Workouts

9 Exercises To Ignite Your HIIT Ab Workout

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Not sure how to build the perfect HIIT ab workout? Check out these 9 exercises below, along with a done for HIIT workout summary chart to see how you can incorporate each one. 

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a brilliant fat burning tool and when combined with specific exercises for your core muscles, it’s one of the best ways to develop a tight, toned midsection. This HIIT core workout does exactly that by blasting through 500 calories and giving your core muscles a thorough workout in just 30 minutes.

To complete the workout, simply perform each of the 9 exercises below in succession and then repeat the cycle 5 more times. If you find 6 cycles too difficult, start by performing each exercise once and gradually build up until you can successfully complete the full 30 minute HIIT core workout.

Exercise 1 – Planks

Planks are one of the most challenging bodyweight exercises around and involve holding your body in a flat, horizontal position for a fixed amount of time. To perform planks, follow the instructions below:

1. Kneel down on the ground and then place your forearms on the ground and in line with your head.
2. Straighten your legs, lift your knees off the ground and support your bodyweight on your toes and forearms.
3. Once your body is fully supported, tighten your core muscles and hold the plank position for 20 seconds.
4. Rest for 10 seconds and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 2 – Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are similar to regular crunches but involve moving your legs in a cycling motion as you crunch your core muscles. To perform bicycle crunches, follow the instructions below:

1. Lie down on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you, your hands at either side of your head and your elbows sticking out.
2. Lift your legs off the ground, keep your left leg straight and bend your right leg toward your chest.
3. At the same time, twist your upper body toward your right knee and touch it with your right elbow.
4. Straighten your right leg and bend your left leg toward your chest.
5. At the same time, twist your upper body toward your left knee and touch it with your left elbow.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 for as many repetitions as you can manage within 20 seconds.
7. Rest for 10 seconds and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 3 – V Sit Hold

The v sit hold is a simple looking but very challenging core exercise. To perform the v sit hold, follow the instructions below:
1. Sit on the ground with your back straight, your knees bent and your feet flat.
2. Lift your feet off the ground, straighten your legs and raise them up to a 45 degree angle.
3. Once your legs are at a 45 degree angle, lean back until your upper body is at a 45 degree angle.
4. Hold your arms straight out in front of you and balance on your tailbone for 20 seconds.
5. Rest for 10 seconds and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 4 – Twisting Crunches

Twisting crunches are performed in the exact same way as regular crunches except they involve rotating your body as you crunch your core muscles. To perform twisting crunches, follow the instructions below:

1. Lie down on the ground with your knees bent, your feet flat, your hands at either side of your head and your elbows sticking out.
2. Curl your lower back, crunch your abdominal muscles and twist your left elbow toward your right knee.
3. Straighten your lower back, relax your abdominal muscles and lie down on the ground.
4. Curl your lower back, crunch your abdominal muscles and twist your right elbow toward your left knee.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 for as many repetitions as you can manage within 20 seconds.
6. Rest for 10 seconds and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 5 – Lying Leg Raises

Lying leg raises target your lower abdominal muscles. To perform lying leg raises, follow the instructions below:

1. Lie down flat on the ground and put your hands alongside your butt.
2. Lift your legs off the ground, stopping once the bottoms of your feet are facing the ceiling and your legs are at a 90 degree angle to your hips.
3. Lower your legs back down toward the ground, stopping just before your feet touch the ground.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 for as many repetitions as you can manage within 20 seconds.
5. Rest for 10 seconds and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 6 – Side Planks

Side planks involve holding a similar position to regular planks but with more emphasis on your oblique muscles. To perform side planks, follow the instructions below:

1. Lie down on the left hand side of your body.
2. Place your left forearm on the ground and your right hand behind your head.
3. Lift your hips off the floor and support your body on your feet and left forearm.
4. Once your body is fully supported, tighten your core muscles and hold the side plank position for 20 seconds.
5. Rest for 10 seconds and then lie down on the right hand side of your body.
6. Place your right forearm on the ground and your left hand behind your head.
7. Lift your hips off the ground and support your body on your feet and right forearm.
8. Once your body is fully supported, tighten your core muscles and hold the side plank position for 20 seconds.
9. Rest for 10 second and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 7 – Lying Twisting Windmills

Lying twisting windmills are another great exercise for your lower abs that involve twisting your legs from side to side while holding your upper body in a fixed position. To perform lying windmills, follow the instructions below:

1. Lie down on the ground with your arms straight out to the side and in line with your chest, your legs bent and your feet flat.
2. Straighten your legs and point the bottoms of your feet toward the ceiling.
3. Twist your legs and hips to the right while keeping your upper body in the same position, stopping just before your feet touch the ground.
4. Twist your legs and hips back to the starting position.
5. Twist your legs and hips to the left while keeping your upper body in the same position, stopping just before your feet touch the ground.
6. Twist your legs and hips back to the starting position.
7. Repeat steps 3-6 for as many repetitions as you can manage within 20 seconds.
8. Rest for 10 seconds and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 8 – Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are a fun, fast paced core exercise. To perform flutter kicks, follow the instructions below:

1. Lie down on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you.
2. Crunch your hands into fists, place them underneath your butt and lift your feet a couple of inches off the ground while keeping your legs straight.
3. Kick your left foot a couple of inches above your right foot.
4. Lower your left foot back down and then kick your right foot a couple of inches above your left foot.
5. Lower your right foot back down and then kick your left foot a couple of inches above your right foot.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 rapidly for as many repetitions as you can manage within 20 seconds.
7. Rest for 10 seconds and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 9 – Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches do exactly as the name. To perform reverse crunches, follow the instructions below:
1. Lie down on the ground with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and your hands by your butt.
2. Pull your knees toward your chest and tighten your core muscles, stopping when they are fully crunched.
3. Lower your knees back down toward the starting position.
4. Repeat steps 2-3 for as many repetitions as you can manage within 20 seconds.
5. Rest for 10 seconds and then move onto the next exercise or complete your workout.

HIIT Workout Summary Chart

Phase Exercise Time (seconds)
1 Planks 20
2 Rest 10
3 Bicycle Crunches 20
4 Rest 10
5 V Sit Hold 20
6 Rest 10
7 Twisting Crunches 20
8 Rest 10
9 Lying Leg Raises 20
10 Rest 10
11 Side Planks (Left) 20
12 Rest 10
13 Side Planks (Right) 20
14 Rest 10
15 Lying Twisting Windmills 20
16 Rest 10
17 Flutter Kicks 20
18 Rest 10
19 Reverse Crunches 20
20 Rest 10

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the standard length for this HIIT core workout is 30 minutes but it can be shortened if you find the full workout too difficult or you’re pushed for time. To adjust the workout to your desired duration, follow the instructions below:
– For a 5 minute workout, complete phases 1-20 once
– For a 10 minute workout, complete phases 1-20 twice
– For a 15 minute workout, complete phases 1-20 three times
– For a 20 minute workout, complete phases 1-20 four times
– For a 25 minute workout, complete phases 1-20 five times
– For a 30 minute workout, complete phases 1-20 six times

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