My Calisthenics Routine Family   William Wieland
  • No equipment but a carpeted floor
    and a staircase
  • Aerobic, but not jarring
  • Strength building, but not straining
  • I was out of shape.
  • I was inspired by an old man.
  • Exercise greatly improves overall
    health, perhaps more than diet.
Begin each exercise gently. Frequently sip water. Maintain a light core contraction on all. I accompany almost every exercise by turning my head to the right and left either gradually or on every rep beginning with slight turns and moving to 90° turns.

Jumping Jacks — 34 (good warm-up)
Keep a steady rhythm and straight limbs.

Swim on Back — 34 R & L
Arms straight. Crawl position legs. Maintain a neutral spine (no twisting) and a light core contraction.

Mountain Climbers — 13 R & L (mildly aerobic)
Begin like push-ups with one foot below your groin. Keep your hands on the floor and jump up to switch the position of your feet.

Stick-em-up Squats — 21
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms in stick-em-up position. Squat to a sitting position, the knees never forward of the toes. Return to the starting position. Maintain a light core contraction.

Stairway Push-ups — 34 on 5th step
Feet together, hands apart, toes on floor, straight back, straight legs, straight neck. Almost touch the stairs on each repetition.

Side Leg Lift — 21 R, 21 L, 13 R, & 13 L
Lay on side, feet slightly back, legs straight, back straight. Support head with hand of lower arm. Lift upper leg. Keep foot parallel with floor. Other arm is a kickstand, palm down in front of chest.

March in Place — 34 R & L
Move arms like "Swim on Back".

Plank — 13
Lay on belly. Prop up on elbows. Lift hips until legs and back are straight. Hold briefly then lower to floor.

Side Plank — 8 R & 8 L
Lay on side. Place one forearm on the 2nd step, the other arm is straight, hand on thigh. Lift hips until legs and back are straight. Hold briefly then lower to floor.

Lunges — 13 R & L
Stand with hands almost covering ears. (I lift dumbbells.) Lunge forward to a genuflecting position, knee almost touching the ground and arms hanging at your sides. Return to the starting position and lunge with the other leg.

Leg Lifts — 21
Lay on back. Lift straight legs about 6 inches, spread them apart, bring them back together and down. At the same time, straight arms begin on the floor in a T position and meet above the chest.

Ones and Twos — 13 (mildly aerobic)
Begin like push-ups. Keep hands on floor and jump to a squat position. Jump back to a push-up position.

Backwards Stairway Push-ups — 21
Sit at the foot of the staircase. Stretch your legs straight out, heels together. Place your hands on the first stair and lift yourself. Almost touch the floor on each repetition.

Side Lunges — 13 R & L
Stand with arms hanging at sides. Lunge to the side (not too far) and lift arms straight horizontally. Return to the starting position and lunge to the other side. Avoid bringing the knee forward of the toes. Keep the feet pointing forward.

Abdominal Bracing — 21
Like crunches, but just raise the shoulder blades off the floor. Keep the back straight.

Squat Thrusts — 8 (mildly aerobic)
Stand. Squat with hands on floor. Keep hands on floor and spring to push-up position. Keep hands on floor and spring back to a squat position. Stand.

Kickbacks — 5 R & L (10 second holds)
Crawl position. Extend one leg and the opposite arm until they are horizontal. Return to crawl position then extend the other leg and arm. Keep the back straight and maintain a light core contraction.

Rear Lunges — 13 R & L
Lunge backwards to a genuflecting position. Accompany with a shoulder press. (I lift dumbbells.) Repeat with other leg.

Bridging — 34
Lie on back, feet flat on floor, arms crossed on chest. Lift the hips until the thighs are in line with the torso.

Calf-raises — 21
Stand on a step with balls of feet (heels in midair). Lift body. Lower body.

Fire Hydrant — 21 R, 21 L, 13 R, & 13 L
Crawl position. Lift leg to side like a dog.