In Gym Beginner Calisthenics Workout  – Full Body Edition

Increase your strength with this full-body beginner calisthenics workout routine. You’ll get your first pull-up, build pushing strength and increase hip mobility and core. All of which are needed to get better at calisthenics.

Before we get into this workout. Know that I am so proud of you for having the courage to learn something new!

Often, our first introduction to calisthenics is through Instagram, where we see people doing incredible skills that seem so far out of reach as a beginner. I can tell you from experience that you can learn how to do-pulls-ups and push-ups, and even muscle-ups and human flags. I know because I did it. 

I am an entirely self-taught female calisthenics athlete. I didn’t do gymnastics as a kid, I wasn’t flexible when I started, nor could I do pull-ups… 

So I understand both the challenges and the immense pride that comes with learning calisthenics. 

To excel at calisthenics, it just takes time and dedication, and a good beginner calisthenics workout plan, which is precisely what I’m going to walk you through. I wish I had this program when I started, as I would have progressed so much faster. 

Beginner Calisthenics Workout Routine

I cannot stress enough how important it is to warm up for calisthenics (or any workout). If you don’t regularly place your entire body weight on your wrists and you choose not to warm up, you are highly susceptible to injury, which will slow your progress immensely. I posted how to do a crow pose on TikTok and had many people comment that they had tried the crow (before watching my tutorial), and had hurt their wrists because they didn’t dedicate time to warming up before attempting it. Learn from their mistakes and ALWAYS warm up.

How do you warm up for calisthenics?

A good warm-up is designed to help you focus on the workout, prepare your body for the demands of the workout, reinforce proper body positions, and address any movement deficiencies.

The three essential components for warming-up for calisthenics include:

1. Elevating core temperature by increasing blood flow (think cardio)

2. Mobility Work

3. Positional Drills (we’ll chat more about this later on)

Today’s warm-up incorporates all three essential components, making it a great routine for any calisthenics workout day.

Beginner Calisthenics Warm-Up

If you’re a calisthenics beginner start by doing this workout 3 days a week – or add it onto my 3 day a week calisthenics program to make it 4 days!

1. Lateral Lunge or Cossack Squat, 12 reps, 1 set
2. Lateral Lunge Transfers, 8 reps, 1 set
3. Wrist Warm-Up, 2 mins; move through each position for 6-12 reps (watch the video for a demo) for a total of 2 mins or more.

girl show 4 different ways to warm up your wrists for calisthenics and handstands

Now that we’ve got the blood flowing and joints moving well, it’s time to move on to positional drills.

Calisthenics Positional Drills

Positional drills are body tension or body line drills that teach you the ideal shape needed to execute the strength portion of the workout.

For example, in calisthenics, a hollow body shape is used in many skills, such as front levers, back levers, handstands, planches, and so much more. For this reason, we need to solidify our bodies’ familiarity with the hollow body shape.

The fundamental positional drills for bodyweight training are the following:

  • Plank
  • Side Planks
  • Arch Body
  • Hollow Body
  • Support holds

4. Hollow Body Hold
Accumulate 40 seconds total

girl shows how to do a beginner hollow body hold for calisthenics
calisthenics girl shows the correct way to do a hollow body for calisthenics

5. Arch Body Hold
Accumulate 40 seconds total

girl shows how to do a beginner arch body hold

6. Elbow Plank
Accumulate 40 seconds total

calisthenics girl shows how to do an elbow plank for calisthenics beginners

Calisthenics Beginner Skill Training

Onto the fun part – skill training. Generally, most calisthenics athletes have the desire to learn some cool skills. For a typical training day, you would work your skill or technique before your strength training to ensure you perform at your optimal level. 

You can skip this portion if you’re short on time or if you’re just here for  muscle and strength building.

As a beginner, I encourage you to learn a crow pose because it introduces you to being on your hands, which will minimize the fear of learning how to handstand in the future. Once you’ve learned the crow pose, you can work on single-leg crow, crow knee hovers, you can jump into the crow from a downward dog or even learn to press to handstand.

7. Crow Pose
Set a timer for 10-15 minutes to focus on your crow pose. Play with different entries and holds. Try to work up to a 20sec – 30sec hold.

8. Active Hang to Scap Pulls
15 sec hang, 8 scap pulls, 1 set

crow pose

Beginner Calisthenics Workout:
Strength Training

Superset 1, Pull & Push

Do exercise A, then rest for 2 minutes, then do exercise B, then rest for 3 minutes, then repeat 3 times.

A. Pull Ups
Do as many full pull-ups as possible (even if that’s only 1). Then perform 6-8 reps of negative pull-ups with a minimum 3 second lower. Negatives mean just doing the lowering portion, so find a way to jump or climb up to the top, then lower slowly. 

Take a 2 min rest, then move to the next exercise.

calisthenics girl does pull ups at the park

B. Push-Ups
Do 1-4 regular push-ups, then 8-10 elevated push-ups. Slow and controlled, breathe in on the lower, breathe out on the pushing. Take a 3-minute rest, then perform your pull-ups. 3 Total sets.

girl demonstrating the correct way to do a push up for calisthenics
girl demonstrating how to do bench elevated push ups

Superset 1, Pull & Push

Do exercise A, then rest for 2 minutes, then do exercise B, then rest for 3 minutes, then repeat 3 times.

A. Australian Rows
2-second hold at the top, 8 reps, 2 min rest

calisthenics girl shows how to do a beginner australian row in a squat rack
girl does Australian rows in a squat rack

B. SB Support Hold
20-40 seconds, 3 sets, 3 min rest

calisthenics girl shows how to do a straight bar support hold

Beginner Calisthenics Workout:
Lower Body

Superset 1, Pull & Push

Do exercise A, then rest for 1 minute, then do exercise B, then rest for 2 minutes, then repeat 3 times.

A. Long Lunge
8-10 reps, 3 sets, 2 min rest

long lunge

B. You Choose! Pick from one of the following calisthenics leg exercises:
8 reps, 3 sets, 2 mins rest

girl performs a sissy squat against a wall and freestanding
calisthenics girl shows how to do a deep weighted squat

Abs & Cool Down

1. Hollow Body Tucks
20 reps, 2 sets, 1 min rest

2. Spinal Segmentations
6 reps, 1-2 sets

Finish with general stretching for 10 minutes. Here’s a mobility routine if you need help.

girl with foot up on bench smiling at the end of a workout

Do This Beginner Calisthenics Workout 2-3x Per Week

This workout will help you build strength for pull-ups and push-ups while conditioning your core and body awareness so you can level up in calisthenics. 

However, this only happens if you actually train consistently for at least 6 weeks. To start, you could do today’s workout 3 times a week with a rest day in between, or add it to my Free 3 day a week calisthenics program or try out my list of FREE Calisthenics Workout Routines for Beginners. 

Once you’ve completed this program for 6 weeks move on to part 2 of this series! You see, I actually had a reader contact me and say she had done today’s workout for 6 weeks and was wondering what to do next, so I made her a 2 part beginner calisthenics upper body workout. Check it out!

in gym beginner calisthenics workout