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8 Minute Ab Workout For Muscle Definition and Fat Loss

Updated: May 1, 2022

A woman completing an 8 minute ab workout to improve muscle definition and fat loss.

This 8 minute ab workout will sculpt a torso that looks like it’s been etched out of Venetian marble.

The exercises that have been selected target all areas of the torso – the lower and upper abdominals, transverse abdominus, and obliques.

In addition, because you will be maintaining a high intensity, this 8 minute ab workout will also get your heart rate up.

So, as well as carving a chiselled torso, it also provides an intense workout while burning fat.

8 minute ab workout benefits

First and foremost, if you make room in your routine for this 8 minute ab workout, it can help to improve abdominal definition. Over a number of weeks, it’s likely that you’ll start to notice sharper muscular separation.

This outcome will be both hastened and augmented if you engage in plenty of aerobic exercises while also observing plant-based dietary principles. While completing this ab workout have a got at this 30-day running challenge.

This 8 minute ab workout improves fitness

Because this workout is comprised of functional movements, it can support the development of whole-body fitness. While the primary aim of the workout is to enhance the tonality of the abs, the exercises also promote muscular endurance and core strength.

For example, alternate twists with a kettlebell target a wide range of muscle groups. As well as engaging the entirety of your transverse abdominus, it also activates the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

The same can be said of kneeling dumbbell rotations. Yes, the exercise places heavy emphasis on the obliques and core. But it also stimulates the chest, anterior deltoids, and trapezius.

Minimalistic training kit required

Another attribute of this workout is that it requires only a few items of exercise equipment. A training mat, light kettlebell, and dumbbell are all that you need to sculpt the torso of your dreams.

In fact, you don’t need that much. If you’re doing this workout at home, and you only have a kettlebell at your disposal, you could use that in place of the dumbbell. (Or vice versa depending on availability.)

And if you don’t have any exercise equipment at home? That’s not a problem. Simply replace the kettlebell with any heavy object of comparable size – such a bag, big book, or bottle of water.

How to approach this 8 minute ab workout

This 8 minute ab workout couldn’t be simpler. Applying the AMRAP training methodology, your objective is to complete as many circuits of the exercises as possible in 8 minutes.

Before you begin, it’s best to gather your equipment around a training mat. With the kit localised you can quickly and efficiently transition through the exercises.

Once you’re organised, set an 8 minute countdown timer and progress through the circuit. Maintain a consistent output for the entirety of the workout.

Of course, you can rest if you need to. But if you do rest, try to hold out until you have completed one full lap of the five exercises. Also, be strict with your rest period. Take no longer than 20-seconds. As soon as your rest is up, get back into the workout.

8 Minute Ab Workout

Ab exercise #1: Kettlebell alternate twists

Method: 20 reps

Muscles targeted: obliques, transverse abdominus, hip flexors, chest, anterior deltoids, biceps

Kettlebell twists teaching points

  • Seated on a training mat with a light kettlebell at your side.

  • Grasp the kettlebell and manoeuvre it in front of your chest.

  • Keeping your knees slightly bent, raise your feet a few inches off the ground.

  • Rotate the KB to the side stopping when your elbow on that side touches the training mat.

  • Push off the mat as you twist to the opposite side.

  • Repeat for 10 reps on each side (20 total).

Ab exercise #2: Flutter kicks

Method: 20 reps (10 each leg)

Muscles targeted: lower and upper abdominals, hip flexors

  • Lie on your back with your hands wedged under your bum for support.

  • Raise both feet up about six inches off the training mat.

  • Initiate the exercise by raising one leg about four inches while simultaneously lowering the other.

  • Alternate legs in quick succession until you have completed 10 reps either side.

Ab exercise #3: Hill climbers

Method: 20 reps

Muscles targeted: lower and upper abdominals, chest, anterior deltoids, triceps, calves.

Hill climbers teaching points

  • The start position of hill climbers is the same as press-ups – aka the high plank.

  • Imitate the exercise by springing one knee level with the supporting arm of the same side: left knee to left elbow.

  • Thrust the leg back to the start position while simultaneously springing the opposite leg up to the arm: right knee to right elbow.

  • Repeat for 10 reps on each side (20 total).

Ab exercise #4: Plank

Method: 10 seconds

Muscles targeted: all muscles of the abdominals and core; also planking isometrically engages the quadriceps, hip flexors, chest, anterior deltoids, and triceps.

Plank teaching points

  • Concluding hill climbers, drop straight into the plank position: forearms resting on the mat, feet together, toes gripping the floor.

  • The back will inevitably begin to sag as your abdominals fatigue.

  • This you must prevent. As well as looking ugly, a sagging back compresses the intervertebral discs. A consequence of the skeletal system supporting your body weight instead of muscle contraction.

  • If you do not possess the requisite strength to support a full plank, pop your knees down. Even in this modified position, the abs will still be engaged.

  • For those who can comfortably plank, consider intensifying the exercise by raising one foot off the ground. Hold for a count of 5-seconds before changing.

Ab exercise #5: Dumbbell rotations

Method: 20 reps

Muscles targeted: obliques, core, chest, anterior and medial deltoids, triceps.

Dumbbell rotations teaching points

  • In the kneeling position, support a dumbbell at your front.

  • Your arms are slightly bent – and should remain so throughout the exercise – and the dumbbell is suspended directly level with your chest.

  • Even in the start position, you’ll feel your core and upper body muscles fight to sustain the position.

  • To initiate the exercise, begin smoothly rotating from side to side.

  • The range of movement is determined by your abdominal flexibility. Optimally, you want to reach 45-degrees before rotating to the opposite side.

  • To reduce or increase the intensity of the exercise, alter the degree of flexion at the elbow. The straighter your arms are, the harder the exercise will become.

If you’d like to see the workout in action or need some added motivation, follow the link and train with me: 8 Minute Ab Workout.


Enjoyed this 8 minute ab workout?

Get your hands on 70 more with the Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits & Workouts Volume 2.

This image shows the Hungry4Fitness book of circuits and workouts volume two. Inside the image it identifies the key features of the book which include: Over 70 fully customisable circuits and workouts suitable for all levels of fitness and ability; 4-Week Functional Fitness Training Programme; How to create your own circuits and workouts including essential training principles; Key exercise explanations and tutorials; A complete guide to fitness testing; The 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge; CrossFit-style training sessions including EMOM, AMRAP, and HIIT workouts; An illustrated, step-by-step guide to stretching.


In this text box it says: As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance! Blog Author: Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

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