New Year Calisthenics Workout for Beginners

Woman on back doing crunches.

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The new year has officially arrived, which means gyms will be packed to the brim for the next few weeks. Prioritizing health and fitness is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions, but most people don’t stick with those resolutions for long. Instead of getting overwhelmed in a packed public gym, a home calisthenics beginner workout routine might be a better fit.

Let’s break down the basics of calisthenics and outline a simple, yet effective beginner’s routine for any new year’s resolutioners looking to transform their bodies.

What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is an exercise subcategory that only includes bodyweight movements. Participants use basic equipment and the world around them to perform functional movements. These are some calisthenics exercises that you might recognize:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Chin-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Dips
  • Burpees
  • Planks
  • Leg kicks
  • Air squats
  • Pistol squats
  • Lunges

The only pieces of equipment you need are a simple home pull-up bar, a jump rope and a stable flat surface. This setup makes calisthenics the perfect workout style for new years resolutioners who want to avoid the gym crowds. It’s private, affordable and highly flexible. It’s equally effective for people looking to gain muscle, lose weight or improve their overall athleticism.

There are several keys to creating a good calisthenics workout. You need to take things slow and determine the best exercises for your body type and fitness goals. That means this beginner calisthenics workout will cover the entire body so you get a good feel for each exercise.

Beginner Calisthenics Workout

This workout guide includes the specific exercises, number of sets/reps and rest times. It should take about 30 minutes to complete. All you need is a flat, stable surface. An exercise mat is optional if you want extra cushioning. Let’s get started!

  • 25 jump squats: squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor and jump as high as you can. Rest for 30 seconds.
  • 25 push-ups: put your arms a little wider than shoulder-width apart and lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Push up from the floor and engage your chest and arms. Rest for one minute.
  • 50 sit-ups: lie down on your back and crunch yourself up into a sitting position. Let your core muscles do the work. Don’t use your body’s natural momentum. Rest for one minute.
  • 10 burpees: start in a standing position, move yourself into a push-up position and stand back up as quickly as you can. It sounds simple enough, but burpees are exhausting. Rest for one minute.
  • 1 minute leg kicks: lie on your back, brace your core and flutter your legs in the air. You should feel the burn in your lower abdomen and upper thighs. Keep moving your legs up and down for the full minute – or until failure. Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Planks: get into a planking position and hold it for as long as you can. Focus on your breathing and keep your back slightly arched to engage your core. Rest for three minutes when finished.

This group of exercises is often called a “circuit” in the fitness community. You perform multiple exercises with short rest periods in between, then repeat the circuit again after a more extended rest time. Calisthenics workouts often have circuit structures to be more time-efficient. Completing a bodyweight workout with a traditional training style would take hours. 

It All Starts With One Workout

Every great journey starts with a single step. The first step is always the most intimidating and requires the most courage. For all of the new years resolutioners out there looking to change their bodies this year, start with this simple calisthenics beginner workout. Then do it again, and again and again. Soon enough, your habits and body will have changed forever.

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