8 Cardio Moves That Also Tone Your Abs

Cardio + ab exercises = the best workout for belly fat.
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Looking to sculpt your midsection? These cardio moves burn maximum calories while targeting abs to help you blast belly fat faster! Do this workout as a standalone cardio routine or as an add-on to a strength-training session up to four non-consecutive days a week to aid your six-pack building efforts. And, of course, don't forget to pair your workouts with a healthy diet with lean protein for more visible abs.


High Knees

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High knees are great to spike your heart rate and keep your core steady.

Fire up your abs and burn off some extra calories with this cardio move!

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  1. Start with your feet together.
  2. Begin jogging in place, raising your knees up to hip level.
  3. Alternate sides as quickly as possible.

Reps: 60 seconds

Modification: Start by raising one knee up to hip level at a time. Your abs still have to work hard to help lift your knees.


Side Plank With Knee Lift

This is a great move to work your obliques.

This dynamic exercise targets your core, particularly your obliques, while keeping your heart rate elevated.


  1. Start in a side plank, feet together, shoulders over hands, abs braced tightly.
  2. Bend your top knee and raise it up toward your top elbow.
  3. Lower back down to the starting position.

Reps: 10 reps on each side

Modification: Hold a side plank for 30 seconds on each side.


Read more: Why Crunches Won't Give You Flat Abs — and the 12 Moves that Will!

Power Knee Strike

Keep your abs braced while you perform power knee strikes.

This kickboxing-inspired move helps strengthen your waistline and keeps your heart rate in the cardio zone.



  1. Stand on your left leg, with the right leg extended out to the side.
  2. Your toe should stand lightly on the floor, both arms reaching overhead.
  3. Bracing your abs, 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.
  4. Quickly return to starting position and repeat as fast as possible.

Reps: 30 seconds on each side


Variation: Add a hop as the knee and arms pull in toward each other to spike the heart rate even more for a greater calorie burn.

Squat Thrust

Squat thrusts should be performed at your max effort while maintaining proper form!
  1. Begin in a plank, then jump both feet toward your hands, tucking both knees into chest.
  2. Jump up and land in a squat.
  3. Place your hands on the floor between your feet before jumping back out, landing in a plank.


Reps: 20

Variation: Try it on one leg for 10 reps on each side.

Crescent Kick

This fast-paced motion will have your abs firing.

The fast-paced hip rotation in this move will have your abs firing and your heart pumping the entire time.


  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, elbows bent, hands in fists "on guard" by chin.
  2. Put your weight in your back leg and kick with the front leg, imagining that you're kicking up and over a bench.

Reps: 30 seconds on each leg

Read more: The 17 Most Effective Fat Loss Moves — No Equipment Required

Switch Kick

Target your lower abs while upping your heart rate.

Build agility and coordination with this body-weight cardio move that targets the lower abs.

  1. Start standing, arms bent and hands by your chin.
  2. Bend your right knee and contract your abs to kick your right leg out in front of you.
  3. Quickly switch to the kick the left leg out in front and alternate legs as fast as you can.

Reps: 60 seconds

Speed Skater

The quick side-to-side will target your core.
  1. Stand on your right leg, bending the right knee and extending the left leg slightly behind your body to the right.
  2. Bend elbows and bring left arm in front of your body.
  3. 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.
  4. Land on your left leg, with knee bent, right arm forward and balance in this position for three counts.
  5. Jump back to the other side.


Reps: 20 (10 to each side)

Read more: 4-Minute Tabata-Inspired Fat-Blasting Workout

Jumping Jacks

This standard exercise is great for your midsection.

Finish off your workout with this old-school exercise.

  1. Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides.
  2. Jump your feet out as you raise your arms overhead.
  3. Jump your feet back together, landing with your arms by your sides.

Reps: 60 seconds



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