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Have not time going to the gym? No matter! You can build six pack abs at home without any equipment at all. You can do bodyweight ab workouts that are very beneficial to grow your abdominal muscles. Furthermore, you do not even have to train for a long time; even a 10-minute session is enough. And you can do it almost everywhere.
The only rules for a plan are to make it intensive and a total workout that targets each part of your abs. You can get higher intensity by adding a few cardio moves to the program and having only a little rest between the sets.
However, if you have belly fat, then I have bad news for you since an ab workout will hardly help to get rid of it. For weight loss, you need to modify your diet and do cardio to get a calorie deficit. If fat goes, the muscles appear.
Want to see a good example? Here is an excellent bodyweight core workout routine from Thenx that meets all the criteria above. He says it is a beginner level, but I believe it is so intensive and complex that is maybe better for intermediate level people.
Check the video.
Bodyweight ab exercises in details
You need to do each of the tasks for 45 seconds, with the 15 seconds rest between. This way, the plan is intensive, keeping your heart rate up.
- High knee taps: It is an underestimated move for abs, but actually, it works them very well. On top of that, it is a great cardio exercise. While you do it, tighten your abdomen and regulate your breathing.
- Russian Twist: By twisting torso, we can target the obliques (side abs) better. He lifts his legs so that it works the entire core. If you find it hard, then you can place your feet on the ground for more natural control.
- Leg raises: simple yet powerful exercise to target your lower abs. Place your hands under your lower back/butt so that you can focus on your midsection. Keep your legs extended and straight during the entire motion. When I do leg raises, I usually lower my leg much slower to work muscles in the negative phase. Also, at the top, I stop for a moment and squeeze my abs.
- Hip raises: Want to target your upper abs, then do this. Not pretty hard, but the correct form is fundamental. If you do not feel your abs, you do it poorly. I prefer doing hip raises rather slowly so that I can focus.
- Flutter kicks: This exercise, even if it seems to be not so hard, perfect for strengthening your core, particularly the lower abs which area is the hardest to shape. Also, because we can do it fast, it boosts your heart rate and helps burning fat.
- Plank knees to elbow: My favorite total core training plank position with some extra targeting for the oblique. It is excellent for love handles. Control the motion, do not use the momentum, and squeeze your midsection. Sometimes when my knee touches my elbow, I stop for a moment and tighten my oblique for a moment.
- Chair sit-ups: Yes, sit-ups that everybody says is bad. Then, why the best athletes in the world, do it? This is an enhanced version since you have to hold your lower body up (knees bent) for extra resistance. The suggestion to imagine as if you want to touch the ceiling is great to sit up higher to get a more extended range of motion.
- Seated in and out: To get the benefits of this bodyweight exercise for abs, proper form is crucial. Always keep your core tighten and do not use the momentum. It is better to do it slowly until you get used to it.
- Jumping jacks: A perfect finisher. Get the maximum out of you to boost your heart rate and burn calories.
That is all!
They are excellent core exercises at home that do not need any equipment at all.
Depending on your level of fitness, you can change the length of the sets and do more rounds. But a single circle itself is enough for a full ab training.
If you are still skeptic, if you can get abs with only bodyweight core exercises, here is why you do not be. Your muscles develop because of resistance training, and your fibers do not care about where the resistance comes from. Hence, it can be your own weight.
On top of that, calisthenics moves are compound. Therefore, besides the primary targeted muscles, many other stabilizer muscles are activated, as well. That is a more natural movement than isolated exercises. Finally, there are a lot of practices and variations to choose from, making your ab workout more versatile and personalized.
Are you interested in more similar workouts? Check out the best calisthenics ab training programs here.
So, if you want to build a six-pack ab at home, try this bodyweight ab workout routine. Do it 3-4 times a week, and I’m sure you will see the strength and size development. And, tell us how it worked for you.
Progression Guide for Beginners
The routine above is rather intensive for a beginner with many exercises (some of them are advanced ones). Of course, there is no need to start with such a killer ab routine.
How to get started?
Learn the correct form of the basic abdominal exercises such as standard/side/ bicycle crunch, regular plank and side plank, mountain climbers, leg raises on the floor. It is better to do only a few reps correctly than performing a lot poorly.
Once you can do about 10 reps, you can create a bodyweight core circuit in which there are 3-4 exercises and 2-3 rounds. And have about 45-60 seconds rest between each set. For example, you do 10 crunches, 10 leg lifts, and 10 side crunches.
Do not forget to create a complete bodyweight home core workout. That means you work your rectus abdominis (lower and upper abs), obliques, transversus abdominis, and your lower back.
With time as your core gets stronger, you should increase the number of reps and sets, shorten the rest time, add more practices, or replace the beginner exercises with more advanced ones. This way, the muscles always get new impact, so they keep gaining.
How to get advanced bodyweight ab workout?
The beauty fo calisthenics is that you can modify a given exercise in several ways. Obviously, you can also increase the reps (30-40), sets, use weight, or shorten the rest to the minimum or nothing.
From the following video, you can learn the hardest bodyweight exercises for your core with and without equipment.
Here is an example of hard strength training with advanced ab exercises.