Do you have 30 minutes to spare to shred your six pack? Yeah, we thought so.
The Men’s Health 30-Minute Shred utilizes high-intensity interval training (or HIIT), which is an effective method for improving sports performance and stripping away body fat. In fact, studies show that when it comes to fitness, the training effects of HIIT are equal to traditional endurance training—and in a fraction of the time.
If you’re convinced, take on this Cardiac Core Session from the program to get your heart-pumping and your abs popping. You’ll also sweat like a pig—but you won’t look or feel like one after you put in the work.
Perform each pair of exercises using a “countdown ladder” technique, starting with 10 repetitions and working your way down to 1. Do 10 repetitions of Exercise 1A, followed by 10 repetitions of Exercise 1B. Without resting (or with as little rest as needed), do 9 reps of both exercises, then 8 reps of both exercises, and so on, until you’ve completed 1 rep of both exercises. Then repeat the procedure for Exercises 2A and 2B, and Exercises 3A and 3B.
Circuit 1: Countdown Circuit 10 to 1
1A. Squat Jump
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Bend at your hips and knees, and lower your body into a quarter squat. Let your arms swing back behind you [A]. Immediately reverse the movement and jump off the floor forcefully, swinging your arms above your head[B]. Land as softly as you can and go right back into the squat position and jump again.
1B. Hipup (both sides)
Lie on your left side on the floor, your right foot in front of your left.Prop yourself up on your forearm[A]. Raise your right hip until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles[B]. Lower back to the starting position. Do all your reps and repeat on your other side.
Circuit 2: Countdown Circuit 10 to 1
2A. Squat Thrust
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart [A]. Squat down and lower your body until your hands touch the floor just in front of your feet [B]. Kick your legs out into a pushup position [C]. Then reverse the movement back to the squat position [D]. Now stand back up. That’s one rep.
2B. Plank Rotation
Get into a pushup position, but place your elbows on the floor, one arm in front of the other (as shown). Squeeze your glutes and thighs tightly, and brace your abs [A]. Keeping your feet in place, lift your right arm and rotate your torso upward, reaching as far behind you as you comfortably can [B]. Now rotate back down, and repeat on your left side. That’s one rep.
Circuit 3: Countdown Circuit 10 to 1
3A. Mobility Burpee
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart [A]. Squat down and lower your body until your hands touch the floor just in front of your feet [B]. Kick your legs out into a pushup position [C]. Lift your right foot, bend your knee, and place your right foot as close as you comfortably can to your right hand [D]. Step your right foot back into pushup position, and repeat with your left leg. From the pushup position [E], jump your feet up toward your shoulders as you simultaneously push off the floor with your hands and land in a squat position [F]. Now jump up [G] and land in the starting position.
3B. Bodyweight Jackknife
Lie on your back on the floor with your legs and arms straight, as shown [A]. In one movement, simultaneously lift your torso] and legs as if you’re trying to touch your toes [B]. Lower your body back to the starting position.
By Michael Piercy, MS, CSCS