Top 10 Best Calisthenics Exercises To Build and Strengthen Your Muscles 

There is a common misconception that the only way you can strengthen and build your muscles is by lifting heavy weights in the gym. But you might be surprised to know that it is possible to build mass without any equipment at all. You don’t even need a gym membership to start! The key is to build muscle with calisthenics exercises. Calisthenics exercises are forms of exercises that only utilize your body weight as resistance.

Incorporating calisthenics exercises into your fitness routine is a safe and effective way to build muscle without putting unnecessary stress on your joints. The great thing about these exercises is that you can perform these even if you’re a beginner. As you grow stronger, you can adjust the intensity of the exercises by trying out different variations or increasing the duration of your workout.

Take a look at the 10 best calisthenics exercises that will help you effectively strengthen and build your muscles.

1. Push-ups

The push-up is a classic exercise that targets different muscle groups in your body. Performing the exercise engages your arms, chest, abdomen, hips, and legs. There are many different variations of push-ups, but it is best to start with the basic push-up then progress into different types once you master the perfect form.

  1. Dips

The dip is an amazing upper body workout. It targets the muscles in your chest, shoulders and arms simultaneously. While calisthenics athletes use a dip station, you can use a chair or parallel bars in outdoor parks to practice your dips.

  1. Lunges

Doing forward and backward lunges will work out your abs, thigh and butt muscles at the same time. If you are a beginner, you can start with alternate legs. As you progress you can upgrade your lunges to build more muscle mass in your lower body.

  1. Planks

The plank is the exercise that looks easy to do but it can be really challenging in reality. Planks are hands down one of the best exercises to build ab muscles and develop insane core strength.

  1. Jumping Jacks

If there’s one exercise in this list that you can definitely do, it’s the jumping jack. While it seems pretty basic, this exercise actually targets the muscles in your calves, hips, shoulder, and abdomen –  giving you a total body workout.

  1. Squats

Squats are powerhouse exercises that strengthen your legs, butt, hips, thighs, calves, and abdomen. The key to getting the maximum benefit from this exercise is to ensure that you know how to do the squat correctly.

  1. Burpees

Probably one of the most detested exercises because this full-body strengthening exercise will get you out of breath even just after a few reps. But if you want to build muscle, burpees should be your best friend! This is because every rep targets your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs

  1. Superman

If you want to strengthen your back muscles then this exercise is perfect. The superman is an essential exercise that will give you a stronger core.

9. Pull-ups

A pull-up is an exercise that you should be working towards mastering to increase your chest, abdominal and arm muscles. It helps improve your grip strength, too.

10. Chin-ups

A chin-up is different from a pull-up as it uses an underhand grip on the bar instead of an overhand grip. While chin-ups and pull-ups work the same muscle groups, they target them in different capacities.

Strong and Steady

These 10 calisthenics exercises are perfect for everyone – from beginners to fitness athletes. You can easily upgrade these exercises to increase their intensity depending on your individual fitness levels.


I use a lot of calisthenics movement into most of my classes and online program. Check it out:

About the Author:
Rebecca Smith started calisthenics at age 26 as a means to lose weight and tone her body. After completing her first successful muscle up, the amazing feeling inspired her to train further and become a full-time calisthenics instructor. Rebecca also holds a Management Degree and a Diploma in Nutrition.