The Best Cardio Workouts for Abs

There are many effective cardiovascular workouts that engage your abdominal muscles, giving you the dual benefit of increasing both your cardiovascular endurance and core strength. Cardiovascular workouts by nature help reduce body fat, and in order to see the results of your abdominal workouts, you must first eliminate any excess fat that could hinder the visual results of your abdominal strength. If you are trying to get cut, toned abs, then combining a cardiovascular exercise with an abdominal exercise is an excellent way to get the most out of your workout. Combining exercises such as high knees, burpees, and mountain climbers into a circuit style workout routine or jumping rope for at least 15 minutes can help you eliminate excess fat and allow your abdominal muscles to show through.

A group of people doing exercises outside. (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

High Knees

High knees is an excellent 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.

Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is a 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. 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.

Burpees

Although they have an odd name, Burpees are an excellent high calorie burning, cardio workout that engage 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.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a physically demanding cardiovascular exercise that fully engage every muscle in the abdominal area. 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.

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