Calisthenics Equipment

7 Most Useful Calisthenics Equipment Pieces

Hey, calisthenics fanatics. Let’s uncover the most useful calisthenics equipment pieces that will take your workouts to the next level.

We’re talking pull-up bars that’ll turn you into the monkey king, resistance bands that’ll stretch you closer to Mr. Fantastic, and gymnastic rings that’ll have you swinging like a trapeze artist.

Get ready because this equipment is about to make you sweat, smile, and flex those muscles like never before. It’s time to ditch the couch and embark on a gravity-defying adventure.

Keep on reading to learn all about those great fitness tools.

Calisthenics Equipment: Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands

Calisthenics Equipment: Exercise Mat

Exercise Mats

Calisthenics Equipment: Pull Up Bar

Pull Up Bars

Calisthenics Equipment: Dip Bars

Dip Bars

What calisthenics equipment do you really need?

There are several pieces of equipment you will want to have if you want to work out at home. Some calisthenics equipment is absolutely essential. Another is nice to have.

When you start it will be difficult to know what gear you actually need for your workouts. This article is meant to help you start with essentials and gradually learn what you prefer. In a year or two you will know exactly what equipment to get from the non-essential list.

The list is created from the most important to least important equipment in my opinion.

Essential calisthenics equipment

Here’s the list of must have calisthenics equipment:

For exercises like pull ups and chin ups pull up bar is an unavoidable piece of equipment. If you want to do dips you will also need dip bars. Bands are really essential for face pulls.

Bands will give you the ability to perform the widest variety of exercises.

For exercises you perform on the floor, you would want an exercise mat. It’s especially important for stretching. Warm up and stretching are essential parts of every workout you do.

1. Pull up bar

One of the most important pieces of calisthenics equipment is definitely pull up bar. I can’t imagine calisthenics without a pull up bar.

When you think about calisthenics, probably the first thought that comes to my mind are exercises done on a pull up bar.

Pull up bar is not only great for pull ups. You can do some of the best core exercises on a pull up bar like knee raises, leg raises, knee twists, toes to a bar, and so on.

It will also help you as an anchor for your band when you do face pulls, triceps pull downs, neck exercises, and more.

Yes4All Pull Up Bar

Yes4All Pull Up Bar

Wall mounted 50″x32″x31″

Rage Fitness Pull Up Bar

Rage Fitness Pull Up Bar

Wall mounted 52″x36″x24″

Frperce Pull Up Bar

Frperce Pull Up Bar

Wall mounted 41.8″x23.5″x13.8″

2. Resistance bands

In five years of training, I found resistance bands to be the most important piece of equipment at my home gym.

It gives me the opportunity to work on the widest variety of exercises and target different muscle groups. Here are some exercises and muscle groups you can target using bands:

  • Face pulls
  • Pull ups
  • Band deadlifts
  • Neck
  • Biceps
  • Triceps

Resistance bands can help you both increase the difficulty of some exercises and decrease the difficulty of others.

For example, you can decrease the difficulty of your pull ups. You will use a band to make you feel lighter which will help you do more pull ups.

On the other hand, you can increase the difficulty of your dumbbell bicep curls. For example, you can do dumbbell bicep curls with a band.

Resistance bands will help you replace a need for some expensive equipment. It will enable you to do exercises that would otherwise be possible to do only with access to a gym.

For example, face pulls are an excellent exercise for developing your rear delts. This is one of the most neglected muscle groups.

Bands are an absolute must for face pulls.

Calisthenics Equipment: Lixada Resistance Band Set

Lixada Resistance Band Set

4 piece band set with door anchor

Unbranded Resistance Band Set

Unbranded Resistance Band Set

4 piece band set

Fabric Resistance Band Set

Fabric Resistance Band Set

3 piece fabric band set

3. Exercise mat

An exercise mat is one of the most important pieces of equipment in my home gym setup.

If you want to prevent injury every workout must start with a warm up and end with a cool down. For this purpose having an exercise mat is a must. This is the first piece of equipment I bought for myself.

HemingWeight Exercise Mat

HemingWeight Exercise Mat

Extra thick 1″ Exercise Mat

Unbranded Exercise Mat

Unbranded Exercise Mat

1/2″ Exercise Mat

ProsourceFit Exercise Mat

ProsourceFit Exercise Mat

1/2″ Exercise Mat

4. Dip bars

Dip bars are excellent for dips. However, dip bars can also be used as an alternative to a low bar. If you have enough space in your home you should definitely get dip bars.

Unfortunately, dip bars are still on my want list. The only reason I haven’t bought dip bars is the lack of space in my flat.

Because of that, whenever I want to do dips I’m forced to go to a park nearby that has dip bars. So, no dips for me when it rains.

Sportsroyals Dip Bar

Sportsroyals Dip Bars

Hight adjustable up to 45.28″

Axinspoxt Dip Bar

Axinspoxt Dip Bars

Hight adjustable up to 40″

ISports Dip Bar

ISports Dip Bars

Hight adjustable up to 39.4″

Non-essential calisthenics equipment

Calisthenics equipment that you would also want to have:

  • Low bar
  • Weight vest
  • Gymnastics rings
  • Ab roller

Although one of the pieces of equipment I bought in the very beginning was a low bar, I don’t think it’s absolutely essential.

If you have dip bars, those can be used as a great alternative to a low bar. Dip bars will give you more options than low bars because you can use them for a variety of exercises. On dip bars, you can do dips as well as inverted rows and variants of those exercises.

A weight vest is another great addition to your home equipment. But, it’s not essential when you just start. It does have its place especially when you progress with your workouts. When you run out of options and can’t find progressions to make your exercises more challenging weight vest is a lifesaver.

Rings will be great as a more challenging alternative for pull up bar.

Recently I got an ab roller. It gives me another option for a core workout. Now I can’t imagine working on abs without it.

5. Low bar

When you are working on achieving your first pull up low bar is of great help. Low bar pull exercises will help you build the strength needed to move on to a high pull up bar. You can check those exercises at the beginning of a pull up progression.

Innstar Door Bar

Innstar Low Bar

Door mounted width 29.5″ – 37.4″

Hogimcty Door Bar

Hogimcty Low Bar

Door mounted width 28″ – 42.7″

Aoyar Door Bar

Aoyar Low Bar

Door mounted width 29″ – 39.5″

6. Weight vest

When you hit a plateau and just can’t see how you can progress, a weight vest may help. It will help you go beyond body weight. It will add difficulty when you master certain progression.

It’s important so you can continue your progress and keep on adding muscle mass. Even when you think you are stuck.

miR Weight Vest

miR Weight Vest

20 – 60 lbs options

RunMax Weight Vest

RunMax Weight Vest

12 – 140 lbs options

Cross101 Weight Vest

Cross101 Weight Vest

20 – 140 lbs options

7. Rings

You can use gymnastic rings as an alternative to a pull up bar. Most often people see rings as the equipment for most advanced athletes. So if you are up for the challenge you may want to include rings in your home gym setup.

Awegym Gymnastics Rings

Awegym Rings

2×1.1″ birch wood rings with 2×9.4 ft double-layer nylon straps

GHB Gymnastics Rings

GHB Rings

2×1.25″ birch wood rings with 2×8.2 ft double-layer nylon straps

Double Circle Gymnastics Rings

Double Circle Rings

2×1.1″ or 1.25″ birch wood rings with 2×9 ft double-layer nylon straps

8. Ab roller (bonus)

Yes, I know I said I will give you the 7 most useful pieces of equipment for your home gym. This one is a bonus.

Ab roller is a nice to have addition to your home equipment. It is not absolutely essential. But it gives you another option when you want to work on your core.

Ab roller is not for beginners. So be careful if you are just starting out. This might not be the best option for you.

Vinsguir Dual Wheel Ab Roller

Vinsguir Dual Wheel Ab Roller

3.2″ dual wheel up to 440 lbs load

Vinsguir Single Wheel Ab Roller

Vinsguir Single Wheel Ab Roller

2″ single wheel up to 440 lbs load

Readaeer Ab Roller

Readaeer Dual Wheel Ab Roller

3.15″ dual wheel up to 800 lbs load

How much does calisthenics equipment cost?

According to Mike Beatty the average gym monthly membership costs around 50 USD.

If you want to buy bare essentials it will cost you from $172 – $306. If you want to buy all equipment listed here, it will cost you from $308 – $550.

This is excellent news for home workout enthusiasts.

For less money than you will spend on one yearly gym membership, you will be able to buy everything you need to train at home.


Calisthenics Equipment FAQ

Calisthenics sounds like loads of fun. But is it worth it? Can you build muscle with calisthenics?

The shortest possible answer is yes it does. Calisthenics is basically a loose kind of gymnastics. We have all seen gymnasts and how muscular they are.

So if you can build muscle with gymnastics, you can also build muscle with calisthenics.

Nobody ever started anything as an expert. We all start as beginners. And calisthenics is excellent for beginners.

If you start with basic calisthenics moves you are on your way. Basic moves are exercises like knee push ups, laying leg raises, and low bar pull ups.

Even if your current strength or flexibility doesn’t allow you to do some of those exercises there are always easier variants you can do. Those variants are called regressions. They are included in progressions.

As a beginner, you will have to see what you can and what you can’t do. Test your current ability using calisthenics progressions. When you know your starting point, just follow a progression and tackle each exercise one step at a time.

You will also find which equipment will be needed for each step in a progression.

When you are just starting, you can do loads of calisthenics exercises without any equipment. But, to avoid muscle development imbalances, you will soon need to get some essential gear.

This is where the list of essential calisthenics equipment comes in handy.

When you are just starting out it’s best to do total body workouts 3 times per week. Just use one exercise for each major muscle group and continue from there using progressions.

Start with the equipment you already have. Get what is missing from the essential list. In a year or two you will know exactly what you want to have at your home gym. Don’t rush. Use this list as a guide. And slowly get the equipment that you miss the most. Check out what equipment is needed in which progression, and get what is necessary.

To sum up, if I would build my home gym again I would definitely include the following equipment in it:

  • Resistance bands (light and strong)
  • Exercise mat
  • Low bar
  • Pull up bar
  • Dip bars
  • Weight vest
  • Gymnastics rings
  • Ab roller

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