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How To Get Abs While Doing Calisthenics

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 muscles during training sessions. A few push-ups, a few sit-ups, and you move on to the next group of muscles.  The good news is there are a ton of bodyweight exercises you can do for a strong core.

So how can you make sure that you exercise your core during your calisthenics workout (and get shredded six-pack abs).  

Simple: you need to be familiar with strong core exercises. Once you are, you can easily incorporate them into your bodyweight training routines. 

In this article, we’ll be talking about three calisthenics ab exercises, from the most simple, ab hollowing, to the most challenging, hanging leg raises. Read on!

We’ve prepared a whole list of exercises, though we also highly recommend the following workout by gravity-based training:

Calisthenics Exercises For Abs

Man Exercising

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?  From the rectus abdominis muscles to the transverse abdominis, core exercises will improve your range of motion for the rest of the muscles in  your body. 

Give the following three ab exercises a try and make sure that your abs and core stay as strong, fit and healthy as the rest of your body.  Remember core training is just as important as upper and lower body training.

Abdominal Hollowing - Effective Ab Exercises

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 belly button 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:

For the sitting and all fours variations, the steps are the same and the only thing that changes is your position.

Calisthenics Abs - Scapular Push-Ups

We all know what push-ups are. But what some people may not know is that there are several types of push-ups.  How many of you can rock a one-arm push-up?  Yeah, that’s right!

Our second core 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, this exercise also activates 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:

Advanced Calisthenics - Dragon Flags

This one is for the veterans. The Dragon Flag was one of Bruce Lee’s signature bodyweight exercises. And well… have you seen his six pack 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, obliques, lower back, shoulders, hips – the Dragon Flag works on everything.  

Go somewhere where you have a pole or something similar and follow these steps:

Hanging Leg Raises - Advanced Core Exercises

While this core exercise requires a pull-up bar, it’s still considered an advanced calisthenic ab exercise.  You are using your core to lift your legs up as you hang.  Adding these to your workout is a surefire way to getting great abs.

Let’s go through the leg raise and give you some options for knee raises as well.

Remember hanging leg raises are hard and if you are a beginner, you should do them gradually in your workouts.  The key is to perform them correctly and not let momentum take over.  Focus on being still. 

The Importance Of A Healthy Diet

Salad In Bowls

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 body 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.

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:

Another good tip is to drink tea regularly. Green and black are two good options, as both help you lose body fat. And of course, don’t forget to drink water all throughout the day.

Related Questions

Do Genetics Influence How Much Fat I Store?

Couple Walking Together

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 Core Exercises?

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 lower back pain, aid in 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 especially if you are doing hanging knee raises or leg raises. 

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!

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