What is the best cardio workout for six pack abs? That is a rather difficult question to answer because none of these cardiovascular exercises appreciably works the abdominal muscles as say direct exercise to the muscle group would. However, there are plenty of cardio options to help you burn through belly fat and get those cut six pack abs that you desire and here is a list of some of my favorites.
You want a full body workout that will shed fat like crazy? Take a dip in the pool and swim laps. Believe me even if you have some endurance running on dry land, swimming will have your heart racing and you’ll experience (at first) soreness in muscles you didn’t even know you had. What better way to get ripped for the beach than by partaking in a sport designed for the water? In an hour for someone my size (185 lb male) swimming laps will burn approximately 600-800 calories per hour depending on the amount of effort I am expending. Plus, comparatively swimming is low impact to other exercises such as running.
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Sprints are not an every day cardio option. However, adding two sprinting sessions per week can help you get that six pack fast and is one of the best cardio exercises there is. Professional sprinters are the fastest humans alive with lean and muscular frames that separate them from the skinnier distance runners that you see in marathon events. Sprinting builds muscle which helps to burn even more fat not to mention the calories you burn while performing at close to or at top speed. The great thing is sprint workouts are designed to be short versus other forms of cardio the bad thing is it absolutely exhausting.
Incline walk on a treadmill
Walking by itself can be a great starting point for losing fat. After all, it requires no equipment, is low impact, and is useful for when you just want to think a bit. If you want to incorporate something a bit more challenging than walking on a flat surface utilize the incline function on a treadmill. I usually do 30-45 minutes at 4.0-4.5 miles per hour with the incline ranging from 5-15% and the number of calories burned is comparable to light running without all the stress on my knees (ankle joints can get a bit sore if you overdo it). Find a speed and an incline setting that is comfortable for you and aim for that same type of time range. I know it can get boring so bring some headphones, listen to books, podcasts, or watch TV at the gym. Just keep your mind engaged and you’ll get through the workout even if it is less than exciting.
Jumping rope is a nice way to switch up your cardio workouts. Not only do you get the benefits of losing lots of fat but your conditioning and endurance improves tremendously. It can be difficult at first to keep up the pace or even to learn the motion if you have never skipped rope before but it quite simply is one of the best cardio exercises for fat burning.
If you are currently a member of a gym you have undoubtedly seen plenty of people on exercise bikes peddling away while reading books or newspapers. The type of workout I am referring to is much more strenuous then that leisurely pace. I generally use the exercise bike when I am splitting my cardio up into 20 minutes portions. So 20 minutes on the bike followed by something like 20 minutes of walking on an incline. This twenty minutes is high intensity with the resistance level on something moderately difficult. To make it fun try to beat your previous best in distance each time you sit down on the bike, it is a great way to stay engaged while burning extra calories.
All cardio is great for losing fat and getting a six pack but obviously the intensity of your workout is going to effect how many calories you burn. This is not to say you need to go as hard as possible each time because you will quickly burn yourself out and risk injury. However, you should mix things up with intensity and the amount of time you spend on each exercise and as always be consistent with your workouts.