Getting shredded abs requires working hard at your diet and your exercise plan. In this article we’ll be talking all about High Intensity Interval Training and why this exercise should be a key part of your goal to get cut.
What is High Intensity Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training, called HIIT for short, is a workout that includes short bursts of highly intense exercise alternating with low-intensity recovery periods. HIIT can be done in as little as 10 minutes while still reaping all the benefits (and more) you would get from a lengthy amount of time on the treadmill. The alternating workout keeps interest high and is incredibly efficient at burning calories.
The key to a HIIT routine is the intensity. You have to push hard and give it your all for a short period of time before resting for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then doing it all over again for a certain amount of time or sets.
Why Implement HIIT for Getting Shredded Abs?
Studies are showing that HIIT can increase your metabolism for hours after you exercise — even more than running or weight training. This is called post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), where there is a measurably increased rate of oxygen intake after strenuous activity. HIIT gets you into a longer state of calorie burning mode and if you combine your exercises with limiting your caloric intake, your body will be a fat-burning machine, helping to clear the way to getting shredded abs.
Research around HIIT is showing that this type of workout can help reduce blood sugar levels and reduce your resting heart rate and blood pressure in the overweight. So, bottom line, HIIT is great for defined abs and great for your overall health.
Top 5 No-Equipment-Needed HIIT Exercises for Getting Shredded Abs
For high-impact, core-building exercises make sure to incorporate sit-ups, leg lifts, oblique twists and planks during your workout routine. There are plenty of variations on these basic exercises including hanging and weighted options. Increase your difficulty and variation of these four exercises at least 3 days a week and you’ll be building abdominals over time. Try one of these equipment-free core workouts for burning fat and building abs for getting shredded.
1- Russian Twists
This HIIT routine is sure to get your core burning. Sit on the floor, heels touching the floor (or lifted, for more advanced). Keep your hands at your chest and twist from side to side. Do as many twists as you can in one minute, focusing on intensity. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
2- Single Leg Burpees
Try doing these single-leg burpees for high impact and big results. Lower your body into a squatting position, hands on the floor directly in front of your feet. Jump your feet back with only ONE foot touching the floor and lower your body to the ground. Bring your feet back to your hands, then jump into the air on that same foot without letting the other touch the ground. Continue your reps without touching the ground with one foot for 30 seconds, alternate the foot you leave off the ground for the next 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat.
Lie on your back with your arms straight over your head. Crunch your legs into your chest as you lift your back off the floor. Grab your legs and balance on your glutes. Repeat this movement for 1 minute followed by 30 seconds of rest.
4- Mountain Climbers
Start in a high plank position with your shoulders over your wrists. For one minute quickly drive each knee to your chest, one at a time, as if you’re running. Remember, it’s all about intensity for that one minute so give it all you’ve got. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat.
5- Plank Jacks
Starting in the low plank position position your feet hip-width apart. Hop your feet out wider than hip-width then hop back to the starting position. The key to this exercise is keeping your abs tight and not allowing your butt to pop up above the height of your shoulders (trust me, it will be challenging!). Repeat as many times as you can for 1 minute followed by a 30 second rest and then repeat.
Top 5 HIIT Routines Requiring Equipment for Extra Impact
Using battle ropes do 15 seconds of single-arm wave followed by 30 seconds of double-arm waves. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat. Don’t have battle ropes? Use a vertical rope machine for 1 minute of intense pulling followed by 30 seconds of rest. Don’t forget to engage your core during this exercise for even more impact.
Want to use your treadmill and boost your results? This full HIIT treadmill routine will fit the bill. Do a 5 minute warm up at a brisk walk pace followed by running for 1 minute at 7 miles per hour. Decrease your intensity for 2 minutes at 5.5 mph and repeat 5 times. Walk for your recovery. For great impact in shorter time run for 30 seconds at 10-12 mph followed by 1 minute at 4 mph and repeat 5 times.
Using a moderate-weight kettlebell, swing it back between your legs and then pop your hips forward to swing it to eye level. Let it drop straight into the next rep and repeat for 1 minute, resting for 30 seconds. Keep your core engaged for a full body workout.
Stationary Bike HIIT
This is another full routine using a stationary bike as your only equipment. Start with up to 4 minutes of warm-up, pedaling at medium resistance. Spend the next 4 minutes pedaling at high resistance, 15 seconds of that giving it everything you have followed by a lower resistance for a minute recovery. When you are at 10 minutes pedal at high resistance, full speed for 20 seconds, then a low, recovery resistance for 1 minute, 30 seconds. Do this for 6 rounds. End with a cool down at low resistance.
Sit with your legs lifted and bent in a tabletop position in front of you, holding a light dumbbell in each hand. Keep your abs engaged, torso tall and chest open, extending your arms at shoulder-level in front of you, palms facing each other. With shoulders down, elbows slightly bend and lower body stable, extend arms out to the sides at shoulder-level. Squeeze through your chest as you return to start and repeat for 1 minute, resting for 30 seconds. This is a great full body workout for high impact and great for getting shredded abs.