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Calisthenics Workout For Abs: 5 Moves For A Solid Core

So you’re one step away from achieving that chiseled, defined core you’ve always dreamed of. You’ve patiently burned off the fat and now you are ready to start building muscle. It may be that the demands of your daily life make it very challenging to carve out enough time for the gym. Or perhaps you’re just starting out, and the thought of hitting the gym seems daunting. This is where a calisthenics abs workout at home comes into play.

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Calisthenics, a series of bodyweight exercises, can be tailored to any level – from a calisthenics abs workout beginner routine to an advanced calisthenics abs workout. The best part? They target not just your abs, but your entire midsection, providing a comprehensive calisthenics abs & core workout. 

In fact, the best calisthenics workout for abs will include exercises that improve balance, flexibility and stability. The idea is to get not just an aesthetically pleasing set of abs; but also a stronger core that improves your quality of life.

Here’s everything you need to know for a successful calisthenics abs workout with no equipment at home. 

Can You Get Abs From Calisthenics?

Yes, calisthenics can indeed help you achieve defined abs. This form of exercise targets various muscle groups, including the core, and promotes overall body strength and fitness (7).

Bear in mind that building abs is more than just a matter of exercise. Your diet also plays an essential role in how your core looks and feels (5). Sure, you can do all the calisthenics abs and core workouts you want – but without proper nutrition, your progress will be limited. 

That said, let’s take a look at four ways that this type of exercise contributes to the development of rock-solid abs:

Specific Abdominal Exercises

Calisthenics includes specific exercises that focus on the abdominal muscles such as leg raises, planks, and windshield wipers. These exercises put direct stress on your abs, stimulating them to grow stronger and more defined.

See also
Back Workout Calisthenics Guide To Go From Novice To Pro

Read More: Mastering The Basics: A Beginner’s Guide To Shoulder Workout Calisthenics

calisthenics workout abs

Compound Movements

Many calisthenics movements are compound exercises, meaning they work multiple muscle groups at once. For example, push-ups and pull-ups engage not only your arms and back but also your abs, helping to strengthen and define them.

Intensity And Volume

The intensity and volume of your workout also play a role. High-intensity workouts with more repetitions tend to burn more calories and fat, which is essential for revealing your abs (6).

Progressive Overload

Calisthenics allows for progressive overload, an essential principle for muscle growth. As you get stronger, you can increase the difficulty of your exercises to continue challenging your abs (4).

Does Calisthenics Train Core?

Yes, calisthenics does train the core. Your core is more than just your abs – it includes all the muscles in your torso, from your hips to your shoulders. It plays a crucial role in stabilizing your body, maintaining balance, and enabling almost every movement you make (1).

In calisthenics, most exercises require the active engagement of the core to maintain proper form and balance. From planks and bridges targeting the deep core muscles to leg raises and dips engaging the hip flexors and lower abs, your core muscles are constantly challenged.

Additionally, these types of exercises often mimic natural movements, which enhances functional fitness. This means you will be able to transfer the strength and stability gained from your calisthenics workouts to everyday movements (such as lifting a heavy box or carrying groceries).

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Which Calisthenics Work Abs?

While there are many different exercises you can do for a calisthenics abs workout, here are five of the best:

1. Plank

The plank is a fundamental calisthenics abs & core workout that targets the entire core region, including the rectus abdominis (your “six-pack” muscles), obliques, and lower back. It’s a static exercise that involves maintaining a position similar to a push-up for the maximum possible time.

See also
Calisthenics Exercises For Any Fitness Level To Maximize Fitness And Full-Body Training

Here’s how to perform a plank:

  1. Start in a push-up position.
  2. Lower your forearms to the ground with elbows positioned under your shoulders and your hands shoulder-width apart.
  3. Maintain a straight line from head to heels.
  4. Hold this position for as long as you can without compromising your form.
  5. For beginners, you can start by holding the plank position for 20 seconds and gradually increase the duration as your strength improves. For an advanced progression, try lifting one foot off the ground or reaching forward with one arm.

2. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are great for both women and mens calisthenics abs & core workout at home, targeting the upper and lower abs, as well as the obliques. They involve a pedaling motion combined with a twisting movement, making them a highly effective calisthenics workout for lower abs and obliques.

Instructions:

  1. Lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head.
  2. Lift your knees in towards your chest while lifting your shoulder blades off the ground.
  3. Straighten your right leg out while simultaneously turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards your left knee.
  4. Switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.
  5. Start with a manageable number of reps and gradually increase as you get stronger. To progress, increase your speed or the number of repetitions.

Read More: The Ultimate Full Body Calisthenics Workout For Beginners

calisthenics workout abs

3. Leg Raises

Leg raises are a calisthenics abs workout with no equipment exercise that primarily targets the lower abs but also engages the upper abs and obliques.

How to execute leg raises:

  1. Lie on your back, legs straight and together.
  2. Keep your legs straight and lift them all the way up to the ceiling until your buttocks come off the floor.
  3. Slowly lower your legs back down till they’re just above the floor. Hold for a moment.
  4. Raise your legs back up.
  5. To make it easier, bend your knees. For added difficulty, add a hip lift at the top of the movement.
See also
Weighted Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide To Advanced Bodyweight Training

4. Side Plank

A variant of the traditional plank, the side plank is a powerful calisthenics oblique exercise that strengthens the entire core, with emphasis on the obliques.

Performing a side plank:

  1. Start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
  2. Contract your core and raise your hips until your body is in a straight line from head to feet.
  3. Hold the position without letting your hips drop.
  4. Repeat on the other side.
  5. For beginners, try a knee-supported side plank. As you get stronger, raise your top arm or leg for added challenge.

calisthenics workout abs

5. Hollow Body Hold

A classic bodyweight workout abs exercise, the hollow body hold is a static move that targets the entire core, improving stability and body positioning.

Steps to perform a hollow body hold:

  1. Lie down on your back and contract your abs, pulling your belly button towards the floor.
  2. Slowly lift your shoulders and legs off the ground while keeping your lower back flat on the floor.
  3. Your body should form a shallow U shape.
  4. Hold this position for as long as possible.
  5. Beginners can start by bending their knees or having their arms by their side. To progress, extend the legs and arms so they are straight and point the arms towards the ceiling.

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See also
Full Body Calisthenics Workout For Beginners

Do 10-Minute Ab Workouts Work?

Yes, 10-minute ab workouts can be effective for calisthenics. It’s important to listen to your body. Start with what you can manage – if that’s a 10-minute workout, then that’s great. As you build stamina and strength, you can gradually increase the duration of your workouts. 

Remember, the goal is not to work out for as long as possible but to create a sustainable routine that you can stick with in the long run. Whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, the best workout is the one that you consistently do.

That said, the effectiveness of the workout is not solely dependent on its duration but also on factors such as intensity, variety, consistency, and your overall lifestyle.

Intensity

A focused, high-intensity 10-minute workout could potentially be more beneficial than a low-intensity workout that lasts much longer.

calisthenics workout abs

Variety

Incorporating a variety of exercises into your workouts can help ensure that all parts of your core are being targeted and trained effectively. 

Different calisthenics exercises target different muscles, so mixing up your routine can help optimize your results. Of course, getting a varied workout might mean working out for longer and therefore going beyond 10 minutes.

Consistency

No matter how long or intense your workouts are, consistency is key. A 10-minute workout done regularly can yield better results than a longer, more sporadic workout routine. Under consistency, we also mean not switching up your exercises every day. 

Doing the same set of exercises repeatedly helps your body become more efficient at performing those moves, thus yielding better results in less time.

Lifestyle

Your diet and lifestyle greatly influence the results of your workouts and body composition (d). Even the most effective workout won’t yield visible abs if there’s a layer of fat covering them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Ok To Do Abs Everyday?

While it’s physically possible to train your abs every day, it’s not typically recommended. Just like any other muscle group, your abs need time to recover and grow after a workout. Overworking them can lead to muscle fatigue or injury (3). 

See also
How To Start Calisthenics In 7 Steps

For most people, training the abs 2-3 times per week is sufficient.

Is Calisthenics Good For Belly Fat?

Yes, calisthenics can be effective for reducing belly fat. Calisthenics exercises can burn calories and increase muscle mass, which boosts your metabolic rate and helps in fat loss (7). However, exercise alone isn’t enough. 

To lose belly fat, you also need to maintain a healthy diet and create a calorie deficit (burn more calories than you consume) (2).

calisthenics workout abs

How To Get Abs In 1 Month?

Getting visible abs in 1 month can be challenging and depends on your current body fat percentage. If you already have a low body fat percentage, a month of targeted ab exercises, coupled with a healthy diet, could lead to visible abs. 

However, if you have a higher body fat percentage, it may take longer. Regardless, focus on regular calisthenics workouts, a balanced diet, and overall body fat reduction for best results.

How Many Abs Per Day?

The number of ab exercises you should do per day depends on your fitness level and goals. However, a good starting point could be 15-20 repetitions of 3-4 different ab exercises. Remember, quality is more important than quantity. 

Focus on doing each repetition with correct form rather than trying to do as many as possible. Adjust the number of repetitions and exercises as your strength and endurance improve.

The Bottom Line

Calisthenics provides a powerful way to sculpt and strengthen your abs. 

Incorporating exercises such as planks, bicycle crunches, leg raises, side planks, and hollow body holds into your routine can target your entire core, building a solid foundation for other movements and enhancing overall body strength. Remember, consistency, intensity, and a balanced diet are the keys to seeing results.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1. Effects of core strength training on core stability (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  2. Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss (2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  3. Muscle fatigue: general understanding and treatment (2017, nature.com)
  4. Progressive overload without progressing load? The effects of load or repetition progression on muscular adaptations (2022, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  5. Role of nutrition in performance enhancement and postexercise recovery (2015, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  6. The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance‐trained men (2015, physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com)
  7. The effects of a calisthenics training intervention on posture, strength and body composition (2017, researchgate.net)
  8. The Relationship between Lifestyle Factors and Body Compositionin Young Adults (2017, mdpi.com)
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