An 8-Minute Abs Routine That’ll Double as Your Cardio

Trying to boost your cardio workout? This HIIT abs routine will do exactly the trick. High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a fast—however intense—option to amp up your common exercises and squeeze in some devoted core work.

Setting apart a while for core exercises is vital, since core power is important to your each day life. Your physique creates stress by means of your core, which lets you carry out on a regular basis duties like getting out of the mattress within the morning or carrying heavy grocery luggage.

“The core is the cornerstone of a robust and purposeful physique,” ACE-certified private coach Sivan Fagan, CPT, proprietor of Strong With Sivan, tells SELF. “Your capacity to contract your core muscular tissues creates stability throughout the backbone, which is required to forestall accidents and decrease again ache.” Your core additionally performs a task in compound lifts throughout your exercise—you want a robust core to deadlift heavy weight from the bottom or push dumbbells over your head.

Keep in mind, although, your core doesn’t embody solely your rectus abdominis, or the muscular tissues chances are you’ll consider as your abs—these which run vertically alongside the entrance of your stomach. Quite, your core wraps round your total midsection. Your core additionally contains your diaphragm, obliques (muscular tissues alongside the aspect of your stomach), transverse abdominis (your deepest core muscular tissues), erector spinae, and extra. There are a bunch of inside and exterior core muscular tissues, and devoted core routines allow you to work all these muscular tissues collectively.

You possibly can work these core muscular tissues by means of anti-movement (say when you find yourself holding a place that resists bending, like a plank) and extra dynamic actions (like a flutter kick, which entails a variety of movement). Coaching your core to withstand motion is a good way to enhance stability, whereas bringing in motion helps you crank up your coronary heart charge, making these sorts of workouts work effectively with HIIT programming. That method, you may get in your core work and a dose of cardio, too.

This HIIT abs exercise that Fagan created for SELF under checks each containers: It targets the muscular tissues of your core whereas providing you with a cardio enhance as effectively, due to its dynamic nature and shorter relaxation intervals.

“Due to the work-to-rest ratio, it makes it much more intense and efficient,” says Fagan.

A fast be aware earlier than you get began: Be sure to’re respiration throughout this routine, says Fagan.

“When working your core, it is vital not to carry your breath, however to deal with inhaling by means of the nostril, and exhaling by means of the mouth,” says Fagan. Once you exhale, you’re utilizing your transverse abdominis. And this further belly strain from exhalations stabilizes your physique so that you’re capable of transfer the joints you plan to maneuver.

There are simply 4 workouts on this fast, 8-minute abs exercise that Fagan created, however they’re difficult. For those who’re a newbie, chances are you’ll need to strive the modifications written under every train.

Prepared to offer this HIIT abs routine a strive? Your core—yep, the whole thing of it—will thanks.

The Exercise

What you want: Simply your body weight. You might also need to use an train mat for consolation.


  • Flutter kick
  • Single-leg inchworm
  • Thread the needle
  • Alternating jackknife


  • Carry out every train for 40 seconds, resting for 20 seconds after occurring to the subsequent transfer. Repeat for two rounds complete—providing you with an 8-minute exercise.

Demoing the strikes under are Heather Boddy (GIF 1), a gaggle health teacher and creator of the Geeknasium exercise program; Lanoa Curry (GIF 2), a gaggle health teacher in NYC who teaches courses at Mile Excessive Run Membership and Crunch Fitness center; Shauna Harrison (GIF 3), a Bay-area primarily based coach, yogi, public well being educational, advocate, and columnist for SELF; and Amanda Wheeler (GIF 4), host of the Covering Ground podcast.

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