Skip to content

A 15-Minute HIIT Ab Workout to Shape & Sculpt Your Core

Achieve those coveted six-pack abs with this speedy HIIT workout.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Welcome to a high-energy ab workout that will leave you feeling strong and sculpted. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the perfect blend of cardio and strength training. When you focus on your core, it brings an extra layer of intensity to your fitness routine. Whether you're new to working out or a seasoned fitness enthusiast, this 15-minute HIIT ab workout challenges your muscles and elevates your heart rate, delivering the best of both worlds in a short amount of time. So, grab a mat, a medicine ball, and some dumbbells, and let's get to work!

Training your core isn't just about achieving those coveted six-pack abs (though that's definitely a bonus!). Your core muscles, which include the rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and the muscles in your lower back, play a crucial role in almost every movement you make.

A strong core improves your posture, enhances your balance and stability, and supports your spine, reducing the risk of injury. Additionally, a well-conditioned core contributes to better performance in all physical activities, from lifting heavy groceries to running marathons. Integrating core workouts into your fitness routine sculpts your midsection and builds a solid foundation for overall strength and health.

As a certified performance coach and fitness enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the industry, I've dedicated my career to helping individuals achieve their health and fitness goals through personalized training programs and motivational coaching. My passion for fitness started early, and since then, I've worked with clients from all walks of life, guiding them toward becoming stronger and more confident.

In this article, I'll walk you through a dynamic, effective HIIT ab workout I've fine-tuned over the years. So, get ready to challenge yourself and transform your core—let's dive into what's to come!

The 15-Minute HIIT Ab Workout

mountain climber

Here's a quick rundown of this 15-minute HIIT ab workout.

Perform three rounds with working intervals of 45 seconds and rest intervals of 15 seconds. Stay focused on your movement, and always be in control.

  • Rotational Med Ball Slams
  • Weighted Straight-leg Sit-ups
  • Plank with Side to Side Hip Dips
  • Supermans (Back Extensions)
  • Cross-body Mountain Climbers

10 Best Six-Pack Exercises To Do With Weights

1. Rotational Med Ball Slams (45 seconds, 15 seconds rest)

Rotational med ball slams target your abdominal muscles, engage your obliques, and improve core stability. They add a level of movement variety—rotation—to your core workout while developing power and strength. Plus, after a few slams, you'll soon find out why they fit perfectly in a HIIT workout.

Start by standing shoulder-width apart with your feet and holding a medicine ball with both hands. Lift the ball overhead, engage your core muscles, and rotate your torso to the right. Slam the ball down to the ground beside your right foot with controlled force. Lift it overhead again, and repeat the motion to the left side. Focus on using your core to drive the movement, ensuring you maintain control throughout the exercise.

Use a non-bouncing med ball if you want an extra layer of safety.

2. Weighted Straight-leg Sit-ups (45 seconds, 15 seconds rest)

Weighted straight-leg sit-ups hone in on the rectus abdominis and utilize a solid eccentric (lowering) phase to bolster muscular strength and create a potent level of hypertrophy in your core.

Lie on your back with your legs extended straight and a dumbbell held against your chest. Engage your core and perform a sit-up, reaching the dumbbell toward your toes. Ensure your movements are slow and deliberate, emphasizing control as you lift. As you lower back down to the starting position, keep your lower back in contact with the floor to maintain proper form and avoid strain.

5 Ab Workouts That Burn the Most Calories

3. Plank with Side to Side Hip Dips (45 seconds, 15 seconds rest)

This plank variation comes with a twist—literally. You'll challenge maintaining core stability and control as you brace for a traditional plank. But then, adding the side-to-side hip dips engages your transverse abdominis and calls on your obliques for extra engagement. Forty-five full seconds of feeling the burn!

Begin in a forearm plank position, ensuring your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core and rotate your hips to dip them toward the floor on your right side, then return to the center. Repeat the motion to the left side, maintaining a tight core and stable plank position. Continue alternating sides for the duration of the interval.

4. Supermans (Back Extensions) (45 seconds, 15 seconds rest)

illustration of superman back extensions exercise

You must show the posterior chain some love for a strong, shaped core. Supermans are excellent for strengthening the lower back, glutes, and shoulders, providing a balanced approach to core training by including posterior chain engagement.

Lie face down on your mat with your arms extended in front of you and your legs straight. Simultaneously lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground, squeezing your lower back and glutes at the movement's top. Hold this position for a moment, then slowly lower back down. Focus on controlled movements, ensuring you lift using your back muscles rather than swinging your limbs.

17 Best Ab Exercises for Visible Results

5. Cross-body Mountain Climbers (45 seconds, 15 seconds rest)

Cross-body mountain climbers boost cardiovascular endurance while targeting your entire core, particularly the obliques, and help improve coordination and balance. Ending each round of this HIIT workout will ensure you're getting your money's worth. The key is to be controlled with each leg drive!

Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Drive your right knee toward your left elbow, then quickly switch, bringing your left knee toward your right elbow. Continue alternating rapidly, keeping your core engaged and your body aligned. Maintain a steady rhythm, ensuring each knee drives toward the opposite elbow.

The #1 Best Daily Ab Workout for Beginners

Modifying the Workout for Your Fitness Level

plank hip dip

Tailoring any workout to match your fitness level to ensure effectiveness and safety is important.

If you're just starting or need more recovery time, consider decreasing the work interval to 30 seconds while increasing the rest interval to 30 seconds. This adjustment allows you to maintain proper form and intensity without overexerting yourself. As you build strength and endurance, you can gradually increase the work interval to 45 seconds and reduce the rest period to 15 seconds.

Listen to your body and progress at your own pace, challenging yourself while respecting your limits. Modifying the workout ensures you're constantly pushing towards improvement, regardless of your starting point.

Jarrod Nobbe, MA, CSCS
Jarrod Nobbe is a USAW National Coach, Sports Performance Coach, Personal Trainer, and writer, and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 12 years. Read more about Jarrod
Filed Under
Sources referenced in this article
  1. Source: