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Fitness Volt Savage Calisthenics Abs Workouts For Beast Gains (All Levels)

Calisthenics ab workouts require little no equipment and can take your core development to the next level!

Let’s be real, no one minds the attention brought on by a set of well-developed abs. It’s the number one beach muscle and without a strong, functional midsection, you WILL NOT realize your maximum lifting and athletic potential. Not to mention, your core group of muscles is vital for overall structural health and performing daily activities.

Sure, your abs get lots of working when you do squats, deadlifts, and essentially any total-body movement, but if you want your best-looking and functioning abs, dedicate time to training them directly.

Buckle up for this one and let’s get into it!

Core Muscles Anatomy

We’ll get to the routine here shortly but it’s important to understand that to get the most activation out of any muscle group, you should know what it does or how it functions.

So here’s a short description of each core muscle and then you’ll be ready to rock and roll.

Muscular Anatomy Of CoreMuscular Anatomy Of CoreMuscular Anatomy Of Core

Rectus abdominis

Fancy for abdominals or abs, the rectus abdominis is the centermost muscle located on the anterior of the trunk. It’s what people refer to when they think six-pack abs and play a crucial role in the function of the midsection.

The main role of this muscle is to curl the ribcage and pelvis together or the action when you do a crunch.

Most exercisers are likely to focus on exercises that primarily target this area of the midsection.

Crunches and leg raises may just be the two most popular ab exercises, although many exercises are based on these two movements due to the anatomy of the ab muscles.

Transverse abdominis

The transverse abdominis is a deep core muscle that acts as a weightlifting belt to stabilize the spine. It draws and compresses into the spine.


There are two oblique muscles, the internal and external obliques that are located on either side of the rectus abdominis. The internal muscles are deep to the external obliques and are located above the transverse abdominis. These muscles help to rotate and laterally flex the trunk.

Erector spinae

The erector spinae is a back extensor muscle which means it helps you to stand up and bend backward.


This muscle group fills up the grooves of the vertebrae from the sacrum to the axis. It holds the spine stable during movement.

Serratus anterior

Also called the “boxer’s muscle”, the serratus anterior is a fan-shaped muscle under the armpit and on the outer ribs. It functions to protract the shoulder blades/arms like you’d do when throwing a punch, and it helps to upwardly rotate the shoulder blades to raise the arms overhead.

Calisthenics Ab Workouts

Below we’ve provided you with the absolute best and most savage calisthenics ab exercises/workouts for all experience levels.

Ideally, you’ll have somewhere to do pull-ups if you can do them, and a bench and solid object that you can use as an anchor to grab onto for some of these movements (e.g., weight machine, bench, fence, pole, etc). If you don’t have all three or any, that’s totally cool because we’ve provided options that don’t require anything but your body weight.

Note: Links or videos are provided for each exercise. Also, it’s a good idea to do some light warm-up activities such as bodyweight squats, mobility exercises, walking at a brisk pace for a few minutes, or jumping rope before doing the following workouts.

This helps to loosen up and prepares the joints and muscles for the workouts.

Check out these quality pull-up bars and exercise benches.

Beginner workout

Rest 30-45 seconds between sets and 1 minute between exercises.

Read: Calisthenics Training – A Beginner’s Guide

Intermediate workout

Rest 30-45 seconds between sets and 1 minute between exercises.

Note: you’ll need a stable object on the floor to grip for the first exercise.

  • Dragon thruster 2 sets x failure (check 2:37 in video example below) Note: you can do the dragon flag if you have the core strength)
  • Elbow to knee sit-ups 3 sets x 12-15 reps each side
  • Mountain climbers 3 sets x 30 seconds
  • Superman 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Dragon Flag:

Elbow-to-Knee Sit Ups:

Mountain Climbers Exercise:

Advanced workout

Rest 30-45 seconds between sets and 1 minute between exercises.

  • Hanging leg and hip raise or dragon flag (see first video under intermediate workout for video example) 3 sets to failure
  • Bodyweight sit-throughs 3 sets x 15-20 reps
  • Thread the needle side plank 3 sets x 15-20 reps
  • Reverse planks 2 sets x 45 seconds – 1 minute

[Related: Try this 30-minute outdoor ab workout]

Bodyweight Sit-Through:

Plank Thread the Needle:

Benefits of Ab/Core Training

There are many benefits to be had from training the abs and core.

Stronger midsection

Everyone needs a decently strong core at the absolute minimum. But, this is especially true if you’re a physically active individual who’s looking to improve your fitness and performance (we’re assuming you are if you’re here reading this).

A powerful midsection makes you explosive and effective which you’ll need to be if you plan to dominate in your chosen sport or perform well during any total-body activity.

Stronger MidsectionStronger MidsectionStronger Midsection

For example, if you play a contact sport such as football or do MMA, having that powerful core makes you a lot more stable and less likely to be tossed around on the field or canvas.

If you’re a lifter, you can forget about reaching your maximum potential or getting close to it without developing a capable midsection. Try squatting your max (don’t really try it) without bracing your core. This is how many people end up collapsing under their weight and resembling a soft taco or worse… roadkill.

But aside from the correlation between strong abs and performance, it’s a good habit to train these muscles as it prevents injuries and helps to maintain good posture throughout your life.

That brings us to the next benefit.

[Related: Best Abs Exercises to Build Core Strength for CrossFit]

Prevents injuries and helps your posture

Whether you’re an athlete or just like to keep yourself in prime shape, a capable core is equally as important for preventing injuries. In fact, we’d go as far as to say this should be the case even if you didn’t do anything all day.

A rigid core helps to maintain a good posture and it also helps to protect the core contents and organs, therefore, it can help prevent injuries.

A weak core can weaken the back muscles as the trunk muscles tend to affect one another. Maintain a healthy core and you’ll be much better off.

Better-looking abs

Who doesn’t want to have a sexy midsection with washboard abs? Granted your body fat is low enough to have visible abs, any time your stomach is exposed, you and everyone else will be admiring.

But Isn’t Diet The Most Important Factor?

The truth is that most people have abs whether they train them or not. Typically, having a low enough body fat percentage will bring out the muscle tone of the midsection and reveal the 4, 6, or 8-pack (the number of visible ab muscles depends on genetics).

Training can certainly improve the development of your midsection. But you can’t expect to carry lots of fats around the midsection and look like Zac Efron.

Zac EfronZac Efron(Image via @zacefron Instagram)

Now, that doesn’t mean someone who’s overweight or who carries a little body fat can’t have visible abs. In fact, many Strongman competitors and larger individuals with decent muscle size have them. But there’s a point where you just plain won’t be able to see them.

The most common ways to burn body fat to see your core muscles are to either eat fewer calories, train more, or both.

Up for a challenge? Here’s an effective cutting diet plan that’ll help you to shed fat fast.

If you need some great fat-burning workouts, we have those too.

Wrapping Up

Calisthenics ab training is some of the best training there is. Not needing much equipment to build your physique is always convenient and fun too (or at least we hope it is for you).

Do it outdoors or in the comfort of your own home and get yourself a pull-up bar and weight bench to give yourself more exercise options.

You might also be interested in The Best Six-Pack Abs Workout You Can Do At Home.

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Source : Fitness Volt