Twice a Day Calisthenic Workouts

side view of a woman doing sit ups on the floor

Working out twice a day with calisthenics is an effective way to improve your heart health, burn calories and build muscle, for a variety of reasons. Calisthenics let you work your entire body, you can perform the exercises differently to achieve different benefits, and multiple workouts raises your metabolism twice each day. According to the American Heart Association, shorter, multiple daily workouts can provide the same benefits as more intense 30-minute routines.


Calisthenics are exercises you perform without little or no equipment, using your body’s weight to create resistance and increase your heart rate. Common calisthenics include jumping jacks, butt kicks, burpees, mountain climbers, situps, lunges, squats, calf raises, crunches, pushups, skipping in place with high knees, pullups and chinups. Using equipment, you can perform pullups, chinups and dips and jump rope. Running stairs and holding dumbbells while performing some of these exercises add resistance and variety.

Vary Your Workouts

Your muscles will adapt to new exercises during the course of your first week or two or workouts, making them easier to do, but providing a lower calorie burn. Performing the same exercises over and over can also create repetitive stress problems, especially high-impact exercises such as jumping jacks and skipping rope. Alternate your workout each day to let your muscles recover. Do an upper-body workout in the morning, then work on your lower body during your afternoon workout. Create a complete core workout for a third option, performing two of your three workouts each day. Change your exercises and workouts every two weeks to prevent a plateau effect.

Cardio Workouts

To create cardio workouts with calisthenics, work at a higher intensity using less muscular effort to keep your heart rate high the entire workout. This means performing the exercise at a faster speed and using your body’s momentum to move between up and down movements. Limit high-impact exercises to one or two sets per workout, especially as you begin your program and your muscles get used to the new movements. Work at the highest pace you can continue without having to stop.

Resistance Workouts

To build muscle size and improve muscular endurance, add more resistance to your calisthenics. Do this by performing the exercises slowly, using muscular effort on the way down and up and pausing between up and down motions. For example, don’t let yourself drop back down after a situp -- slowly lower yourself using your core muscles to resist gravity. To build muscle, go as slowly as you can, using as much muscular effort as you can. Recover for 30 to 60 seconds between each set. To improve endurance, use about half your maximum effort to perform 10 repetitions of each exercise and take only 10 seconds between exercise sets.