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Full Body Calisthenics Workout
Check out my full body calisthenics workout below to get your blood pumping, your muscles bigger, and your strength maximized. Make sure you have plenty of water, and you will also need dip bars and a pull-up bar. You can substitute the dip bars with two chairs if need be. Good luck and have fun!
1. Jog in Place: 3 minutes
Personally, I prefer using a jump rope to jogging in place, but not everybody has a jump rope. So, if you have a jump rope, use that instead.
2. Jumping Jacks: 25-30 reps
I would skip this part of the warm-up if you are able to jump rope instead of jog in place for step 1. No need to tire yourself out with the extra explosive cardio.
3. Hip Rotations: 10 reps per leg
The hip flexors are an important part of bodyweight workouts, especially if you’re trying to progress up to moves like L-sits. You need to keep them stimulated to avoid injury.
4. Wrist Stretches: 10 reps for each of the following.
Get the wrists prepared for some of these strenuous upper-body exercises! Wrist strength is critical in preventing injury for bodyweight training. For more wrist exercises, click here. I can’t express the important of wrist strength enough!
5. Squatting Sky Reaches: 10 reps per arm
Further stretch the hips, and get the entire body prepared for the full-body movements that you’re about to do. Grab your ankle with one hand, and reach as high as you can with the other hand! Bring the hand down, then reach again.
6. Support Dips: 10 reps
Time to get the shoulders warmed up for all the pushing exercises you’re about to do. Simply get into a dip position, and push up with just your shoulders. I like to hold at the height of the push for about one second.
7. Scapula Pull Up: 10 reps
Hang from your pull up bar and engage your shoulders to pull yourself up, without pulling with your arms or bending your elbows. If you have the strength to do it, keep pulling so that you can lift your chest towards the bar, as well. This will warm up your entire upper body. I try to do a one second hold at the height of each pull.
8. Shoulder Dislocates
Take a towel, broomstick or resistance band and grip each end of it in front of you. Pull it so that it is taut, and lift your arms up and then behind you. Don’t worry if you can’t go all the way down yet. As long as you do this with every warm-up it will happen eventually. I save this one for last because it feels amazing! But it’s great for preparing your shoulders, arms and chest.
Full Body Calisthenics Workout – Let’s Get Started!
Group A: Push-Ups and Squats
Two Rounds of Pushing and Squatting. Your heart rate will shoot up!
1. Push-Ups: 10-15 reps
We start with a pushing movement. Focus on your chest and triceps with your pushups. As you get stronger, begin doing push-up variations like the following:
a. Wide-Grip Push-Ups (hits a broader range of the chest, less focus on triceps)
b. Narrow-Grip/Diamond Push-Ups (targets inner chest, more focus on triceps)
c. Pike Push-Ups (hits the shoulders hard)
d. Decline Push-Ups (increases resistance)
e. Archer Push-Ups (great progression to one-arm push-up)
2. Bodyweight Squats: 20-25 reps
People go with the “feet shoulder-width apart” adage, but I just say make sure you can squat comfortably. As long as you feel comfort during the squats and don’t feel pain, you will get a great leg workout. As you get stronger, try changing things up with variations:
a. Jump Squats (great for explosive strength and heart rate)
b. Narrow Squats (more focus on glutes, different range of motion, and can also be less strenuous for those with joint pain)
c. Sumo Squats (more focus on inner legs and hamstrings)
Repeat once, then move onto Group B
Group B: Chin-Ups, Dips, and Knee Raises
Two Rounds. More pushing, combined with pulling and core. It’s time to really build your upper body strength!
3. Chin-ups: 5 reps
Don’t worry if you can’t hit 5. Just do as many as you can. Hang from the bar with arms extended and palms facing towards you, then slowly pull yourself up, engaging back, biceps, and shoulders. Try not to kick or swing! When you feel strong enough, try some variations, like:
a. Close-grip chin-ups (more focus on biceps, less on back)
b. Wide-grip chin-ups (less focus on biceps, more on back)
c. Explosive chin-ups (for explosive strength)
4. Dips: 10-12 reps
Grip each bar firmly, and push up slowly and methodically with your triceps. When your arms are extended, do your best to also push up even further with your shoulders. Those last couple inches will greatly improve your shoulder strength over time. Once you get stronger, begin doing dip variations like:
a. Knee-raise dips (engages the core for extra challenge)
b. Explosive dips (for explosive strength)
c. Forward-lean dips (for extra focus on your chest)
d. “Walking” dips (crazy strength gains! Simple as that)
5. Knee Raises on Dip Bars: 15-20 reps
Don’t step away from those dip bars yet! Lift yourself up for one last long dip, and begin raising your knees! Keep them bent at 90-degree angles. And I can’t wait to tell you about knee raise variations!
a. Leg lifts on dip bars (much harder, but get results much faster)
b. Flutter kicks on dip bars (ditto, but they’ll give you some cardio too)
c. Bicycle kicks on dip bars (ditto, with the cardio)
d. Scissor kicks on dip bars (a static hold combo that also hits the hip flexors)
Repeat once, then move onto Group C
Group C: Pull-Ups & Lunges
Two Rounds. Wrap up the pulling exercises with more lower-body. Are you tired yet?
6. Pull-ups: 5 reps
If your answer is “yes” to the above question, don’t worry if you can’t hit 5 reps – just go until failure. Hang from the bar with arms extended and palms facing away from you, then slowly pull yourself up, engaging back, biceps, and shoulders. Try not to kick or swing! When you feel strong enough, try some variations, like:
a. Close-grip pull-ups (more focus on biceps, less on back)
b. Wide-grip pull-ups (less focus on biceps, more on back)
c. Explosive pull-ups (for explosive strength, great for progressing to the muscle-up)
d. Archer pull-ups (very tough, great for progressing to the one-arm pull-up)
7. Lunges: 10 reps per leg
End the workout with a bang. Place your hands behind your head or cross your arms in front of you. Place your feet one in front of the other in a step position, and slowly bend both legs until the back knee is almost touching the floor. Slowly lift yourself back up. Try a couple variations when you’re ready, like:
a. Jump lunges (alternate legs between each jump for great explosive strength)
b. Walking lunges (for a little cardio add-on)
Repeat once, then move onto cooldown and stretches.
Cooldown & Stretching
*Note: If you’re like me, you can save some time and do ALL of these stretches IN BETWEEN sets during your 60-second breaks. Only if you want to – otherwise, do them as described below.
1. Superman Poses: 5 reps
2. Good Morning Stretch (centered, left foot forward, right foot forward): 20 seconds each (60 seconds total)
3. Cobra Pose to Downward Dog Pose: 20 second each
4. Shoulder Stretch: 20 seconds for each shoulder
5. Seated Spinal Twist: 20 seconds on each side
6. Wall Chest Stretch: 20 seconds per arm
Conclusion: Full Body Calisthenics Workout
Congratulations! You did a great job to make it this far. What do you think of this full body calisthenics workout? Do you have any suggestions for future workouts on my site? Let me know in the comments below. Remember to stretch!