Calisthenics for Weight Loss (Exercises & Workout Plan)

If you’re looking for calisthenics cardio exercises to burn fat and accelerate weight loss, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’ve shared the best calisthenics exercises and workout routines to increase fat loss and help you achieve better shape.

Losing weight primarily depends on calorie intake. Generally, consuming fewer calories than your body burns helps you lose weight over time.

However, integrating exercises into your daily regime will help you speed up your weight loss and improve your cardiovascular health.

A study suggests performing exercise greater than the minimum national recommendation of 150 min/week can help you achieve clinically meaningful weight loss.1 Cox CE. Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance. Diabetes Spectr. 2017;30(3):157-160. doi:10.2337/ds17-0013

So, you can combine a calorie-restrict diet with the calisthenics cardio workout to shed some excess kilos.

What are the best calisthenics workouts for weight loss?

There are no specific calisthenics exercises for weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you must perform each exercise at your maximum heart rate (as fast as possible) with as short rest as possible between the sets.

You can incorporate squats, pushups, dips, jumping rope, running, burpees, chin-ups, leg raises, L-sit, plank, shuttle runs, and other aerobic exercises in a calisthenics weight loss workout plan.

I’ve already compiled a list of seventy aerobic exercises that increase fat loss and improve cardiovascular fitness. Let’s see how to ten of them in this article:

  1. Burpees
  2. Jump Squat
  3. Pushup
  4. Lunges
  5. Bench Dips
  6. Inverted Row
  7. Sit-ups
  8. Reverse Crunches
  9. Plank
  10. Mountain Climbing

You can also include resistance band exercises to build lean mass while losing weight.

1. Burpee

Burpee is one of the compound bodyweight exercises that work on your entire body and helps you burn a decent number of calories.

Including it in your calisthenics weight loss plan may help you increase strength, and endurance, tone muscle, and improve aerobic fitness.

It may be difficult for you to do burpees in the beginning. But it will be easy for you once you start doing it.

How to do burpees

  1. Stand upright in the hip-width stance with your arms straight at your side.
  2. Lower yourself into a squat position.
  3. Bend forward and place your hands on the ground (shoulder-width apart) with your arms straight underneath your body.
  4. Kick your legs behind and softly land your feet on the floor so you can plank.
  5. Do one push-up and reverse the movement. That’s one rep!
  6. Repeat for the required number of sets and reps.

2. Jump Squat

If you want to burn more calories at home, try a jump squat.

The jump squat primarily targets the lower body, builds endurance, and boosts metabolism.

You can add this exercise to your calisthenics weight loss workout.

How to do jump squat

  1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your elbows and keep your hands together in front of your chest.
  3. Lower yourself into the squat and then jump up explosively with full effort. As you jump, your arms will move at your sides.
  4. Softly land in the standing position. And repeat for the desired number of times.

3. Pushup

The pushup is a traditional bodyweight exercise to strengthen and tone upper body muscles.

You can integrate different pushups in your workout plan to bolster your chest and improve your torso appearance.

Some important pushup variations you can do are:

  1. Incline Pushup
  2. Standard Pushup
  3. Feet elevated pushup
  4. Triangle or Diamond Pushup
  5. Knuckle pushup

If you can’t do the above pushups on your toes, you can do them on your knees.

4. Lunges

Front Lunges, a calisthenics weight loss workout

The lunge is a lower-body workout that works on the hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes.

It has several variations, such as forward, backward, in-line, and walking lunges.

You can do them all interchangeably to bolster and tone your legs.

Let’s see how to perform a stationary front lunge:

  1. Stand straight in the shoulder-width stance and keep your hands on your hips.
  2. Take a big step forward with your right foot, and bend your knees together until your rear knee touches the floor.
  3. Pause for a second, and then extend your knees. That’s one repetition!
  4. Keep your chest up, core and lower body engaged, and back flat during the movement.
  5. Do two sets of 10 repetitions each, with as little rest as possible.

5. Bench Dips

dips exercise at home

Bench dips help you strengthen and tone your arms and shoulder muscles.

Doing parallel bar dips may be difficult for those trying to lose weight. That’s why bench dip is suitable for them.

The bench dips have several variations, such as bench dips, floor dips, tabletop dips, counter dips, etc.

You can do some or all, depending on your fitness level.

Steps to do bench dips:

  1. Sit on the bench with your feet flat on the ground and your hands firmly on the bench beside your hips.
  2. Lift your butt off the bench and slightly move your torso and feet forward while keeping your arms straight on the bench.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your body as low as possible, engaging your triceps muscle hold for a moment, and then extend your arms fully. That’s one rep!
  4. Do two or more sets of 10 to 15 repetitions each.

6. Table Inverted Row

The inverted row is an easy and effective way to target upper body muscles.

It primarily works on the back, posterior delt, and biceps and helps you build strength and balance.

How to do an Inverted Row with the help of a table:

  1. Lay down on your back just underneath the bench with your face facing the ceiling.
  2. Grab the end of a table with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lift your body off the floor and keep your arms straight so your body hangs below the table.
  4. Keeping your abdominal muscles and lower body engaged, pull your torso up until your chest is close to the table.
  5. Hold for a couple of seconds, and then return your body to the start in a controlled manner.
  6. You’ll feel the contraction in your back and biceps as you pull the bar.
  7. Do two or more sets of 10 to 15 repetitions each.

You can also perform inverted rows using a towel at home.

7. Sit-ups

Crunches for sturdy core

Core exercise is also essential to have in calisthenic weight loss workouts.

The sit-up is a common core exercise that increases strength, burns a good number of calories, and helps you thicken abdominal muscle.

Steps to do sit-ups

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent in front of you and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Brace your abdominal muscle, and lift your torso off the floor until your abs are fully engaged.
  3. Hold and then return your upper body to the ground. This is your one complete rep!
  4. Do two sets of 10 to 15 repetitions each.

8. Reverse Crunches

As the sit-up targets the upper abs, you can do reverse crunches to bolster your lower abs. Targeting the midsection from every angle helps improve core muscle symmetry.

  1. Lying on your back, slightly bend your knees and keep your arms straight at your sides.
  2. Brace your core and lower body, and bring your knees toward your chest until your abdominal muscle is engaged.
  3. Hold for a couple of seconds, and then extend your knees until your legs are straight.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of sets and reps.

9. Plank

Plank is an isometric ab exercise that strengthens and tones abdominal muscles and helps maintain a flat stomach.

It burns significant calories in a couple of minutes and increases core endurance.

The plank has several variations, such as forearm front plank, side plank, extended plank, high plank, and many more.

Depending on your fitness level, you can do some of them.

10. Mountain Climbing

The mountain climber is a core-strengthening cardio exercise that you can add to your calisthenics fat-loss exercises to burn more calories and strengthen your abs.

It also works on other muscles, such as arms, shoulders, legs, and back simultaneously and helps improve a sturdy torso.

How to do mountain climbers:

  1. Get into an “up” position of a push-up with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Engaging your abdominal muscles, pull your knees one by one toward your chest, underneath the body.
  3. Do this for 20-30 seconds at your maximum speed.

Do Calisthenics Help Lose Weight?

Yes, but not significant, and not everyone can lose weight with the calisthenics workout.

Doing only calisthenics exercises or any other forms of training does not reduce significant body fat percentage.

However, they have a positive impact on weight loss and help you improve body composition and cardiovascular fitness.

You can combine calisthenics cardio workouts with a calorie-restricted diet program to lower your body fat significantly.

You’ll need to work out at least 30-45 minutes, 5 days a week, and consume high protein low-calories foods that can fill you up for a longer time.

You can also do intermittent fasting to shed some excess pounds.

Along with that, you can also use weight loss supplements that can keep your appetite in control and help you lose weight.

Do You Burn More Calories Doing calisthenics?

Yes, you can burn a good number of calories by doing cardio exercises in your calisthenics program.

For example, doing squats, pushups, and jumping exercises at moderate to high intensity for 30 minutes can help you burn approximately 350-500 calories.

Calories burning highly depend on the intensity of the workout. The higher the intensity, the more calories you burn, and vice versa.

Performing exercises at high intensity also has the after-burn effect, meaning your body will continue to burn calories even a couple of hours after the workout.

Calisthenics Weight Loss Workout Plan

To create a customized weight loss plan, you must select exercises according to your fitness level.

Here are a few things you can keep in mind while creating a calisthenics weight loss plan.

  1. Incorporate exercises based on your fitness level.
  2. Set the appropriate interval time between sets but keep it shorter.
  3. Perform 30-45 minutes a day, five times a week.
  4. Stick to routines for at least 4-8 weeks to see any changes.
  5. Do the workout at the same time every day.
  6. Try to work out in the morning if possible.

Here’s an example of a 30-minute calisthenics weight loss workout plan:

Perform as many rounds as possible till 30-minutes

Burpees 10 reps30-sec
Jump Squat 10 reps30-sec
Lunges 10 reps/side30-sec
Bench Dips15 reps30-sec
Mountain Climbing15-sec30-sec
Sit-ups10 reps30-sec
Forearm Plank30-sec30-sec
Side Plank15-sec/sideNo Rest
Reverse Crunches15 reps30-sec
Shoulder Tap10 taps/side30-sec
Flutter Kicks15-sec30-sec
Jumping Jacks15-sec30-sec
Kneeling Pushups15 reps30-sec
calisthenic program for weight loss

Changes some exercises when you train the next day.

You can select exercises from these full-body calisthenics workouts according to your fitness level.

You can also create your self-designed calisthenics weight loss plan based on your fitness level.

Final Words

Calisthenics cardio training is an inexpensive and effective way to reduce weight, enhance cardiovascular health, and improve shape.

You can combine workouts with a calorie-restricted diet to lower your body fat significantly.

However, you’ll not get immediate results.

Fat loss is a complex process and takes time to work. So you must be committed and honest with yourself.

To see noticeable results, you must stick with the plans for at least a few months.

You’ll need to work out at least 30-60 minutes a day, 5x weekly.

You need to consume low calories foods that fill you up for a longer time.

You can also incorporate intermittent fasting in your routine according to your lifestyle to speed up weight loss.


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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.

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