Fitness Tips

The Best Calisthenics App – 6 Apps to Get Fit with Bodyweight-Only Exercises

Lately, I’ve been getting into calisthenics workouts. Although I love working out with dumbbells and heavier weights, there’s something to be said for the amount of skill that goes into bodyweight-only exercises.

For example, I have yet to master a pull-up or a handstand. But I’m proud to report I can finally do a proper pistol squat. It’s both exciting and refreshing to see my fitness progress through skill rather than the scale. 

Since you’re here, chances are you also want to get into calisthenics or bring a new challenge to your workout, and to do that you need to find the best calisthenic app. 

Forever the fitness app junkie, I’ve tried my fair share of ’em. I thought I’d tell you all about my top picks!

**I was not paid to write this review. However, this post does contain affiliate links, which means that I may earn a commission on purchases you make after clicking on those links. (At no extra cost to you!) These are my own opinions and honest thoughts after using the app. Full disclosure here. **

Freeletics

Freeletics isn’t just one of the best calisthenics apps, but one of the best overall fitness apps as well!

The main feature of Freeletics is the “AI Coach” that assesses your abilities through your feedback and adjusts your training journey accordingly. 

You can also adapt the sessions as you go based on whatever you have going on that day. For example, you can have your AI Coach make adjustments if you need to keep the noise level down, or if you’re still too sore from your last workout. 

The workouts are broken into segments and need to be completed by manually swiping between each exercise, and reporting to your coach on difficulty between each segment. It’s a bit too fiddly for me but if you like that level of detail you may appreciate the extra steps.

It also includes mindset training, which is a library of short, podcast-type lessons, meditations, and visualizations to keep you motivated. 

 It’s a bit less skills-specific than some of the other calisthenics apps and focuses more on bodyweight training. In other words, if you’re looking for an app to teach you step-by-step how to build-up to the human flag this app might not be the best choice. 

This app also has one of the most affordable subscriptions, with plans as low as under $2 per week. The downside is that you can’t pay month-to-month, you need to pay up front for at least 3 months at a time. 

Pros

  • Super affordable
  • Coach AI customizes your training journey
  • Mindset training options
  • Ability to adapt each session last-minute when needed

Cons

  • No monthly subscription option
  • Less focused on developing specific skills than other calisthenics apps

Thenx

Thenx is an interesting app in that you can choose free workouts from their YouTube channel, but prior to watching the video, you can review the workout and its exercises. 

They also have about 12 fitness programs to choose from ranging from 5 to 8 weeks and organized by difficulty level. 

Another section of the app contains Technique Guides so you can zero in on specific skills like handstands, pullovers, planche, and human flag. These guides help you build-up to the full exercise with easier exercises to build strength.

The easiest of these skills is the handstand, which starts you off with pike holds and wall walks before working you through the progressions to handstand. 

With this app, you’ll need to keep in mind that you’ll need to also invest in some equipment like pull-up bars and dip bars. 

One thing I did notice is the app has some minor bugs.

For example, some programs come with a lesson before the workout. There is a brief video to watch but still come with a “start” button as though to do a workout. But when you press the start button it says “nothing here” and you have to “discard” the workout. (Why have the start button at all?)

You get a taste of what the app can offer for free but in order to do any of the programs you have to buy a pro membership (which strangely, you can only do online and not on the app.)

But the membership is only $9.99 a month which is pretty affordable as far as fitness apps go. If you go for the annual membership for $89.99 you do get a three month free trial. 

Pros 

  • Programs for beginners and skill guides to master moves
  • Affordable monthly membership fee

Cons

  • Some equipment required (pullup and dip bars)
  • App is a bit buggy in places

Caliverse

One of the coolest things about Caliverse is the ability to join live workout sessions with the Caliverse team. Upon logging in for the first time, my app invited me to a Live Intro to Calisthenics even to cover how to make the most out of my training. 

You can even turn on the camera on your phone to get tips on your form. The live sessions show details on what time it starts, how long it will be, and what you will need to participate. Then you just need to register. 

There are many workout plans to choose from ranging from 6 weeks to more than 40 weeks. 

I checked out the Starting Strength program, which is 44 weeks long broken into ten, 4 week segments. 

When you tap on a workout, you get a preview of what the workout entails. You can also tap on each exercise for a short video demonstrating how its done. (But they seem to take a while to load?)

When you start the workout, the short exercise video comes up but it doesn’t play automatically. Beneath the video describes the name of the exercise and how long/how many you are supposed to do.

When you finish you scroll to the next exercise. There are no audio cues and the videos don’t play automatically, making the whole thing a little more manual than I’d like. 

The app offers full access for 7 days free and then you can subscribe for $5.99 a month or $59.99 per year – pretty competitive pricing as far as fitness apps go.

Pros

  • Low monthly cost
  • Live classes

Cons

  • Using the workouts feels a bit too manual
  • Slow video loading time

Madbarz

Madbarz is a polished app with a slightly more robust screening process when you’re first getting started. 

For example, it doesn’t just get you to put in your height, weight, gender, and goals (the standard questions).

It asks you to choose your body type and desired body type. (Fit, athletic, or strong), and your target areas. It also takes into account what motivates you to exercise. 

You can choose from their fitness plans, (although they seem to be only  3 to 6 weeks each at most) or take one of their 15-day challenges. When you choose a program, you get a list of all the exercises involved in the program which I like. 

Like Freeletics, this app is a bit more focused on creating results than drilling down on specific skills. 

Your Madbaz subscription also comes with a nutrition guide.

Once you choose your nutrition goal, you will be introduced to a set of rules. Their approach to nutrition is based on eating whole, minimally processed foods.

Personally, I really like this but if you like following a certain diet or are a vegetarian you may not do too well with this plan.

The recipes are fast to put together and tasty. However, you aren’t looking at a massive selection of meals here, about 10-15 recipes per category (breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, snacks, and treats.) 

Just keep in mind it’s a guide and not a plan – that is, it doesn’t tell you how many calories to eat or what meals to eat on which days. 

Subscription plans start at $15.49 per month but you can save if you pay upfront for the annual subscription. It does come with a 7-day free trial. 

Pros

  • Includes a nutrition guide
  • Workouts provided based on your specific goals
  • Library of fitness challenges

Cons

  • Less focused on developing specific skills
  • Shorter workout plans

We’re Working Out

We’re Working Out (let’s call it WWO)  is a fun app featuring a cartoon version of the app’s creator, Al Kavadlo. This app has a collection of workouts rather than specific workout plans. 

And although the workouts are organized and color-coded by difficulty, there isn’t any sort of screening process and so the app doesn’t customize your workouts in any way.

This app does focus more on skill and you’ll find each workout only contains a handful of exercises, sometimes as few as 4. The workouts also seem to be quite short at 5 minutes each.

The workout categories include:

  • Warm-ups
  • Zero equipment
  • Assessment
  • Daily Routines
  • 100 Rep Workouts
  • Abdominal Workouts
  • 5×5 Workouts
  • Fun Workouts
  • 101 Workouts
  • Human Flag Training

You’ll also find a few short articles about calisthenics and a basic activity tracker. 

The free version of WWO will give you a good idea of what you can expect from the app and gives you limited access to some of the easier workouts.

To unlock all the features, you only need to pay $1.39 per month, or a one-time payment of $9.99, making it one of the cheapest fitness apps on the market. 

At the end of the day, this is a basic but helpful, no-frills app that is ideal if you need to incorporate some short workouts into your day and aren’t interested in paying a monthly subscription fee.

Just keep in mind that it lacks customization and long-term plans which may not be enough depending on your exercise goals. 

Pros

  • Fun app design
  • Wide range of short workouts to choose from
  • Super affordable

Cons

  • No customization or long-term fitness plans
  • Its simplicity might come across as “bare bones” for some people

Seven

Seven has an extensive library of bodyweight-only, 7-minute workouts. You can try 30-day challenges, focus on certain muscle groups, or find a fitness plan based on your goals. 

Each plan contains 16 workouts, and although you are encouraged to work out a certain number of times a week, it’s flexible on which days you actually do the workouts. 

One unique feature is you can create your own customized workouts. There’s also a social element to Seven which lets you join live group workouts and compete or “duel” with friends. 

The workouts themselves are very easy to follow and move you through each exercise by time rather than reps. You get a verbal countdown when the exercise is almost done and it automatically moves to the next one. (I personally prefer this to having to manually scroll or tap to get to the next exercise)

There doesn’t seem to be anywhere in the app that actually explains the exercises which could be a problem if you’re really new to exercise and need guidance with maintaining proper form. 

This is a solid, polished app but you might find the exercises are a little basic if you are more advanced and looking for more challenging, skill-focused exercises.

Also, while 7-minute workouts make it easy to stay committed, for best results you will need to do longer workouts at least some of the time, and this app doesn’t give that option. 

You can do some of the workouts for free but to get full access you need to subscribe. The subscription is $12.99 per month or $79.99 for a year which is higher than other apps on this list but still pretty good compared to the average fitness apps. 

Pros

  • Polished, clean app with a variety of workout plans to choose from
  • No tapping or scrolling needed to get through a workout
  • Short workouts make them easier to commit to

Cons

  • Exercises are a little basic and less skill-focused
  • Limited to 7-minute workouts only

Best Calisthenics App Alternatives

If you are trying to learn a specific skill or focus on bodyweight-only workouts, then one of these apps is probably your best bet. 

However, if losing weight and getting toned is your goal, you may do better looking at fitness apps and programs that incorporate weights and HIIT-type exercises.

My best calisthenic app alternative recommendation is Serial Starter Fix – My printable, 28-day program is ideal for beginners and those who don’t want to pay for a monthly app subscription.

I’ve also consolidated my top 5 favorite overall fitness apps in this post if you need more ideas!

Conclusion

Fitness regimes are like cars – the best one for you will depend on your needs and preferences. This kind of bodyweight training in particular can be difficult in the beginning so it’s important to find the best calisthenics app for you to learn the basics as well as how to progress to more advanced exercises. 

Most of these apps are quite affordable compared to other kinds of fitness apps on the market so there’s no reason not to get started!  

Stick with it and you’ll be doing L-sits, pistol squats, pull-ups and human flags in no time. 

FAQ

Which calisthenics app is best?

It comes down to a matter of your goals and preferences, but some of the best calisthenics apps include Freeletics, Thenx, Caliverse, Madbarz, We’re Working Out, and Seven.

What’s the difference between a Calisthenics Apps and other fitness apps?

Calisthenics apps mostly focus on using your bodyweight for workouts. Although sometimes equipment is used it is usually in the form of pull up bars, dip bars, and weighted vests. Some approach calisthenics exercises as a way to develop the strength and skill to achieve certain moves, like pull ups, human flag, and pistol squat. 

Is 20 minutes of calisthenics enough?

Whether 20 minutes is enough exercise depends on the intensity of the workout and your goals. In general, 20 minutes of vigorous calisthenics 3-4 times can help you maintain your overall fitness, but you’ll likely need to exercise a little longer and more often than that for best results

Is it OK to do calisthenics every day?

One challenge with calisthenics is it becomes difficult to increase resistance after a certain point. And if you don’t increase the resistance, you can’t progress or get stronger. For this reason, advanced calisthenics training often introduces additional weight with weighted vests. Also, some of the more advanced exercises like pull-ups, dips, and human flag require equipment like bars and parallettes.

What are some disadvantages of calisthenics?

One challenge with calisthenics is it becomes difficult to increase resistance after a certain point. And if you don’t increase the resistance, you can’t progress or get stronger. For this reason, advanced calisthenics training often introduces additional weight with weighted vests. Also, some of the more advanced exercises like pull-ups, dips, and human flag require equipment like bars and parallettes.

best calisthenics app pin

Corrie Alexander is an ISSA certified personal trainer, home fitness advocate, and founder of The Fit Careerist. A proponent of personal growth and a self-proclaimed fitness app-junkie, Corrie shares tips and product reviews with the goal of helping others on their own fitness journey.

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