Steal this routine that A-listers use to trim and tone in record time

By By Jaclyn Emerick
Advertisement
Dustin Snipes

We have very good news for you: "It's 100 percent possible to see a difference in your abs in one week," swears Astrid Swan, a celebrity fitness pro in Los Angeles. You just have to put in the work. But not the hours on-the-elliptical or endless-crunches kind of work.

"You shouldn't have to exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time," Swan says. "A half hour is plenty, as long as those minutes are intense and you use them smartly." And Swan would know: She privately trains many famous clients, including a few Shape cover stars, who need last-minute ab toning to prep for big events or, say, bikini photo shoots. Now she's sharing her magic formula for flatter abs in seven days with all of us.

Kick Up Your Cardio

"High-intensity interval training is your abs' best friend," Swan says. It has been lab tested as a major belly-fat fighter: Women who did three HIIT workouts a week lost significantly more subcutaneous belly fat (the stuff you can see and pinch, thus what you care about when in a time crunch) than women who did only steady-state cardio, according to a study from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

The researchers say that's probably because more fat is used for fuel during HIIT than steady-state.

You can do cardio intervals with any kind of movement that uses multiple big-muscle groups and gets your heart rate way up within seconds, Swan says. Try this 8-Minute HIIT Total Body Workout or create a DIY version: Sprint, do plyometrics (explosive full-body jumping moves like squat jumps, burpees, and speed-skater lunges), jump rope-you get it. Whatever you choose, push as hard as you can, recover, then go as hard as you can again. The rules: Get breathless. Let your muscles burn. Empty the tank by your last interval.

Swan suggests doing equal work-to-recovery ratios. Go all out for 30 seconds or one minute, then catch your breath for the same amount of time. Repeat that for 20 to 25 minutes. "You'll skyrocket your heart rate, then bring it down enough to let yourself reset so you can go a little harder on the next set," she explains. "It's the fastest way to burn the most calories in the least amount of time." To ensure that you leave nothing behind, cut your recovery time in half for the last set or two, she says.

Hoist Heavier Weights

If you don't lift weights, you won't see your abs, Swan says. To get hard abs fast, focus on full-body moves using hefty loads: weighted squats and dead lifts, push-ups, ball slams. "For one, ab tightening is baked into every rep as you brace your core to work through the move," she says. "And the bigger the move, the bigger the calorie burn." A lot bigger. Research published in the journal ACSM: Health and Fitness found that compound exercises can elevate your burn for up to 72 hours postworkout and have a particularly potent effect on subcutaneous fat because they spike hormones that help ferry ab flab into your furnace.

"Compound exercises allow you to lift heavier, because more muscles and joints chip in to per-form the moves," Swan says. "So on top of burning more, you'll get more defined."

Lifting heavy means using a weight that has you max out at about 12 reps. Try to up your weight for every set you do, aiming for three. "Do a set of squats holding a 25-pound weight with both hands at your chest, then use a 30-pound one for the next set and a 35-pound one for the last," Swan says. This allows you to burn and firm more with every set.

Always Engage

Keep your abs engaged during every rep, set, and session. "Pull your belly button back toward your spine and then lock your ribs down around it," Astrid Swan says. (You just tried that, didn't you?) Aside from bracing your spine, this will power your movements, ultimately letting you give-and eventually get-a little more out of them.

Target Your Deep Abs

At least once a week, round out your routine with a few abs-only moves-. "Choose planks and Pilates exercises, because they work the deepest abs for a better compression effect," Swan says. (Get the best flatteners with this 4-week workout.)

Your One-Week Flat-Abs Plan

Monday

Do 5 heavy compound strengtheners. (Need ideas? Pick any of these Jillian Michaels moves and you can't go wrong.) Do 3 sets of 12 reps, with 30 seconds of rest between moves.

Tuesday

Warm up for 5 minutes, then do HIIT. Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 or 30 seconds. Continue alternating for 20 to 25 minutes.

Wednesday

Do 4 plyo moves (speed skaters, burpees, jump-switch lunges, and squat jacks will burn the most calories), then 4 moves that isolate the abs. Do 3 sets of 12 reps, with 15 seconds of rest between moves.

Thursday

Do 6 heavy compound strengtheners. Do 3 sets of 12 reps, with 15 seconds of rest between moves.

Friday

Warm up for 5 minutes, then do HIIT. Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 or 30 seconds. Continue alternating for 20 to 25 minutes.

Saturday

Warm up for 5 minutes, then do HIIT. Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 or 30 seconds between sets for 20 to 25 minutes.

Sunday

Do 4 heavier compound strengtheners. Do 3 sets of 12 reps, with 45 seconds of rest between moves.

Comments (11)

Anonymous
April 1, 2019
The role of exercise is actually the most important and the most powerful, because - properly targeted body movements reverse the cause of muscular atrophy (flat, saggy muscle layers under the skin) - and by reversing muscle atrophy - the muscles get firm, lifted and push out against the skin - giving a smooth and toned appearance...and eliminating cellulite! When done properly - these body movements stimulate all 90 muscles in the female lower body. For more details on this please see ==> https://bit.ly/cellulitefreenow
Anonymous
March 19, 2019
Hi, my name is Sara and I'm 40 years old. My body transformation journey started when I came across Emma's story. Emma's husband left her for a younger woman, which sent her into a downward spiral that made her gain a lot of weight very fast. Luckily she discovered an amazing workout program that allowed her to achieve the best shape of her life. Read her story here =====> https://bit.ly/getabikinibody
Anonymous
March 10, 2019
Lost 41 pounds and 4 dress sizes. I am in the best shape of my life. Wish I had seen this amazing video earlier: https://bit.ly/2xZoIIy
Anonymous
March 3, 2019
A breakthrough Yoga Program that melts away flab and reshapes your body in as little as one hour a week. https://bit.ly/2S3Fk9s
Anonymous
February 6, 2019
This controversial method can make you lean fast: https://bit.ly/2DmMBxk
Anonymous
February 3, 2019
Hi, my name is Kate and I would like to share my story. A few years ago, my body was full of cellulite. I used to be disgusted at how much cellulite I had. But, with patience and determination (and a lot of research!), I managed to almost eliminate it. All it took, was the right exercise program and a way to manipulate estrogen metabolism. Read my story here ...==> http://bit.ly/cellulitecured
Anonymous
December 5, 2018
I have always been what most would consider a “big girl”. In January 2018, I weighed 180 lbs, which is quite overweight for a woman my height. I wasn’t always this weight though. In my teenage years, I weighed only 140 pounds and I felt much healthier and happier. I strived desperately over the years to get back to this weight. But with a stressful and busy work life, I struggled... continue here https://bit.ly/mydietplantoday
Anonymous
November 4, 2018
hey i found a rapid weight loss program that can help you lose up to 23 pounds of pure body fat in just 3 weeks!!! watch this video here -> 3weeksdiets.net
Anonymous
October 28, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? you can burn 1.2lbs daily and It only takes 13-seconds! watch this video : flatbelydetox.net
Anonymous
July 12, 2018
A very useful Workout Program for Women is http://bit.ly/2oGlztV
Anonymous
July 9, 2018
Did you know there’s a “deep detox” you can do first thing in the morning to burn more fat? And the good news is It only takes 13-seconds! Here it is: https://bit.ly/2x45lQy