For well-sculpted abs, a non-stop circuit workout is your best bet. That’s because, circuits not only put your body through a number of exercises in a short amount of time, they also get your heart rate revved and give your metabolism a boost.
And the crazy thing is, your entire workout doesn’t even need to be made up of classic “abs-focused” moves to see major results.
To give it a go yourself, cycle through each move for 45 seconds, with a 15-second rest. Then repeat the circuit one more time.
How to: Get into a pushup position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your ankles. Keeping your core tight and back flat, bend your right knee and raise it toward your chest. Reverse the movement to return to start, then repeat with your left leg. Continue alternating.
How to: Hold dumbbells at shoulder height, elbows bent and palms facing each other, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and sit your hips back to lower into a squat. Explode back up, pushing the dumbbells directly overhead until arms are fully extended. Pause, then lower the weights as you squat. That’s one rep.
How to: Lie on your back holding a dumbbell in both hands. Lift your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor and extend your arms, keeping the dumbbell directly over your chest. Without moving your legs, lift your chest and shoulders off the floor and try to touch your feet with the dumbbell.
CURL WITH PRESS
How to: Grab the dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Curl both dumbbells up to your shoulders. Then press the dumbbells directly overhead, rotating your arms so that your palms face forward at the top of the move. Pause for two seconds, then return to start. That’s one rep.
How to: Place a dumbbell straight up at the end of your mat. Sit on your tailbone with your hands at the side, stabilizing your body. Bring your legs in the air in a V-shape. With your legs straight, slowly lower them down until they’re just above the dumbbell, then separate them hip-distance apart. From here, lift your legs back into the air, drawing an “Eiffel Tower” shape with your feet. Be sure to keep a slight bend in your knees.
How to: Begin in a plank position. Start by slowly doing mountain climbers, and increase your speed every 15 seconds, until you’re running.
How to: Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet planted on the ground. While holding the dumbbells, squat down, complete one biceps curl. Then rise all the way up to a standing position, straighten your arms to the air, and bring the dumbbells above your head. Bring the dumbbells backwards behind your head, then engage your triceps to bring your dumbbells back up. Repeat this sequence.
How to: From a plank position, bring your right leg up to meet your right hand. Bring it back to the starting position. Then repeat on the left side. Continue alternating.
How to: Grab your dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. With your arms at your sides, bend over from the hips until your back is almost parallel to the floor. Pull the dumbbells up, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, then lower the weights.
How to: Begin with your feet hip-distance apart. Sit your butt backwards into a squat position. Jump your legs out one inch, while maintaining your squat. Jump out one more inch. Then jump your legs in one inch, and another. Continue moving your legs in and out—you should really feel the burn in your thighs.