This year is different from any other we have experienced. The whole world is affected by Covid-19. As many countries went into lockdown, gyms closed too. A lot of people started looking for home workout equipment. Home training is actually a great way to start with calisthenics. And it can also save you a lot of money since you won’t have to pay an expensive gym subscription. What should you need to know about calisthenics equipment before you buy anything?
There is a lot of equipment on the market for home workouts. If you have the space and money you can buy a bench, some dumbells, a barbell, a barbell rack or even a squat rack. With 2 dumbells and a bench or 1 barbell and a bench you can do a lot of exercises. Just make sure you buy different weight plates so that you can suit them to your needs. Keep in mind that once you increase weight it might become hard to get into the desired starting postition. If you want to focus more on calisthenics (bodyweight exercises) then the following calisthenics equipment will really help you.
1. Pull-up bars
Pull-up bars are needed for back exercises. You can use it to train your upper back, lower back and you abdomen/core with pull-ups, knee raises and back lever. Pull-up bars come in many varieties.
Some consist of a rod for the door opening, which can be risky. Others are portable rods that get hooked into your door and safetyhooks. This gives a lower risk of them falling down during exercise but they damage the doorframe after some time. Alternatively, you can use more expensive pull up bars that are put up against a firm wall. The last one doesn’t damage your house and is safe to use. And it gives you more space for exercises than the doorframe. But they do require a little more investment. They come in a price range from 90 to 130 euro.
You can also choose a portable pull up rack, which can stand outside. A pull-up rack gives access to a wider variety of push ups, dips and rows. You need to set it up first but it is great for home calisthenics equipment.
2. Calisthenics Paralletes
Paralletes is another word for push up bars. They come in low, medium and high varieties. Why do you need paralletes for calisthenics equipment? After all, you can do push ups on the floor. That’s true, you’re absolutely right. But paralletes offer a lot more.
Paralettes give you a greater range of motion (ROM), especially the medium ones. This means they are more difficult to master. Your maximum number of push ups will go down by 25% in the beginning, but the effect stays the same. So this gives you more time for other exercises. Also, paralletes are useful for dips, especially the high ones, handstand, L-sit holds or pike push up for shoulders. You see, there is a lot more to them then you might think.
Prices range from 30-100 euro depending if you want low, medium or high ones. Medium ones are a great way to start to improve your push-up game and work on pike push ups. High ones kind of function like dip bars in the gym/park. You can also perform rows or even small pull ups (depending on bar height) on them, but regular push ups are a bit harder. If the material is good enough you can lay them on the side for regular push ups.
3. Weighted Vest
If you’ve watched Dragonball-Z you know what weighted ‘clothing’ does. It makes you stronger. Weighted vests usually come in 5, 10 or 20 kg and make you more heavy. You use them for training your legs when your bodyweight is not enough. You can also use them for pull-ups, push-ups or other exercises. Don’t start with too much extra weight because it is heavy and really makes a big difference. Prices range from 40 to 200 euro depending on weight and material. We recommend to pick a vest of which you can adjust the weight. Most of the time you can remove or add the bags of sand in them . That way, you can work your way up in weight.
4. Calisthenic Rings and TRX (Total Body Resistance Suspension Exercise)
When regular pull-ups aren’t enough anymore calisthenic rings are a great alternative. They focus more on balance and stability and it takes more power to have control. They are a good addition to pull-up bars at home or in a park. With rings you can also perform rows, push-ups, fly’s and even core stability exercises. Usually they are between 35 to 55 euro.
The TRX is a bit similar to rings. The TRX is made of nylon fabric and can hold your entire bodyweight. It is aimed on core stability exercises but can also be used for push-ups, fly’s and rows. Theoretically, pull-ups can also be done on a TRX. But rings are more preferable. The official TRX Suspension trainer costs around euro.
5. Resistance Bands
There are a lot of different types of resistance bands available today. A resistance band is an elastic that generates more resistance when stretched out. In calisthenics they are mostly used as ‘weight’ or an assistance tool. For example, when you cannot perform a pull-up, putting the stretched band under your feet will boost your momentum and make the pull easier.
There are 6 main bands to work out with. We discuss the main two.
This band has no handles and is not in a loop. The thicker the band the more resistance it will give you. You can knot them to a pole to perform pull or push exercises and they come in a lot of variations.
Fit Loop Band (regular resistance band)
This band has no end or beginning but is circular. In calisthenics, these bands are often a bit bigger to assist you with pull-ups. You can also use them for rows, abduction, push-ups etc.
Another type of fit loop band is mostly used for legs. You put them above your knees and put extra resistance onto you glutes and quadriceps that way.
Bands usually come in sets and we recommend that you research what you need before you buy one. Prices range from 10 to 100 euro.
Take Home Message
Of course, there is more home calisthenics equipment than we discussed. But the equipment mentioned above is great to start with and will help you for a long time. We partner with the best suppliers so we can offer you the best equipment available. Find everything you need in our shop.