Coming from the Greek word “kallos” meaning beauty, and “sthenein” meaning to stretch or draw out, Calisthenics literally means beautiful stretching. From simple bodyweight exercises to more complex gymnastics movements, one can absolutely appreciate the mental and physical challenge; this exercise draws out from anyone who tries it.

With the rise of modern calisthenics since its discovery in the 19th century, common lifters consider calisthenics as their main form of exercise. Especially with the pandemic not nearing a conclusion soon, the least we could do is to make the most out of our home gyms, outdoor parks, and other free locations for our daily fitness regimen.

Calisthenics is far different from weight training. Although both utilize the power of strength, calisthenics is arguably swifter and more fluid in its movements with little to no resources needed. Overall, it is versatile, accessible, affordable, and functional. 

More so, with equipment on hand, expect more variations, increase in exercise difficulty, added resistance, and the appropriate equipment to level with your current fitness. In line with that, this article discusses the top ten best calisthenics equipment worth the splurge and how each one is necessary for your progression. 

Among all the equipment reviewed, we give a special shoutout to the SportsRoyal Pull-Up Bar & Power Tower for being the best calisthenics equipment overall with its durability and versatility. Discover its pros and cons, features, and benefits, alongside the nine other calisthenics equipment. 

Moreover, have a quick overview of our buyer’s guide to be well informed with factors to consider in your quest for workout necessities. Lastly, we answer some recurring questions about calisthenics and its equipment under the FAQ section.

Best Calisthenics Equipment at a Glance

BEST OVERALL
Sportsroyals Power Tower Dip Station
9.7
Sportsroyals Power Tower Dip Station

If there’s one piece of equipment to invest in, this power tower is all you need. Its 400 lbs weight capacity allows you to perform a variety of exercises, enjoy an inward incline on the elbows for a natural angle, and have a strong, sturdy base, especially during pull-ups.

BEST RESISTANCE BAND
LEEKEY Pull Up Assistance Bands Set
9.5
LEEKEY Pull Up Assistance Bands Set

Resistance bands are highly versatile that they apply to different training programs, including calisthenics. We love how each set comes with 5 bands with varying tensile strength levels. Fun color spectrum aside, these bands are very portable with the included carrying bag.

BEST GYMNASTIC RINGS
PACEARTH Gymnastic Rings Olympic Rings
9.1
PACEARTH Gymnastic Rings Olympic Rings

Gymnastics rings look intimidating at first glance, but not with Paceearth. Its thickened anti-sweat rings provide a better grip for users. More so, the unique textured design is great and comfortable for everyday use.

SportsRoyal Pull-Up Bar & Power Tower – Best Overall

What we like

  • Adjustable back support height to cater to different body heights
  • Sufficient loading pins with a long base for more stability
  • Supports a variety of exercises such as dips, vertical knee raises, push-ups, and pull-ups
  • Compact size for a commercial gym, garage gym, etc.

What we don’t like

  • Could have better grips on the pull-up bar
  • Slight shakiness with the pull-up bar on the highest setting
  • The assembly manual could be more informative

The SportsRoyal Pull-Up Bar & Power Tower is the best one just yet when it comes to calisthenics power towers. This is made with a 14-gauge heavy square steel frame construction, while the coated finish is scratch resistant to last you a long time. 

This power tower’s weight capacity of 400 lbs allows you to maximize all the bars included and even add a weight belt for more challenges. The PU pads in place provide sufficient elbow protection plus give you a 10º inward incline for a more natural angle on your arms. Feel free to adjust the height from 64 to 88” and enjoy the ample back support that adjusts to your preference.

Leekey Resistance Bands – Best Resistance Band

What we like

  • Strong latex material with great tensile strength
  • Train without worries about wear and tear
  • Fun color variations to fit your gym theme
  • Non-toxic and odorless

What we don’t like

  • It tends to stick together when stored in hot places

Resistance bands may look like those flimsy things you often see yogis use, but don’t underestimate the power of these bands. Their use range in high varieties that they can really power up your calisthenics game. 

Off the bat, we appreciate how each set comes with 5 resistance bands in varying colors. Choose from Assorted, Green, and Multicolor. Each band is made with a natural latex material for extra durability. You could use them for warm-up, tension training, stretching, and resistance exercises.

In addition, you could perform weighted exercises with them, such as deadlifts, squats, and dumbbell presses. Portable and lightweight, each band’s set come with its own small carrying bag.

Paceearth Gymnastics Ring – Best Gymnastics Ring

What we like

  • Unique textured design for anti-slip grip
  • Adjustable straps for low and high ceilings
  • Versatile use at home, in the gym, or in parks

What we don’t like

  • The old-school design may increase setup time
  • Non-adhesive tapes
  • The unused strap gets in the way

Calisthenics exercises are especially hardcore but satisfying when you get them right. The gymnastics ring is one the best calisthenics equipment you could invest in. Install them anywhere with proper vertical clearance, and you can start anytime.

Also called Olympic rings or Calisthenics rings, these often come in wood or plastic. The Paceearth Gymnastics Ring is made with ABS plastic and nylon straps. It has an impressive weight capacity of 1,100 lbs. Adjust the straps up to 14.76 ft long so you can exercise under the rings, on top of the rings, or in a push-up position.
There are extra hand tapes and black stickers for sweat absorption, proper and secure ring attachment, and better grip. Meanwhile, the serrated edge buckle provides a stronger biting force for safety. The colors are available in Gray, Black, Green, Red, and Yellow.

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells – Best Free Weights

What we like

  • Convenient changing of dumbbell weights
  • Unique locking feature for safe use
  • Space-saving for tiny spaces

What we don’t like

  • Maximum weight of 52.5 lbs
  • High plastic usage in construction
  • Non-upgradeable

If you have the budget for it, adjustable dumbbells could be the most versatile calisthenics equipment you could have at home. You could purchase the Bowflex Adjustable Dumbbells in singles or a pair. Just turn the dial to your desired weight, and the possibilities of your calisthenics training are endless!

Each dumbbell adjusts from 5 to 52.5 lbs with a 2.5 lbs increment up to the first 25 lbs. It has a unique dial system that gives you 15 sets of weights in one dumbbell. They are also pretty space-saving, given that you need only two dumbbell structures for a satisfying calisthenics workout each time.

Perfect Fitness Multi-Gym Doorway Pull Up Bar – Best Portable Pull-Up Bar

What we like

  • Portable gym
  • Padded handles for comfortable gripping
  • Reversible bar to accommodate other exercises such as sit-ups, dips, and push-ups
  • Can be used with a weighted vest or weighted belt, given the 300 lbs weight capacity

What we don’t like

  • The wide grip may be too wide for shorter users

A pull-up bar can help you achieve a better upper body strength and sculpt a nice V taper. Not to mention, it will help you master your body and make the most of every calisthenics training you have lined up. 

The Perfect Fitness Doorway Pull Up Bar has a decent weight capacity of 300 lbs. with three grip options for your choosing: close grip, hammer grip, and true wide grip. This gives you plenty of choices to go about with your pull-up workout and even increase the intensity using weighted belts. 

This pull-up bar is ideal for doors that are 27 to 35 inches wide. There are thick foam pads in place for proper door protection. The assembly is quick and mess-free and allows you to work out on the ground or up against the door.

RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest – Best Weighted Vest

What we like

  • Adjustable and removable weights
  • With phone pocket and water bottle holder
  • Wear over a shirt or go topless
  • Relatively affordable price compared with similar products

What we don’t like

  • Uncomfortable without shoulder pads
  • Not military quality

When you train hard regularly, your own body weight may eventually feel too light and not challenging enough. To up the intensity, you could always wear a weighted vest during your exercises. Whether you’re doing pull-ups, dips, push-ups, jogging, or hiking, a weight vest can give you that extra load you need. 

The RUNMax Pro Weighted Vest comes in 12 lbs., 20 lbs., 40 lbs., 50 lbs., and 60 lbs. The sandbags inside provide an equal weight distribution for maximum comfort during your workout, unlike metal which tends to feel heavy and hard against the chest. You could also choose between “with shoulder pads” and “without shoulder pads”. Most verified buyers are more comfortable with shoulder pads on their weighted vest to make the experience even smoother, fuss-free, and scrape-free.

For your customer satisfaction, this weight vest from RUNMax comes with a lifetime warranty. Should you have any problems with the product, don’t hesitate to contact their customer service.

Gym Reaper Lifting Wrist Wraps – Best Wrist Wraps

What we like

  • Increases load by 10 to 20%
  • Soft, smooth, and doesn’t dig at skin

What we don’t like

  • Unsturdy velcro stitching 
  • No palm covering

Wrist wraps can go a long way in helping you lift better and smoother. If you’re keen on colors, then you’re in for a treat with the various colors available. The Gym Reaper Wrist Wraps are available in black, black/red, desert tan, gray, military green, navy, pink, and red.

Made with a combination of neoprene padding and premium cotton, these wrist wraps don’t disappoint for an immaculate training session. The longer straps are made to provide sufficient length to wrap the bar, while the neoprene padding provides proper support on the wrists and hands.

If those aren’t enough, the Gym Reaper Lifting Wrist Wraps are proudly endorsed by world record powerlifters, IFBB pro athletes, and world-known trainers. Receive a lifetime replacement guarantee with the Gym Reaper Lifting Wrist Wraps.

Fat Gripz Pro – Best Rubber Grip

What we like

  • Increased diameter makes your biceps work harder
  • More muscle growth with every rep
  • Increased grip strength
  • Odor-free

What we don’t like

  • The standard diameter of 1.1 inches
  • Not universally compatible with all types of gym bar equipment
  • Not recommended for every workout

World-renowned athletes and trainers swear by the Fat Gripz Pro for massive proportions added to their muscles. The Fat Gripz Pro is made with military-grade material, so its durability and longevity are unquestionable. This will last you a lifetime, no replacement whatsoever needed at all.

It has an apt outside diameter of 2.25 inches or 5.7 cm that provides a comfortable grip for its users. Every product is science-tested for durability and effectiveness. In fact, Fat Gripz takes pride in winning 5 major awards in the fitness industry. Colors are available in Blue and Black.

Vinsguir Ab Roller Wheel – Best Ab Roller

What we like

  • Convenient and efficient for abs and core strength training
  • Compact design for portability
  • User-friendly for beginner and advanced lifters
  • Smooth, noise-free operation

What we don’t like

  • The knee mat is too small
  • Friction between plastic and steel materials inside the wheel produces dust particles over time

Calisthenics workouts come in plenty of variety, duration, and intensity. For a solid core training session, the Ab Roller Wheel is one piece of calisthenics equipment you shouldn’t sleep on. 

The Vinsquir Ab Roller Wheel has an inclusive weight capacity of 200 kg or 440 lbs. that don’t discriminate. It’s made with a thick 3.2-inch ultra-wide plastic wheel for balance and stability without deviating sideways.

The EVA rubber cotton handles provide a non-slip and comfortable grip, while the soft TPR rubber wheel surface makes it possible to achieve the smoothest glide on the floor. The package is inclusive of a knee mat with beginners in mind.

Lebert Fitness Parallettes Push Up Bars – Best Parallettes

What we like

  • Sized for a full range of motion
  • Portable, easy to assemble, and store
  • A versatile tool for calisthenics, balance and control, shoulder stability, and pressing and core strength

What we don’t like

  • Strong chemical odor
  • Hand pads could be thicker

Lebert Fitness Parallettes make sure you don’t sacrifice your wrist comfort during your calisthenics exercises. It has a solid stainless steel construction, high density, commercial-grade non-slip grips, and a maximum weight capacity of 400 lbs. 

In addition, this has an ergonomic design for optimal wrist comfort and a wide “base to height” ratio for ultimate stability. Some exercises you could perform on the Lebert Parallettes include dips, L-sits, push-ups, and stretches. Once you master these calisthenics workout basics, you could progress to planches and handstands.

Our Verdict

Once you’ve graduated from all the basic bodyweight exercises, it’s high time to upgrade to calisthenics equipment and get full mastery of your bodyweight training. Some calisthenics equipment that comes to mind is resistance bands, gymnastics rings, parallel bars, and even the good ole foam roller.

In our humble opinion, it takes three fitness equipment to achieve a well-curated calisthenics home gym. Taking reference right from this article, the Sports Royal Pull-Up Bar and Power Tower is every pull-up fanatic’s dream machine. It works like magic for pull-ups, dips, and core exercises.

The Paceearth Gymnastics Ring is another go-to piece of calisthenics equipment for almost every Calis-athletes. Rest assured, its 1,100 lbs weight capacity will keep you hanging and not dropping to the floor.
For less intense workouts with just the right amount of resistance, the Leekey Resistance Bands is a calisthenics workout equipment you need in your stash. With 5 resistance bands in varying intensity levels, you can go as light or heavy as you desire.

Buying Guide: What to Look For in a Calisthenics Equipment

The best or essential calisthenics equipment depends on every individual. Factors such as personal preference, fitness goals, space availability, and budget come into play when planning out your home gym. For calisthenics specifically, there are a number of great tools worth the investment, such as the products we featured above.

For a more general idea, here are some specifications and guidelines that can help you envision your calisthenics home gym and make the most of your space.

Material & Durability

In the case of pull-up bars, gymnastics rings, and ab rollers, material and durability are especially important. Pull-up bars function by carrying your entire body weight or more, depending on if you throw in a weighted belt or weight vests into the exercise. 

Some pull-up bars have a conservative weight capacity of 300 lbs, while other more multi-purpose machines such as the Power Tower can carry up to 1,000 lbs at a time. Moving on to Olympic rings, wooden gymnastics rings are proven to be sturdier, although it’s not to say that the plastic rings variant is any less functional. 

Some Calis-athletes, especially the novices, may have a hard time with slim ab roller wheels and give up on this essential piece altogether. So before you throw in the towel, be patient shopping around for ones with wider wheels. Or better yet, have a go with our recommended Vinsguir Ab Roller Wheel for a doubt-free purchase.

Body Support

Body support focuses on the importance of weight capacity in every essential piece of calisthenics. This is especially relevant with the dip bar, Olympic rings, pull-up bar, parallettes, parallel bars, and even foam roller. 

Since your whole body will be relying on the load capacity of the equipment, the last thing you want is for the machine to tip over or for you to fall flat on the ground face first. Even the seemingly uncomplicated parallettes set the bar high with their 400 lbs weight capacity. The ab roller wheel is another great tool with its more or less the same bodyweight capacity.

Versatility of Use

When it comes to the versatility of the machine, two pieces of equipment come to mind: the resistance bands and the adjustable dumbbells. You can’t deny how resistance bands take the cake with their usefulness, operability, flexibility, and practicality. You’d think they’re a flimsy addition to your stash until you feel the wrath of their resistance.

Aside from these two calisthenics essentials, overall, you want to consider what else a machine has to offer besides its primary function. Knowing how the equipment works in other ways can help you attain the best value for money and be more creative with your training.

Installation

Equipment and accessories like foam rollers, weighted vests, calisthenics gloves, and liquid chalk are not concerned with this factor, but when it comes to suspension trainers, gymnastics rings, and pull-up bars, it’s a completely different story. 

Some equipment can be installed permanently on the door or uninstalled for flexible use. Whichever type of equipment is best for your home gym depends on preference, usage, and space.

Price

Accessories such as resistance bands, weight vests, foam rollers, and liquid chalk are relatively cheap or affordable. Bigger equipment such as pull-up bars, power towers, and gymnastic rings cost more. So if you’re planning to buy these latter pieces of equipment, make sure you have enough funds or give yourself enough time to save up for them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Calisthenics exercises can be performed only with bodyweight. For equipment, you could add the following to your list: weight vest, gymnastic rings, dip bars, pull-up bars, and suspension trainers. For accessories, consider foam roller, weighted gloves, and liquid chalk.

Weighted calisthenics or even bodyweight training calisthenics recruit different muscle groups such as glutes, lats, abdominal muscles, and upper and lower back. 

Consistent training results in building muscle over time. This translates to more strength, allowing you to perform more complex and weighted calisthenics like handstand training, muscle-ups, and planche.

Yes, absolutely. In general, we perform calisthenics every day in simple ways. There are best calisthenics exercises for beginners, so your joints and muscles can ease into training. For regressions, you could perform pushing exercises and pulling exercises that allow you to recruit the right muscles first before relying on your whole body weight.

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