One of my favorite ways to strengthen my midsection is doing ab circuit workouts. Depending on my aims or the time, I have both moderate and high-intensity fitness workouts.
For example, if I want to burn belly fat, I do high-intensity ones with light to moderate abs exercises with higher reps and sets. If I want to gain the strength and size of my abs, I do low-intensity circuits with harder activities. But, sometimes I just do a short round in the morning.
I love circuit training because it is diverse and challenging. Rather quick, yet efficient. We can combine all sorts of exercises with or without equipment, or even strength training with cardio. Also, it helps to burn calories in less time and great for developing endurance.
Below, I have gathered some example abs workouts at various levels. You can pick just one, or they may help you to create a program that suits your aim the best.
Tip for beginners: These are intensive plans when we switch from exercise to another quickly so you may have a feeling to rush. However, it is crucial to perform the drills correctly. Pay attention to the correct form! Have a little bit more rest instead.
1. Beginner ab strength plan
This routine from Darebee includes six basic drills which are easy to perform. Hence, it is useful for total beginners to get used to abdominal training. 3 sets are enough to start with and have maximum 2 minutes rest between the circuits. The best is if you go from one exercise to another without a pause, but 10-20 seconds, in the beginning, is OK.
2. Super Sweaty Intense Ab Circuit without Equipment
Well, this plan is built up from 14 moves, aerobic activities (jump rope, burpees, etc.) and core moves (various crunches, mountain climbers, etc.) are combined. This way, you get rid of a lot of calories plus strengthen your entire midsection. Of course, this circuit is not for people having a lower fitness level.
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3. Blast Those Lower Abs
Want to get a v-cut? Well, within this quick lower ab training 3 beneficial moves are included. Do 30 reps from each and have 10 seconds rest between. Simple, yet very effective.
4. Bodyweight ab circuit training (calisthenics/intermediate)
You know, I love bodyweight training, and I have already shared some calisthenics ab workouts here. Here is an example in which very powerful practices are included such as hanging leg raise or windshield wipers which are my ultimate winners among all the abdominal exercises. They are total core muscles builders.
5. Cardio core circuit workout (Intermediate)
This is a 10 minute ab circuit metabolism boosting workout that combines core strengthening and cardiovascular drills. It helps to burn belly fat and build lean midsection. But, in reality, it is a total body plan.
6. Dumbbell abs workout for men (Advanced)
I have already shared dumbbell ab workouts here, but this is my favorite circuit training for abs presented by Funk Roberts. It includes 6 tough weighted core strengthening exercises that should be done for 60 seconds followed by 15 minutes rest for one round. It is a total upper body program that build six pack abs.
If you have not done a similar program before, perform the movements without weights. Also, use dumbbells that you can handle comfortably without ruining the form of the movements. Perfect for weight loss as well.
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7. Gym abs workout (beginner/intermediate)
And finally, here is an example video in which you can get an idea of how to have circuit training for core strength at the gym. In this case, cable crunch is added to the cycle. But, you can use the sit-up bench, Roman chair or the ab wheel to make your plan more versatile and complete.
Is a 4 minutes Tabata abs workout enough?
Well, if you have little belly fat, so your abdominal muscles are almost visible, then it might be enough. We do Tabata workouts mainly for strengthening and shaping the abdomen. Although this type of training burns more calories than traditional ways of exercising. To torch body fat, you need to focus on your diet and do aerobic sessions to get a calorie deficit.
Are standing core exercises are effective?
Yes, these are quite underestimated practices, but they are beneficial. Plus, because they are almost full body movements, they burn more calories as if you were doing exercises on the floor. So, for weight loss these are better.
You can learn many standing ab exercises at home here.
To sum up
I tried to show you examples to understand how to create your abdominal circuit workout. You can mix everything! Using equipment or do bodyweight exercises, add cardio or not. It depends on what you want to reach. If you have more ideas or circuit training for abs, share with us below.