By now, you’ve probably heard of the famous 8-minute abs exercise routine buzzing all over the internet and social media.
Even in this world of everything happening instantaneously, getting an effective workout in eight minutes can feel like a stretch. But that’s only until you see how this 8-minute abs circuit is done. And actually, it’s not a brand new concept.
The History of the Minute Abs Video
The concept of a few minute abs circuit came about in the mid-90s with a hit “8-Minute Abs Workouts'” home video. Personal Trainer Jaime Brenkus, the designer of 8-minute abs, created the original video. In a recent interview, Jaime said that at the time, 60-minute workouts were far more common.
But just like now, Brenkus knew that people had busy lives, and a 60-minute ab workout would be pushed aside for other things. Jaime wanted to do something different. He wanted a workout fitness video that could be done in a much shorter timeframe. So, Brenkus and his team filmed the original 8-minute abs video just outside of the studio. Little did he know that he would create a revolutionary new exercise method.
Ever since the 8-minute abs video by workout fitness instructor Brenkus, the concept of short, efficient, hard-core workouts have become popular. And fortunately, the scientific community agrees with Brenkus as well. Research has shown that fast-paced HIIT workouts are incredibly effective, and it is possible to get a full-body workout and burn body fat in just a few minutes.
Studies have also shown that while 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise is ideal, it doesn’t have to be done at once. You can jump out of bed and do this workout, then get a 10-minute brisk walk in at lunch, and then take the dog out for a 15-minute walk after dinner, and you will have hit your workout goals for the day.
The Fitwirr 8-Minute Abs Workout
Taking the inspiration from the original Brenkus abs workout, we made some tweaks and switched up some moves to level up our 8-minute abs workout. But like the original Brenkus video, it requires no equipment, weights, or gym. All you need is a mat, some open space, and a timer set for eight minutes.
This aerobic workout has 8 bodyweight moves and is divided into two circuits, consisting of 4 exercises each. Perform all four movements in the first circuit and take 60 seconds of rest before moving to the next circuit. The challenge is to do both circuits in 8 minutes.
I have to warn you. This is probably the most challenging ab workout you’ll ever do. And even if you have done the original video, I challenge you to give this one a try. our circuit targets all your ab muscles, including the lower abs and obliques. You will definitely feel this one the next day!
But remember, a great workout is not enough to flatten your tummy alone. If you want to see real progress, combine this workout with a diet based on whole foods. If you have extra body fat, you will need to lose that extra weight so you can see the new muscles you are building. Need suggestions on how to put together a proper eating plan? See the Health section of our site for more information.
Other Great Options for Effective Workouts:
- 11 Best Ab Workouts for Men
- 25 Best Ab Exercises for Women
- 18 Best Exercises to Lose Belly for Men and Women
8-Minute Abs Workout
Watch each video then scroll down past the illustrations to see the details on how to do each exercise in the 8 min abs workout. Then, grab your mat, your timer, and get ready to go!
This plank variation tightens abdominal muscles and builds core strength by challenging your balance. Exercises that make you work to stay stable, like planks and squats, are fantastic for building your core. In this workout, you will create a strong core by bracing your midsection and squeezing your glutes while you balance on just your one foot and hand placed diagonally from each other.
Personal Trainer Tip: If completing this move in the high plank position is too hard on your wrists or too challenging at first, you can bend your elbows and rest on your forearms. In that version, you will hold the position with your right elbow bent and left foot on the mat, then switch sides.
1. Start in a plank position with your palms shoulder-width apart on the mat and feet shoulder-width apart. From this starting position, walk your legs apart until they are a bit wider than your hips. Make sure your hips are lifted, and your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your heels.
2. Keeping torso stable and in alignment, lift your right arm up and slightly out on the diagonal. At the same time, lift your left leg. Hold this position for two seconds, then return to your plank. This completes one repetition. Repeat with the left arm and right leg. Do two 12-15 reps on each side.
If you don’t have much time, this abs workout is a powerful exercise for your lower body. This exercise is great at hitting the hard to reach lower abs. Like the basic crunch, you’ll work your frontal abdominis muscle group, also known as the six-pack muscles, but by adding the V-shape motion, you’ll also get the lower part of your stomach.
1. Lie down flat on the floor with your legs straight and your arms at your sides. Your lower back should be pressed to the ground.
2. In one motion, quickly lift your torso into an upright position as you pull your knees to your chest. Your arms should stay straight, elbows locked, and along your thighs. Pause for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower your body back to the starting position. That’s one repetition. Do as many as you can within the 20-second mark.
If you are a beginner and this variation is too difficult at first, replace this with reverse crunches.
Down-Dog Split-Knee Up
This anaerobic move takes inspiration from yoga but has been adjusted to add a bit of cardio to burn some extra calories while toning up your abs. This mild cardio is a great way to stretch your full body from your toes to arms and build strength in your core.
Don’t forget to breathe through this exercise to get your oxygen flowing through your body too. It is easy to accidentally hold your breath in down-dog, which isn’t what we want here.
1. Begin in a downward-facing dog. Your palms on your mat, with your elbows and knees straight. Then raise your right leg to move into a down-dog split. Pause, then bend your right knee and pull it toward your forehead.
2. Straighten your leg and return to the starting position. That is one repetition. Repeat the movement for 10-seconds.
Now, switch legs and repeat. Raise your left leg into the down-dog split, and bend your left knee, pulling it towards your forehead. Repeat the movement for 10-seconds.
No abs 8 min workout would be complete without an oblique crunch that hits your side abs to trim your waistline. This move engages both internal and external obliques while working your calves, hamstrings, shoulders, and even your arms. It’s basically total body strength training. This move is more challenging than it looks. Beginners can start lifting and keeping their legs slightly off the floor. That alone will give your obliques serious strength training.
1. Lie on your right side, with your elbow bent and left hand behind your head and right hand on the floor.
2. Pressing down into your right hand, raise your straight legs off the floor and curl your torso toward your legs. Pause for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower yourself back down with control. Each curl up is one repetition. Complete as many as you can within the 10-second mark. Then switch sides and repeat on the other side.
Here is a different crunch variation that brings some fun to this 8-minute abs routine. As the name suggests, it adds an air chop motion at the end. If your fitness level is advanced, you can add a small dumbbell to the move to add a challenge. However, if you are a beginner, feel free to perform it without it. The added weight is something that’s completely optional.
1. Lie face-up flat on your back. Extend your arms above your head, either clasp your hands together or hold the handle of a single small dumbbell with both hands. Raise your legs toward the ceiling so your body forms a 90-degree angle.
2. Lift your head and shoulders, open your legs, and chop your hands through your at your thighs. Pause for 1-2 seconds, then return to the starting position. That is one repetition. Do as many repetitions as you can within the 20-seconds.
This is another anaerobic exercise we incorporated into this routine. Mountain climbers are best described as a leg shuffle while you are in a high plank position. The aerobic portion conditions you for endurance. Plus, it develops strength in your abs, core, and quads.
Personal trainer tip: keep your feet light and shuffle them through the repetitions as quickly as possible without breaking your form.
1. Start in a plank position with your arms completely straight and directly under your shoulders. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
2. Keeping your abs engaged, pick up your right foot, and slowly bring your right knee toward your chest. Return to start. Repeat with your left side. Continue alternating sides for 20 seconds.
If mountain climbers are hard on your wrists or shoulders, you can alternate with a different workout, like jumping jacks or burpees.
Side Plank Toe Touch
These side toe touches are dynamic side plank that’ll hit your obliques while engaging all your core. This exercise does a great job of building stability, flexibility, balance, and core strength while hitting all your primary target muscles.
1. Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Bend your right elbow and prop yourself up with your forearm, so your body forms a diagonal line.
2. Tighten your abs and extend your right leg in front of your hip (keep your knee as straight as possible, only bending to modify if needed) and touch your toes with the left hand. Do as many as you can without breaking your form within 10-seconds. Switch sides and repeat.
This is one of the hardest yet most fun abs workouts in this circuit. By raising both your upper body and legs off the floor, you engage your entire upper torso, including the lower belly.
1. Lie flat on your back. Extend your arms, so they’re against the sides of your body with your palms face down and pressing into the floor. Raise your upper body off the floor so your shoulder blades hover off your mat.
2. Lift your right leg just off the floor and bring your left leg to 90 degrees, so your foot faces the ceiling. Keep your upper body lifted as you switch or scissor your legs to complete one rep. Continue alternating for 10-20 seconds.
Losing belly fat and getting a flat stomach ultimately comes down two things: Diet and exercise. Of course, other factors like stress and hormonal changes, influence fat loss. But if you can create a healthy eating plan and exercise regularly, you can tone and flatten your tummy.
But there is no workout fitness instructor in the world that will say doing 100 crunches a day will give you visible abs.
Instead, mix up your exercises to hit different parts of your abdominals and adjacent muscles from different angles. This prevents overworking one area and leaving out the others. While the circuit we have laid out for you is excellent for your stomach, another way to boost your metabolism is through mixing in aerobic workouts and strength training. For at-home bodyweight aerobic exercises, try adding in sessions of jumping jacks, burpees, and short-distance sprints.
This quick and straightforward 8-minute abs workout was designed to incorporate different core and abdominal moves to target the frontal abdominis, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, and even your glutes. Together they’ll bring the toning effects around your torso and improve the aesthetics. And hopefully, this workout shows how you can get an effective ab exercise routine without fitness equipment or gym access. All you need is your body weight, mat, and just 8 minutes of your time to tone up your abs.