10 Easy Calisthenics Moves and Workout

Easy Calisthenics Moves

With some easy Calisthenics moves and a simple Calisthenics routine, you can start the change of your lifetime right now. We hear it all too often: People think Calisthenics is difficult, that it’s hard to learn and harder still to maintain. Frankly, we think these are just excuses your lizard brain is whispering to your consciousness, stopping you from taking on the challenge. Let us show you that Calisthenics is not hard. There are many easy Calisthenics moves you can learn in a heartbeat and with simple observation. You can take these easy Calisthenics moves and put them together into a simple Calisthenics workout. To help you overcome both mental and physical hurdles, we’ll provide you with a simple Calisthenics routine as well so you can start working out today.

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Start Today with Easy Calisthenics

Delay is the beginning of defeat. You read this now and you think: “I’ll think about it” or “this sounds good, I’ll consider it.” And then comes that lizard brain in the back of your head continuously injecting reasons for further delay. Here are a few legitimate excuses robbing you of your time to do Calisthenics:

  • I work late and when I come home, I’m tired
  • I still weigh too much to start with bodyweight exercises
  • I have this other hobby tomorrow so I can’t
  • There’s this great show on [streaming service of your choice] tonight I just have to watch
  • I’m meeting up with colleagues / friends for drinks that night
  • And so on…

We’ll let you in on a secret! You don’t have time. You MAKE time. Something else will have to give so that you can do your exercises and it is a matter of setting priorities. Is watching Netflix more important to you than your bodily health? If so, you’ve set your priorities right. But if it’s not, if you do care about your body and your health, then you need to set your priorities straight. That is why you should start today with these easy Calisthenics moves and workout. Do not delay, the day you read this article is the day you start working out. We don’t care if it’s 3AM.

The 10 Easiest Calisthenics Moves

With these easy Calisthenics moves, you can get into Calisthenics right away. When you’re a beginner or if you’re fighting obesity or think you’re too heavy for Calisthenics, it can be really, really hard to get started. That is why these easy Calisthenics moves are designed to literally…ease you into more advanced techniques. You’ll only apply just enough resistance to make you feel it, nothing more. The great thing about these easy moves is that you have complete control over how much resistance is felt. Here are 10 easy Calisthenics moves you can do today (some of them at least).

#1 Easy Calisthenics Move: The Incline Push-Ups

The Incline Push-Up is like a regular Push-Up except against an incline. The incline will increase the angle of the Push-Up, making them much easier to do. You can vary the angle to your liking, giving you complete control over the amount of weight you’re pushing. A good “tool” for this is a simple staircase. Stand on the bottom floor, hold your hands out straight forward like a normal Push-Up position, then lean forward against the highest step that naturally comes within reach. Most stairs are built at an angle of 30 to 40 degrees, which is a pretty steep Incline Push-Up.

If that’s still a little too much at the moment, you can also lean forward against a wall. Stand with your outstretched hands 2 feet away from a wall and lean against it. Keep making the angle shallower until you can graduate to the staircase.

The beauty of using a stair or staircase for your Incline Push-Ups is that you can gradually work your way down the steps until you’re on the bottom floor. At that point you’re doing regular Push-Ups. It’s one of the easiest Calisthenics moves you can do to start building muscle right away.

#2 Bar Hang

Pulling yourself up is quite a feat in and of itself. To start, you need sufficient grip strength. That is the foundation of the Pull-Up. To achieve this, you can start with simply hanging from the bar. The simple Bar Hang means you grip the Pull-Up Bar and suspend yourself from it, maintaining that hold for as long as you can. You can start low, for instance just 5 seconds. Then increase this amount of time with a few seconds every time. Aim for 3 x 60 seconds, adding a few seconds to every set evenly until you reach that point. 

#3 Scapula Pull-Ups and Australian Pull-Ups (Incline Pull-Ups)

With the Scapula Pull-Up, you’re only raising up your shoulder blades (the scapula). While hanging straight from the Pull-Up bar, make a shrugging motion which will automatically lift your body up. This is a good way to exercise your scapula for the right posture and form, as well as bringing up your grip strength in preparation of adding a bicep curl for that full Pull-Up. If Scapula Pull-Ups are too hard, you can put a Resistance Band under your feet to lighten the load of your bodyweight. The next step, or even simultaneous too exercising your scapula this way is the Incline Pull-Up.

Incline Pull-Ups, or Australian Pull-Ups are Pull-Ups where you never completely lift yourself off the ground. The easiest way is to hang underneath a set of high dip bars, body held straight and stiff and pulling yourself up, then returning slowly. 

If you feel ready for the next step, but full and unassisted Pull-Ups are still daunting to you, you can add a Resistance Band to your exercise for the time being.

#4 Straight Arm Plank Hold

The Straight Arm Plank Hold is the technical term for the Push-Up Stance. Get on the floor and into the Push-Up stance and hold it. You can add the Straight Arm Plank Hold to a routine with Incline Push-Ups to prepare you for regular Push-Ups. Try to maintain the hold for as long as you can and aim to add a second every day until you can hold this form for a minute. If you worry about your wrists, make use of low Parallettes to grab on too. This will significantly reduce the risk of injury. A higher Parallette or Dip bar will make this exercise easier.

This quickly becomes a very easy Calisthenics move once you get the hang of it. To make this workout gradually harder, bend your elbows slightly to put tension on your triceps and shoulders. Every other workout session, move 1 inch closer to the floor to further increase the tension.

#5 Scapula Dips and Bench Dips 

Our triceps are the weakest muscles in our upper arms and most beginners find doing dips to be quite easily the hardest exercise. After-work-out-muscle-burn also tends to be the worst in the triceps and can be felt for longer. We’ll start off with some easy Calisthenics moves for these weaker but vital muscles. Scapula Dips are a great way to start off easy.

Sit on a sturdy bench with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Grab the brim of the bench with your hands and step forward with your feet until your behind leaves the bench and hangs in the air. Next, make a shrugging motion with your shoulder, lowering your body by an inch or four and activating your scapula. Then push your shoulders back up to complete one repetition. 

The next step is the Bench Dip. Start in the same position as the Scapula Dip, then stretch your legs out until they’re straight. Now lower your body until your elbows are bent 90 degrees and push yourself up again for one repetition.

Once you’ve mastered the Bench Dip, you can start doing Assisted Dips with the assistance of a Resistance Band.

#6 Assisted Dips and Shallow Dips

Stand between two dip bars or chairs and start with the regular Dip. To make it easier and to ensure proper form, you’ll want to add a Resistance Band under your knees to lighten the load. Focus first on proper form and continue to add Bench Dips for a more fulfilling exercise for your muscles. You can gradually use lighter bands to up the ante. 

Once Assisted Dips become easier for you, you can start doing shallow Dips unassisted. Start with just 1 inch of descent and work your way up (or rather, down) from there. 

#7 Horse Stance

To practice Squats, the Horse Stance is a good method of strengthening your thighs and glutes. Instead of moving into a full squat and rising up again, you lower to a half-way point and hold that position for as long as you can. Start by standing straight with your feet underneath your shoulders. Twist your feet outward so your toes point to the sides, then rotate the rest of your feet in place so they face straight ahead again. Do this once more and you should have the ideal width for the Horse Stance. Bend your knees to lower your stance and hold it.

If you cannot hold the Horse Stance for longer than 20 seconds, start higher up. Every day, lower your stance by 1 inch until you can hold the Horse Stance with your knees bent to 60 degrees for 20 seconds. After that, add 1 second every time until you can hold the Horse Stance for 1 minute.

#8 Wall Sits

Wall Sits are a good way to build leg strength and even some core strength as well. Stand with your back flush against a sturdy wall. Next bend your knees until you’re sitting on an imaginary chair, back still against the wall. Hold that position until failure. If you cannot hold the Wall Sit for longer than 20 seconds, start higher up. Every day, lower your stance by 1 inch until you can hold the Wall Sit with your knees bent to 60 degrees for 20 seconds. After that, add 1 second every time until you can hold the Wall Sit for 1 minute.

If the Wall Sit is too hard, start with the Horse Stance. If you’ve mastered the Wall Sit, progress to Lunges.

#9 Lunges

Lunges are the first step into making your leg exercise more dynamic and mobile. A lunge is simply a big stride forward with one leg, bending the forward knee to 90 degrees and setting that forward foot back next to the back foot. You repeat this alternating between each foot. Not only are Lunges great for building up upper-leg and glute strength, they’re also a mobility exercise bringing in some much-needed stretching. Start with a low number of repetitions if you’re overweight and build them up gradually over the course of a few weeks.

#10 Shallow and Assisted Squats

Squats should not be attempted if you are obese. The exercise is otherwise very straightforward and our legs are generally much stronger (even if neglected) than the rest of our bodies. If you cannot complete a single Squat, practice the Horse Stance first. Otherwise, follow the picture below for a proper Squat and start with very low repetitions. Even just two or three is a start already. Squats can be made lighter by holding onto something which can support part of your weight, like chairs or dip bars. However, it is very tempting to (subconsciously) hold on too much, giving you only the illusion that you’re progressing with your Squats.

Simple Calisthenics Routine

Using the easy Calisthenics moves above, you can make a number of effective routines and that you can start right now. We’ve combined a few of the easiest Calisthenics moves into workouts for you, ranging from not being able to support your bodyweight at all to being a relative beginner who can only accomplish a very low number of repetitions in a single set. With these simple Calisthenics routines, you can prepare yourself for regular routines, but they also act on their own as effective weight shredders and muscle builders already. 

Simple Calisthenics Routine #1: The Weight Shredder

If you’re overweight, then Calisthenics can help you lose that weight effectively, healthily and lastingly. Where just dieting will often result in a yo-yo effect, combining a healthy nutritional intake with a consistent Calisthenics routine will change your metabolism permanently (provided you keep your improved lifestyle). The reason people looking to shed weight are offput by Calisthenics is the lack of weight reduction. At least compared to just weight loss diets, Calisthenics will result in a much shallower decline in gross weight. 

The reason is that, as you’re burning fat, you’re replacing it with muscle. Muscles weigh more than fat so even at a negative rate of fat volume exchanged for muscle volume, you might be looking at only a small weight reduction. But that isn’t a problem at all! “Weight loss, weight reduction, and so on” are laymen’s terms. Your real problem is cholesterol and joint atrophy. Cholesterol can and will result in the familiar “fat diseases” like heart and artery problems. Joint atrophy is caused by too much weight carried by joints that are too weak. Just going on a diet will leave you weaker than before. Maybe lighter for a time, but with a paused metabolism ready to rebound and put on those lost pounds in a heartbeat.

Calisthenics makes you stronger, gets rid of the cholesterol and provides you with joints and muscles easily able to carry their weight and then some. What was once pointless fat is trimmed and honed into chiseled muscles. The road can be long and hard, but the following simple Calisthenics routine, consisting of the easy Calisthenics moves described above, is a good start.

Period 1: Week 1

DayIncline Push-Up HoldScapula Pull-UpBar HangStraight Arm Hold on Dip BarJogging
15 3x 10 seconds 10 minutes
2 5 510 minutes
35 3x 10 seconds 10 minutes
4    30-minute walk
5 5 510 minutes
65 2x 10 seconds 10 minutes
7 5 510 minutes

Period 1: Week 2

DayIncline Push-Up HoldScapula Pull-UpBar HangStraight Arm Hold on Dip BarJogging
18 3x 20 seconds 20 minutes
2 8 820 minutes
38 3x 20 seconds 20 minutes
4    60-minute walk
5 8 820 minutes
68 3x 20 seconds 20 minutes
7 8 820 minutes

Period 1: Week 3

DayIncline Push-UpsScapula Pull-UpBar HangScapula DipsJogging
112 2x 40 seconds 25 minutes
2 12 825 minutes
312 2x 40 seconds 25 minutes
4    60-minute walk
5 12 825 minutes
612 2x 40 seconds 25 minutes
7 12 825 minutes

Period 1: Week 4

DayIncline Push-UpsScapula Pull-UpBar HangScapula DipsJogging
12 x 8 3x 60 seconds 30 minutes
2 2 x 8 2 x 830 minutes
32 x 8 3x 60 seconds 30 minutes
4    60-minute walk
5 2 x 8 2 x 830 minutes
62 x 8 3x 60 seconds 30 minutes
7 2 x 8 2 x 830 minutes

Before progressing to Period 2, make sure you can accomplish each exercise in Week 4 to completion. In Period 2 you should strive to shallow your Incline Push-Ups until you do regular Push-Ups. Jogging will now be staggered and we’ll prepare you for Squats on days you’re not jogging. You should only do Squats if you’re no more than 30 pounds above your target weight to avoid knee injury, you can find them in Routine #2 instead.

Period 2: Week 1

DayIncline Push-UpsHorse StanceAustralian Pull-UpsBench DipsJogging
13 x 8 3 x 8 45 minutes
2 20 seconds 2 x 5 
33 x 8 3 x 8  
4    45 minutes
5 25 seconds 2 x 5 
63 x 8 3 x 8 45 minutes
7 30 seconds 2 x 5 

Period 2: Week 2

DayIncline Push-UpsHorse StanceAustralian Pull-UpsBench DipsJogging
13 x 10 3 x 10  
2 35 seconds 2 x 845 minutes
33 x 10 3 x 10  
4    45 minutes
5 40 seconds 2 x 8 
63 x 10 3 x 10  
7 60 seconds 2 x 845 minutes

Period 2: Week 3

DayIncline Push-UpsWall SitAustralian Pull-UpsBench DipsJogging
13 x 12 3 x 12  
2 20 seconds 2 x 1245 minutes
33 x 12 3 x 12  
4    45 minutes
5 20 seconds 2 x 12 
63 x 12 3 x 12  
7 20 seconds 2 x 1245 minutes

Period 2: Week 4

DayIncline Push-UpsWall SitAustralian Pull-UpsBench DipsJogging
13 x 12 3 x 12  
2 30 seconds 3 x 1245 minutes
33 x 12 3 x 12  
4    45 minutes
5 30 seconds 3 x 12 
63 x 12 3 x 12  
7 30 seconds 3 x 1245 minutes

Progress to Routine #2: Easy Calisthenics Moves from here.

Simple Calisthenics Routine #2: Easy Calisthenics Moves

This is a repeatable and simple Calisthenics routine which you can keep up indefinitely. At some point, you’ll likely be fed up with it. That’s the time when you should broaden your horizon. Progressing to Routine #3 can then prepare you within 1 month for a regular Calisthenics routine where only the sky is the limit.

This routine assumes you have reached a normal weight within 20 pounds of your target weight or a healthy non-athletic BMI. You should incorporate cardio exercises like jogging as well as mobility exercises into this routine.

Easy Calisthenics Moves Week 1

DayIncline Push-UpsAustralian Pull-UpsPlank HoldBench DipsLungesHorse Stance
13 x 12 2 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
2 3 x 12 3 x 12 3 x 20 seconds
33 x 12 2 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
4      
5 3 x 12 3 x 12 3 x 20 seconds
63 x 12 2 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
7 3 x 12 3 x 12 3 x 20 seconds

Easy Calisthenics Moves Week 2

DayIncline Push-UpsAustralian Pull-UpsPlank HoldBench DipsLungesGlute Bridge
13 x 12 3 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
2 3 x 12 3 x 12 2 x 60 seconds
33 x 12 3 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
4      
5 3 x 12 3 x 12 2 x 60 seconds
63 x 12 3 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
7 3 x 12 3 x 12 2 x 60 seconds

Easy Calisthenics Moves Week 3

DayIncline Push-UpsAustralian Pull-UpsPlank HoldBench DipsLungesSquats
13 x 12 3 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
2 3 x 12 3 x 12 15
33 x 12 3 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
4      
5 3 x 12 3 x 12 15
63 x 12 3 x 20 seconds 3 x 12 
7 3 x 12 3 x 12 15

Easy Calisthenics Moves Week 4

DayPush-UpsPull-UpsPlank HoldDipsLungesSquats
13 x 5 3 x 30 seconds 3 x 12 
2 3 x 5 3 x 5 15
33 x 5 3 x 30 seconds 3 x 12 
4      
5 3 x 5 3 x 5 15
63 x 5 3 x 30 seconds 3 x 12 
7 3 x 5 3 x 5 15

Easy Calisthenics Moves Week 5

DayPush-UpsPull-UpsPlank HoldDipsLungesSquats
13 x 8 3 x 30 seconds 3 x 12 
2 3 x 8 3 x 8 15
33 x 8 3 x 30 seconds 3 x 12 
4      
5 3 x 8 3 x 8 20
63 x 8 3 x 45 seconds 3 x 12 
7 3 x 8 3 x 8 20

Easy Calisthenics Moves Week 6

DayPush-UpsPull-UpsPlank HoldDipsLungesSquats
13 x 10 3 x 45 seconds 3 x 12 
2 3 x 10 3 x 10 15
33 x 10 3 x 45 seconds 3 x 12 
4      
5 3 x 10 3 x 10 20
63 x 10 3 x 45 seconds 3 x 12 
7 3 x 10 3 x 10 20

Week X: Repeatable Maintenance Routine

DayPush-UpsPull-UpsPlank HoldDipsLungesSquats
13 x 12 3 x 60 seconds 3 x 12 
2 3 x 12 3 x 10 3 x 15
33 x 12 3 x 60 seconds 3 x 12 
4      
5 3 x 12 3 x 10 3 x 15
63 x 12 3 x 60 seconds 3 x 12 
7 3 x 8 3 x 10 3 x 15

Simple Calisthenics Routine #3: The Rep-a-Day Workout

The Rep-a-Day workout is possibly the hardest of our easy Calisthenics workouts. It focusses on building three key areas of your body relatively quickly in preparation of a full body Calisthenics routine. These areas are upper arm strength, leg strength and core strength. The idea is to make these areas strong enough so that you can readily participate in any Calisthenics program of your choosing and succeed.

Start with either inclined or regular Push-Ups and Squats and set a benchmark for how many you can achieve in a single set until failure. Divide this number in half. Wait a day to let your muscles rest, then start with half the number of reps you can do at maximum (e.g., if you could do 8 Push-Ups, start with 4). Every day, add 1 rep to your single set.

Once you can do 15 reps, divide the exercise into 2 sets of 8 the next day and increase both sets to 12 by adding 1 rep a day to one of the sets (we recommend the first set first). Once you can do 2 sets of 12, add another set and work that up to 12 as well. 

If can’t do regular Push-Ups and Squats, you can also try reducing the incline over the course of a week or two while you keep increasing your repetitions. 

Once you can do 3 sets of 12 of both Push-Ups and Squats, your body is strong enough to start a staggered routine instead. Here is a hypothetical table for four weeks based on 10 Squats and 7 Push-Ups;

Week 1

DayPush-UpsSquats
1710
2811
3912
41013
51114
61215
7138 | 8

Week 2

DayPush-UpsSquats
1149 | 8
21510 | 8
38 | 811 | 8
49 | 812 | 8
510 | 812 | 9
611 | 812 | 10
712 | 812 | 11

Week 3

DayPush-UpsSquats
112 | 912 | 12
212 | 1012 | 12 | 1
312 | 1112 | 12 | 2
412 | 1212 | 12 | 3
512 | 1212 | 12 | 4
612 | 12 | 112 | 12 | 5
712 | 12 | 212 | 12 | 6

Week 4

DayPush-UpsSquats
112 | 12 | 312 | 12 | 7
212 | 12 | 412 | 12 | 8
312 | 12 | 512 | 12 | 9
412 | 12 | 612 | 12 | 10
512 | 12 | 712 | 12 | 11
612 | 12 | 812 | 12 | 12
712 | 12 | 912 | 12 | 12

And just like that, in 4 weeks’ time you’ve become fit enough and strong enough to handle any beginner-friendly Calisthenics workout out there. Even starting your Push-Ups somewhat lower, you’ve reached a point where you could most likely perform adequately in any Calisthenics program or Calisthenics app. If you need to start even lower, say 5 reps or even 3 reps, the Rep-a-Day Workout means you’re only adding a couple of days, maybe another week tops to get where you need to be. 

Easy Calisthenics Programs

You are now equipped with a small arsenal of easy Calisthenics moves with which you can start getting your body into shape. If you are hopelessly overweight, follow the Weight Shredder routine along with proper nutrition (you can’t train against a bad diet). If you’re just weak of body, then you can start immediately with the Easy Calisthenics Moves routine or the Rep-a-Day Workout to create for yourself a baseline level of bodily strength.

From here on, it is time for you think about what Calisthenics program you want to follow. The easiest Calisthenics moves and simple routines will only get you so far. There are of course many Calisthenics Programs out there and plenty of them are very good (although not nearly all of them!). For a beginner who’s looking for an adequate, long-term and satisfactory Calisthenics Workout, we can highly recommend the Cali Move Complete Calisthenics course. 

Cali Move Complete Calisthenics

Get it here:

calimove.com

We single out programs as ‘the best’ with great apprehension, because everyone is different and people have different goals with their Calisthenics. The CaliMove Complete Calisthenics course, however, is to us best-in-class when it comes to offering a comprehensive, easy-to-follow, beginner-friendly but very thorough Calisthenics framework. Ninety percent of practitioners will find no want in the Complete Calisthenics course.

Conclusion: Do Easy Calisthenics Moves Make a Difference?

If you’re an absolute couch potato then any movement is better than no movement at all. The average BMI score in the United States hangs around 29. For reference, a healthy score lies between 18.5 to 24.9. We’re lazy, sedentary and adverse in our nutritional choices — in short: nationally obese. And probably the worst of it all is that we do it to ourselves. We hope that our article has shown you that Calisthenics doesn’t have to be hard. There are easy Calisthenics moves you can do today which will make the difference. Simple Calisthenics routines which will improve your health and life and prolong both. Calisthenics can be fun and engaging, with many challenges, starting with the simplest Calisthenics moves but which can be upscaled gradually to stay challenging.

If you need an assessment of where you stand or need to continue on your path to become fit and healthy, we recommend following a full Calisthenics Program next. Our highest recommendation goes out towards the Cali Move Complete Calisthenics program for the beginner and weight-shedder with plenty of future athletic potential.

Frequently Asked Questions about Easy Calisthenics Moves

A few questions about doing easy Calisthenics have popped up here and there.

How do beginners do calisthenics?

Most beginners to Calisthenics start with easy Calisthenics moves and low repetition exercises. The key is to build a strong core and large muscles like the glutes and shoulders. Beginners who are struggling to shift their own bodyweight (due to obesity or otherwise) benefit from doing incline variations which take part of their bodyweight away from their arms.

What are the easiest calisthenics skills?

The easiest Calisthenics skills, moves and routines feature incline variations like incline Push-Ups and incline Pull-Ups (Australian Pull-Ups), combined with static holds like the horse stance and straight arm plank. These exercises allow the practitioner to very gradually add resistance. In theory, if you can stand up straight then you can do these exercises, which will gradually develop into fully fledged Calisthenics moves like Push-Ups, Dips, Squats and Pull-Ups.

What are the best calisthenics exercises for beginners?

As a beginner to Calisthenics, you should focus on building core strength and the strength of your large muscles like your glutes and shoulders. You can do this with Push-Ups and Squats (inclined or assisted if needed) and once these core muscles have been sufficiently ‘activated’ it becomes safe to proceed to a more advanced routine. Calisthenics can provide you very fast results, but it’s not a race. Start with easy Calisthenics moves and graduate to harder ones at a healthy pace.

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Chris Heria

Hi, I am Stefan reading your blog it’s really impressive and helpful you had put a good piece of information over there about the Easy Calisthenics Moves and Workout. I really appreciate the knowledge you shared with us. Keep updating such informative content.