Strengthening your core is about more than getting a six-pack.
This group of muscles is the foundation of every movement you make.
Considering how crucial it is, you can understand how, as much as you thoroughly exercise every other muscle you have, if you don’t include your core, you’re not bringing your body to its full potential.
But it’s easy to overlook your core during training sessions. A few push-ups, a few sit-ups, and you move on to the next group of muscles.
So how can you make sure that you exercise your core during your calisthenics workout (and get a shredded six-pack)?
Simple: you need to be familiar with efficient core exercises. Once you are, you can easily incorporate them into your routine.
In this article, we’ll be talking about three calisthenics exercises for abs, from the most simple to the most challenging. Read on!
Calisthenics Exercises for Abs
One of the main characteristics of calisthenics is that you see the body as a whole and you want to exercise it as such.
The links between the muscles are just as important as the muscles themselves.
So how could you not work on the group of muscles that’s in the center of every movement made by every other muscle?
Give the following three exercises a try and make sure that your abs and core stay as strong, fit and healthy as the rest of your body.
Our first exercise works on the transverse abdominal muscle and it has three variations, as you can do it standing, sitting or on all fours.
Abdominal hollowings are typically described as the exercise where you draw your bellybutton toward your spine and the truth is that we’ve probably all done it before without even realizing.
After all, who’s never had to suck in to fit into a pair of pants that got a little bit too tight?
This is a good exercise for beginners and you can do it anywhere, at any time. The steps for the standing variation are the following:
- Stand and slightly bend your knees.
- Exhale and as you do it, draw your stomach in.
- Remain in that position for as long as you can.
- Repeat 10 times.
For the sitting and all fours variations, the steps are the same and the only thing that changes is your position.
We all know what push-ups are. But what some people may not know is that there are several types of push-ups.
Our second exercise is one of those types and it strengthens your scapula, more commonly referred to as shoulder blades.
By doing so, it helps you to ensure that your shoulder mobility remains as smooth as can be.
So how can this help you get abs? Well, these push-ups also activate your abs for body stabilization.
In other words, your entire upper body – including your core – is engaged during the exercise.
This is how you do it:
- Get into a high plank position. Make sure that your hands are aligned with your shoulders and your body is completely straight, with the abs always tight.
- Pinch your shoulder blades together, as if you were trying to catch something with them. As you do it, make sure that your arms remain stretched. Hold for 5 seconds.
- Relax your shoulders for a couple of seconds. Repeat the exercise at least 10 times.
This one is for the veterans. The Dragon Flag was one of Bruce Lee’s signature exercises. And well… have you seen his abs?
Being able to do the Dragon Flag requires you to have a strong upper body to start with. And even if you do, it’s still a big challenge.
But once you learn how to do it properly, the benefits are undeniable. Glutes, lower back, shoulders, hips – the Dragon Flag works on everything.
Go somewhere where you have a pole or something similar and follow these steps:
- Lie on your back with the pole behind you.
- Bring your arms up and behind you and grab the pole.
- Bring your knees as close to your elbows as you can. Keep your torso tight throughout the whole exercise and beware not to arch your back.
- Slowly bring your legs down into the initial position.
- Repeat as many times as you can.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
Exercising is important.
But if you don’t combine it with a healthy, nutritious diet, most of your efforts will go out the window.
When you work on your abs, go for a dietary regimen that promotes fat loss.
This doesn’t mean that you should drastically reduce your daily calorie intake – there’s no starving involved in the process of getting abs.
All you need to do is put some thought into what you feed your body with.
Foods to Have in Your Pantry
The goal in the kitchen is to incorporate a big variety of highly nutritious aliments in every single one of your meals.
The secret is in diversity.
A few examples would be:
- Bananas for potassium;
- Collard greens for calcium;
- Salmon for omega-3;
- Almonds for fiber and protein;
- Quinoa for fiber.
Another good tip is to drink tea regularly. Green and black are two good options, as both help you lose fat. And of course, don’t forget to drink water all throughout the day.
Do genetics influence how much fat I store?
Fortunately for some and unfortunately for others, the answer to this question is yes.
In fact, researchers have found that a gene named FTO can influence your chances of becoming obese by 20 to 30%.
What are the benefits of strengthening my core?
We’ve listed some benefits all throughout this article.
Even if you’re not a calisthenics (or exercise) aficionado, making sure to strengthen your core is still crucial, since it is the foundation to so many movements that you make every single day of your life.
An ab workout will help you avoid injuries, have better posture, improve your digestion, and more.
How often should I exercise my abs?
Our advice is that you exercise your abs 3 days a week, making sure to give them time to recover.
Keep in mind that getting a six pack doesn’t happen overnight. It will take a consistent, long-term exercising routine for you to start seeing results.
But in the end, we promise the effort will be worth it!