Cardio Workouts for Toned Abs
1 of 7All photos
Behind every sculpted six-pack, there's a three-part plan that includes clean eating, smart strength exercises, and fat-burning cardio. We've covered the most effective abs exercises more than once (i.e. these exercises for a flat stomach), but when it comes to melting off belly fat, is all cardio created equal? It's true you can burn calories doing just about anything that gets your heart pumping—jogging, biking, swimming, dancing, etc. But with this killer cardio routine, you'll torch more calories while also engaging your deepest core muscles (the ones responsible for tightening up your lower abs).
For a quick cardio burst, add 1 set of each exercise onto the end of your next strength workout. For an intense, 20-minute cardio session, repeat the entire circuit up to 6 times.
Related: 10-Minute Belly-Blasting Workout
Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock
2 of 7All photos
Stand to the left of a ring or square on the floor (or just imagine one drawn on the ground). Drawing your knees up to your chest with each step (this is where those lower abs come into play), step your right foot inside the ring, then your left. Step your right foot out, then left. Repeat in the opposite direction as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
3 of 7All photos
Stand to the left of a ring or square on the ground. Step your left foot to the inside of the ring (crossing it over your right leg) and then your right foot to the outside of the ring. Bring left foot to meet the right (outside of the ring). Repeat the movement going toward the left. Continue to alternate as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
4 of 7All photos
Stand with your left foot inside a ring, right foot outside of it, both feet under your hips. Jump up and rotate your body 180 degrees, keeping left foot inside the ring. Jump again, rotating 180 degrees back to the starting position. Repeat the movement as fast as possible for 30 seconds. Switch sides, keeping your right foot inside the ring. Repeat movement as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
5 of 7All photos
Come into a straight-arm plank position with your hands directly below your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your neck to your ankles. Lift your left foot and drive your left knee up into the center of your body. Quickly switch legs, driving right knee up into the center of your body. Try to keep your hips level and your shoulders directly above your wrists. Do as many as possible for 30 seconds.
6 of 7All photos
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Bend both knees, swing arms back, and drive off ground as high as possible. Land softly and immediately bend your knees, place hands on the floor in front of you, and jump your feet all the way back so you end up in a plank position. Lower your chest to perform a pushup. Jump both feet back in and stand. Immediately jump up to repeat. Continue to do as many reps as possible for 30 seconds.
7 of 7All photos
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Jump from side to side, landing softly on both feet. Jump back and forth as fast as possible for 30 seconds.