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The Cardio Abs Workout

author image Jessica Smith
As a certified wellcoach, author, fitness lifestyle expert and the star of numerous exercise DVDs, Jessica Smith is constantly writing and producing video content about the latest news and expert information on health, fitness and wellness. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications.

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The Cardio Abs Workout
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Trying to melt that muffin top? These cardio moves burn maximum calories while targeting abs to help you blast belly fat faster! Do this workout as a cardio routine, or as an add-on to a strength-training session up to four non-consecutive days a week to get six-pack results. And, of course, don’t forget to pair your workouts with a healthy diet with lean protein for more visible abs.

1. High Knees
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Fire up your abs, and burn off some extra calories with this cardio move! Start with your feet together. Begin jogging in place, raising your knees up to hip level. Alternate sides as quickly as possible for up to 60 seconds. Too challenging? Start by raising one knee up to hip level at a time. Your abs still have to work hard to help lift your knees.

Related: A 35-Minute HIIT Workout That Won't Hurt Your Knees

2. Side Plank With Knee Lift
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This dynamic exercise targets the abdominal wall and the obliques while keeping your heart rate elevated. Start in a side-plank position, feet together, shoulders over hands, abs braced tightly. Bend your top knee and raise it up toward your top hand. Lower back down to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat for 10 reps on that side before switching to the opposite side. Too challenging? Hold a side-plank position for 30 seconds on each side.

Related: Why Crunches Won't Give You Flat Abs -- and the 12 Moves that Will!

3. Power Knee Strikes
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This kickboxing-inspired move helps shrink and strengthen your waistline by keeping your heart rate in the cardio zone while you tone. Start by standing on your left leg, with the right leg extended out to the side. Your toe should be lightly tapped on the floor, both arms reaching overhead. Bracing your abs in tight, bend the right knee up and bring it across your torso toward the left shoulder as both hands tap the top of the right thigh. Quickly return to starting position and repeat as fast as possible for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat for another 30 seconds. Want to make it harder? Add a hop as the knee and arms pull in towards each other to spike the heart rate even more for a greater calorie burn.

Related: 5 Ways to Supercharge Your HIIT Routine

4. Squat Thrusts
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Begin in a plank position then jump both feet toward your hands, tucking both knees into chest. Jump up and land in a squat position. Place your hands on the floor between your feet before jumping back out, landing in a plank. That’s one rep. Repeat as quickly as possible for 20 repetitions. Need an adde challenge? Try it on one leg for 10 reps each.

Related: 9 Essential Strength Benchmarks for Women

5. Crescent Kicks
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The fast-paced hip rotation in this move will have your abs firing and your heart pumping the entire time. Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, elbows bent, hands in fists “on guard” by chin. Put your weight in your back leg and kick with the front leg, imagining that you are kicking up and over a bench. That’s one rep. Repeat as many times in a row as possible in 30 seconds then switch sides and repeat.

Related: The 17 Most Effective Fat Loss Moves - No Equipment Required

6. Switch Kicks
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Build agility and coordination with this cardio-paced body move that targets the lower abs. Start standing, arms bent and hands by your chin. Bend your right knee and contract your abs to kick your right leg out in front of you. Quickly switch to the kick the left leg out in front and alternate legs as fast as you can. Do as many reps as possible in 60 seconds.

Related: The 15 Toughest Do-Anywhere Workout Moves

7. Speed Skaters
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Instead of using your abs to help you move your body, challenge them in a new way by using them to help you stop from moving! Start standing on your right leg, bending the right knee and extending the left leg slightly behind your body to the right. Bend elbows and bring left arm in front of your body. Jump off the right leg, extending both legs out to the side (as if leaping over something in mid-air), swinging arms to help you lift off the ground. Land on your left leg, with knee bent, right arm forward and balance in this position for three counts (simply count to 3 before jumping back). That’s one rep. Repeat 20 times in a row, alternating sides each time.

Related: 4-Minute Tabata-Inspired Fat-Blasting Workout

8. Jumping Jacks
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Finish off your workout with this old-school exercise. Start standing with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Do a traditional jumping jack: Jump your feet out as you raise your arms overhead then jump your feet back together, landing with your arms by your sides. Repeat as many times in a row as possible for 60 seconds.

Related: A Star Trainer's Do-Anywhere Workout

What Do YOU Think?
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Have you tried this workout yet? What did you think? Any soreness in your abs? What are your favorite moves to blast fat and sculpt your abs? Share your suggestions in the comments section below!

Related: Total-Body Blast Stability Ball Workout

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