The 20-Minute Cardio Workout That Is All About Those Abs

This circuit features four double-duty moves—they raise your heart rate and they help strengthen your abs. Check and check. “This is a difficult circuit,” explains Jill Penfold, certified personal trainer and creator of the 12-week LA Bride Body program. “Begin at a level that you are comfortable with, but be prepared to get uncomfortable. It’s about pushing your limits without sacrificing your form.” You’ll complete four rounds in 20 minutes and there are recovery minutes programmed in the routine. But if you push your pace and totally crush the circuit, you’ll actually get extra time to rest before the next round begins. Read on for the full instructions.

How To Do The Workout:

Start with a brief warm-up. Do each exercise below for the set number of reps. Try to complete the entire circuit during each round, whatever time you have leftover is extra time to recover. Then when the clock starts for the next round, you start the same circuit again from the top. If you don’t finish the circuit during one of the rounds, you still start from the top for the next round. When the clock hits 20:00, take a few minutes to stretch and cool down. Then you’re done!

Round 1: 0:00-5:00

Rest: 5:00-6:00

Round 2: 6:00-10:00

Rest: 10:00-11:00

Round 3: 11:00-15:00

Rest: 15:00-16:00

Round 4: 16:00-20:00

The Moves:

Fast Feet — 100 reps

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Come on to the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent. Pick up your right foot and quickly put it back down and repeat on the opposite leg.

Skater Hops — 75 reps

  • Starting at the left of your space, squat slightly then jump to the right as far as you can, leading with and landing on your right foot. Swing your arms across your body to help you jump further.
  • Land on your right foot and try not to touch your left foot down as you bend your knee (almost into a mini squat).
  • Jump back across left to land on your left foot. Try to jump as far and as fast as you can while staying balanced. Each jump counts as one rep.

Bicycle Crunches — 50 reps (left + right = 1 rep)

  • Sit on floor with knees bent, feet lifted, hands behind head.
  • Keep chest up and back straight as you lean back to engage abs.
  • Twist to bring right elbow to left knee, straightening right leg.
  • Repeat on opposite side for 1 rep.

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