51 Calisthenics Core Exercises Without Equipment (No Bars!)

51 of the best calisthenics core exercises that you can try anywhere. Also, get a FREE core workout template that you can use anytime at home. Let's Work!

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51 Of The Best Calisthenics Core Exercises (No Bars)

Why Should You Work Out Your Core?

Why should you work out your core

Strengthening the core is one of the most important fitness aspects that everyone should be focused on. The simple reason is that the core is most often - neglected when it comes to the training process. What are the benefits of having a stronger core?

1. Better posture and strengthening the deep core muscles which are supporting your spine. Also, by having stronger core, if you are experiencing lower back pain, it will be decreased or even eliminated (this is not a guarantee but it is a fact with countless of people around the world). 

2. Improved strength of your arms and legs. 

3. Enhanced sports performance activities. 

4. Better breathing. 

5. Increased efficiency of your sex drive. 

6. Improved balance, coordination and reflexes. 

7. You will overall feel yourself in better shape. 

How To Use This Calisthenics Core Exercise List?

How to use this calisthenics core exercise list

To use this core exercise list as a start, I do recommend you to try some of these exercises by including them into your bodyweight workouts that you are already doing.

Pick 1 exercise which you think that will match your training level and follow these instructions (this is great for the beginner trainee): 

1. Set an interval timer app to 30/20 seconds of work rest. 

2. Perform a total of 4-6 sets of this exercise. 

3. On the next workout, try another exercise from the video in order to get a bigger variety in your movement arsenal. 

How To Create a Killer Core & Ab Workouts At Home?

How to build calisthenics core workouts at home

How to use this exercise list in order to create a stand alone, intense ab and core workouts that you can try at home? Follow these instructions: 

1. Pick 3-5 calisthenics core exercises from the video above. 

2. Perform 1 set for each separately in order to get familiar with the movement first.

3. Set an interval timer app to 30/20 seconds of work rest. 

4. Once you move through all exercises, this is considered as one total round completed. 

5. To finish the whole workout, you have to perform a total of 4-6 rounds. 

6. You can perform this core workout 2-4 times weekly in order to strengthen the core, abs and progress faster. 

Can You Get Visible Abs With Calisthenics?

Can you get visible abs with calisthenics core exercises

Calisthenics is a highly versatile form of fitness. The simple reason is that the bodyweight movements are allowing to be easily modified, hence, you can target your muscles in various ways. That makes the calisthenics a great option for your core training. 

You can build and get visible abs with calisthenics if you also, focus on the diet and sleep. Your body needs the right portion of tension (your workouts) and recovery (nutrition + sleep). Over time, if your diet is restricting your calories, you manage the stress and the bodyweight training program followed are all well balanced, then you will lose belly fat, build core muscle and get visible abs. But if you neglect some of these 3 aspects, you might meet with difficult times to lose weight and body fat. 

Can You Build Your Abs With Planks?

Do planks build your abs

Planks will strengthen your core and help you build muscle in the mid-section. But can you get visible abs with just planks? Not necessary. Abs or the visible part (front and side) of the core is the rectus abdominis and external obliques muscles. For that purpose, if your goal is to get visible six pack, then you should modify your planks and include a few more exercises that will help you target these visible muscles of the core. 

To put things simply, the regular (isometric hold) planks will build a good foundation and increase the strength of the core. But to target these external obliques and rectus abdominis, we will have to modify your planks a bit.

Find below 10 dynamic plank variations that you can instantly try and also, don't miss to check this article on the topic: 10 plank exercises at home.

Now we have the modified plank variations. But we have to focus on the rectus abdominis with the hollow body hold. The hollow hold is a gymnastic exercise and it is a killer addition to your abs workouts. 

In the first video, you will see 2 beginner variations. Once your core get stronger, you can proceed with the full hollow hold (video 2). 

Here is how to use the hollow body hold in order to create a quick ab workout and to progress faster:

1. Pick 1 variation from the 3 hollow holds above. 

2. Set an interval timer app to 30/30 seconds of work/rest.

3. Perform 8-10 sets for a complete abs and core stimulation. 

Exercise keypoint: low back MUST be always flat on the ground. Also, contract your abs strong and imagine that someone will punch you in the core. That way, the ab muscle recruitment will be higher and the effect of this session will be more beneficial. 

What Are The Hardest Core Exercises Without Equipment?

What Are The Hardest Core Exercises Without Equipment

5 of the hardest core exercises that will require less to none equipment are: 

1. L Sit Holds

2. Swiss Ball Crunch or Regular Crunch On The Ground (Maximal Muscle Contraction)

3. Body Saw Plank

4. Crawling

5. Hollow Body Holds. 

The top 10 core exercises without equipment (no bars)

1. L Sit Holds

2. Swiss Ball or Regular Crunch With Maximal Ab Muscle Contraction

3. Body Saw Plank

4. Crawling

Leopard Crawl
Crab Crawl
Side to Side Crawl
Circle Bear Crawl
Circle Crab Crawl

5. Hollow Body Holds

In the chapter above, the 2 hollow body exercise videos.

How Often To Do Core Workouts?

How Often To Do Core Workouts

Your core and abs need a good balance between stimulation and recovery. In order to build ab muscle and get stronger core, make sure to target the core at least 3-4 times weekly. This way, you will have a frequent stimulus applied on the muscles and the proper amount of recovery days in your training program. 

Doing core workouts everyday will not lead you to faster weight or belly fat loss. The amount of lost weight will be determined by the combination of frequent enough training (not overtraining), a diet in a caloric deficit and a good amount of sleep. If one or some of these are neglected, you will meet with hard times of losing weight.

3 Intense Core & Ab Workouts That You Can Try At Home

It's always a good idea to have different varieties of ab workouts. With that in mind, you can find below 3 core workouts (beginner friendly and HIIT). Play the videos and replicate everything that I am showing you. It is easy and straight-forward. 

12 Minute Calisthenics Core Workout (Beginners)

You can find out more about this 12 minute calisthenics core workout for beginners.

In this session, you will work for 30 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest. Each one of the following exercises should be performed for one set, and this is when 1 round is completed. To finish with this core workout, you have to do 3 total rounds. 

Find below the exercises included in this routine:

1. Shoulder taps to knee and ankle taps. 

2. Cross body step to knee tap. 

3. 3 Way mountain climbers. 

4. Short side crawl to shoulder tap. 

5. Leg and arm raise (bird dog) 2 level plank. 

No big rests are allowed (between rounds. You will have to move consistently and work within this 30/20 seconds work/rest interval timing frame.

6 Minute Core HIIT Workout

In this HIIT core workout, we will use 30/10 seconds of work/rest protocol. 

A total of 2 rounds should be performed.

Here is the list of exercises: 

1. High knees to mountain climbers. 

2. Cross body plank to ankle tap. 

3. Plank supported jump outs. 

4. High knees to sit out. 

5. Knee to elbow plank step. 

No rests between both rounds are allowed. 

7 Minute Abs HIIT Workout

In this 7 minute HIIT abs workout, you will use 30/10 seconds of work/rest protocol. 

A total of 2 rounds should be performed.

Here is the list of exercises: 

1. Bear crawl to sit out.

2. Crab crawl to crab reach. 

3. Plank to push up jumping step outs. 

4. Crab crawl to side push up. 

5. Plank front reach ground tap. 

6. Side crawl to side crawling plank. 

No big rests are allowed between rounds. The whole workout should be done in the 30/10 seconds of work/rest interval frame. 

Summary

Calisthenics can be used in a highly efficient way to build the core. Such training allows you to modify and constantly increase the intensity of your core exercises and hence - workouts. The diversification can be huge if you have enough exercise variations and the proper workout frame to use and alternate. 

Today we have discussed the some of the best 51 calisthenics core exercises (video - top of the page). I have given you a great workout frame to follow by using this exercise list too. If you are pro-active enough, by using this article, you will manage to build tens and even hundreds of calisthenics core workouts. The only thing is to constantly switch the exercises so you can create a new, more challenging demand on the muscles and hence, to create the right stimulus in order your core to get stronger and more functional. 

What are your favorite calisthenics core exercises? 

Comment below! 

Thanks for reading, 

Vlad

PS: this is also a great recourse on the calisthenics core exercises

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