5 minutes, a pull-up bar and this home workout for rock-solid abs and big arms

Try this five-move pull-up bar workout to get your core fired up

Young female fitness model doing pull ups at sunset next to the beach
(Image credit: Getty Images)

This pull-up bar home workout is not for the faint-hearted, but it will get you rock-solid abs in no time. In this workout by Brazilian Instagram fitness personality Bella Falconi, we're shown a series of pull-up bar exercises that will seriously tone and strengthen your core. All this requires is a pull-up bar and a gym ball for the final exercise. 

Want to get started on Bella’s core workout but don’t own a pull-up bar? We’ve collated and reviewed the 6 best pull-up bars: there are options for free-standing, wall-mounted and door pull-up bars. Or do you have limited space and don’t have permission to wall-mount objects? A more suitable alternative for core exercises could be one of the best ab rollers, which, compared to crunches, alleviate pressure on your lower back and can work your shoulders as well.

Incorporating core exercises into your routine can offer numerous benefits to your health, such as improving your respiratory function, spinal and postural control and torso stabilisation. They can also be performed anywhere, even without equipment, so they're perfect for adding to your at-home routine. Let's get into it!

During the workout, focus on slow, controlled during the workout movement to maximise core activation. It's unlikely you'll be able to perform the entire workout without letting go of the bar; feel free to jump off between exercises to give your grip a rest. Perform each exercise for at least a few reps (if you can...), and try not to swing too much.

Bella performs the exercises with her arms slightly bent; this allows her to control her swing better. However, this trick puts more pressure on the biceps/arm, so feel free to 'dead hang' instead. That will be plenty hard enough for most people. The exercises:

  • Flutter kicks
  • Chin-ups 
  • Hanging Russian twists 
  • Crunches 
  • Hanging leg raise with exercise ball

Don’t have a pull-up bar but are keen to try core exercises? We’ve created a comprehensive guide of the eight best core exercises with demonstration videos. For those who want a more condensed workout routine, we recommend checking out this quick 4-move core workout by fitness and fashion entrepreneur Ashleigh Jordan. Finally, for those more at a more advanced level, we challenge you to take on a 15-minute core workout by pro rugby player Vicky Fleetwood.

For those fiercely dedicated and who have the requisite space, investing in one of the best multi-gyms can offer many workout options. Finally, away from pure strength equipment, an excellent cardio-based activity that is also great for core-building is a rowing machine. Here, we have gathered together the best rowing machines we’ve expertly tested and reviewed this year. 

Meg Walters
Freelance journalist

Meg is a British-Canadian freelance writer based in southeast London. She can usually be found writing about classic films, rom-coms, period dramas, TV, Millennials, pop culture, books, style, lifestyle and fitness. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, GQ, Stylist, The i, i-D, Little White Lies, Insider and more.