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What Is The Best Calisthenics Equipment In Australia?

Reading time: About 25 minutes

With the various options on the market, generally, investing in quality equipment is the way to go. Premium calisthenics equipment is usually the best choice, for these five reasons (in no particular order):

  1. Helps to reduce the risk of injury, as it’s less likely to break.
  2. Reduces additional damages, such as breaking or scratching your floors. (e.g. low-quality parallettes or pull up stations)
  3. Lasts longer than cheaper equipment.
  4. Helps you save money, as you’re not replacing weak calisthenics gear constantly.
  5. Makes you feel like a god-damn badass.

Right off the bat though—gymnastic rings, in particular, cover pretty much all pulling and pushing exercises. And for what you get, they’re super cost-effective even at a premium price point. So they’re always something to look out for.

Doing calisthenics outdoors is more fun and interesting with the beauty of nature. Australia definitely has a certain touch to it: tough terrain, harsh weather, and angry kangaroos. You're going to want equipment that will last you.

I haven't heard of specific equipment tailored to any kind of Australian needs. But what I do know is that there is gear that is higher quality than others.

For example: a weight vest that sits nicely on your chest, and doesn't restrict core movement. Is generally better than a baggy vest, which can rub on your body. Usually having uneven weight distribution.

Based on all the factors to do with quality, and what we actually want to train. I’ve got a very solid answer on what the best calisthenics gear is—just for you folks down under.

The Only 4 No-Brainer Calisthenics Workout Equipment

  • Gymnastic rings
  • Resistance bands
  • Parallettes
  • Weight vests

Calisthenics Equipment You Don’t Really Need

  • Yoga mat
  • Yoga Wheel
  • Yoga Blocks
  • Handstand blocks
  • Door pull up bar
  • Portable pull up bar
  • Dip/Weight belt
  • Dip bars
  • Liquid chalk (any chalk for that matter)
  • A High-Quality Gym Bag

Why These Are Non-Essential Pieces Of Calisthenics Equipment

You can do stretches on the floor without a yoga mat. There are plenty of alternative exercises to replace a yoga wheel. Handstand blocks can damage your wrists if you're a beginner. A high quality gym bag can just be replaced, a regular bag you have in the house will do.

And door pull up bars? Well…

Girl putting up telescope door frame pull up bar then falling

All I'm saying is that there's nothing you can't do with gymnastics rings, weight vests, resistance bands, and parallettes. Call me bias, I won’t cry.

With the ultimate goal being mastering your own body weight. And also progressing towards every skill in the book. If you really think about it, you only need a few key pieces of equipment. (which is cool because you don’t have to buy a whole roster of gear)

Is Calisthenics Equipment A Waste Of Money?

It's important to have a very clear goal with your calisthenics journey, as with any purchase. If you're not buying calisthenics equipment with a specific intent in mind. Then it can seem like a waste of money.

For example, if you're progressing toward an iron cross, you'd only need gymnastic rings. Parallettes would be a waste of money in this case, as you're not training a pushing move.

When Buying Premium Calisthenics Equipment Actually Helps You Save Time And Money

Wear and tear from cheap equipment can actually cost you more over time. If you invested in one quality piece of gear that lasts you a lifetime, you’d save money. As you aren’t constantly replacing defective gear every 2–4 months.

If you like to train often, and practice very difficult skills. Then the stakes are high if you make a mistake on cheap equipment. It’d likely cost you more time and money dealing with any injuries and complications.

Calisthenics Equipment We Actually Use In Our Home Gym Setup

1 - Gymnastic Rings

Gymnastic Rings Benefits

  • Added instability when using gymnastic rings helps you engage more stabilizer muscles.
  • With a wider range of motion compared to fixed bars. Rings give you a much deeper muscle contraction, and improve your flexibility.
  • You can do all sorts of angles on rings. And vary exercise difficulty with different strap heights.
  • You get functional strength benefits by mimicking natural movements. Your hands can move throughout the range of motion, as opposed to straight bar exercises.
  • You can progress towards nearly any skill in the book. Especially the iron cross, which couldn't be done otherwise.
  • You can use rings at any skill level.
  • Rings provide a natural movement pattern, taking the ache off your joints.
  • They are super portable, and can fit in your bag with light materials. Making them ideal for any home workout or outdoor training.
  • A lot of gymnastic ring moves involve false grips. Which really helps you develop your wrists and forearms.

Only Drawback Of Gymnastic Rings

  • You can only use them if you find some kind of beam, or tree branch. With a need for some clearance to perform moves.

Gymnastic Rings or Suspension Trainers?

Both have their benefits, personally, I'd go for gymnastic rings. As they are quicker to set up in more locations. Plus it’s more aesthetic for calisthenics enthusiasts.

Overall, there's nothing you can do on suspension trainers that you can’t also do on gymnastic rings. The main difference is the level of instability they have. Suspension trainers are more stable and designed purely for strength increase.

Gymnastic rings add in that element of “wobble” when using them. Which is very good for your stabilization muscles, making them slightly harder to use. But like anything in life, the harder things come with more rewards—coordination and balance rewards in this case.

Why Gymnastic Rings Are An Essential Piece Of Calisthenics Equipment

If you want to progress in pull ups, gymnastic rings offer rows, which help you develop back strength as a beginner. If you want a deeper range of motion in pushing exercises, and more options for bicep training. Then rings offer many different exercise variations too.

If you've seen anyone do the iron cross, and you're like me: a person who wants to complete the game, and get all the achievements. Then you can't do that without gymnastic rings.

The more pull ups you do, the more you realize how annoying straight bars can be sometimes. Especially when you want to push yourself harder like a badass. As you pull yourself up with rings you can rotate your hands and put them in a more natural position, which eliminates any joint pain.

How To Use Gymnastic Rings

While you will run into some limitations when training legs with gymnastic rings (which is easily solved if you get creative). You can pick any exercise, and there's a ring variation for it. Usually giving you more benefits than the standard exercise would anyway.

To actually know how to set them up, you'll have to check the instruction manual. Which you would get with your own pair.

Calisthenics Exercises Using Rings

  • Ring rows
  • Ring pull ups
  • Ring push ups
  • Ring archer push ups
  • Ringer archer rows
  • Ring Bulgarian split squats
  • Ring skin the cat
  • Ring pike press
  • Ring Russian twists
  • Basically, just find an exercise, and slap “ring” in front of it.

2 - Parallettes

General Advantages Of Using Parallettes

  • Boost muscle activation with enhanced range of motion.
  • Reduces wrist strain, compared to ground exercises.
  • Have to use your core a bit more, so it improves your balance and control.
  • They build your shoulder strength and stability, so you can practice advanced exercises.
  • Practice not only advanced exercises, but advanced skills such as the maltese or iron cross.
  • Lots of available exercises, which means you can target many muscle groups.
  • Improve your grip strength and forearm stability over time.
  • They are super lightweight and portable—ideal for any travel workout.
  • Gain more proprioception, which is super helpful when training skills.

The Minor Drawbacks Of Parallettes

  • Tall parallettes are less portable.
  • Over reliance on parallettes can lead to underdeveloped wrist strength.

Save Space With Mini Parallettes

These are for when you are out and about. And want a quick thing you can whip out your bag and start training with. Especially useful on hard ground where your hands would hurt.

Ultra-Stable Long Parallettes

While these are less portable as you'd need a slightly taller bag, they still hold all the benefits of mini parallettes. Except the stability is amplified as you have a longer bar to grip on. Which is highly underrated for skills like the handstand.

More Range Of Motion Using Tall Parallettes

These give you the most range of motion. Which is very helpful when doing the L-sit to handstand, and other transitional movements (such as the tuck planche push up). I use them a lot for pike presses, which helps progression toward handstand push ups.

Why Parallettes Are An Essential Piece Of Calisthenics Equipment

While it’s important we push ourselves and earn the physiques we want. It’s also important to play the game intelligently. If you put too much strain on your wrists with pushing skills, this can put you out of the game or stunt growth.

Parallettes provide an alternative grip for pushing movements. Which is extremely helpful for handstands, planche training, and standard pushing exercises.

You can also speed up your recovery using them. For example, you train an intense planche session the day before, and now you’re doing handstands. Parallettes take some strain off your recovering wrists.

Calisthenics Exercises Using Parallettes

  • L-sit
  • Planche
  • Tuck planche
  • V-sit
  • Handstand
  • Handstand push-up
  • L-sit to handstand
  • Straddle L-sit
  • Planche push-up
  • Tuck planche push-up

3 - Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands Benefits

  • A nice set of resistance bands broadens your available exercise bank by a large degree.
  • You can go really heavy when it only weighs a few pounds (great for moves like squats that stop being challenging with just bodyweight).
  • Useful for warm-ups.
  • They reduce the stress on your joints and are ideal for injury prevention.
  • They strengthen smaller muscles for more joint stability.
  • Really good for assisting movements especially with skills like the front lever.
  • They help you rehabilitate from injury, and to get a nice stretch that can relieve pain points.
  • Instead of getting a rack of weights, you can get a set of resistance bands. Which would be more cost-effective.

Slight Limitations Of Resistance Bands

  • Low quality resistance bands risk snapping.
  • Some exercises require an anchor for the resistance band and that might not always be available.

Why Resistance Bands Are Highly Underrated In Calisthenics Training

With a sturdy set of resistance bands, you can hit nearly all muscles in the body. A common complaint with calisthenics training is that there aren't many options to develop posterior deltoids specifically. With bands you can mimic fly movements and other variations to target rear delts.

Resistance bands give you plenty of options. If you were to mimic weightlifting movements, then the difference in resistance curve can actually benefit you. Especially with moves like curls.

Plus they can do the opposite, and support skill progressions.

So you can get stronger, support skill progressions to reduce the risk of injury, and do stretches to improve your mobility. They’re just a no-brainer and all-around power tool to have in your calisthenics gear arsenal.

Why Choosing The Right Resistance Band Is Important

This is definitely where you want to invest in a more expensive pair of resistance bands. If you don't want a nasty surprise slapping you in the back, or worse, causing you to fall during skill progressions. Then make sure the band is the right thickness for you, also checking both positive and negative reviews.

Calisthenics Exercises Using Resistance Bands

  • Band-assisted pull-ups
  • Band-assisted dips
  • Band push-ups
  • Squats (using as if a barbell)
  • Band-resisted lunges
  • Band-resisted glute bridges
  • Band-resisted leg raises

4 - Weight Vests

Weight Vest Pros

Weight vests on their own offer the main benefit of simply making your training harder in a very convenient way. The below points come with a specific design of weight vest; a Gravgear weight vest, which are as follows:

  • With removable weight ingots, you can easily adjust the load to suit your training level.
  • Constructed from CORDURA® advanced fabrics, the vest offers extreme durability. Making it suitable for both intense workouts and outdoor activities without worrying about wear and tear.
  • The vest's one-size-fits-all, unisex design, coupled with an adjustable belt that accommodates up to a 62-inch (130cm) torso. Ensures a perfect fit for a wide range of body shapes.
  • Features like high-density TPE foam padding and contoured padded shoulder straps maintain the vest's shape and provide comfort.
  • Reinforced metal D-rings and a heavy-duty buckle on the torso belt enhance the vest's functionality.
  • Regular training with a weighted vest increases cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Also speeding up metabolism.

Weight Vest Cons

  • Other weight vests restrict movement.
  • Certain designs can have unbalanced weight distribution.
  • Using them before you have adequate strength can lead to injury.

How To Approach Using Weight Vests To Make The Most Out Of Your Money

Basically, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I would say this is a later investment, once you've developed a very solid strength level.

Weight vests are no joke if you take your training seriously. Make sure that you're ready for more intense workouts when putting on these bad boys.

Calisthenics Exercises Using Weight Vests

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups/chin-ups
  • Dips
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Burpees
  • Russian twists
  • Hanging leg raises
  • Box jumps

What To Look For When Choosing Calisthenics Equipment For Sale

  • Always make sure metal parts are made using high-grade steel or reinforced aluminium.
  • Choose equipment that is adjustable and able to cater to a wide range of exercises or skill levels.
  • Make sure they always have safety features like non-slip grips, stable bases, and robust securing mechanisms.
  • Obviously, read positive and negative customer feedback.
  • Look for indications of transparency and high-quality customer support.
  • In short, look for quality.

Calisthenics Equipment Set-Up To Train Every Skill

  • Gymnastic rings are best for maltese, rings muscle-up, iron cross, front levers, and back levers.
  • Parallettes help the most with handstands, L-sits, planche progressions, and handstand push ups.
  • Resistance bands support front lever progressions, and planche progressions, if you can find something to attach them to.
  • Weight vests increase overall difficulty, and speed up your strength gains.