Basic Calisthenics Training Program – Core Exercises

In this article I will describe some of the basic core exercises for building strength, to help you perform all the hard exercises you want to do.

This is going to be a series of articles for all the new guys with no experience in strength training at all.

I start with one of my favorite muscle group. If you are planing to train only with your body weight, than you should do a lot of core exercises, to build up the strength for all the future moves I will show you on this website. This is just the beginning.

Health benefits of resistance training include improved muscle strength and tone, healthy weight, increased bone density and strength.(Better Health Channel).

If you start training Calisthenics you have to be persistent, and if you are looking for results from your training and you lack patience , you will fail. I can tell you that now. So to spare you months, years or lifetime of training, give up now, and stay all day on your ass like you always do.

Disclaimer: If you are having a bad body posture, you are risking of injuring your self. Fix your posture first, then perform this exercises.

Basic Core Exercises



If you are just starting with training your body, and you never did any sports or activities, this exercises will help you to build up the strength for the next exercises.

Here is how to perform it correctly:

  • Lay flat on your back
  • Raise your knees as in the picture or if you want some challenges, you can perform it with your legs on the ground or with your legs in the air.
  • Put your hands on the side of your head(don’t pull your head with your hands on the last reps), elbows to the side, chest open.
  • Lift up, slowly, no need for rushing, and lower yourself, until your shoulder blades touch the ground.
  • Exhale as you are lifting and inhale as you are lowering yourself.
  • Avoid rounded back, avoid touching your chin to the body, avoid bringing your elbows together.


Sit Ups


That is the next exercise you want to start performing after you master the crunches, once you feel confident performing crunches try doing Sit ups with your feet under your bed for support and after you become strong enough try the sit up, without supporting yourself. If you really want to do sit ups(but you don’t have the strength), you can build up the strength by doing negatives(negatives is doing the exercise backwards, said simple, look at picture 3 of the 3 pictures above, that is the starting position, lower your body as slow as possible until you reach the ground).

Here is how to perform a Sit up:

  • Lay flat on your back.
  • You can place your hands behind your head(as described in the Crunches how-to) or place them near you or on your legs.
  • Bring yourself up(it is ok to form a small C curve with your back) until you reach sitting position(you can stop when you feel that it is too easy).
  • Lower yourself down to the ground.

Leg Raises


I really liked doing this exercises, because when I started training, that was hard to do for me, and I learned myself to do the exercises that are hard for me rather then the easy ones. You will build up more strength by performing the hard exercises.

Here is how to perform:

  • Lay flat on the ground, hands by your side, relax your shoulders, don’t form an arch in your back, press your back to the floor, keep you head at a normal position(don’t mind the unprofessional picture from the collage, I don’t know why I am looking at the camera).
  • Lift your legs up, keep your legs straight(if you can’t, it is ok to bend your knees a little, just remember, that your goal is to perform it with straight legs).
  • Lower your legs to the ground, you can challenge yourself by performing it without your feet touching the floor.

If you can not do the normal Leg Raise, you can perform it with your legs tucked or one leg at the time.

Planks and Side Planks


I really think that both of these exercises are fundamental for building core strength. I’ve already talked about those two exercises, check it out.

Perform all of the exercises correct!


What are you favorite core exercises, that you perform? Tell me in the comments bellow.

By | 2015-05-31T09:13:08+00:00 May 22nd, 2015|Basic, Core, Exercises|22 Comments

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  1. Hayley May 22, 2015 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    As someone who needs to get in shape, thanks for the beginner exercises.

    • Lyubomir May 22, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      You are welcome Hayley.

  2. Larry May 22, 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Hey, there.

    Really enjoyed the reading and I can see you have a passion for being and staying healthy.

    At the bottom of your article, will you have a contact of some sort?

    Do you have something for the seniors?
    Maybe in my younger days I could do this, but now, Waldo, my mixed dog, takes me out for my walks these days. LOL!!


    • Lyubomir May 22, 2015 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Larry there is a contact page on, right to the home button. You can start training at any age, my grandma trained everyday, she was 90 years old and she had 2-5 km walks everyday.

  3. Carolyn May 22, 2015 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    These are hard but effective exercises for sure. I try to do the plank every day but, to be honest, I can’t keep in this position very long (like 30secs!). I also feel pain in my arms instead abdomen… Am I doing something wrong? Maybe that means I should do more weight lifting.

    • Lyubomir May 23, 2015 at 11:16 am - Reply

      Check you email Carolyn 🙂

  4. Marge May 22, 2015 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    This seems like a good way to start, I really like the pictures to help do the core exercises the right way. Do you recommend anything different for females?
    Thank you for a great article.

    • Lyubomir May 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

      Marge, muscle is muscle no matter of the gender of the person. It is okay to perform them, I did not say they are for men only. But you can add air bikes to your workout. 🙂

  5. Jovo Vranjes May 22, 2015 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Hi Lyubomir, I like what you present in this post, it all looks natural and no special equipment is needed. I am sure many will find this useful. Jovo

    • Lyubomir May 22, 2015 at 8:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the kind words Jovo.

  6. Eoinmc May 22, 2015 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    I like these straightforward exercises for beginners. No gym required. The only problem for me is the crunches. They kill me. Some muscle or other goes into spasm when I try them. maybe I could break myself in gently.

    I wouldn’t be found dead in a pair of shorts like the ones in the pictures though. No offence, but you must have been on the whacky backy the day you bought them.

    • Lyubomir May 23, 2015 at 11:14 am - Reply

      You should stretch few months before you start training for real. So you can have a better posture and healthy joints that will thank you later when you start training.

  7. robert lawrence May 22, 2015 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    Great website and I like the niche. I’ll bookmark this website and try to link to it on mine at some point since our niches are similar. Cheers

    • Lyubomir May 23, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Thank you Robert 🙂

  8. shelby May 23, 2015 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Thanks for the beginner exercises! I really need to get back to work on this! Back when I did gymnastics my favorite exercises were bat man and superman which is where you hold your feet just off the ground and basically plank.
    p.s. I totally had to count fingers for my comment verification…sad I know lol

    • Lyubomir May 23, 2015 at 11:11 am - Reply

      I know the superman exercise, I do it from time to time, but I never heard of the batman exercise.
      That really made me laugh. 😀

  9. Shawn May 23, 2015 at 2:52 am - Reply

    I used to do similar exercises but now with back and neck problems it is difficult at best.
    Great advice on the poor posture!


    • Lyubomir May 23, 2015 at 11:09 am - Reply

      I know a friend with back problems(herniated disc, I think) and he tried everything, but when he started doing stretches on the pull up bar(Also called Passive hangs), he started to feel better and better, because when you perform the passive hang the blood starts flowing freely through the spine. You should check out Ido Portal for healthy joints, there is a lot of info on his website.

  10. edy May 23, 2015 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Very interesting Basic Calisthenics Training Program here! I like to train my core in the near future and build six-pack 😛

    Thanks for guide. Love it!

    • Lyubomir May 23, 2015 at 10:48 am - Reply

      Thank you Edy, I am glad I helped you.

  11. Maureen May 23, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    You talk a lot about your posture is that really important? The reason I ask is years ago I had back surgery. Without going into detail I now lean to the left so I basically have a crooked back and some exercises I find near impossible to do. Any suggestions?

    • Lyubomir May 24, 2015 at 8:58 am - Reply

      Yes, fixing your body posture is essential for strength training, because if you have bad body posture it may get worst. So fix it by doing a lot of stretches, if you don’t know what to do, you can try yoga, but first check your doctor. My suggestion is Yoga classes Maureen.

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