INSANITY Workout Review: Cardio Abs


You should be hitting this INSANITY workout by the end of your second week, and if you’re following the schedule, it should come right on the heels of your Pure Cardio workout. Which means you’ll be hitting this already warmed up, but hopefully not completely burned out! Cardio Abs is only 17 minutes long, and as such you should be able to breeze through it quickly. Doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it does mean that while intense, it shouldn’t kill you to add it to the end of the Pure Cardio workout!

Warm Up

If you’re coming into this from Cardio Power, you should be more than warmed up, but if not, Shaun T gives you a quick, 2:30 minute warm up to get you where you need to be. Simple, quick and effective, the warm up starts with the classic jog, and then goes from there:

  • Jog: Just run easily in place
  • High Knees: Arms straight up, lift your knees above hip height. The key is to not just throw your legs up, but to use your core to elevate them.
  • High Knees W/ Twist: same as the last, but now arms move from side to side, elbows moving to the opposite knees as they raise.
  • Jump Rope: Again, keep the core tight, and pretend to jump rope as you go.
  • Tuck Jumps: This is the toughest exercise. From a ski-crouch, explode up, and use your core to bring your knees straight up, where they meet with your elbows.

This is followed by a 30 second water break.

  • Wide Tuck Jumps: Same as the tuck jumps from the warm up, but now with your legs opened wide. (30 sec)

This is followed by a 30 second water break.


Main Workout

The main exercises are composed of two basic sections: the C-Sits and the High/Low planks.

C-Sit Position:

While this workout does not include any crunches or sit-ups, you do get to sit on your rear and work your core. Shaun has  special position he calls the C-Sit, where you sit with your back straight, hands under your knees, then exhale, and lean back till your arms are straight. Then exhale and lift your hips, rocking onto your but, so that you’re sitting in a ‘C’.

  • Twist: While in the C-Sit, turn from side to side, exhaling and moving your hands from one side to the other.
  • Twist W/ Knee: Same as before, but raise opposite knee as you bring hands down to each side.
  • A-Frame Ab Twists: Same as the twist, but now the hands go above the head, and then each diagonal side, as if tracing a capital ‘A’.
  • A-Frame W/ Knee: As you bring your arms down, raise a knee in up through them, alternating as before.
  • Hold Center: Lean back into the C-Sit, arms held before you, letting your weight and gravity test your core.

Finish off with 30 second water break!

  • Single Leg Raises: Back into the C-Sit, but now one leg is extended out before you on the floor, the other bent with the knee drawn close to your chest. Lean back, hands on the floor by your glutes. Pull in the extended leg so that the knee comes to your chest, back out, and then stiff leg raise it up, and repeat.

Another 30 second water break!

Both Legs: C-Sit again. Legs both extended before you. Now bring them both into your chest, knees coming up, and then back out, and then both legs get raised, extended, and back down to repeat.

High Plank Position:

  • Alt Knees: Get into a push-up position, back straight, core contracted. Alternate bringing up each knee laterally to your ribs, exhaling when the knee is up.
  • Alt Knees Fast: The same as above, but faster!
  • Low Plank Position: Push-up position, but now resting on your forearms. Alternate knees laterally up to your ribs again.
  • Child’s Pose: This is where you rest, on your knees, forehead to the mat, arms extended before you.
  • Pulse Tucks High/Low: Low plank position, but now you’re pulsing your hips down and up, keeping your core tight. Do it for the count, then up to the high plank and do it again.

Cool Down

The cool down lasts a couple of minutes, and consists of a number of yoga poses and casual stretches, ranging from Cobra to Downward dog to hamstring stretches. Enjoy these final moments before you stop, and relish that core burn!