This type of exercise is perfect for people who don’t have much time or money to spend on fitness.
If you’re looking for an effective workout that doesn’t require any special equipment, then calisthenics is the answer!
With this guide, we’ll show you how easy it is to get started with these bodyweight exercises and start seeing results right away.
You’ll learn about the benefits of calisthenic workouts as well as some tips on how to make your own routine so that you can stay motivated and see results faster than ever before
What is calisthenics?
Calisthenics is a form of exercise that uses the power of your body to create results.
It’s basically just exercises done with your body weight rather than using weights and machines in a gym.
There are all sorts of different calisthenic moves that you can use to get fit, but one thing they have in common is that they all require you to lift your own weight and use bodyweight as resistance.
If you’re new to exercise or looking for a way to save time and money while getting fit, then this is the perfect routine!
What are the benefits of a calisthenic workout?
There are many great reasons why calisthenics exercises are so popular nowadays.
Here are just a few of the most important benefits to give you an idea of why they’re so great:
- Calisthenics exercises can be done anywhere! No need for equipment – they can all be done with your own bodyweight, wherever you happen to be! This makes it easy to stay fit no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
- There’s no excuse not to workout when it takes less than thirty minutes and all you need is your own body weight for resistance.
- You’ll get stronger, leaner, faster, more flexible, and fitter! Because these exercises can be done from home without any special equipment, you can do them as often as you want and see great results in a matter of weeks.
- If you’re worried about the weather or waiting for expensive equipment to become available, this is the perfect option for you!
You don’t need any special equipment, so there’s no reason not to get started right away.
What calisthenic exercises can you do for the shoulders?
The shoulders are a very important and complex part of the body that needs to be worked on regularly, so it’s a good idea to have a few shoulder exercises in your workout routine.
In this section, we’ll show you some great calisthenic moves for your shoulders that will work your upper back, deltoids, biceps, triceps, and shoulders in general.
These exercises are great for strength training, toning your muscles, and keeping them healthy!
As long as you’re warming up the shoulder joint and the different muscle groups of the shoulder muscles before working out you can mitigate any shoulder injuries during your workouts.
Shoulder Exercise List
In no particular order, here’s a quick list of the best exercises you can mix and match to build strong shoulders.
- Regular push-up
- Assisted pullups
- Assisted pushups
- Assisted dips
- Ring pullups
- Ring dips
- Bent over row
- Upright row
- Lateral raises
- Forward raises
- Wall walks
- Handstand pushups
- Handstand walks
- Decline push-ups
- Incline pushups
- Pike pushup
- Battle ropes
Make sure you perform each stretch slowly and with good form to get the full benefits of bodyweight training.
If you have access to a gym or can afford some weights for these moves, be sure to use them for more resistance. Or, you can even use resistance bands to add extra resistance when performing these exercises.
This will make the moves even more challenging and help you get faster results, but you can still do these with bodyweight alone if you’re on a budget or have limited access to equipment.
Example Calisthenic Exercise Explanation
1) Shoulder shrugs: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your arms straight by your sides. Lift your shoulders up to your ears, hold for a few seconds, then lower back down again.
This is a great example of how calisthenic workouts don’t need any equipment – all you have to do is lift up your own body weight!
2) Forward and backward shoulder circles: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stretch out your arms at your sides with palms facing forward. Slowly circle your arms forward in a circle. Repeat for twelve continuous circles. Then perform the movement backward.
3) Wall push-ups: Stand facing the wall with your hands on the wall shoulder-width apart and feet a little far back so you can lean forward to perform a push-up. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower until you’re face is about as close to the walls as possible. Hold for a few seconds, then push yourself back up to a standing position again.
Just like with regular push-ups, wall push-ups work your pecs, anterior deltoid (aka rear deltoids), and your abs (when you actually engage them).
4) Bench dips: Sit a few feet in front of a stable bench and place your hands on top of the bench and fingers facing forward toward your back. Lift your hips off the ground and extend your arms straight. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower until upper arms are parallel to the floor, hold for a few seconds, then push yourself back up to standing again.
5) Pike push-ups: Start in a push-up position with your hands on the floor and fingers facing forward. Keeping your legs straight, walk your feet inwards until your bottom is higher in the air. Slowly bend your arms down into a pushup and then back up to starting position again.
6) Handstand push-ups: Start in a push-up position with your hands on the floor and fingers facing forward. Walk your feet forward until you can kick your feet up onto a wall to keep yourself stable if necessary. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower until your head is about one foot off the ground, hold for one second, then push yourself back up to standing again. This is an advanced exercise.
7) Battle Ropes: Start with a rope in each hand standing with knees slightly bent. Lean forward some and start alternating each arm up and down to make the ropes wave up and down. Keep going for as long as you’re able to keep up the pace. Take a rest for 30-60 seconds and then try to wave the ropes side to side moving your arms out and in. Go for as long as you’re able and then rest again.
Adding More Resistance?
If you need more resistance, wear a weighted vest while doing the exercise or hold small dumbbells in each hand.
You can also use resistance bands (as stated above) to increase the difficulty of the exercises or to make some easier (as in using a band for assisted pull-ups).
Here are the resistance bands I use for assisted pull-ups and dips: Resistance Bands
There are other calisthenic exercises that work your shoulders, but this should get you started in creating a full routine.
Calisthenics is a great way to use bodyweight for free and total-body workouts that are just as effective as weight lifting, so if you’re on a budget or don’t have access to heavyweights, give it a try!
How often should you perform calisthenic shoulder exercises?
You can work your shoulders at any time, but doing these calisthenic shoulder exercises two to three times a week should be enough.
Make sure you warm-up and cool down with some light exercise before and after this workout routine to avoid injury.
Performing these exercises slowly and with good form is important for strengthening the shoulders – they should be the focus of this workout.
For example, if you’re doing an exercise for your triceps and shoulders at the same time, focus on squeezing your shoulder blades back together at the top of each repetition.
This will allow you to strengthen those muscles without neglecting the others so you get more out of a shorter workout routine.
Related Post: Best At-Home Glute Exercises (dumbbell needed)
BONUS: Beginner Friendly Calisthenics Shoulder Workout Routine
Here is a sample workout routine you can try, aimed at beginners but still effective for advanced trainees as well. Skip this section if you’re already familiar with calisthenics exercises like these.
Start with 10 repetitions of all the shoulder exercises below and add one or two reps each day until you reach 20, then stay at that number of repetitions for the rest of each workout.
This routine will be easy at first, but you’ll gradually feel some heavy fatigue in your shoulders as you go through it.
Keep doing this workout every day until you can easily do 20 repetitions without stopping or struggling for air – when that happens, move on to the next section, which has different exercises.
Start in a push-up position on an incline, whether that's a wall or the bottom of a flight of stairs. Lower yourself slowly to around two inches off the ground, hold for one second, then push yourself back up to starting position.
Repeat 10 times.
Seated triceps extension
Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you, knees slightly bent and feet flexed. Grab a weight plate or dumbbell of at least 10 pounds with both hands while keeping your feet flexed. Bend forward by flexing at your waist until your upper body is parallel to the ground, keeping the weight directly in front of you with your arms straight. Hold for one second then return to starting position.
Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Find any horizontal bar that's around seven feet off the ground. Grip it with both hands, facing away from it, and use a long resistance band to help pull yourself up to the bar.
Repeat 10 times.
Bent-over lateral raises
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms hanging down at your sides. Bend forward at the waist until you're almost parallel to the ground, making sure that your back is straight – don't let it hunch over or you'll do more harm than good. Lift your arms out to the sides to about chest level, hold for one second then return to starting position.
Repeat 10 times.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your hips. Bring your hands up to the sides of your chin while keeping your elbows locked – don't let them bend at any time.
Repeat for 10 repetitions.