Calisthenics for stronger abs and core workouts at home may be the easiest way to get yourself motivated.
Most calisthenic exercises are portable and can be done anywhere, including in front of your TV. However, while they may appear simple, they are not easy to do, so make sure to go into calisthenics with a good plan. Proper posture, breathing techniques and strength training are all important components of such exercises.
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Best Calisthenics Exercises to Strengthen Your Core
You don't need any extra equipment or gym memberships to do calisthenic exercises. Here're six such exercises you can do at home to develop your core strength:
1) Hollow Body Crunch
The hollow-body crunch is one of the best calisthenics exercises for working your abs.
It activates and engages the core muscles, helping you build six-pack abs faster (if you have a low body fat percentage). It works as many as six muscles at the same time, like the oblique, hip flexors, back, hamstrings, quads, glutes and especially the abdominal muscle.
Here's how you do a hollow body crunch:
- Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your arms straight behind you.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles, and hold your legs off the floor so that they are straight in front of you.
- Inhale, and raise your torso up into a 'V' position (till you feel the contraction in your stomach).
- Pause for a moment, and slowly lower yourself back down to the floor. Repeat for the desired number of times.
2) Hanging Knee Raises
The hanging knee raise is a pull-up bar calisthenic exercise that targets the abs, hips and back. It's also a great way to improve grip strength and your ability to perform dead hangs and pull-ups.
To do this core workout:
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip, with hands shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your legs straight downward, and engage your abdominal muscle by bringing your knees toward your body till your abs are fully engaged.
- Hold for a couple of seconds (you’ll feel the contraction in your abs), and lower your legs till they're extended.
3) Reverse Crunch
Reverse crunches tone and strengthen your lower abs while working your lower back muscles through a full range of motion to ensure more efficient abdominal training.
To do this calisthenics workout:
- Lie on your back, with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Put your arms out to the sides with the palms facing down.
- Exhale, and tighten your abdominal muscles; lift your feet off the floor, and pull your knees towards your chest as far as they go.
- Hold for a couple of seconds; breathe normally, and return to the starting position without letting your feet touch the ground.
- Repeat this movement several times.
4) Calisthenic L-sit Ab
The L-sit is an exercise that uses many muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, hips, arms, quadriceps, shoulders and pectoralis major. The L-sit exercise is also a part of Crossfit and isometric exercises.
To perform this exercise:
- Sit with your legs in front of you, with your feet flat on the floor.
- Your hands should be placed beside your hips.
- Keeping your core engaged and back straight, push into the floor with your hands to lift your legs off of the floor.
- Hold for as long as possible, and lower yourself to the start position.
A v-sit is a challenging exercise that focuses on your ability to balance in a sitting position. It can be held for a period of time or done in repetitions, where you alternate between positions.
To do this workout:
- Sit down, and contract your abdominal muscles.
- Lift your legs at a 45-degree angle with your torso, keeping your back straight.
- You can keep your hands on the ground for balance, or try lifting your arms in front of you for a challenge.
- Try to hold the posture as long as possible.
6) Butterfly Hold
This core-strengthening calisthenic exercise is challenging, but you can do it with good balance and coordination. This exercise focuses on your lower back, which is an area that needs strengthening, as well as your obliques or side abs.
To do it:
- Start in a plank position, with your arms straight.
- Gently lift one leg and the opposite arm into the air (e.g., right leg and left arm).
- Try to hold the position for as long as possible without switching arms/legs.
- Repeat with the other arm and leg, holding each for as long as possible.
Basically, if you want to build stronger core muscles, don't just sit around doing crunches. There are far more effective ways to work your core to make it stronger. One of the simplest ways to do so is by performing bodyweight exercises that target your core specifically.
If you're a beginner, it's highly advisable to start with just a few of these exercises. Focus on your form as you go through the exercises.
Q. Have you tried any of these workouts?