Combining Lower Ab Workouts with Calisthenics

lower-ab-workoutsCalisthenics are a great way to tone and firm your body without having to drive to the gym or get any expensive equipment.  They use the weight of your body to add resistance to the exercise and as they get easier to you to do, you can adjust the amount of reps of even the positioning to keep the benefits going.  Calisthenics can be used for every body part to tone, shape and lose weight. While “spot reducing” per se is not possible, you can tone all parts of your body and some will show the effects faster than others.

Lower ab workouts can be a part of your calisthenics workout plan and are very important to building a strong core. You can incorporate them into your workout several times a week and even do them every day if you feel the inclination.  It’s important to start off every workout with a good set of warm up exercises.

Abs Exercises to Add to Your Calisthenics Workout Routines

Bodyweight abs exercises are some of the best calisthenics you can do when you want to tone up your midsection. They require no equipment and you can do them anywhere, even a hotel room on a business trip.

Sit Ups – For strengthening your core muscles and toning the abs, hips, pelvis and even the chest arms and shoulders. Done correctly, this exercise can help reduce back pain, encourage better posture and can reduce the chances of back spasms.  They are easy to do but be sure to maintain proper form to avoid neck strain.   Lie on the floor or mat and bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor.  Put your hands behind your head and curl yourself up towards your knees being careful NOT to pull on your neck. Tighten your abs muscles as you do the exercise. To avoid injury or back strain, keep your lower back on the floor and your feet too.  All the up and all the back to the floor is ONE rep. Repeat this motion 15-20 times for 1-3 sets.

Plank – The plank may not LOOK like it would do much, but you will see just how hard this simple exercise is once you do it. It tones the abs, legs, shoulders, biceps, chest, neck and pretty much the whole body. It reduces belly fat and gives the stomach a flatter look. To do this very effective exercise, start in the push up position and lower your forearms to the ground; palms and elbows will be face down. Target your abs by pulling them in tight and keep your body in a straight line. Hold the position as long as you can and repeat 20 times.

Reverse Crunches – Reverse crunches are great for targeting the lower stomach as well as the upper stomach muscles and are a good variation of a traditional crunch. Lie flat on the floor and put your hands flat on the floor on either side of your body, palms down. Bend your knees up with your feet close to your rear end. Raise your knees up towards your face, rounding your back and lifting your pelvis and butt off the floor. Be sure not to hold your breath as you do this movement. Bring knees back to starting position (pointing up with feet close to butt) Do as many reps as you can.

V Sit Ups – This exercise is perfect for tonight the upper back muscles as well as the abdominal muscles. It also increases core strength. If you want wash board abs and a defined back this is a great exercise to do. It also has the added benefit of working the quads and hamstrings.  You will do this exercise by sitting on the floor with your legs and feet out flat in front of you. Lift your feet up keeping your legs straight. If you need to put your hands on the floor to balance, that won’t lessen the effect of the exercise.  Hold the position for a minimum of 5 seconds and return to the starting position.  Do 10-15 reps of this exercise at a time.

Adding these four Abs exercises to your calisthenics workout routine will effectively work all the muscles of your abs and after a few weeks of doing them 3-4 times a week minimum, you will definitely notice differences in the look and feel of your stomach.

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