Are you looking to get stronger and more defined abs? Do you want to lose belly fat without doing extremely long cardio sessions or thousands of crunches?
Doing daily tabata workouts is the most efficient way to get the abs you want in the least amount of time. You will be surprised at how sore you get the next day from just one 4 minute workout, and how fast you will start seeing results in your abs.
This is because tabata workouts are similar to high intensity interval training workouts, the higher intensity and the shorter the bursts, the more ripped you get. The classic example of this comes from looking at sprinter’s body compositions vs marathon runners. Marathon runners exercise for hours and hours, but have very little muscle mass. Sure, they don’t have a lot of fat on them either, but the sprinters are more ripped and spend a fraction of the time getting there. We all have busy lives and finding ways to get in great shape by spending less time is always a win.
If you are not familiar with tabata workouts, here is the simple breakdown of a standard 4 minute tabata workout:
20 seconds of high intensity activity.
10 seconds of rest.
Repeat 8 times.
Total workout time of 4 minutes. Sounds easy right?
Think again. A tabata workout is essentially a specific type of interval training workout, using short bursts of high intensity movements followed by complete rest. You might be wondering why do you have 10 seconds of rest and why is this important? Try doing a complete all out sprint for more than 20 seconds and you will understand very quickly why the rest is crucial. The 10 second rest period allows you to recover just enough to perform another 20 seconds of maximum effort exercise. After 4 total minutes you should be fatigued, if you are not, then you are not going fast enough.
Many people are afraid that going too fast during a workout will cause an injury or is bad for you, however think of tabata like sprinting, you need to go fast to get the benefit. Warm up, stretch, and do a couple practice rounds, you will be good to go.
Now, without making you wait any longer, here are the 5 best tabata ab workouts. All 5 of these workouts are compound movements targeting all the core muscles and all require no equipment to perform. These workouts are scientifically proven to activate more abdominal muscles than doing exercises such as regular crunches, this will result in maximum ab definition and also maximum health benefits.
1. Tabata V Ups
This is the king of all basic ab workouts for a reason. V ups are king because they require no equipment and are not only very high intensity, but doing this workout targets all upper and lower abs at the same time. This compound ab movement is extremely tiring and forces your muscles to be engaged at all times doing the movement. Doing an entire 4 minute tabata of just v ups is extremely hard, if you find it too difficult, try bending your legs or also alternating a different type of ab workout so that you end up doing 2 minutes of v ups and 2 minutes of something less intense. Eventually you will work your way up to doing an entire 4 minute tabata workout of v ups, keeping your legs and upper body straight throughout.
1. Lie flat on your back on the floor arms extended over your head, palms facing up.
2. Feet are together and toes are pointed.
3. In one quick movement lift legs keeping them straight and raise entire upper body off the floor reaching for your toes.
4. Keep back straight and create a folding v shape with your body balancing on your butt.
5. Touch toes and then lower feet and hands back down to the starting position without touching the floor.
2. Tabata Planks
Tabata planks are a much less intense option than v ups but still work your entire core in a beneficial way. Tabata planks are considered a compound ab exercise because every single muscle in your body is engaged and activated. Tabata planks are great to use in combination with other ab exercises because they allow for a more static workout, this will make sure that all muscles are being used, even the smallest little fibers. If you are going to do an entire tabata workout of just tabata planks, try increasing the total time to 8 minutes.
1. Get into pushup position on the floor, resting your body weight on your elbows instead of your hands.
2. Elbows should be directly under your shoulders.
3. Only your toes and elbows touch the floor, keeping your back straight.
4. Your body should be in a straight line, don’t let your butt rise up in the air or your pelvis drop to the floor.
5. Hold up position for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds by lying completely flat on your stomach on the floor.
3. Tabata Bicycle Kicks
Tabata bicycle kicks will really make you feel the burn in your abs. This ab exercise is very high intensity and is on par with the v up for the most difficult tabata ab workout. However, this ab workout targets different muscles, specifically the muscles in your abs that help you twist and turn your body. This exercise is easy to scale depending on your fitness level, if you feel strong in your core then you can really do the bicycles fast to feel the intensity of the workout, if you get too fatigued too fast, then you can slow it down to a slower speed. But remember, the goal of tabata is to try to reach your maximum output every round!
1. Lie on your back with hands on back of your head.
2. Knees are up in the air with you feet off the ground.
3. Touch your right elbow to your left knee and engage your entire stomach.
4. Touch your left elbow to your right knee and engage again.
5. Alternate back and forth as fast as you can without resting until the 20 second period is up.
4. Tabata Full Sit Ups
Tabata full sit ups is a great workout and the most standard exercise for tabata abs. This type of sit up of moderate intensity but is nothing like a crunch. This exercise can be hard on the lower back and it is a good idea to put some sort of towel or mat down on the ground before performing this movement. Also, it can be helpful to place your feed under a couch or heavy object so that you can remain in the same place and prevent your feet from coming up off the ground.
1. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet on the ground and hands over your head.
2. Sit up all the way with chest coming to your knees and with feet remaining on the ground.
3. Touch your feet with your hands.
4. Return back to starting position with hands touching the ground behind your head.
5. Tabata Ab Choppers
Tabata ab choppers combine the difficulty of v ups with the twisting motion of the bicycles. This is a great all round workout for the abs. You can increase the difficulty by keeping your feet raised up in the air at a 45 degree angle with your legs straight or you can do the standard chopper with your feet resting on the ground. If you want to have a real challenge then try lowering your feed to just a few inches of the ground while you continue to do the choppers.
1. Lie on your back with your arms stretched out and hands together over your head.
2. Feet can be resting on the ground or up in the air depending on your fitness level.
3. Raise your entire upper body off the floor.
4. As you raise up keep your hands together and twist to one side.
5. Touch the floor on your side then come back to starting position.
6. Repeat movement on alternate side.