CARDIO and ABS! This belly fat burning, 30-Minute Cardio Abs Workout is HIIT for your abs. These 10 ab exercises target the lower abs, upper abs, obliques and deep transverse abdominal muscles. Tone your midsection and burn calories at home (modifications offered for all fitness levels).
Pairing fat burning cardio with core strengthening ab exercises…Enter this 30-Minute Cardio Abs Workout!
Think, full body ab exercises like planks. But I promise, this fat burning Cardio Abs Workout isn’t just 30 minutes of planking; it’s 10, non-traditional core exercises that will sculpt your abs while raising your heart rate.
This is high intensity interval training (HIIT) for your abs! A HIIT ab workout to to burn fat at home.
30-Minute Cardio Abs Workout
Burn belly fat at home with this killer cardio and abs routine.
A HIIT workout for your abs to increase core strength and decrease body fat.
Ten weighted ab exercises that will challenge your core from every angle — lower abs, upper abs, and obliques.
Optional Single Dumbbell.
I suggest anywhere from 5-25 lbs. Rachel and I used a 15-20 lb dumbbell in this workout. You could also use a filled water bottle if you don’t have dumbbells. Adding a weight to this cardio ab workout increases the calorie burn.
3 HIIT circuits, with 3-4 ab exercises per circuit.
Repeat each circuit x2 sets before moving on to the next circuit.
Perform each ab exercise for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds between exercises.
Alternatively, work through these 10 HIIT ab exercises with weights at your own pace.
10 HIIT Cardio Ab Exercises (40 seconds per exercise):
Plank Launcher T-Pull
Lateral Shuffle + Pivot Dumbbell Press
Lying Pullovers + Toe Touch
Half Kneeling Hinge Swing + Stand Up Press, Right
Half Kneeling Hinge Swing + Stand Up Press, Left
Reverse Crunch + Single Arm Floor Press, Right
Reverse Crunch + Single Arm Floor Press, Left
Bear Crawl Fast Feet
Push Up + Pop Up Squat Hold + Dumbbell Press Out
Side Plank Hip Dip + Crunch, Right/Left
BONUS MOVE: Plank Jack + Pike Tuck
1. Plank Launcher T-Pull
Targets: The entire core with an emphasis on the obliques. Your quads, shoulders and arms are also engaged.
Your core stabilizes your hips as you pull the dumbbell overhead. This full body core exercise is also sure to raise your heart rate.
How to do a Launcher T-Pull:
Center your dumbbell on the mat between your hands. Start in plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
From this plank position, engage your core as you push your hips back towards your heels; bending at the knees. Then explosively drive your body back into plank position (nose to finger tips).
Hold plank and grab the dumbbell with your right hand. Flex your core and open into a side plank as you pull the dumbbell overhead with your right hand. Hold this position for a moment as your body mimics a sideways “T” shape. Hips high and obliques turned on.
With control, return the dumbbell back to the mat as you return to the starting position.
Repeat this launcher plank and t-pull for 40 seconds.
Modification: Perform the plank launcher from your knees, the perform the side plank with your left knee on the mat. Option to do this as a bodyweight ab exercise instead of a weighted ab exercise.
2. Lateral Shuffle + Pivot Dumbbell Press
Targets: The entire core, specifically the deep stabilizing muscles of the core; hips, glutes, shoulders and upper body.
Trainer Tip: The farther you press the dumbbell away from your body the harder this cardio ab exercise will be (and the more your your core will have to work). This HIIT cardio and core exercise is sure to raise your heart rate.
How to do a Lateral Shuffle + Pivot Press:
Hold a dumbbell horizontally between your hands at your chest. (one head of the dumbbell in each hand).
Take one large lateral shuffle step to your right, then plant your front right foot and pivot your back left foot as you push the dumbbell away from your body. Similar to how you pass a basketball.
Toes follow hips (back left toe pivots right, following the hips as they turn to the right).
Bring the dumbbell back to your chest, then take one large lateral shuffle step to your left. Pivot your back right foot as you push the dumbbell away from your body.
Return to the starting position and repeat this shuffle, pivot, pass movement for 40 seconds.
Modification: Replace the lateral shuffle with a squat.
3. Lying Pullovers + Toe Touch
Targets: The lats and core — lower abs on the pullover and upper abs on the toe touch. Strength training for the upper and lower abs.
How to do an Lying Pullover + Toe Touch:
Lay flat on your back, legs extended up ‘the wall’ (feet stacked over hips). Hold a dumbbell between your hands horizontally. Holding one head of the dumbbell in each hand.
With a slight bend in the elbows, slowly lower the dumbbell overhead towards the ground. Try to keep your low back pressed into the mat/ground. As you lower the dumbbell, lower your right leg toward the ground, tapping your right heel to the ground.
Then exhale as you pull the dumbbell back overhead, while simultaneously pulling your right leg up towards the dumbbell (returning to the starting position).
Then use your upper abs to lift you up, pressing the dumbbell up towards your toes.
Lower your shoulder back to the mat with control and repeat this alternating leg lower with overhead pull and toe touch movement for 40 seconds.
Modification: Bend your knees at 90 degrees throughout the entire movement (the shorter the lever the easier the exercise becomes). Option to omit the dumbbell and perform this as a bodyweight exercise as well.
4. Half Kneeling Hinge Swing + Stand Up Press (perform on the right side, then left side)
Targets: Hips, glutes, quads, core, abs and shoulders.
Trainer Tip: This HIIT cardio ab exercise specifically uses the core to stabilize the body as you accelerate (stand up) and to control the body as you decelerate (drop back down to one knee). A great unilateral exercise (single-sided exercise) which requires the core to work extra hard to stabilize the body with an uneven load (weight on one side of the body).
How to do a Kneeling Hinge Swing + Stand Up Press:
Start in a half kneeling position — left knee bent at 90 degrees, foot on the mat in front of you and right knee bent at 90 degrees on the ground underneath your hips.
Hold one dumbbell in the right hand with a neutral grip (palm facing your left thigh).
Perform a half kneeling hinge swing by hinging at the hips with the dumbbell between your legs. Then drive your hips forward, powering the dumbbell up to your right shoulder; elbow in line with your shoulder (maintaining a neutral grip).
Then drive through your left glute to stand up, bringing feet parallel as you push the dumbbell overhead with your right hand. Press the dumbbell straight overhead, locking out the elbow, right bicep should be near right ear.
Slowly lower the dumbbell back down towards the right shoulder as you step the right leg back to a lunge, lowering the right knee back to the ground with control; simultaneously lowering the dumbbell in your right hand back between the legs.
That’s one rep. Repeat this movement for 40 seconds on the right side, then switch sides, performing this on the left side.
Modification: Stay standing throughout the entire movement. Perform a staggered stance dumbbell swing instead of kneeling swing.
5. Reverse Crunch + Single Arm Floor Press (perform on the right side, then left side)
Targets: The rectus abdominis (your ‘six-pack ab muscles’), deep transverse abdominals, upper abs, lower abs and obliques. As well as, chest and shoulders.
Trainer Tip: Another great single-sided (unilateral) exercise. Focus on keeping your right hip connected to the mat as you perform a single arm press on the left arm. Full body strength training with core stabilization!
How to do a Reverse Crunch and Single Arm Floor Press:
Start lying on your back, core engaged, legs extended out from your body and floating off the mat (closer your legs are to the mat, the harder this exercise will be). Hold a dumbbell in your left hand at your chest (palm facing in towards your body, neutral grip).
Exhale to press the dumbbell overhead, performing a single arm floor press while keeping your right hip connected to the mat (counter-balance). With control, lower the dumbbell back to your chest.
Then engage your upper abs to perform a sit up as you engage your lower abs to pull your knees towards your chest.
With control, lower back to the starting position with your back on the mat.
That’s one rep. Repeat this movement for 40 seconds on the left side, then switch sides, performing this on the right side.
Modification: Omit the reverse crunch and stay seated on your sit bones throughout the entire movement. Keep your left foot planted on the mat as you slide or float your right foot out away from your body while simultaneously performing a single arm press.
6. Bear Crawl Fast Feet
Targets: Core stability, shoulders, quads and cardio endurance. The most challenging ab exercise of this workout (in my opinion) 🔥!
Trainer Tip: These bursts of HIIT cardio spike the heart rate burning more calories in a shorter amount of time compared to steady state cardio.
How to do Bear Crawl Fast Feet:
Start in a table top position or quadruped position on all fours — shoulders stacked over wrists and hips stacked over knees.
Tuck your toes under to lift your knees off the mat, finding a bear crawl position. Abs engaged, knees close to the mat creating a straight line from head to tailbone.
Keeping your hips square to the ground and your knees as close to the mat as possible, run your feet in and out (wide, wide, narrow, narrow) as fast as you can.
Find a pace you can maintain for 40 seconds.
Modification: Perform wide and narrow fast feet from a standing position instead of bear crawl. Alternatively, you could jump rope.
7. Push Up + Pop Up Squat Hold + Dumbbell Press Out
Targets: The entire core from head to pelvis. As well as the arms, shoulders, chest, legs, glutes and core. A true full body exercise.
How to do Push Up + Pop Up Squat Hold + Dumbbell Press Out:
Start in high plank position, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, weight evenly distributed amongst all 10 fingers; core engaged. Place a dumbbell between your hands, horizontally.
Hold this push up position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
Perform a push up by lowering your chest down towards the ground (or dumbbell). Maintain a straight line with your body. Option to perform the push up with your knees on the mat.
Then step or jump your feet outside the dumbbell into a loaded squat position. Hold at the bottom of the squat as you pick up the dumbbell between your feet. Bring the dumbbell up towards your chest, and then push it out away from your body (the farther you press the dumbbell away from your body the more your core will have to work to stabilize you).
Pull the dumbbell back towards your body and place it on the ground between your feet. Plant your hands to the mat as you step or hop back into a high plank position.
Repeat this movement for 40 seconds.
Modification: Step in instead of jumping into a low squat and step back to plank instead of jumping back to plank. And perform this exercise with just your bodyweight.
8. Side Plank Hip Dip + Crunch (perform on the right side, then left side)
Targets: The obliques, hips, core and shoulders.
How to do Side Plank Hip Dip + Crunch:
Lie on your right side. Place your right forearm flat on the ground, shoulder stacked over elbow. Stack your feet, left foot resting on top of right foot if possible.
Then drop your right hip towards the mat and lift it back up to side plank.
Hold this side plank position. Then, pull your top, left leg up towards your left elbow, bending at the knee (striving for the left knee to meet the left elbow). Flex the muscles along the sides of your body (obliques) to pull the left leg in and keep your hips from sagging.
Return your left leg to starting position, stacked on top of your right foot.
That’s one rep. Repeat this movement for 40 seconds on the right side, then switch sides, performing this on the left side.
Modification: Bend your right knee at 90 degrees and place it on the mat underneath you to help support you; keeping your right knee planted for the entire movement.
9. Plank Jack + Pike Tuck
Targets: The entire core with an extra emphasis on the low abs (during the pike tuck). Another HIIT cardio ab exercise that will increase your heart rate.
How to do Plank Jack + Pike Tuck:
Start in a high plank position, shoulders stacked over wrists, core engaged. Straight line fro head to toe.
Keeping your hips square to the ground, jack your legs apart, and then pack together. Performing a plank jack.
Then, use your lower abs to pull your hips up into a “pike” position as you hop your toes up towards your chest.
Hop back to high plank and repeat this plank jack and plank pike for 40 seconds.
Modification: Tap toes out and in instead of jacking them. Then walk your toes towards your chest (on your tip toes) up into a pike position.
Cardio Abs Workout FAQs
unilateral exercises — to stabilize the core as you transfer weight from one side of the body to the other
1. What is your core?
Your core muscles go far beyond your six pack ab muscles. You have 29 core muscles that extend from the base of your head to your pelvis. These muscles are incorporated in almost EVERY MOVEMENT you make!
2. How do you locate your deep core muscles?
The best position to locate your deep abdominal muscles is just inside your pelvic bones; try this:
Start lying on your back, legs bent at 90 degrees with feet on the mat.
Place two fingers just inside your pelvic bones. As you inhale you should the area inside your pelvic bones is soft.
Then as you exhale this area just inside your pelvic bones should become taught or tense. Those are your deep core muscles.
Also reference instructor cue 3 below.
Feeling neck pain or like your hip flexors are doing all the work during your ab workouts? Learn how to fix these ab exercise errors in this post: The 18 Best Ab Exercises for Women.