What are some core stability exercises in calisthenics?

Calisthenics, the art of using your body weight for strength training, has gained significant popularity in recent years. One of the fundamental aspects of calisthenics is core stability, which forms the foundation for many advanced movements and exercises. A strong core not only enhances your physical performance but also helps prevent injuries and improves overall posture. In this article, we'll explore some core stability exercises in calisthenics that are essential for building a solid foundation and achieving mastery in this dynamic form of exercise.

  1. Plank Variations:

The plank is a classic core stability exercise that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously. To perform a basic plank, start in a push-up position, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core muscles and hold this position for as long as possible. As you progress, you can try different plank variations such as side planks, forearm planks, and plank with leg lifts to challenge your stability further.

  1. Hollow Body Hold:

The hollow body hold is an excellent exercise for building core strength and stability while also improving body awareness. To perform this exercise, lie flat on your back with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight out in front of you. Engage your core muscles to lift your shoulders and legs off the ground, forming a "hollow" shape with your body. Hold this position for as long as possible while maintaining tension in your core muscles.

  1. L-sit:

The L-sit is a challenging calisthenics exercise that targets the core, hip flexors, and triceps. To perform an L-sit, sit on the ground with your legs extended in front of you and your hands placed on the ground beside your hips. Lift your body off the ground by pressing through your hands and engaging your core muscles until your legs are parallel to the ground, forming an "L" shape with your body. Hold this position for as long as possible, focusing on maintaining tension in your core muscles throughout.

  1. Dragon Flags:

Dragon flags are an advanced core exercise popularized by martial artist Bruce Lee. To perform a dragon flag, lie flat on a bench or sturdy surface with your hands gripping the edge behind your head. Lift your legs and lower back off the bench, keeping your body straight and your core engaged. Slowly lower your body towards the ground, maintaining control throughout the movement, and then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. Dragon flags require significant core strength and stability, so it's essential to progress gradually and focus on proper form.

  1. Hanging Leg Raises:

Hanging leg raises are an excellent exercise for targeting the lower abdominal muscles and improving overall core stability. To perform hanging leg raises, hang from a pull-up bar with an overhand grip and your arms fully extended. Engage your core muscles to lift your legs straight out in front of you until they are parallel to the ground, then slowly lower them back down to the starting position. Focus on maintaining control throughout the movement and avoiding swinging or using momentum to lift your legs.


Core stability is a crucial component of calisthenics training, and incorporating core exercises into your routine can help you build a strong foundation for more advanced movements. By regularly practicing plank variations, hollow body holds, L-sits, dragon flags, and hanging leg raises, you can improve your core strength, stability, and overall physical performance. Remember to focus on proper form, progress gradually, and listen to your body to avoid injury. With dedication and consistency, you can master core stability and take your calisthenics training to the next level.