Training at home can never be easier than now with the amount of information there is out there about calisthenics and bodyweight training.
It can be cheap or free and anything you do spend quickly earns its money when compared to monthly gym costs.
The biggest problem people face is what to do
The next problem is where you can do it
Then usually there ends up being one more question, what do I need?
I am going to answer all of these questions in this article and explain the advantages and disadvantages of calisthenics training at home.
What Can You Use?
The most obvious thing you can use is floor space. You don't necessarily need a lot of space, just enough to lay down, plus some wall space if you’re lucky.
On the floor you can do all or most of your push ups, core exercises, handstands, elbow lever, legs even planche training.
It really is quite diverse, the only problem is pull movements can be tricky.
Pull Up Bar
Pull up bars can be cheap or expensive, you can get one that fits in your door frame or drills into your wall or even stands outside in the garden.
Depending on which one you choose, you will be limited in different ways.
If you go for the door frame one then the weather isn't an issue and you can do a lot of pull variations but nothing that you need to be above the bar.
If you go for a freestanding one then the weather will probably affect you but also the geometry of whatever model you have chosen.
Regardless you can do hanging core exercises, pulls some levers - but be careful - and more.
Also the door ones can be used as makeshift parallettes 😉
Dipping Bars are the most expensive thing on the list if you got the door frame pull up bar. But they are well worth it, and still cheap compared to gyms.
You can do dips and supported core exercises like LSits supported leg raises and more. You can also do planche training and other supported levers like high parallettes (if you’re brave).
Parallettes are pretty specific to calisthenics and gymnastics training. They look like oversized push up grips, or low dipping bars, and are the most limited in use compared to the other bits of home training equipment mentioned above.
But they are great for handstands and the planche because you are low to the ground and also have something to grip, meaning you can have a neutral wrist position and control your skills better.
They can also help a lot with your LSit because you are raised slightly. People with bad shoulder mobility will struggle to do an LSit because they won’t be able to lift themselves off the ground.
Using parallettes gives you a buffer of 10-15 cm s you can train the skill without your mobility holding you back. Although work on it!
Resistance Bands are a great addition to any home gym - or just as training tools in general - but they are limiting for one big reason:
They resistance increases as tension increases
This means that they work you harder when they are stretched than when they are loser.
It doesn't seem like a big issue at first but what happens in practice is that at the resistance is higher at the farthest point of the rep than at the closest.
Having said that there are still plenty of ways you can use resistance bands in home workouts and they are still very useful.
There are loads of advantages to training at home, and it doesn't need to be all or nothing. You can still have a gym membership or train down at your local park, but sometimes it is more convenient to train at home
You don’t NEED to buy any of these bits of training equipment to do calisthenics training, but you will have to find somewhere to do some for of pull exercise to balance out the push ups.
But even if you do spend some money on a pull up bar it is still only £15 or a dipping bar for £40-£50 and that is it! For LIFE!
No more £25-£100 a month gym membership.
Your home training equipment is always available, night and day. If you work odd hours or travel a lot then that can quickly prevent you from training if you are relying on a gym.
Not anymore baby!
It seems like a small thing but actually when you factor in travel to and from the gym it can add up to a lot of time and money.
If you go to the gym for an hour, the round trip can quickly become two if you hit traffic.
When you are training at home that doesn't matter, ever.
And most of the time, the weather doesn't either! No more running to the gym in the pissing rain to queue up for the bench for an hour, just to run home again in the rain.
Its all happening in your living room!
Obviously it isn't all glory with home workouts. There are disadvantages but luckily it’s mostly a mindset thing, which means you can change it!
Motivation is a big factor in getting up off your backside and doing some reps. When you go to the gym, even if you don't fancy it, the environment quickly whips you into the right space.
At home it can be a bit trickier because it isn't a gym, its usually a corner or a bit of floor.
If you come home and your tired and worn out from a hard day at work, it can be easy to put off training until tomorrow.
Or worse, your gym could quickly become a clothes horse or coat hanger!
The lack of space can be a big problem if you want to do big skills like a straddle planche or just want to have a big set up.
You can get around this by being smart or doubling up your dipping bars as a clothes horse when they aren’t being used for training.
Ceiling height seems like a silly thing to worry about but if you are tall, then doing handstands indoors might be quite difficult.
In the UK Ceiling height is about 2.5m
If you are 6ft, it might get away with it, you might have to go outside.
It also limits other skills like inverted hangs and just generally makes Ring use awkward.
But really it is only for handstands.
What Can You Train At Home?
Strength Training At Home
Strength training at home is where most people get stuck.
If you are new to calisthenics training or are used to training at a gym then it can seem a bit difficult to train without weights.
Luckily for you that is all about to change.
Training Strength is really just about finding an exercise that challenges you enough to hit your rep count.
If you have a push up variation that you can only do 5-10 reps of it is perfect for strength training.
And you can always double that up with a resistance band for added difficulty.
Skill Training At Home
Training your skills is almost exactly the same at home as it is at the gym or the park.
The only difficulty you will face is hanging.
If you have a pull up bar, door frame or free standing, then all of your problems are solved.
If not then you are going to be limited to floor skills.
Either way there are plenty of skills you can train with a little floor space.
You can train your handstands, one arm or push ups; you also have the LSit, Planche, Elbow Lever and Crowstands as options for skill training at home.
Remember there are dynamic and isometric variations of skills so it isnt just 5 or 6 skills. Your skill training also includes all of the variations of all of these skills.
What Other Things Can You Train At Home?
Strength and Skill Training are the obvious challenges, but there are more elements to your training that can also be included in your home training program.
Things that may otherwise be neglected.
But when you are training at home, they become easier to include in your programs because there is less distraction from fancy gym equipment and the great outdoors.
Flexibility & Mobility
Mobility and flexibility are almost always last on people's list of priorities when it comes to training.
Guys especially, are often more interested in getting a nice pump or training cool skills than getting mobile but it is all connected.
Having great mobility and control of your body will make skills easier to learn and enable better quality movements - meaning better results.
It is easy to stretch at home and active mobility can be done easily with a few simple exercises that will have a massive impact on your quality of life.
Yes, the dreaded cardio!
Training at home can make it seem like you have no way of training your cardiovascular fitness.
I mean, you need space to run about right?
Well, not exactly.
High knees, vertical jumps burpees and more can easily be done at home, or on your balcony or in the garden.
There are very simple high intensity workouts that can be done in the house or just outside without needing to go on a long run or using a treadmill or rowing machine.
You may think that high knees or tuck jumps aren't going to make a good cardio workout but just try my HIIT workout on Youtube and lets see how quickly you get out of breath!
Making Home Workouts A Part Of Your Routine
Training at home does have its challenges, but I hope this page will have helped to clear a lot of that up for you.
Getting started with home workouts is as simple as dropping and doing a few push ups.
If you are looking for some ideas then check out the 100 Push Up Challenge Page, or my YouTube channel where I have shared some exercise tutorials for skills that require no equipment at all.
You can also find mobility workouts, stretch routines and a high intensity workout that will get your heart racing and make you sweat like you never thought you could in your living room.
If you are struggling to find space you can easily rearrange a few things in your living room to make a small space to train, and don't stress about it, you can just put everything back later to avoid any conflict with your spouse or partner - or get them involved!
The hardest part is always getting started.
Join My Group Home Workout Program
I have a few home workout programs that you can get started with today, with different options for you depending on what equipment you have, if any.
From Mobility to strength to ring training there is an option that will suit your goals and what you have available to you in your house right now!
Check out the page here to get your hands on one of my home workout programs!