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The Top 50 Best Bodyweight Exercises (Calisthenics)

The Top 50 Best Bodyweight Exercises (Calisthenics)

I’ve told people so many times in articles we’ve previously written, that I love bodyweight exercises (or calisthenics to be technical).

And so, one of the major searches I perform quite regularly is which exercises to be doing next!

Hence, our own collection of the 50 best bodyweight exercises has been created.

The reason why I love calisthenics workouts so much is because they can be done anywhere, and they never get boring. There’s always another variation to be mastered.

Take a look at the list and enjoy!

P.S. At the end, there’s also a bonus section that includes the 5 hardest bodyweight exercises…


A List of the 50 Best Bodyweight Exercises (Calisthenics)

This list of calisthenics exercises has been split down into 5 different sections:

  • Back/Biceps
  • Chest/Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • Legs
  • Core

We’ve done it this way so that it’s much easier for you to scroll through and find what you were looking for. Some of the exercises featured here could well have been included in more than one section, but we’ve kept them in the area they fit best!

Here are our favorite, and what we consider to be the 50 best bodyweight exercises:


The Best Bodyweight Exercises For Your Back/Biceps

Best Bodyweight Exercise For Your Back & Biceps

1. Pull-ups

Regular pull-ups are one of the most common calisthenic exercises. All they require is a bar that you’d normally find at a park, or can potentially buy to attach to your door frame. Failing that, just use a tree branch!

Simply grip the bar with both hands facing away from you, shoulder width apart, and pull yourself up until your chin clears the bar.


2. Chin-ups

Chin-ups are essentially pull-ups, except you grip the bar so that your palms are facing you. Your hands will normally be spaced a little closer together also. Chin-ups are easier than pull-ups because of the different grip variation.


3. Wide Grip Pull-ups

Wide grip pull-ups require your hands to be spaced out further than usual. The wider grip works your back more, making this an awesome exercise your building your back muscles. Your hands will be facing away from you like regular pull-ups.


4. Narrow Grip Pull-ups

Narrow grip pull-ups… exactly the opposite of wide grip. Just move your hands close together with your palms facing away from you, and pull yourself up. In this case, your biceps will be worked more than they would in any other standard pull-up variation.


5. Archer Pull-ups

Archer pull-ups are performed by gripping the bar with a wide grip, and pulling up to one side. Then rolling your opposite forearm on top of the bar.


6. Back Extension

A back extension is a simple isometric exercise that targets your lower back muscles. Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Then lift your bum off the floor, so your back is in line with your thighs.

Hold that position…


7. Australian Pull-ups

Australian pull-ups are a slightly easier pull-up exercise, making them great for beginners. With this exercise, the bar will need to be a lot lower down (roughly waist height).

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Position yourself under the bar, so that your feet are on the floor in front of the bar, and the bar is just in front of your shoulders. Grip the bar as you would do a normal pull-up, and pull yourself up, keeping your feet on the floor. There is less resistance for you to pull in this exercise.


8. Behind the Neck Pull-ups

You’ll find behind the neck pull-ups harder on your back an shoulder muscles than regular pull-ups, because of the angle you’re performing the movement at.

Hold your head forwards, and bring the back of your neck up to the bar.


9. Around the World Pull-ups

Around the World pull-ups are pretty damn cool. There also harder than standard pull-up variations. To do this exercise, grip the bar with a relatively wide grip. Then pull yourself up on one side, keeping the majority of your weight on that side of your body.

When you reach the top, use the momentum to move to the other side and shift your weight before your come back down. This will become a circular motion.


10. Front Lever Tuck Pull-ups

Front lever tuck pull-ups sound a lot more complicated than they really are. What you do is grip the bar like normal, then pull your knees into your body and use your strength to rotate your body so it’s parallel to the ground.

Then from that position, pull yourself up. It’s not an easy exercise to do, considering it requires a lot of core strength.


11. Pull-up Hold

Pull-up holds are a great isometric exercise to improve your endurance. Just pull yourself up so your chin is over the bar, then hold that position for as long as you can. Your back will probably be shaking like crazy!


There’s a bunch of other awesome pull up exercises that weren’t mentioned here. Don’t forget to research C2B pull ups, back lever pull ups and explosive pull ups.

Written by Dan Western

Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. Dan is a young ambitious guy who has been researching self-development for the past two years and is now off travelling the world. His mission is to inspire others to live their dreams and be the person to whom they say; "Because of you, I never gave up." Join Wealthy Gorilla on Facebook.


Leave a Reply
  1. Hey Dan, I like the list! Definitely a fan of bodyweight here 🙂

    I also like the way you formatted the left-right gallery to fit all 50 within a shorter page. Clever. I want that plugin! 🙂

  2. This post has really helped me diversify and change up my calisthenics training routine thanks! The article was very helpful and informative.

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