Cardio Abs Routine
for Awesome Abs In MinutesFrom
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
Whats the point of toning your abs if you
cant see past the fat?
Dance your way to hot, sexy abs and burn the fat off your entire
body with Shaun T
to learn how!
That's the issue at hand. Far too many
of us waste countless hours in the gym or in front of the television working
for awesome abs that never come to fruition. No, despite our efforts, were left
with the same old pooching belly and sagging skin. All our efforts are in vain
and were left wondering, WHY?
Fitness expert and personal trainer
Michael Stefano has the answer to this pesky problem. If youve never done
circuit training, its time to put the intense workout to the test. The
New York firefighter, who penned the bestselling Firefighters Workout Book (HarperCollins),
says achieving fab abs is about
following a proper diet and an effective
cardio/strength training regimen.
toned and sculpted abdominal muscles wont do you any good unless you can burn
the fat that keeps them hidden away, Stefano tells
eDiets. Combine classic cardio or fat burning
exercise in short spurts at target heart rate levels, with compact and
effective ab builders to cover all bases.
Over time, your regimen may become
dull, weakening your motivation. Stefano notes that boredom is the number one
killer of a workout program. Thats why its important to kick it up
a notch every now and then, which is exactly what the Cardio Abs workout
achieves. Combining cardio and strength training into one workout gives
exercise enthusiasts the best of both worlds.
What youre doing is
interspersing sets of two of the most effective ab exercises (the crunch and
bike kicks) between intervals of cardio activity.
Stefano says: The cardio is
actually burning the fat. Doing the crunches and the bike kicks develops the
abs and the obliques. While the exercises give you the six-pack abs, they
dont burn the fat that hides your stomach. You have to do cardio to burn
fat. The great thing about this workout is that youre keeping your heart
rate at a fat-burning level throughout the routine.
Stefanos workout will also put to use the exercise
equipment that's been left untouched since you bought it. Treadmills and
stationary bikes are ideal for the Cardio Abs Workout. But, even if you don't
own the proper machines, you can still march in place, jump rope or do step
exercises for the cardio part.
CARDIO ABS ROUTINE
1. Begin with 5 to 10 minutes of
brisk walking or jogging on a treadmill, or pedaling on a stationary bike. Two
other in-home cardio options might include marching in place or jumping rope.
2. Stop and immediately get down
on your mat for one set of crunches done to muscle fatigue. If possible, adjust
intensity (as described below) so as to hit fatigue in the 20- to 30-repetition
3. Get back on your treadmill, bike,
step, or continue stepping or jumping for 5 to 10 more minutes.
4. Stop and immediately get down on
your mat for one set of bike kicks done to muscle fatigue. Again, adjust
intensity so as to hit fatigue in the 20 to 30 repetition range.
5. Beginners quit here, but for a
greater challenge do another stint of cardio before calling it quits.
Repeat this program 3 or 4 times each
week, and work at extending the time on the treadmill (or whatever mode of
cardio you chose) to 10 minutes or even 15 minutes. Combine with some weekly
strength and flexibility training for the upper and lower body, as well as a
sensible eating program to achieve the overall best results.
Lie on your back on a mat or padded carpet with your knees partially bent, feet
flat on the floor, arms folded across your chest (as shown). Exhale as you
press the lower back into the floor and begin to raise your head, shoulders and
chest off the floor, concentrating on bringing the ribs towards the hips. Pause
briefly as you feel your abdominal muscles tighten. The movement need only be a
few inches. Inhale as you slowly curl back down, trying not to let your head
touch the floor, maintaining tension in the abdominal muscles for the entire
set. Repeat to muscle fatigue.
Intensity Booster: To increase
intensity, lengthen the pause to 2 seconds, or place your hands behind your
head instead of across your chest.
Lie on your back on a
mat or padded carpet with the lower back pressed into the floor. Put your hands
behind your head (but don't pull on the head). Bring your knees up to about a
45-degree angle and slowly go through the bicycle pedal motion. Touch your
right elbow to your left knee and then left elbow to right knee. Continue to
breathe naturally. Alternate opposite elbow to opposite knee in a slow and
controlled manner to muscle fatigue.
Intensity Booster: Full extension
of the legs will increase intensity (as shown), as will keeping the motion very
slow and deliberate. Keep the knees partially bent throughout the movement to
For more of Stefano's fat-burning and
body-sculpting workouts in the The Firefighter's Workout Book: The 30 Minute a Day
Train-For-Life Program for Men and Women,
EDITOR'S NOTE: When it
comes to exercise, there are many viewpoints and beliefs. eDiets has its very
own fitness program. However, from time to time, we highlight programs and
exercises developed by other well-known fitness pros. It is possible you will
see contradictions from one story to another.