Calisthenics is a form of strength training that consists of various movements that stimulate muscle groups, both large and small. These exercises are performed mainly with bodyweight alone and incorporate equipment (though minimal) from time to time.
In fact, that is a vast misconception of calisthenics training. When someone hears of calisthenics, they typically think bodyweight. In turn, one would typically beg the question, “isn't calisthenics just a fancy way of saying bodyweight workout?”.
However, that couldn't be farther from the truth. While calisthenics utilizes and manipulates the human body, it does not rely solely on the body alone. In addition, when calisthenics does just include body weight, the movements are typically far more complex than an imagined “bodyweight workout” consisting of basic air squats and pushups, for example.
Nonetheless, calisthenics has varying degrees of difficulty and can be adapted to any skill or talent level.
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In this article, we'll be sharing with you a killer Calisthenics Chest Workout. While this workout targets intermediate to elite calisthenics subscribers, each workout can and should be adapted for those less experienced or adept at the proper technique.
With that being said, without further ado, let's jump into what exercises will be incorporated into this particular calisthenics chest workout!
Best Calisthenics Chest Exercises
In this section, we'll be dividing each workout into an advanced, intermediate, and beginner variation of the said workout. While the premise of the workout will remain the same, the exercises will be adapted, as will the set & rep scheme.
Again, this is the advantage of calisthenics! It can be adapted for all levels.
As for the objective of this workout, or any calisthenics workout for that matter, we're looking to reach muscle hypertrophy. This is accomplished via resistance training and results in muscle stimulation and growth, and ultimately, an improved physique.
How do we accomplish hypertrophy, you ask?
Well, besides choosing the right exercises and rep schemes, the following is a quick guide for you to follow:
- Execute Full ROM (Range of Motion): To keep a balanced physique, accomplishing a full range of motion will allow all muscle fibers to be engaged effectively.
- Maintain Time Under Tension: We don't want to “lockout” on any movement to accomplish this. Instead, we want to focus on slow and controlled negatives/descents throughout the exercise.
- Be Explosive!: To build true, long-lasting muscles, we want to be powerful on the movement's ascent.
- Perform Perfect Form: This should be a given, but to maintain a fabulous physique, build muscle, and gain strength, you need to exercise for a long time. In fact, the goal should be for a lifetime. Hence, focusing on proper form and safety. We don't want to get injured!
Now that you have a good strategy and an understanding of how to approach calisthenics, it's time to put your knowledge to the test!
Below is the main session template for all levels of fitness, skill, and experience. Notice that it includes five exercises in total. Note that while this is the “main” session, you still want to hit an effective warm-up and cool-down during each workout as well! This is arguably just as important, if not more important, than the actual workout itself.
So, without further ado, below is an effective calisthenics chest workout!
Advanced Calisthenics Chest Workout
|RING DIPS with L-SIT||10+||4|
|ONE-ARM PUSHUP||10-15 each side||4|
|WEIGHTED DIAMOND PUSHUP||10-15||4|
- Weight of some sort (for weighted pushup)
Intermediate Calisthenics Chest Workout
|DB FLIES with LEG RAISE||8-12||3|
- Machine or bars of some sort (machine dips)
- Resistance Band
Beginner Calisthenics Chest Workout
|MACHINE ASSISTED DIPS||6-8||2-3|
|STATIC CHEST SQUEEZE||6-8||2-3|
As you can see, depending on your skill or experience level, each exercise changes in intensity, time, and execution. Nonetheless, each individual will accomplish the same stimulus! In addition, each workout accomplishes the same result, hitting all major chest muscles: pectoralis major, minor, subclavius, and serrates interior!
No matter what skill or experience level you are at, you can get an incredible calisthenics chest workout! Give it a shot!
While this section will be somewhat brief, there will be a link to a more detailed tutorial of each movement attached. Nonetheless, we will be reviewing all of the above chest movements detailed in the workout template offered.
- situate your hands on top of the parallel bars. The starting position will be straight arms.
- Lower your body via bending the arms while also leaning slightly forward.
- Keep your elbows tucked in.
- Once fully “dipped,” lift your body back up to its starting position
To learn more, check out the following video:
- Begin in a pushup position on the rings.
- Lower the body to the bottom position by flaring the arms out to the sides, elbows slightly bent.
- Once fully extended, reengage and bring the arms back to their starting position.
To learn more, check out the following video:
Pushup (Any Variation)
- Begin on all fours, hands shoulder-width apart (unless you're performing a diamond pushup or wide grip pushup of some sort).
- Press up to straighten arms and legs. This is the starting position.
- Lower your body until the chest nearly touches the ground. Keep the elbows tucked.
- Once you get to the bottom position, press yourself back to the starting position and lockout arms.
The effectiveness of implementing variations of a pushup in your calisthenics regimen can aid in improved performance and increased strength, so don't be afraid to get creative.
To learn more about how to perform a pushup and what variations you can do, check out the following video:
While there are certainly more chest exercises that fall under the umbrella of calisthenics movements, we will digress with the above, to begin with.
The great thing about calisthenics is that you can get in a great, effective workout with minimal equipment (or none) and few movements.
For more about the benefits of advantages of calisthenics, continue to read on!
Benefits of Calisthenics
While many have preconceived notions that calisthenics is just glorified bodyweight fitness, calisthenics is arguably the BEST exercise method if done correctly.
In short, because it's not only effective, but it's safe!
In addition, it's really the only exercise methodology that simultaneously incorporates strength training, hypertrophy training, mobility training, and cardiovascular training all into one session, AND it reduces the risk of injury along the way.
Lastly, it's the most accessible way to exercise! No equipment, no problem. Only have minimal access to equipment? Great! Either way, you can get an extremely effective workout in, no matter what.
Below is a list of benefits:
- Improves mobility and range of motion
- Burns calories
- Improves long-term well-being and overall fitness
Bottom line, calisthenics is a great way to accomplish any fitness goal. It's for anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any purpose.
Calisthenics Chest Workout Conclusion
In summary, calisthenics chest workouts can be enjoyed by all. It's completely adaptable and accessible to any population and results in similar results as any other workout regimen out there, whether in the weight room or otherwise.
By manipulating your body to stimulate the basis of your anatomy, you effectively and safely stimulate growth.
Remember though, form and preparation is the most critical aspect of any training regimen. So, with that said, be sure to properly warm up and learn the movements before taking part in any calisthenics workout! It will pay dividends in the long run, and you'll thank yourself for it!
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