A fitness routine need not be cumbersome. Even if you can spare some time every day, you can get that boost and also work towards toned-up. A cardio workout is thought to be the best to keep you fit in every way. But cardio exercises for toned abs can be a great way to reduce belly fat and tone up those abs muscles.
Experts advise regular moderate cardio exercises as they are associated with lower risks of cardiovascular diseases. It is known that physically active individuals have lower blood pressure, higher insulin sensitivity, and a more favorable lipid profile.1 But apart from reducing the risk of lifestyle disorders if you are also looking at having great toned abs, cardio exercises can be the best pick.
Toned abs are best achieved when you can work on abdominal fat. Both the processes go hand in hand. Choosing the right type of exercises, like cardio exercises for toned abs works by reducing the abdominal fat as well as strengthening and toning up the muscles in the abdominal region.
With regards to exercises for their effect on abdominal fat and exercise timings, here is an interesting report. A recent study report published in 2022 states that morning exercise reduced abdominal fat and blood pressure in women and evening exercise improved muscle performance in them. While in men evening exercise increased oxidation of fat and reduced systolic blood pressure and fatigue.2
Exercises for Toned Abs
If you are wondering why should you work out for toned abs? Then, here is what you should know about the benefit of core exercises. Core exercises help build your back and lower body muscles so that the abdominal, pelvic, lower back and hip muscles work in proper coordination and offer balance and stability.3 This not only improves your exercise performance but also improves your day-to-day activities and helps prevent low back pain.
Cardio Exercises for Toned Abs
Abdominal exercises can help reduce abdominal fat and give you toned abs. In a 2011 study, it was concluded that abdominal exercise training for six weeks improved muscular endurance to a great extent in the study group as compared to the control group. However, it was reported that only abdominal exercise training was not sufficient to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat.4
This is where a cardio workout may prove to be useful, as it also has an overall impact on your body. Cardio exercises for toned abs can not only build ab muscles but also help reduce fat and excess weight.
The most suitable cardio exercises are those that increase your heart rate, and your breathing and help improve your core endurance. Cardio exercises for toned abs burn calories and help you shed body fat, along with abdominal strengthening.
Here are some of the best cardio exercises for toned abs:
These are the most convenient cardio exercises for toned abs, particularly for beginners. Stand with your feet placed close to each other on the floor. Place your hands in the jogging position in front of your chest and engage your core. Gently begin jogging on the spot, lifting one foot after the other in a rhythmic flow. Continue this for 2 – 3 mins. This is the basic exercise to start with, also acts like a warm-up and prepares you for the next high-impact cardio exercises that will work up your abs.
Though it may sound simple, skipping is one of the best cardio exercises for toned abs. It is a very good cardio workout for the whole body and can be performed comfortably. Stand straight, engage your core and look in the front when skipping to make the most of it.
Stand straight with your toes pointing forward and engaging your core to maintain stability and balance. Look in the front and place your hands over your hips, on the sides. Now lift your right foot and bring it knee high up while bending the knee. In this position, the thigh is parallel to the floor, the knee pointing in the front and the shin bone is perpendicular to the floor. Engage your core well to balance yourself on one leg. Now bring the raised leg down on the floor and repeat the same process with the left leg. Once you get the hang of it gradually increase the speed bringing one knee towards your chest and then the other alternately. Doing this in quick succession gives a high-intensity cardio boost and this is one of the best cardio exercises for toned abs. Continue this for 2 to 3 minutes.
Alternate High Knees
Alternate high knees are done similar to high knees with a slight modification that gives an extra punch to the cardio exercises for toned abs. Stand straight with your toes pointing forward and engaging your core to maintain stability and balance. Look in the front and place your hands in the front of your chest with both palms down. Now lift your right foot and bring it knee high up while bending the knee. Now tilt this knee a little towards the left side so that the left-hand touch the right thigh. Then place it back on the floor and repeat the same process with the opposite side. Raise the left leg and bend it, tilting it slightly to the right to touch the right palm and then back. Repeat this for 2 – 3 minutes with the same enthusiasm. The alternate touching the knees with the palm gives your abs the much-needed workout combined with the cardio exercises for toned abs.
Burpees are considered one of the most effective cardio exercises for toned abs, particularly for a great workout at home. It is the best pick to burn those extra calories and build strong abdominal muscles at the same time. Begin by standing with feet on the floor and hands extended in front of you. Lower your body into a squat position. Then quickly place your hands on the floor in front of you and extend your legs behind to attain a push-up position. Then immediately bring your legs in the front, close to your chest, and get into the squat position. Now quickly jump into the air, as high as possible, and again come back to the squat position. Repeat this 10 times. Beginners can do it slowly, to begin with, but gradually doing it quickly gives a high-intensity workout, which makes burpees one of the best cardio exercises for toned abs.
This exercise attains positions as if you are climbing a mountain and as a high intensity workout it can surely give you a similar feel as well. Take a push-up position with your hands placed shoulder wide apart on the floor and keep your back straight. Bring your right knee towards your right hand, as if you are climbing, and just lightly touch the toe to the floor and take it back to extend it behind. Repeat the same process with the left leg towards the left hand and then back. Continue alternately and gradually increase the speed to get the most out of this high-intensity workout, which is one of the most effective cardio exercises for toned abs.