HIIT Workouts for Abs and Core

These HIIT Workouts for Abs will help to strengthen your core, build a six pack, improve your performance and protect your spine and back. A strong core will help to prevent back problems and poor posture later on in life. It will also transfer over to other sports such as climbing, trekking, swimming, kayaking, SUP, weightlifting, surfing, skiing and many more.

In short, a powerful core will turn you into a better athlete and a heathier human.

So, what is HIIT Training?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. These types of workouts are structured into periods of intense, max effort work, followed by periods performed at a much lower intensity.

The result is a highly efficient and effective way to train, maximising intensity in order to optimise the results from short training sessions.

Benefits of HIIT Workouts

  • Increase metabolism
  • Strengthen the heart
  • Improve endurance
  • Build muscle
  • Burn fat
  • Quick and effective

The following HIIT workouts for abs are specifically designed to strengthen your core.

The majority of these workouts can be performed anywhere, from the beach to your home, as they require no equipment. Whether you are camping in a Swedish forest or Patagonian wilderness, or simply training at home, in the park or in the gym, add them into you training.


20 seconds on then 20 seconds rest for 4 minutes.

  • Flutter Kicks
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • High Knees
  • Toe Touch Crunches
  • Russian Twists


Total time: 10 minutes

  1. 10 seconds of crunches
  2. 50 seconds rest
  3. 20 seconds of leg raises
  4. 40 seconds rest
  5. 30 seconds of mountain climbers
  6. 30 seconds rest
  7. 40 seconds plank
  8. 20 seconds rest
  9. 50 seconds flutter kicks
  10. 10 seconds rest

Then without any rest go back down

  1. 50 seconds crunches
  2. 10 seconds rest
  3. 40 seconds leg raises
  4. 20 seconds rest
  5. 30 seconds of mountain climbers
  6. 30 seconds rest
  7. 20 seconds plank
  8. 40 seconds rest
  9. 10 seconds flutter kicks
  10. 50 seconds rest


Total time: 6 minutes

Section a: Complete 3 rounds:

  • 20 seconds of crunches
  • 20 seconds plank
  • 20 seconds rest

Section b: Complete 3 rounds:

  • 20 seconds Russian twist crunches
  • 20 seconds hollow hold (link)
  • 20 seconds rest


Abs and core workout from Thuri Helgadottir

“Abs on ? Try this: 4 – 5 rounds. 30 – 40 seconds each exercise.”

  • Strict t2b (or hanging knee/leg raises to scale)
  • Hollow rock
  • Alternating one leg V-ups
  • Rest

“Simple but not easy! ?”

The Relationship between the Core and the Six Pack

A six pack is a sign of a low body fat percentage and well-defined rectus abdominal muscles (the exterior muscles of the core on the front of the body). It is perfectly possible to have a weak core and still have a six-pack, just as it is possible to have a powerful, strong core with no visible six pack at all.

It is always a good idea to base your progress on performance first, before looks and aesthetics. A strong core is a vital aspect of every human’s fitness and wellbeing, and will have huge benefits across many areas of your life.

A strong core helps to:

  • protect the spine
  • improve posture
  • stabilise movement
  • Prevent back aches and problems later in life
  • Enhance your mobility
  • Provide a base for all other functional movement (climb, run, lift, hike, swim, surf, etc)

Muscles of The Core


HIIT Workouts for Abs – Transverse Abdominis

This is the deepest layer of muscle that wraps around the spine to provide stability and protection. It also helps to maintain internal abdominal pressure (see Valsuva breathing techniques).

HIIT Workouts for Abs – Internal Abdominal Obliques

These are located on top of the transverse abdominis, flanking the rectus abdominis just inside the hip bones. One of their main purposes is to allow the torso to twist (see planes of motion) and they work in collaboration with the External Abdominal Obliques.

For example, twisting the trunk to the left requires the left side internal oblique and the right-side external oblique to contract together.

HIIT Workouts for Abs – External Abdominal Obliques

These are situated either side of the rectus abdominis (abs).

For example, the right external oblique contracts to turn the body to the left.

Rectus Abdominis

The abs or six pack. These are located along the front of the abdomen, between the ribs and the pubic bone.

Serratus Anterior

The serratus anterior is a muscle that originates on the surface of the 1st to 8th ribs at the side of the chest. The serratus anterior acts to pull the scapula forward around the thorax.

HIIT Workouts for Abs – The Posterior Chain

The posterior chain is hugely important when it comes to core strength, injury prevention and performance. This comprises the back (posterior) of the body, including hamstrings, the gluteus maximus (bum), erector spinae muscle group, trapezius, and posterior deltoids.

You can learn more about how to train this part of your body, and why you should here (link to posterior chain)

The Real-World Benefits of a Strong Core

Whether you love to surf, sail, climb, run, lift weights, kayak, hike, ski, lift weights or any other form of fitness, a strong core will be highly beneficial to your specific sport.

A stronger core will help you to control your movements, twist and move your body, and improve your physique and abilities. It will also help to prevent back injuries and establish better habits when it comes to posture and movement.

If you liked these HIIT Workouts for Abs, try these Dumbbells Workouts for Chest, Leg Exercises or Box Step Ups Workouts.

Want to stay healthy in general? Then learn how to improve your immune system.

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