Mounted Pull Up Bars are permanently mounted bars that are great for in a garage where there is no doorway.
Portable Dip Bars
Dip bars are another essential piece of equipment for any beginner. They are relatively cheap and once again take up little to no space. With a set of dip bars you can hit Triceps, Abs, Shoulders, Biceps and you can also do things like hand stands and planche to improve core strength and balance. If you feel you want to get something a bit more sturdy and a heavy duty there is also the option of a Dip Station. These are usually wall mounted or free standing and take up a bit more space but allow you to do a wider range of exercises. Overall the dip bar is an essential piece of equipment for any beginner to calisthenics. It provides a wide range of exercises and should be incorporated into your workout.
Parallette bars are small, portable exercise bars which are used to replicate the more conventional and larger parallel bars. They are used to perform a variety of upper body and core strength exercises. These are also very inexpensive and are quite similar to dip bars in many ways. The advantages of parallettes over dip bars is that it is more safe and easy to perform things like hand stands because you are lower to the ground. Parallettes can also be used for things like push ups and other bodyweight exercises.
Hopefully after reading this you now know what kind of equipment you need to become the best version of yourself. If you are still not convinced that calisthenics is for you then check out our article on why calisthenics is better than going to the gym. Hopefully then you will see how good calisthenics can be for you.