There are plenty of cardio workouts that engage your ab muscles, giving you the dual benefit of increasing both your endurance and core strength. Especially if your goal is visible ab muscles, you'll want to engage in regular cardio.
That's because cardiovascular workouts, by nature, burn calories, which (along with a healthy, reduced-calorie diet) can help you shed body fat, and in order to see the results of your ab workouts, you must reduce the amount excess body fat.
And to take it to the next level, you can combine cardio with ab exercises in a circuit-style workout with exercises like high knees, burpees, mountain climbers and jumping rope.
1. High Knees
High knees is an excellent ab cardio workout that engages all of your abdominal muscles. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, and begin to jog in place. As you start to speed up your pace, begin to lift your knees higher until they reach above your waist at the apex of your motion, as if you are trying to rapidly climb stairs.
Once you begin consistently reaching your knees above your waist, try to maintain this for at least 30 seconds. Try to complete at least three sets of these 30-second repetitions at first, with one minute rest periods in between, and work your way up.
2. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope is an under-rated, almost forgotten about cardio exercise that works an entire slew of muscle groups, especially your core. Begin with a 15-minute jump rope workout routine, doing basic jumps for five minutes, one minute on the left and right foot, three minutes alternating legs, and ending with five more minutes of basic jumps.
ACE Fitness suggests adding split-leg jumps as well as wide-to-narrow jumps to your repertoire. As your cardiovascular endurance progresses, work your way up to a 30-minute routine. The entire time you are jumping rope intentionally focus on keeping your abdominal muscles flexed while still maintaining steady breathing.
Cardio exercises for abs at home include burpees which are an excellent high calorie burning, cardio workout that engages your abdominal muscles at multiple stages of the exercise. To begin a burpee, start in a squat position with your hands in front of you. In one swift motion, put your hands on the ground in front of you and kick your feet out until you are in a push-up position.
As soon as your feet hit the ground bring them back up toward your chest and assume a squat position again. Instantly jump up in the air as high as possible and land back into a squat position. Repeat this entire process until you have completed three sets of 12 repetitions, taking a one-minute break in between each set.
4. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a physically demanding cardiovascular exercise that fully engage every muscle in the abdominal area says New Health Guide. Start this exercise by assuming a push-up position, maintaining a straight back, and with your hands about shoulder-width apart.
Begin by bringing your right knee towards your right hand, as you reach the full extent of your motion, lightly touch your toe to the ground, and return your leg back to its fully extended position. Do the exact same sequence of actions with your left leg.
This exercise is intended to be done at a more rapid pace, while maintaining safety and form. At first, do three sets of 30-second repetitions, and work your way up. Ideally, you should be able to go for a full minute before resting.
- New Health Guide: "Mountain Climbers Exercise"
- ACE Fitness: "7 Benefits of Jumping Rope"
- Health.gov: “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition”
- The Fat Loss Authority: High Knees
- Real Simple: 15 Minute Jump Rope Workout
- 12 Minute Athlete: Five Reasons Why Burpees Should Be Your Favorite Exercise
- New Health Guide: Mountain Climbers Exercise
- My Fit Station: The 7 Day Shredding Meal Plan