Since I began following a calisthenics exercise routine, I’ve learned of some very powerful home core workouts that I thought to share. Recently in some health & fitness forums, people have been asking about how to use ab rollers.
My response is always that ab rollers are tough to use and I kind of hate them! Some folks are even asking how they can build abs when they’re overweight and have excess fat to lose.
Core exercises of any kind won’t help burn fat. They’ll develop the muscle beneath the fat, but if your goal is to build a lean and defined physique, it always boils down to eating at a calorie deficit first. It’s very simple to do.
I dropped 3% body fat and 13 pounds in just 3 months. It was only then, that I was finally able to start seeing definition in my midsection, that I never even knew existed before. This home calisthenics workout program taught me how to do it step by step.
This article will share some fantastic bodyweight exercises for core strength that I’ve learned along the way. All you need is a pull-up bar. When I’m away from home, I find a sturdy tree branch, and it works just as well. Nature is our friend!
So, without further ado, here are 5 powerful home core workouts for you, with videos included.
This is the most basic of all the workouts listed here. This workout will actually keep your core stabilized and also help you develop the strength to do one-arm push-ups. You can find a push-up tutorial here if you’d like. Planks are tough, beginner-friendly, and easy to get started with.
This exercise specifically works your core and lower back, but you can also expect it to strengthen your body from head to toe.
- HOW TO DO PLANKS:
Lie on the ground and place your elbows directly underneath your shoulders and your hands flat on the ground. Make sure your core is fully engaged. Extend your body in a straight line so it is fully extended, while also keeping your elbows under your shoulders and hands flat on the ground. Hold this position for 10 – 30 seconds. Once you become good at this, you can hold it for longer periods of time.
This video shows how to do a plank with proper form.
L-sits are a great movement to keep your entire physique strong. They work your core, triceps, and give you amazing flexibility throughout your body. L-sits are favorited by athletes and specifically gymnasts.
- HOW TO DO L-SIT HOLDS:
To do this exercise, sit on the ground in an L position, with your hands flat on the floor and your legs extended. To make it easier, you can rest your hands on blocks or parallel bars. Lift yourself up off the ground and hold the position for 5 – 30 seconds. Once you master holding your legs in a parallel L position for a sufficient amount of time, you can increase the intensity of the workout by raising them higher. Bruce Lee used to do this with his body in a perfect V shape.
This video shows how to do an L sit with proper form. Because this is a difficult workout for so many people, the video goes over how to work your way up to performing these correctly and with ease. This video should especially be helpful for beginners.
Side To Side Hanging Knee Ups
This exercise is fantastic at working your abs, obliques, and giving you more overall definition in your core. It’s a very tough movement, and you’ll feel a crazy burn in your abs after 10 – 15 reps per side.
- HOW TO DO SIDE TO SIDE HANGING KNEE-UPS:
Hang from the pull-up bar with your body extended. Raise your knees as high as you can to one side of your body. Then lower them and raise them to the other side of your body. Lower yourself to a hanging position. Repeat.
This video shows how to do side-to-side hanging knee-ups with proper form.
Hanging Leg Raises
Hanging leg raises do an amazing job at working your core, and this exercise is one of the reasons gymnasts have amazing six-packs and cores that you see on any athlete. It works your abdominals and hip flexors as an isolation exercise. It also works differently than many other ab workouts, because it uses a bottom-up approach, whereas workouts like crunches work the abs from the top down.
- HOW TO DO HANGING LEG RAISES:
Since hanging leg raises can be incredibly difficult to do for a beginner, you can start with a simpler variation, by doing knee-ups. Start from a hanging position, and pull your knees up to your chest, then lower to the straight position. Repeat this movement.To do a full hanging leg raise, start from a hanging position, and left your legs straight up to a 90-degree angle. Then lower them down completely. Repeat this movement.To make this workout to expert level, you’d want to raise your legs higher than 90 degrees into a v-shape.
This video demonstrates how to do hanging leg raises with proper form.
The Dragon Flag
The Dragon Flag works your entire torso and is a very difficult exercise because it requires that you have a significant amount of strength in your upper body. This was Bruce Lee’s signature exercise. Your lower back, hip flexors, and glutes are worked during this exercise because of the full range of movement of your body. It also helps you build shoulder strength and overall muscle mass.
- HOW TO DO THE DRAGON FLAG:
You can either lie flat on the floor for this workout or lie back on a bench. Grab the back of the bench tightly and raise your legs until they’re pointed to the ceiling. Then lower them slowly until your entire body is flat on the ground. Repeat the movement. This workout is much easier to understand in video format, so please check out the tutorial below.
Here’s a video that shows how to do the Dragon Flag workout in the correct form.
Core Workouts In Summary
These are all fantastic bodyweight exercises for core strength. Because of the variations of these workouts, one of the benefits of doing these is that you’re working much more than just your core, and strengthening other parts of your body simultaneously.
The great thing about a calisthenics workout routine is that you can do the exercises practically anywhere, with minimal equipment. I’ve found that if I’m on vacation, even on a campground, I can still get a full workout in.
The core exercises in this article are all part of the home bodyweight workout program I follow. If you’re looking to build lean muscle and drop unwanted fat, this is by far the best way I personally know of doing it. And that’s coming from a guy who has followed almost every home workout and eating plan you can think of.
What I couldn’t accomplish in years of running in circles trying to find the right program for my fitness goals, I was able to do in only 3 months with this. Click here if you’d like to learn more about this workout routine.
Thanks so much for reading. If you have any questions or comments at all regarding the core workouts explained here, let me know below and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon. as possible. Thank you!