Calisthenics for Ripped Abs -10 Best Bodyweight Abs Workouts

By Tony | Calisthenics and Bodyweight

If you ask any man which part of his body he’d most like to improve, chances are that abs are high on that list.

While there are no rigid rules for getting a six-pack to die for, we can certainly point you in the right direction.

We’re going to walk you through some of the best calisthenics for abs exercises so you can enjoy the midsection of your dreams without needing to live in the gym.

To get visible abs, guys need a body fat percentage of below 15% while girls need to shoot for 20% or less. As the old cliché goes, abs are indeed made in the kitchen. However much you work out, if your abs are covered by a layer of fat, you won’t see the rewards.

Today is not about diet, though, so check out this article for some handy tips on eating so your abs will pop.

Calisthenics: What’s It All About?

source: BodyBuilding

The name might seem complicated but calisthenics are straightforward…

All it means is using your bodyweight to exercise rather than using weights.

Calisthenics can help you to build strength and endurance simultaneously. You won’t need any expensive equipment or a gym membership.

Not only can you train your abs efficiently, you’ll burn off some fat at the same time so calisthenics are a real win-win.

Most moves in calisthenics are compound exercises. This means that several muscles work together, the core muscles in particular being given a real workout.

To effectively hone your abs, you need to target all parts of the core:

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Transversus Abdominis
  • External Oblique
  • Internal Oblique

That aside, focus on proper form rather than rushing and concentrating on numbers.

Without further ado, here are some great ways to get the six-pack of your dreams…


10 Best Bodyweight Abs Workouts

Perform the number of reps and sets you feel comfortable with.

1) Crunches

​These are a staple of any abs routine. There are many variations but here is an easy way to get started…

  • Lie on your back
  • Keep knees at 90 degrees
  • Put your hands by your sides or behind your head
  • Lift your torso slowly using your abs
  • Make sure your head and spine are aligned
  • Return slowly to starting position

2) Twisting Crunches

With twisting crunches, you can hit the obliques for a fuller workout.

  • Lie on your back as with regular crunches
  • Keep knees at 90 degrees
  • Put your hands by your sides or behind your head
  • Lift your torso slowly diagonally – bring one shoulder toward the opposite knee
  • Make sure your head and spine are aligned
  • Repeat for the other side

3) Ball Crunches

The addition of a Swiss ball helps you to extend your range of motion. Also, by creating a degree of instability, your abs will be forced to work harder.

  • Lie on a Swiss ball
  • Keep your shoulder blades firmly against the ball
  • With your hips aligned with the ball, roll slowly upward
  • Contract your abs as you rise
  • Slowly go back to the starting position

4) Sit-Ups

Although sit-ups can be effective, there’s no need to go over the top with 1000 a day. Use an ab mat if possible to stop you from flattening your back as you rise.

  • Lie on your back
  • Bend your knees with feet roughly hip distance apart
  • Put your hands on the back of your head, elbows pointed to the side
  • Exhale while pulling your belly button toward your spine and slowly raise your torso bending your hips and waist
  • Lift until your torso almost touches your thighs

You may see how to do a sit up on this Video:


​5) Plank

The classic core exercise is demanding but a highly efficient way to hit your abs. You’ll also strengthen your back, shoulders, butt and thighs.

  • Put your hands under your shoulders in the push-up stance about shoulder-width apart
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees with your weight resting on your forearms
  • Keep your elbows beneath your shoulders with your body in a straight line
  • Hold this position for as long as you can

6) Side Plank

This variation on the front plank targets the obliques and hips. It also helps to stave off back pain.

  • Begin on your side with feet together. Make sure your forearm is below your shoulder
  • Contract the core then raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from head to toe
  • Hold this position for as long as you can
  • Repeat for the other side

7) Flutter Kicks

This punishing exercise hits the main ab muscle (rectus abdominis) and the obliques with a scissoring motion of your legs. Your hips will get a nice workout too.

  • Lie on an abs mat with your legs fully extended and your arms by your hips, palms down
  • Lift your legs between 4 and 6 inches off the ground. Press your lower back firmly into the mat
  • With legs straight, raise one leg then the other in a fluttering motion up and down
  • For a bit of variety, you can cross legs under and over rather than fluttering

8) Inch Worm

source: Fitneass

The inch worm is similar to exercising with an ab wheel but slightly easier and demands no equipment.

  • Stand with feet close together
  • With your legs straight, stretch so your hands are on the floor right below you
  • Walk your hands slowly forward. Alternate between left and right. Make sure to only bend at the hip with your legs straight
  • Continue until your body is parallel to the floor as in a push-up position
  • With your hands still, take a few steps with your feet. Only move a few inches in one go
  • Keep going until your feet are by your hands

​9) Knee Raises

source: Bodybuilding

For knee raises, you will need a bar to hang on. By tilting your pelvis, you can really engage the abs rather than relying on your hips.

  • Hang on the bar
  • Raise your knees as high as possible
  • Hold for as long as you can

10) Dragon Flags

source: BodyBuilding

We’ll finish off with arguably the toughest abs exercise of the lot, the dragon flag. If it was good enough for Bruce Lee, it’s good enough for anyone! You’ll need a bench for this one…

  • Lie on a bench (flat or decline)
  • Hold the edge directly behind your head using both your hands
  • Create some tension all the way throughout your body
  • Swing feet upward so your body is nearly vertical. Keep shoulder blades on the bench
  • Make sure to keep the core tight and body straight
  • Lower feet until they’re slightly above the bench
  • Lift your legs to finish 1 rep

Wrap-Up

We hope this glance at calisthenics for abs has given you some fresh ideas for your workout.

Contact us if you have any queries or feedback. We always love to hear from our readers and we’re more than happy to help.

When training, it’s always good to mix things up. This prevents boredom and stops your muscles becoming accustomed to a particular exercise.

Getting a solid six-pack is really not rocket science. Eat clean, keep that body fat down and workout 3 times a week. You don’t need much time and you don’t really need any equipment.

So…

What are you waiting for?


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