Posted on June 14, 2017 by Jenny Cromack

It’s that time of year, the sun is out, the beach is looming we all want a six pack, to feel svelte and confident in our bikinis and look strong and lean in our shorts. Often, at this time of year, our personal training clients and gym members may want to spend more time focusing on their core and ask to do more ‘ab work’.

HIIT and core workout

My philosophy on ‘abs’ is that if you had an extra 20 minutes to exercise each day then, unless your body fat is already low, you would be better doing 20 minutes of HIIT or circuit training instead of abs. Why is this? Well, unless your body fat is low, no matter how hard you hit those abs you will never see that six pack, without dropping that body fat. However, I know everyone likes to work their abs too, so here is my ‘best of both worlds’ workout for you….a HIIT and core workout.

If you want to work your abs harder during this HIIT and core workout then use a medicine ball, dumbbell or kettlebell during the ab exercises where you can. To balance things out, I’ve added in some lower back and glute exercises too.


Work phase = 40s

Rest phase = 20s

Repeat circuit x 4

1A. Squat Jumps

1B.  Star Jumps

1C. Double Arm Battle Rope (if you don’t have a rope then do mountain climbers instead)

1D. Burpees


Repeat exercises as a circuit x 3

1A. Plank , hold x 30-60s (make this harder by lifting one foot, one inch from the floor every 15 seconds)

1B. Oblique Plank – hold x 30-60s each side (make harder by adding in a rotation)

1C. Glute Bridges



Work phase = 40s

Rest Phase = 20s

Repeat circuit x 2

2A. Rope single arm whips (no rope, then do star jumps touching the floor instead)

2B. Bunny Hops

2C. Power Lunges

2D. Step Ups


Perform as a circuit x 3 (Use a dumbbell where possible to make harder)

2A. Jack Knifes x 12

2B. Crunches x 12

2C. Ab Cycles x 24

2D. Supermans


Work phase = 30s

Rest phase = 30s

Repeat each exercise x 2

A. Burpees

B. Skipping (if you don’t have a rope then do knees high)

C. 1 x Burpee, 2 x Star Jumps

D. Squat Jump forward x 2, run back – keep repeating.


Repeat as a circuit x 3 – use a dumbbell where possible.

3A. Double Crunches x 12

3B. Russian Twists x16

3C. V Sits x 12

Remember to finish your workout with a good cool down and stretches.