Have you ever jumped into something thinking: “Oh, that’s easy to do, I bet I won’t hurt myself doing that!”
Don’t answer that, because I’m sure I know what the answer is (we all have).
Attempting gymnastics skills is much similar to that scenario, except gymnasts train for skills they can’t quite execute yet. The main reason being they’re too weak, or they need better body control. Gymnastics core training helps with total body maneuverability.
Core conditioning are workout plans and practices that focus heavily on the center of your body and ab resistance (basically it works the abs).
How is this different from other ab workouts?
This is different from other ab exercises because gymnast training workouts don’t require heavy weight for breaking down and building muscles, instead they utilize an apparatuses to workout. Gymnastics ab workouts are very simple in the way it is done, but that doesn’t make it easy!
Although there are plenty core conditioning exercises, we have created a list to provide a simple gymnastics core workout that works. I will let you know ahead of time, it gets intense. So chalk up those hands and lets get ready!
How to prevent blisters and calluses
A very tedious injury that is not only very uncomfortable, but sets workout routines back. The most effective alternative is to buy the best gymnastics grips. No need for the dowel grips unless you plan to do a bunch of giants, and if that’s the case you probably already have abs, otherwise just find the recreational grips near the bottom of the linked post!
On to the gymnastics ab workouts!
Gymnastics Bar Conditioning for Abs
It is not necessarily required to have access to a high bar or uneven bars (if you do have access, use the highest bar of the two) to do these gymnastics exercises. It can be done wherever there is an elevated apparatus to hang on to. Gymnasts should already be familiar with using the bar for core conditioning since they are taught from the get go at a young age, but if you are not that’s okay, just read on for the best gymnastics ab exercises.
Leg Raises (Leg Lifts)
This is probably the most basic and highly effective gymnastics exercises for abs because you are using a combination of balance and body weight to create tension on the abdominal muscles.
As one of the most recognized gymnast workout routines, it is widely known for its challenging requirements for body control, that is why this core conditioning exercise is so challenging and effective.
Benefits of High Bar Leg Raises
Properly executed leg lifts come with a lot more benefits than just solid, visible abs. Listing these benefits might start to sound like a generic ab routine commercial: developed core muscles, increased body control, higher physical grip capabilities, shoulder maneuverability, and many other athletic attributes.
In order to perform this gymnastics core workout, corresponding flexibility in the hamstrings and the back of your body is needed. I suggest, before working out, to do leg stretches to improve piking, this also makes it easier to do V-ups and L-holds.
How To Do Leg Raises
Grab the bar with your hands in the over grip position, you may sway back and forth so try to limit that while doing this gymnastics core workout. Slowly raise your legs all the way up to the bar without bending your knees, this will take a bit of time to control since your legs will want to bend after a couple reps. Have your foot touch the bar between your hands, then slowly bring your legs back down.
The main objective (besides touching the bar with your feet to get ripped abs) is to not swing back and forth. While coming down with your legs, try doing it in one smooth, controlled movement until you are hanging still. If there is still minimum swaying just stay still until it stops.
I find that doing this in reps of 10-12 with 3 sets burns the abs (a satisfying burn!).
This is a skill all gymnasts use starting from level 2 gymnastics, it’s usually for beginning a routine or just a fancy way of getting on the bar, but it is also a great exercise to learn for gymnastics ab workouts. Since your hands will be rotating on the apparatus, gymnastics grips will become highly useful for preventing blisters.
Pull overs on the low bar on uneven bars won’t be that great as a gymnastics exercise, but there are lots of things to do to make it a tough core conditioning workout routine!
Ways To Make Pull Overs More Challenging
Doing a pull over just by itself over and over doesn’t offer much of a challenge, so let’s throw some ankle weights on and jump on a high bar for these gymnastics ab workouts.
Using the high bar eliminates using your legs to jump to make it easier, this core conditioning routine is not about what’s easy: it’s about what to do to achieve rock solid abs. Like I was saying, using the high bar requires the use of every ab muscle to bring the legs up and on top of the bar. If that gets too easy, put ankle weights on and try not to cry.
How To Do A Pull Over
Grab some grips and grab onto the apparatus. While hanging there, look up at the bar and simultaneously pull your chest up to the bar (basically a pull up) and raise legs up and over the bar while keeping your legs straight. The idea is to position the pelvis on top of the high bar.
The most painful part is bringing those legs under and over the bar, it may take a couple tries and you might not even be able to keep legs straight, but with practice and consistency you will see results.
Adding on to the gymnastics ab workouts is hanging wipers, somewhat similar to leg raises except it has different motions and the core conditioning methods hit more muscles in the abdominal area.
I’ll let you know now, these will hurt, but that’s the point to this isn’t it?
I’ve found it’s better to time this gymnastics core workout rather than do it in reps. Set a timer anywhere from thirty seconds to one minute, it’s probably best to begin at thirty seconds and as the muscles get stronger you can add more time. Doing three sets for thirty seconds with a fifteen to twenty second rest time will destroy you. Like I said before, these gymnastics ab workouts are simple in process, but strenuous on the core.
How To Do Hanging Wipers
Very similar to wipers on the floor, but on an apparatus. While hanging straight from the apparatus, do a leg lift with both legs, but stop once your feet reach the top. Now alternate rotating your hips to the left and the right to move your legs, try to make a sweeping or “wiping” motion like windows wipers do on a car, except with your legs. Sweep back and forth to the left and right side all while keeping your legs straight.
Working Up To Straight Leg Wipers
When I started “doing” wipers (I’m sorry, attempting) I was pretty sure of myself that I could do them after watching another gymnast.
Yes, I was wrong.
Start on the floor
So I started coming up with alternatives to work up to hanging wipers. A good starting point that worked very well for me was doing wipers on the floor. I could brace myself so body weight wouldn’t shift while doing them and it still worked my core pretty hard.
Tuck your legs
Do hanging wipers the exact same way as described in the tutorial and the video except tuck (bring legs closer to your body) those legs! This creates less weight resistance and reduces a significant amount of body weight supported by abs.
Pike (also known as an L-hold) is a skill that serves as the foundation, and starting point, leading up to other skills. It is used on every apparatus in some form or fashion. So to say the least: it is required, and let me tell you why.
An L-hold is much more difficult to execute on the floor than an apparatus where you are hanging. By supporting body weight you are literally forced to lift your body completely off the floor and hold it. Pike holds are a full body effort, but it is predominantly for core conditioning.
Something that’s also so great about L-holds is you don’t need to practice these at a gymnastics gym, in fact none of these require going to one. Any of these gymnastics ab workouts can be done at a fitness gym, at the park, and (if those aren’t convenient enough) at your home! All you’ll need to find is gymnastics equipment for sale on our website!
Back to pike holds though.
If you’ve never done an L-hold it won’t be easy. It takes lots practice and using a high bar helps tremendously to lead up to pike holds on floor. So grab a pair of your best gymnastics grips and lets start practicing!
How To Do A Pike Hold
I’m not going to lie, I saved the most simple gymnastics ab workouts for last, so here is how to do it.
Hold on to the apparatus then (listen to this)…hold your legs at a 90 degree angle.
BOOM. That’s it.
Yea, I wish. Then we would all have 8 pack abs.
Truth is, like all the other core conditioning routines suggested in this article, the process is simple, but it’s hard to do. (And by hard I mean it gets a little painful)
Go try it, you’ll see what I mean. In the meantime, here’s an adorable example!
Can kids do pike sits?
Yes, in fact it’s a skill requirement for low level gymnastics.
Shoot, there are some kids who can do L-holds better than me. Kids are smaller so purchasing gymnastics equipment to practice at home is better because the apparatuses won’t take up near as much space as it would for an adult.
It will take persistence and dedication to achieve abs chiseled by the gods themselves, but you can do it with these gymnastics ab workouts in this post. It’ll take time, sweat, and a few nights of sore muscles, but it is very possible. These are some of the best examples that I have taught over the years which have showed results many times over.