9 Essential Calisthenics Equipment Items

Calisthenics is known for the fact that it can be done anytime, anywhere, with minimum equipment. However, having some calisthenics equipment in your collection will definitely optimize progress.

We can divide calisthenics equipment into two different categories. We have the essentials, also known as the must-haves. Besides the essentials, we have additional items. These are not crucial but will spice up your workout a little more.

I made a list of common calisthenics items I think everybody should own.

The Pull-up bar

One of the three fundamental exercises in Calisthenics is the pull-up,
therefore a pull-up bar is such a must-have in every home gym. This doesn’t mean you have to invest a huge amount of money to buy a massive wall-mounted pull-up bar. Just a cheap regular doorway pull-up bar is already good enough to get you started.

A pull-up bar is mainly used for pull-ups and chin up, but there are many more exercises. Calisthenics exercises such as knee/leg raises, and if you are even more advanced, you can practice your front and back lever with it.

A pull-up bar can also be multifunctional. If you hang the bar high enough, you can hang some other equipment onto it. For example, you can attach resistance bands or gymnastics rings. This way, you can elevate your workout to the next level.

There is a wide variety of different kinds of pull-up bars on the market. In the picture above, you see the traditional doorway pull-up bar. Other options are a wall-mounted pull-up bar or a roof-mounted pull-up bar.

Want to know more about pull-up bars? Click the button below for a full guide and list of the TOP 5 Pull up bars 2020

Dip bars

A highly recommended piece of calisthenics equipment is a set of dip bars. The dip is like the pull-up, a fundamental exercise in calisthenics.

You see many people doing their dips with a pair of chairs as a replacement for real dip bars. However, I recommend you stop doing dips like that and invest some money. First of all, it is much safer to train your dips on bars instead of chairs. Chairs are not as stable as real dip bars. Besides, it is also much more comfortable for your wrists. Dip bars are specifically made to do dips on, and chairs on the other hand, are made to sit on, not for exercising…

You can use your bars to train dips, obviously. But, there are several other exercises and uses. Ranging from knee raises, Australian pull-ups, static skills, and even mobility work. A piece of equipment with multiple uses and therefore a must-have item in every home gym.

There are again many different options, each their own various features and benefits. Click on the button for a list with the most recommended options. See which set is right for you.

Resistance band

Another must-have calisthenics items are the resistance bands.

These game-changing bands will help you achieve your first pull-up, dip, and even your first muscle-up. Yet, that is not the only thing. You can also use a resistance band to stretch or to put extra resistance when exercising. For instance, you can use a resistance band to make a push-up a lot more challenging by wrapping the band around your waist. Resistance bands are crucial for people who just have started with calisthenics.

There are many different kinds of resistance bands, you have weaker bands, and there are stronger bands. The strength of the resistance band determines how much weight it takes off your body weight. You will notice the stronger, the resistance band the, easier the exercise gets.

A smart way of training with these bands for beginners is to begin with a strong band and slowly progress to a weaker resistance band. Until you eventually can do it without a resistance band.

Click the button below to view all the different options. Choose and buy the band that is right for you and start working on your goals!

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Parallettes are basically a lower version of the dip bars. They are perfect if you want to train your L-sits and push-ups. If you are an advanced athlete, you can even train your handstand and planches with them.

The biggest benefit of this piece of calisthenics equipment is that they are quite small and compact. You do not need a lot of space in order to use them. Plus, they are very easy to take with you when you go on vacation, for example.

Another benefit you will have with parallettes is that while working out, you will notice it puts less stress on your wrists. That makes doing handstands on parallettes much more comfortable than on the floor. This also reduces the risk of facing wrist injuries.

Click the button to view a list of the TOP 5 parallettes of 2020

Jump rope

Jump rope is one of the best forms of cardio. A lot of people find just running quite monotonous. Investing little money in a jump rope could help you fix that problem.

With the jump rope, you can do a quick and really intense workout to burn off a couple of extra calories.

Being lean in calisthenics is really beneficial. Less fat means less weight. Exercises will get much easier if you are lighter. Besides, calisthenics is not all around being strong. It is also important to be fit and healthy.

Click the button if you are interested in purchasing a jump rope.

Ab wheel

In calisthenics, there are numerous ways to train your core. But, if you really want to get your core strength to the next level. Then, you should spend a couple of bucks to purchase an ab wheel. This piece of calisthenics equipment is an absolute upgrade to your home gym.

Almost everyone knows how an ab wheel works, and everyone knows its difficulty. It is a more advanced item. However, I suggest that even beginners should practice with this product. Having a strong core is very crucial in calisthenics. This is because your core muscles will support you in almost every single calisthenics exercise. The stronger your core, the easier the exercises.

Click the button if you are interested in purchasing an ab wheel.

Wrist wraps

As a beginner, or if you are suffering a wrist injury, you will have weak wrists. Your wrists are involved in almost every push exercise. When using wrist warps, you protect your wrist against injuries. They provide more stability to the wrists. It may help you a lot when doing pushups, for example. It can make the difference between giving up or pushing yourself up one more extra time.

Wrist wraps support your wrists, and as a result, offer more stability. It can be very helpful if you have weak wrists. Calisthenics is not the only form of fitness, where we use wrist wraps, also in weight training, you will find in most gym bags a pair of wrist wraps.

I made a complete post about wrist wraps. Click the button if you are interested in purchasing a pair of wrist wraps.

Gymnastic rings

When most people think about gymnastics rings, they think about the high skilled Olympic athletes. But in calisthenics, we use gymnastics rings too! Only we use it as a way to progress faster.

With gymnastics rings, you can basically do every calisthenics exercise. Although, it makes it A LOT more challenging. It is because rings are very shaky. It makes it really hard to find your balance. Push-ups, dips, and pull-ups are all much more challenging.

Working out with rings will get you absolutely getting ripped. The rings target different types of muscles you wouldn’t train normally. After some time training with them, you will notice a massive strength boost.

I made a complete post dedicated to gymnastics rings. Click the button if you are interested.

Weight vest

If you get more advanced calisthenics, you will notice that exercises are getting easier. Building muscle is not as easy as before. It may feel like hitting a plateau. Buying a weight vest could fix that obstacle. You can start doing weighted calisthenics!

This weight vest does exactly what you think it does. It attaches more weight to you to make the exercise much harder. You are able to progress further. If you wear this weight vest for a couple of months, you will not only break that plateau but also increase your reps and strength by a significant amount.


A great feature about this product is the ability to adjust the weight. So maybe, in the beginning, you will not be able to perform a pull-up with 50lbs/22kg on, that is completely fine. Just start with less and build your way up. It is perfect if you don’t know if you are getting stronger. With a weight vest, you can track your progress very accurately.