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14 Cardio Exercises To Shared Your Abs

Easy 8 Minute Workout for a Flat Stomach

Trying to balance work deadlines, personal obligations, a happening social life, and a good night’s sleep is a challenge. Adding a fitness routine to this mix is easier said than done. However, frequent sweat sessions are essential. With no exercise, every calorie you consume makes its way to the fat deposits in your body, particularly to the belly area. While it is easy to gain, burning belly fat requires some dedicated work. What you need in your fast-paced life is a workout that is just as fast but still effective. Here’s an 8 minute workout that helps you achieve the flat belly you want.

Understanding HIIT for a Flat Stomach

Most exercise routines will include some type of ab workout. An ab workout engages your core, and improves your endurance and strength. Comprised of your lower back, oblique muscles, and your abs, your core is used in every move you make. If you spend your days in a sedentary seated position, an ab workout is indispensable as it helps improve your posture and reduce back pain.

The most effective ab workouts start with a targeted HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. Such workouts include performing simple exercises quickly in bursts of about 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest before you switch to the next exercise. Mix and match these ab exercises to create an HIIT workout that can be done at home.

Exercises to Try

Perform each exercise as many times as comfortably possible within 20 seconds, follow it with 10 seconds of rest, and continue till you have completed two sets of 20 seconds each. Move on to the next exercise, and keep going from one to the other till your 8 minute workout is complete and you are one step closer to a flat stomach.

Heel Touches

Lie flat on your back, bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor, raise your shoulders off the mat, and attempt to touch your heels without lifting them off the floor.

Toe Taps

Lie flat on your back with your arms extended next to your hips. Bend your knees, and hold your calves up till they are parallel to the floor. Keep your lower back dug into the floor as you raise your shoulders and get cracking at your core. Hold your right knee above your hip while you tap the floor with your left foot. Try to get in at least three taps – close to you, extended a little, and as far as possible without raising your back from the floor. Do this for each leg to complete one rep.

Mountain Climbers

Start with your body in the plank position, your arms should be straight and your hands resting right under your shoulders. Lift up one foot pulling your knee towards the middle part of your body, return to the original position and repeat with the other leg. Make sure your hips remain level and do as many reps as you can in a 90 second time period.

Starfish Leg Raises

This one might sound funny but the effects of starfish leg raises on your belly area are nothing less than stellar. Lie flat on the floor with your arms and legs outstretched like a starfish. The goal is for you to tap your right shin with your left hand, and vice versa, without raising your body off the floor. Do this on alternate sides to complete one rep.

Mountain Climbers

Get your knees to your elbows to mimic mountain climbing in this exercise. Start from a pushup stance, draw in one knee as close as you can towards the elbow on the same side, and then get back into the starting position as you pull up the other knee. When it comes to mountain climbers, speed is essential so keep your pace up through those 20 seconds.

Walkout + Slow Mountain Climbers

This HIIT exercise adds a little twist to the previous mountain climbing one. Do regular mountain climbers but slowly. Work towards getting your knee as close to your elbow as you can, and alternate legs to finish one slow rep. Immediately after the rep, walk your hands out to the very edge of the mat, and come back to pushup position to start the next rep of slow mountain climbers.

Crunch Variations

Spice up plain old crunches to get the most of your 8 minute workout. Do usual crunches with an added twist when you lift your upper body off the floor; alternate each side to finish one rep. Scissor crunches are another variation that would work well with your routine. When you lift your shoulders off the mat, hold your legs straight and mimic the motion of scissors by moving one leg over the other.

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You can easily adapt a number of exercises to fit into any HIIT routine. Choose from flutter kicks, bicycle crunches, knee raises, half-burpees, and side planks. Limit rest to 10 seconds between each set. You will need to do 2 sets each of 7-8 of these exercises for an 8 minute workout routine. This HIIT workout will leave your core feeling sore, but it’s a good kind of hurt when you know that you can get a flat stomach with a daily investment of just 8 minutes.

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