8 Top Calisthenics Shoulder Workout (Bodyweight)

Updated on  February 25, 2023
Aditya Sahu

Aditya Sahu ‧ CPT & Head Coach

Aditya is an ACSM certified personal trainer with more than 7 years training various people and transforming people's lives. He has written various publications for various sports and fitness magazines. 

What Is A Calisthenics Shoulder Workout?

Calisthenics shoulder workout is a strength resistance training involving various actions that target major muscle groups, such as squatting and gripping. These low resistance, bodyweight exercises are frequently performed repetitively and with minimum equipment.

The calisthenics shoulder workout is rapid and requires you to move and stretch your entire body using your body weight. Nowadays, resistance bands are also used in basic exercises.

These shoulder exercises should be done at least 10 to 15 times. You can increase the repetitions and lengths of your workouts according to your fitness level. Calisthenics exercises can be done as a warm-up or full-body workouts. You can tailor calisthenic exercises to your fitness level if you are physically strong and want to build muscle strength.

This article includes the best exercises for developing powerful shoulders and improving shoulder mobility.

Benefits Of Calisthenics Shoulder Exercises

Calisthenics shoulder exercises can help you in a variety of ways. They are said to be much more effective than advanced exercises. Calisthenics workouts help you gain shoulder strength and improve physical fitness, body composition, and movement elegance.

They also help provide body balance, flexibility, and a healthy physique. With shoulder calisthenics, you complete a lot of repetitions of each technique to help build muscle while also boosting your endurance.

Can You Build Shoulders With Calisthenics?

Yes! Calisthenics shoulder workout is a great approach to strengthen, shape, and enhance shoulder stability while simply using your body weight. Everyone dreams of muscular, solid shoulders. Calisthenics shoulder workouts will help you build strong shoulders without using any equipment. All you will need is your body weight.

How Do You Get Big Shoulders With Calisthenics?

Calisthenics shoulder workouts can be just as practical as weight training to create bigger shoulders. When you include progressive overload into your workout, muscle builds. It leads to gradually increasing the load and intensity over time. However, you can combine calisthenics shoulder exercises with free weights and dumbbell workouts to increase strength and mass.

What Calisthenics Exercises Work Shoulders?

Plank to Down Dog position, Pike push-ups, Wall walk-ups, handstand push-ups, Incline push-ups, Crabwalk, Elevated pike push-ups, handstand push-ups, planche push-ups, plank to pike, handstand push-ups, and Diving push-ups are all practical and among the best calisthenics shoulder exercises.

Calisthenics Shoulder Workouts

These are the best bodyweight shoulder exercises that don't require weights or tools. These challenging exercises do not only target your upper body, shoulder, and chest muscles but your entire body. Without delay, let's jump to our first exercise in the shoulder calisthenics workout, which helps attain more muscular shoulders.

1. Plank To Down Dog

Plank to Downward Dog is a great shoulder workout that targets the shoulder and builds shoulder strength. Each position has its own set of advantages.

When it comes to strengthening core strength and flexibility, combining both into one smooth exercise is the ideal complement. This calisthenic exercise doesn't require any tools and is a full-body workout.

Here is how to perform Plank To Down Dog:

Step 1:Begin by getting down on your fours. Maintain a straight line between your shoulders and wrists while also aligning your hips and knees.

Step 2: Make sure your feet are straightened, and your toes are tucked in. Don't slump your back or hunch up your shoulders behind your ears. Your shoulder muscles should be loosed and relaxed. This is the usual plank position.

Step 3: Now push your butt and hips backward and slowly thrust away with your arms. Now you are in the Plank to Down Dog position. This will make your core tight and strengthen your shoulder blades.

Muscles Worked in Plan to Down Dog: This exercise not only targets yours core muscles but also target anterior deltoids and posterior deltoids.

2. Pike Push-Up

This push-up is the most popular among calisthenics workouts. It is a more challenging variation of the regular push-up that focuses on the front shoulder muscles.

Integrating it with your other calisthenics shoulder workouts and bodyweight training can help you gain shoulder strength and muscularity.

These push-ups calisthenics shoulder exercises also work your triceps and chest muscles. Push-up is an excellent practical approach to isolating your shoulders with nothing more than your body weight. But it is essential to maintain proper form.

Here is how to perform Pike Push Ups:

Step 1: Begin by doing a push-up and moving your feet towards your hands. The closest you get, the more difficult it becomes.

Step 2: If you do not know how to do a push-up, get on your knees, and spread your hands on the floor wide apart with aligned shoulders. Lift your hips and knees off the floor. You should be in an inverted V stance now.

Step 3: Keep your toes firm on the ground and maintain a forward-leaning posture while holding your hips and thighs up and tightening your abdominal muscles.

Step 4: Now bend your elbows and descend to the floor from this position between your hands until your head nearly touches the ground. You should feel tension and contraction in your shoulder muscles.

Step 5: On the way down, keep your hips neutral and your torso vertical.

Step 6: Return to the beginning posture that was your starting position by pushing with your arms and extending your elbows.

Muscles worked out in Pike Push Up: This is a best workout if you wish to target your front delts or anterior deltoids. Apart from that it also works on pectoral muscles, triceps and biceps.  

3. Wall Walkup

The wall walk-up (also known as handstand push-ups) appears simple but takes a massive amount of arm and shoulder endurance, stability, and flexibility. You can utilize these wall handstand push-ups as a warm-up exercise before doing a handstand push-up by including it in your shoulder calisthenic workout plan. Freestanding handstand push-ups can become your next goal after handstand push-ups.

While doing these handstand push-ups, it is essential to maintain a straight back, firm core and efficiently keep the whole body engaged. These wall handstand push-ups keep your muscles up and provide you with strong shoulders after a great full-body workout.

Here is how to perform Wall Walk up:

Step 1: First, begin with the upward push-up or high plank position near the wall with your feet touching the wall.

Step 2: Start by putting your feet up on the wall and simultaneously moving your body closer to the wall with your hands walking backward. Now you are in a handstand position.

Step 3: Try walking as high as you can in this handstand position while maintaining your posture and keeping your back straight. You would feel vertical shoulder pulses at this point.

Step 4: Make sure you are in a complete handstand as flat to the wall as possible. Your aim should be to stand straight.

Step 5: To complete the push-up, return to the beginning by reversing the steps. 

Muscles worked out in wall push: Wall push up works great on upper body it primarily targets  anterior deltoids and lateral deltoids apart from pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. 

4. Incline Push-Up

This calisthenics shoulder workout is ideal for beginners because it's super easy and requires nothing but a yoga mat or smooth surface. These push-ups improve the quality of life and independence by building upper body strength and focusing mainly on chest and calisthenics shoulder workout.

These push-ups are excellent for either pre or post-workout stretching. Changing your body position can sometimes make exercises more challenging.

Here is how to perform Incline Push Up:

Step 1: Stand with your back on an elevated surface or a 3-foot-high surface. It could be your bed's edge.

Step 2: Place your hands on the bed's edge with the distance between them. Make sure your back is aligned with all your muscles.

Step 3: Bend your elbows and slowly lower your chest to the bed's edge. Maintain a straight posture. 

Step 4: Stretch your elbows but do not lock them, and keep your arms straight as you push your body away from the bench. As you lift yourself, exhale. And then repeat the entire movement by returning to your starting position.

Muscles Worked in Incline Push Up: Anterior deltoids also known as front delts, triceps and pectoral muscles. 

5. Crab Walk

The crab walk is an entire bodyweight training that can be included in your usual fitness routine to make exercising enjoyable. It mainly targets your upper body and core. It also raises your heart rate and, if you're particularly fast, can be termed high-intensity interval training.

Here is how to perform Crab Walk:

Step 1: The crab walk is simple and easy to perform, and you can change it depending on how much room you must move around, but it's best if you have at least 10 feet of area to crawl back and forth in.

Step 2: Begin by sitting on the floor, knees bent and feet flat on the ground, palms on the floor behind your hips, fingers pointing forward.

Step 3: Lift your hips off the floor with your core and glutes engaged and your feet and palms fully supported.

Step 4: Crawl backward with your right hand, then your right foot, then your left hand and left foot in a controlled manner.

Step 5: Continue traveling backward within the confines of your current environment. In this cool shuffle, keep moving backward within the space you have.

Step 6: Reverse the technique and walk forward with your right foot and right hand before following with your left foot and left hand after you've gone 10 to 15 feet.

Muscles Worked out in Crab Walk: In this crab walk exercise it majorly works on posterior deltoids apart from quads, hamstrings, glutes and triceps. 

6. Elevated Pike Push-Ups

This is another effective calisthenics shoulder workout that efficiently targets muscle groups, rear delts, and both your front and side muscles. It helps you create sculpted shoulders without weights or equipment.

Once you've mastered the basic pike push-up, you can efficiently perform its variant- the elevated pike push-up. The push-up is a more challenging variation of the standard push-up. It's an excellent approach to isolate your shoulders with nothing more than your body weight.

Here is how to perform Elevated Pike Push Ups:

Step 1: Position your feet on a raised surface and your arms on the ground, then raise your hips to form an inverted V shape, like standard push-ups.

Step 2: Now slowly lower yourself to the floor until your face almost touches the floor. You would feel the tension in your shoulders.

Step 3: Repeat this exercise for the desired number of sets and reps by holding for a time and then rising back up. You can even practice half reps.

Step 4: Perform each rep slowly and deliberately, focusing on your deltoids the entire time.

Muscles worked on by Elevated Pike Push ups: Primary muscles worked in elevated pike push ups are anterior deltoids, posterior deltoids apart from pectoralis minor, trapezius and triceps. Apart from that it also works out pectoralis major and serratus anterior. 

7. Plank To Pike Push-Ups

This calisthenic shoulder workout helps in targeting the lower body and lower abdomen muscles, which are not easily tackled by simple plank. The compound movements strengthen shoulder blades.

Here is how to perform Plank to Pike Push up :

Step 1: Begin by holding a plank position. Lower your shoulders down and away from your ears, putting your palms together. Create a straight line from the top of your head to the bottom of your heels by engaging your core and glutes.

Step 2: To elevate your hips, point your toes and engage your core, keeping your weight forward in your wrists and palms.

Step 3: As you descend into a plank position, keep your core engaged and the movement slow and controlled. Make sure you have a long line from your shoulders to your toes.

Muscles Targeted by Plan to Pike Push Up: Plan to pike push up works on deltoids, pectoral and core muscles.  

8. Diving Push-Ups

The diving push-up is an excellent upper-body and core workout that works on multiple muscles. It strengthens your arms, shoulders, chest, back, and abdominals while also extending the front and rear of the body.

This decline push-up is a terrific approach to building your muscles and targeting all the muscles in your upper body.

Here is How to Perform Diving Push Ups:

Step 1: Start with forming an inverted V shape as taught in plank down to dog and pike push-ups. Place your hands and feet on the ground and raise your hips.

Step 2: Once you are correctly positioned, smoothly bend your arms, and push your torso forward between your palms, keeping your shoulder away from your ears.

Step 3: Keep gliding through while straightening your arms and raising your chest.

Step 4: Your hips should be hovering barely over the floor at this point. Reverse the glide and raise your hips back up to complete the push-up.

Step 5: You can make this shoulder exercise more challenging by lowering down from the plank with your knees down and elevating your chest while keeping your legs on the ground.

Muscles worked on by Diving Push ups: Diving Push ups generally works on pectoral muscles and deltoids. Apart from core muscles. 

Set Your Goals Today!

The best calisthenics shoulder exercises are super convenient as they do not require any equipment, and you can perform them anywhere, anytime. These bodyweight shoulder exercises can assist you in sticking to your regular workouts for a more extended period and can be included in your warm-up routines.

Calisthenics shoulder workouts at home are recommended for toning muscle and improving muscular endurance, stability, balance, and flexibility. According to research, the calisthenics workout improves physical fitness as efficiently as other exercises. Calisthenics exercises have the advantage over weight-training activities: they require little to no additional equipment.

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