You’ve spent months adjusting your eating habits and countless hours with various aerobatic exercises, targeting and burning away that stubborn fat around your abdominals and now you want to tone, strengthen and develop your core muscles to get that sleek washboard look. Have no fear, calisthenic exercises are here to help. Aside from the quirky catchphrase, calisthenic exercises are an effective choice for developing and strengthening your core. These exercises use nothing more than your body’s weight, which means no expensive equipment to buy or rent to obtain your well-deserved stronger and leaner physique.
Lie flat on your back on a mat. Bend your lower legs at a 90-degree angle, supporting them on a bench or against a wall. Place your hands behind your head and flex your waist to raise your upper torso from the mat. Keep your lower back stationary on the mat, while raising your torso as high as possible. Return to the start position by slowly lowering your torso until the back of your shoulders touch the mat. Repeat five times for four sets.
Lying Straight Leg Raises
Lie with your back flat on a mat. Keeping your lower back in contact with the floor and your legs straight and together, place your hands to your sides or under your lower back for added support. Slowly lift your legs upward until they are straight above your hips. In a slow and controlled manner, lower your legs toward the start position. Perform three sets of five reps. Only lower your legs 1 to 2 inches from the floor between reps. Keep your abs tight throughout the exercise.
Lie on your side on a mat with your forearm under your shoulder, perpendicular to your body. Place your upper leg on directly top of your lower leg, keeping your knees and hips straight. Raise your hips upward by laterally flexing your spine. Hold position for two seconds, then lower your hips toward the start position. After performing two sets of five reps, repeat motion on other side.
Twisting Floor Crunch
Lie with your back on a mat. Pull your right leg up into a 90-degree position and rest your left leg’s ankle on your right knee. Touching the side of your head with your fingertips, raise your shoulder blades slightly off the mat, crunching up and bringing your right elbow up to your left knee. Lower to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner without letting your shoulder blades to touch the floor before performing another rep. Perform five reps before switching to other side. Perform two sets of five reps for each side.
Residing in Florida, Anton Reid began writing in 2005. He has written a range of health- and cultural-related articles for various organizations and companies, including A.Meem.Ra Institute, The Holistic Arts Center and “MAAT’s Pot." Reid is certified in homeopathic healing, licensed in herbal medicine and is a certified Reiki practitioner.