This article is all about exercises that will help you develop core strength. You can add this exercises at the end of your workout or make it as a separate small workout.
So some of the exercises are for intermediate to advance trainees but if you can not perform them, I will tell you the progressions.
Intermediate core exercises explained simply
Most of these exercises require a pull up bar and if you feel lazy some times to go the park or the weather is really bad and you don’t want to go out. There are a lot of home pull up bars and I’ve made a list of the best of them: Best Doorway Pull up Bars
Hanging Leg Raises
First off start with hanging leg raises, perform this exercise with full range of motion, with toes to the bar and with your legs straight. If you don’t have the strength to do it, start with tucked leg raises and stick with it until you feel confident do it and then advance to full leg raises.
Legs straight all the way up and your arms also.
Here is guide how to do it:
- Grip the bar shoulder width apart(this is called passive hang)
- Touch the pull up bar with your toes, with straight arms and legs.
Again if you are having problem performing it, start small and slowly advance.
Here is how tucked leg raises look like, for someone who is doing calisthenics for a while now, this might be very easy to do, but for the people who just started training, you should stick with this exercise, because it helps you to develop core strength and it will develop a lot of grip strength as well. And having grip strength while doing all the pulling exercises is very important.
You can perform passive hangs to increase the endurance of your grip, and also to increase the health of the wrists, elbows and shoulders and increase the overhead reach or simply said to increase the range of motion of the shoulder. If you have the same problems as me you can add the passive hang and shoulder dislocates on the end of every upper body workout.
Upside Down Crunches
You may not know the name of this exercises but you definitely seen it in the movies and it actually is easier to perform than it looks. It is not like the Human flag, the one exercise which looks very easy to do and actually needs a lot of training to achieve(that is my personal view).
If you have monkey bars in the nearby park(or really close parallel bars), I suggest you to do it there, because of the leg lock you can use on these bars.
If you don’t feel confident before doing it, don’t try it, because you may fall down. So I strongly recommend doing this exercises with a spotter, who can help you during the exercise, you can spot yourself with a rope or with the side bar of the pull up(if it is a pull up bar like this on the picture, if not use a rope). The purpose of the rope, is like the safety rope the climbers have, but only difference is that you have to hold on to the rope if you fall off the pull up bar.
Here is how to perform it:
- Get to passive hang position.
- Put your legs above the bar and lock them in to the bar, by flexing you hams, glutes and calves(flex every muscles that will keep you on the bar).
- Lower your upper body all the way down.
- Start crunching all the way up.
- Be careful, while performing this exercise.
This exercise is different than the other two, because it activates the core side muscles(the obliques). You can perform this exercise on the ground or while hanging from the pull up bar. The Hanging Wipers are more advance than the normal wipers(performed on the ground).
It is a good add on exercise if you are trying to learn the front lever. One of the progressions for Front lever is Tucked Front Lever, which helps develop that core strength, as this exercises does, but with a nice bonus strength gain in your obliques.
It is ok to bend your elbow a little bit. Do not perform it fast. Perform it slow, take at least 2 seconds for a rep. And here is the simple guide to perform this exercise:
- Start off from passive hang.
- Touch your toes to the bar
- Swing your legs left to right, by balancing your self by bending your elbows.
You can perform the exercises, in a almost circuit manner. I said almost because in circuit training you don’t rest much(no more than 15-30 seconds) between the exercises, and with these exercises you can take a longer rest periods(1 minute) or you can perform them in a separate workout. However you want, if you don’t have a program, check this page and contact me for further information(feel free to contact me for a free consultation). You can perform all of this exercises at home too, if you have a pull bar, that is great, if you don’t, I’ve found a great deal on Amazon(disclaimer this is an affiliate link, I will get small amount of money if you buy it).