Train Your Core With Calisthenics : 8 Ab Exercises

The abs and core is the component that connects your whole kinetic chain. Building a strong core will lead to you becoming stronger in all exercises.

Whether it be a static isometric hold or a dynamic movement, your core is always being activated.

A bridge is only as strong as its weakest link, and your body works in a similar fashion. Many times your core is the weak link.

When your perform the push-up , your body is essentially performing a plank the entire time.

If your core is weak, your body will be putting all its resources trying to hold the plank and your push-ups will suffer even though your chest and arms had the energy to perform more repetitions.

If you want to be the best you can be in your squats, dips, and any compound exercise then be sure to perform the core exercises we will cover in the post.

Today, we will go over 8 calisthenics ab exercises to help strengthen your core using just your bodyweight.


What do you mean by core?

When we speak of the core, we aren’t just talking about the six-pack. The six-pack may be the most visible, but there are many more muscles that are underneath and less visible but just as important.

The core consist of all the muscle it your torso:

  • traverse abdominis (located on each side of the naval)
  • Internal and external obliques (extending diagonally from ribs to pelvis)
  • Rectus abdominis (known as the six-pack)
  • Multifidus and erector spinae (located along the spine from head to pelvis)

That means performing sit-ups which primarily only works the ‘six-pack’ is not enough to create a strong core.

Furthermore, to really control your spine & pelvis which is crucial to have good form and prevent injuries, the muscle connected to them including the glutes, quads, aductor and abductors will also assist the core.


8 BEST CORE EXERCISES:

Let’s get started, here are the best exercises to strengthen your core. Incorporate them weekly and master these exercises and you’ll have a strong core in no time!

1) Ring Push-ups and Dips

You may be surprised but compound exercises such as ring dips ,ring push-ups will strengthen your core a lot.

Your core will be used heavily to stabilize and keep your body in proper alignment during the lift.

2) Plank

A classic exercise and for good reason. They are easy to do yet work your core very well. Good form is key for the plank, keep the shoulders down and your butt tucked in.

If the plank gets too easy these two things;

a)  move your elbows closer together

b)  move your arms farther in front of you

c) try adding a weight vest to the mix.

3) Side plank

You may be surprised but compound exercises such as ring dips ,ring push-ups will strengthen your core a lot. Your core will be used heavily to stabilize and keep your body in proper alignment during the lift.

To make the exercise more challenging, consider holding a dumbbell with your other hand.

4) L-sit

The L-sit will work your six-pack, serratus in addition to the quads.

Try performing the L-sit with straight legs and straight arms. Keep your shoulders down, they should be as far as possible from your ears.

If the exercise is too challenging performing a one-legged l-sit, a low L-sit, or a tuck l-sit.

5) Front lever

The L-sit will work your six-pack in addition to the quads.

Keep your arms straight and try to keep your body parallel to the floor.

If the exercise is too challenging performing a one-legged l-sit, a low L-sit, or a tuck l-sit.

6) Hanging knee tucks

Hand onto a pull-up bar, and bring your knees into your body. Try to control the movement. Be sure to not use momentum.

Furthermore, keep your anterior pelvic tilt and your core activated even at the bottom of the rep.

7) Toe to Bar

Hand onto a pull-up bar, and bring your toes to the bar. Try to control the movement. Be sure to not use momentum.

Furthermore, keep your anterior pelvic tilt and your core activated even at the bottom of the rep.

8) ROLL OUTS

Either use an ab-roller or grab a pair of gymnastic rings.

Similar to the push-up, there is the knee version which is easier to perform and the standard version which is more challenging.

Keep your belly button sucked in the entire time. Don't let your lower back arch.

Lastly, you can find ab rollers with resistance bands to make the movement easier.


About the Author

Remy started calisthenics in 2014 and has mastered advanced movements such as the one arm pull-up, front-lever, one arm muscle-up and more.

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