Stories / Training

Calisthenics Workout - Benefits & effective exercises

Calisthenics originated in ancient Greece and is still popular today. It is a combination of strength training and endurance training, but you only use your own body weight.

A calisthenics workout is a very effective way to build muscle and strength, while improving agility, training flexibility and improving coordination.

Learn more and take part in Calisthenics exercises you can add to your training routine.

Calisthenics program & exercises

There are tons of different exercises you can pick from to put together your own Calisthenics program. Some common exercises are, for example, push ups, pull ups, lunges, planks and squats, but there are also lots of other exercises, exercises that you may not have heard of before. The Human flagpole exercise is an example. It is one of the most famous street workout exercises that involves grabbing a vertical bar and pulling your whole body up in a straight line with the bar so that you form a 90-degree angle.

Below you can see an example of a program with Calisthenics exercises from our PT Johanna.

Calisthenics exercises

Gymnastics - 30 sec/exercise

Start the session with nice mobility flow exercises to warm up the body. Move and stretch to warm up the muscles. It can be, for example, walk outs, side lunges and pulse squats.

  • Calf raises in 3 different positions - Stand on a flat surface with your toes pointed straight ahead. Lift your heels off the floor to flex your calf muscles. Pause and then return to the starting position.

    - Position 1: Have your toes pointed straight ahead

    - Position 2: Have the toes pointed outwards

    - Position 3: Have the toes pointed inwards

  • Kickstance overhead squat -

    - Hold a weight over your head.

    - Lift one foot slightly off the ground, toes touching.

    - Go down into a squat and hold the weight over your head.

    - Come up using the standing foot. -

    - Repeat and alternate between both legs.

  • Deep squats inward rotation

  • Half kneeling to pistol squat

  • Table position hand opening - Stand on all fours in the table position. Hold your hands with your fingers extended in front of you towards the floor, vary the position of your hands by turning them to the side, then you can turn so that you have the back of your hands on the floor.

  • Alternating wrist flexion raises in plank position -

    - Stand in a plank position and alternate between having your hands on the ground and flexing your fingers up and down in a controlled manner.

  • Fingertip push ups

  • Back raise with arm circles - Lie on your stomach and do back raises while doing circles with your arms.

  • Walking plank - Start in plank position. Step forward with one hand, then the other.

    Keep your core tight and your body straight. Back up by stepping back with your hands.

  • Seated leg raise

Calisthenics exercises

Calisthenics exercises

30 seconds per exercise x 3 sets

  • Cross lunge / Phanter push ups -

    - Cross lunge - Instead of straight lunges, do diagonal lunges to the side, alternating between both legs.

    - Phanter push up - Start on all fours on hands and knees. Raise your knees slightly off the ground, creating a hovering position (squatting position). Walk your hands into a plank with asymmetrical hands. Do a push up. Lower your chest to the ground. Press back up to the starting position.


  • Pulsing squat narrow-wide / Reverse nordic ham twist

    - Pulsing squat - Instead of going straight up like a regular squat, stay in the lower position and pulse your body up and down. Alternate between having your legs close and further apart.

    - Rev. nordic ham twist - Begin by kneeling with hips extended, legs together and feet secured. Lean your body back, maintaining control, until you feel a stretch in your quadriceps (front thighs).

    Twist your torso to the side while keeping your hips straight.

    Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

  • Shrimp squat / hollow hold/rock

    - Shrimp squat - Stand with one foot raised behind you and hold it with the hand on the same side. Slowly lower your body by bending your other knee and hip. Keeping your torso upright, lower yourself until your knee almost touches the ground, then push back up to the starting position.

    - Hollow hold/rock - Lie on your back with your arms extended over your head and your legs straight.

    Activate your core and lift your shoulders and legs off the ground.

    Keep your lower back pressed against the floor and hold the position. Then try rocking your body back and forth. Do not forget to breathe.

  • Squat jump / Side plank hip lift

    - Squat jump - Do a squat as usual and on the way up you do a jump before going down into the squat again.

    - Side plank hip lift - Stand in a side plank. Lower your lower hip toward the ground. Then lift your lower hip back up towards the ceiling. Alternate between both sides.

  • Hawaiian squat / walking plank

    - Hawaiian squat - Squat on one leg. Stand on one leg with the other raised and with the foot of the raised leg against the standing knee. Then do a squat.

    - Walking plank - Start in plank position. Step forward with one hand, then the other. Keep your core tight and your body straight. Back up by stepping back with your hands.

  • Moving hands push ups / Jack knife -

    - Moving hands push ups - Do push ups but switch hand positions alternating between normal, having the hands further and with less space apart, and having the hands outwards to do a diagonal push up.

    - Jack knife - Lie on your back with your arms extended over your head. Lift your legs and torso at the same time and stretch your hands towards your toes.

    Keep your core engaged and aim to touch your toes at the top. Lower yourself back to the starting position in a controlled manner.


What is Calisthenics and what are the benefits?

Calisthenics originated in ancient Greece and is still popular exercise today. The term calisthenics comes from the Greek words 'Kalos' meaning beauty and 'Stenos' meaning strength.

It is an effective way to increase both strength and flexibility. Calisthenics, or Street Workout as it is sometimes also called, is a form of training where you use your own body weight and gravity to perform various exercises. The form of training is suitable for both beginners and experienced in training as it is possible to adapt the exercises.

Here are just a few of the benefits of calisthenics training:

  • Improved strength and endurance

  • Increased well-being

  • Improved mobility and coordination

  • Through increased balance and body control, you can become better at performing common strength training exercises such as weight lifting

  • Through consistent training, you can build muscle mass and improve your body composition.

  • Adaptable as you don't need equipment - do the workout at home, in the gym or why not outdoors?


Bodyweight workout

Bodyweight training has many benefits. It activates a variety of muscle groups at the same time, so you naturally increase both muscle mass and strength. You can effectively train the whole body without equipment.

By using your own body as a tool, it is also easy to adapt the training to yourself, your level and conditions. If you are a beginner, you can start with simpler bodyweight exercises and fewer repetitions and then work your way up as you get stronger.

Training with your own body weight without equipment is also very flexible and can be done both at home and at the gym.

Do you want inspiration for more training sessions with your own body weight? Check these out:

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