Talking Body: Upper and Lower Body Exercises for an Intermediate Calisthenics Athlete

4 min readFeb 19, 2021
A man practicing push-ups for body strength training.

Calisthenics might come off as a very recent phenomenon and a strength training buzzword, but it most definitely isn’t. You’d be amazed to know that it was used as an ancient precursor to war. In fact, the term itself was coined by the Greeks, who combined the words kallos (which means beauty) and sthenos (which means strength).

Fast forward to 2021; calisthenic training has taken up several forms, including street-sport calisthenics, street workouts, and competitive calisthenics. In the world of international sport, calisthenic strength training has been as popular as acrobatics, gymnastics, and dance. However, you don’t need to be competing anywhere to practice calisthenics. We recommend taking a break from the dumbbells to try calisthenics now!

Let’s dive deeper into the subject matter, shall we?

Calisthenics exercises are simple, easy, and effective at improving your body’s strength. What’s great is that they can be performed anywhere.

Two women practicing push-ups for body strength training

Understanding Calisthenics?

Calisthenics goes far beyond just lifting weights. Instead of hitting the gym to lift weights, you use your own body weight and the force of gravity for strength training. Calisthenic training requires you to hit every muscle in the body. Instead of emphasizing specific muscles, you use the entire body weight to improve your fitness, flexibility, balance, strength, coordination, agility, and aerobic conditioning.

Experts have labeled calisthenics as an art form that maximizes your athletic ability and human power. The eventual goal is to master your control over how you move and lift your body. Since you can perform calisthenics anywhere, the entire world is your gym!

Free squats

Free squats are also known as bodyweight squats and offer a low-impact form of exercise. They help you tone your lower body (quads and glutes) and simultaneously raise your core temperature. One of the most significant benefits is that you can perform these anywhere and at any time, without any equipment. This is more of a getaway exercise because it helps you build strength to take on more exercising exercises and improve the efficiency of your running form.

Here’s how you do them.

· Start by standing upright; make sure your feet are hip-width apart. Don’t start bending immediately. Keep the spine straight and make sure your feet are facing forward.

· From this point, you slowly start extending your arms straight with the palms facing downward.

· Next, start bending your thighs enough for the thighs to be parallel with the ground. Keep your gaze forward.

· Hold yourself in this position for 5 seconds before you return to your initial standing position.

· Repeat the steps another ten times.

This exercise mainly targets your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

Image address: calisthenic-athlete

Alt text: A woman practicing squats for body strength training.

Pistol squats

Pistol squats are also a viable bodyweight squat option, with only minor differences in how you do them.

· Start by standing with both your feet together.

· Slowly and gradually, start extending the left leg forward until it’s completely straight. At this point, your heel should hover just above the floor.

· Keep your spine straight and raise your arms.

Next, bend the right knee and start lowering your body as you extend the left leg. The left leg should be parallel to the floor.

To conclude, return to your standing position and repeat the steps a couple more times.


Push-ups are great to help you build your upper body strength. The main areas of focus are your pectoral muscles, triceps, and shoulders. As with squats, push-ups can be performed virtually anywhere without the need for equipment.

Here’s how to do them.

· Get an exercise mat, start kneeling while making sure that your feet are well-aligned behind you.

· Next, bend forward in a push-up position. Make sure your palms are lying flat on the mat, your hands are shoulder-width apart, and the abs are pulled in.

· Start lowering your body toward the floor.

Maintain a rigid torso, don’t let your lower back sag and keep your head and spine well-aligned. Keep lowering yourself enough for your chest and chin to touch the mat.

· Now start pushing upward using your arms. Keep doing this till they’re fully extended and you’re back in the push-up position.

· Repeat the steps with downward movement. We recommend starting with ten push-ups a day and scaling up as you build more strength.

If this article helped you in a constructive way, I would appreciate if you could hit the clap button and help other individuals benefit too! If you’ve got any questions regarding biohacking, calisthenics, and other forms of strength training, feel free to reach out via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. At Cyborggainz©, we also specialize in online calisthenics coaching, biohacking techniques for beginners and personalized nutritional plans. We would love to curate a workout plan tailored according to your body type and skill level.




Jean Fallacara, Scientist- Eng. Biotechnology Athlete, Biohacker, Speaker, and Author of the book: NeuroScience Calisthenics