You don’t necessarily have to do any ab workouts to work your abs…technically, when you engage your core throughout any exercise, you are working your abs. But some workouts definitely favor your core a little more than others!
One of my favorite ab defining things to do, that doesn’t involve a single crunch, is sprinting intervals.
Sprinting really makes you engage your entire core and you need to squeeze it all super tight in order to get enough power to run fast. Additionally, sprints are done as short bursts, not long intervals, so you put your abs through bursts of intense work and then moments of rest so you up your bodys fat burning capacity.
SOO about that…not only does sprinting really work your core, it is also a super fat burning workout because it is very high intensity and followed by moments of lower intensity. This keeps your body on its toes- keeps it guessing- which leads to more of a burn during and after you workout. All about that post workout burn!! The combo of fat burning and ab work is really the most important part here. Having a layer of fat over your abs will mask their definition, super lame…I know. SO burning fat while strengthening your core is the winning combination and will lead you towards a flat, defined stomach fast. HIIT is one of my favorite ways to workout because you get the most bang for your buck. The most calorie and fat burning potential for the shortest amount of time.
So let’s talk about the how-to of all of this….
I take a lot of classes at Barry’s Bootcamp, and we do a lot of treadmill sprints in this class….like A LOT! This is where I really started to notice my core taking over in a major way- the intervals make me squeeze and engage my core and this helps me run faster and with more power. If I didn’t engage my core properly, I wouldn’t hit the sprint numbers that the competitive side of me NEEDS to hit every damn time. EVERY DAMN TIME YOU GUYS. The outcome of all of that is a stronger core and a tighter waist line- have I convinced you yet??? If you haven’t tried a Barry’s class, check them out- one of the BEST workouts out there, for real.
When I am traveling, I run on the treadmill or on foot to workout- I find that it is something I can basically do anywhere and it always makes me feel amazing. And you better believe I incorporate sprints into my runs whenever possible!!
I created TWO amazing Barry’s Bootcamp-esque treadmill workouts here and here that you can do anywhere you find a treadmill or an open road. If outside, just gauge your “speed” as your effort, because obviously on foot you don’t have a number you are hitting in the same way you would on a treadmill.
So whether I am in a Barry’s (or similar) class or on my own- when I am in between sprints, I like to continue to jog or run. Taking as few walk breaks as possible ALWAYS, because as soon as you walk you start to disengage your abs quite a bit. Staying in a jog keeps the engagement and the burn going so you get way more out of every single workout. You’ll burn more fat and calories while strengthening your abs- the total goal!
If you are a runner who enjoys a longer, more leisurely run, try incorporating 30-60 second sprint intervals into your runs every few minutes…
For example: every 5 minutes, do a one minute sprint at a faster pace, then recover at a run or jog for another 5 minutes. Continue this way for your whole run! Adding intervals also makes a workout more fun in my opinion- it adds a challenge and it gives you something to focus on, which often makes the time fly by! PLUS, adding sprints into your runs will make you go faster and that run will probably take you way less time than it usually does! So you can get on with your damn day- workout done. Abs sculpted.
Get to it! Sprint it out!! Let me know what you think about sprints! Do you do them? Do you love them?
I linked my outfit below- although I can’t find the same color bra anymore!!! Nike has SO many cute colors of this style though, so I linked another cute one below! Oh and most of them are on a super SALE! And these shorts, I am obsessed!!! I have a few colors and they cost less than $17 a pair. Total steal.
Have an amazing weekend beauties!!