One of the greatest advantages of following a calisthenics workout routine is that you don’t need a gym membership to be successful. In fact, you rarely need any equipment at all. When you do need it, you can often improvise with whatever you have around you.
One exception to that is when you need calisthenics bars for your exercise. Using a bar can help you get the most of your workout. Although, there are other key pieces of equipment you may want to consider having available during your workouts.
Calisthenics Bars and Other Equipment
It is true that many people get into calisthenics because they don’t want to pay for a pricey gym membership, or they don’t have time to fit the gym into their day. Everyone leads a busy life today. Everyone has a family, a demanding work life, and often a long commute every day. With all of the obligations of daily life, getting to the gym isn’t always a priority.
That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your workout altogether. With calisthenics, you can work out nearly anytime and anywhere, using primarily just your bodyweight. Do your exercises after the kids go to bed, in between work meetings, or in your hotel room when away on business. That is absolutely one of the biggest benefits of following a calisthenics routine.
With that said, there are still some pieces of equipment that will help you better your workout. This includes calisthenics bars, but there are other pieces of equipment that you should also consider having on hand. Sometimes, you can improvise. Other times, you really want the equipment.
You also don’t want to cut corners with most of the equipment highlighted below. Sometimes, you get what you pay for, and when it comes to your workout, you want the best. Don’t put in all of that hard work with equipment that is going to let you down, especially with bars.
Dip or Pull-Up Bar
Good calisthenics bars are important. In fact, it is probably most important that you have great calisthenics bars above all other pieces of equipment you could purchase. This is a piece of equipment you likely just want to have.
A bar is crucial to being able to effectively perform a pull-up, which is the ultimate goal for a lot of people who focus their effort on calisthenics. Pull-ups are one of the best ways for you to build your overall strength. It can target plenty of muscles, including your pectoral muscles, biceps, and lats.
So, keep a few things in mind when choosing the right bar. You want to find one that offers great stability overall. You will be using it to hold all of your body weight, so this isn’t the time to get cheap or to cut corners.
You want a bar that is going to hold you safely. You really don’t want to fall when you are in the middle of trying to master a pull-up. The exercise is hard enough without adding in the worry of falling from being suspended mid-air.
Bands are a great piece of equipment to have on hand because you can bring them with you when you travel. They take up very little room, but in the end, they can really bring your workout to the next level. Pack them in your carry-on bag or keep them in your desk drawer at work. You can even put them in your purse so that they can be used at any time.
In addition, there is seemingly no end to the ways you can use them. If you use resistance bands and you are a beginner, just remember that you want to have a great grip on them, and you always want to keep your footing stable. Once you get used to using them, the proper form will be second nature to you.
Resistance bands can be used for a number of exercises, including a lat pull-down, squats, push-ups, forward raise, and even an overhead press. All of these exercises are pretty straightforward, which is a great place to start when trying out resistance bands. You’ll be able to keep proper form, which is key to success.
As you advance, you will find interesting and creative ways to use resistance bands to increase the difficulty of your exercises. Just don’t do so until you are really ready.
You can use parallettes for a number of exercises. They are most often used for push-ups, dips, V-sits, and L-Sits. If you choose to use parallettes, your hand grip is a key consideration, both for form and for safety. You want to ensure that your wrists always stay straight. Proper form is really important, and you never want your wrists to be bent.
Parallettes can help you as you become more advanced, as well. This is because they really force you to maintain a good balance as you move through your exercises. They’re pretty easy to use but may require you to get comfortable using them.
If you are someone who suffers from discomfort in your hands or wrists, sometimes parallettes can also help with that discomfort, especially when doing push-ups, for example.
Weighted Dip Belt and Vest
Weighted equipment will give you just a bit more weight without forcing you to add dumbbells or other gym equipment into your routine.
Weighted vests are pretty straightforward. You can wear one when doing nearly any exercise, such as a pull-up or even push-up. This same functionality applies to a weighted dip belt, as well.
You really only need weighted equipment when you are looking to really advance an exercise. Keep in mind that calisthenics is intended to be performed using just your body weight, and that is all you absolutely need. If you are looking for a real challenge, that is when you add in weighted equipment and accessories.
Calisthenics is really designed for using just your bodyweight and very little equipment. Bear that in mind when selecting what equipment you want to purchase, if any.
You can absolutely perform calisthenics exercises without any equipment. However, you may be limiting yourself when it comes to some exercises. For example, calisthenics bars really are a great investment. Without them, you’ll be really struggling to perform a good chin-up, for example.