Waist-Shrinking Workout – Cardio and Core

by Marianne  - April 13, 2011

Hi everyone,

Today I am suffering from leg and glute DOMS from yesterday’s activities, which were Personal Training in the morning and Andrew’s SuperSculpt / SuperKiller Class at the Gym. I still get special privileges when it comes to Andrew’s Classes 🙂

Anywho, I thought that a cardio and core workout was in order as it has been AGES since I did anything like this. This type of workout is great for days in between heavy training or even after heavy/moderate training. Technically speaking I could say that all of my workout do target the abs, core and cardio vascular system, but I am aware that some people like to feel as though they have worked their abs, so that is what we’re doing today. Or at least I want to draw you attention to your core today with these exercises 🙂

The other thing I wish to point out is the title of the workout. It can only be waist-shrinking if you have the diet to support it, however I guess as I type this I can see that tightening your abs can have a positive effect on the size of your waist too. Boy do I blabber sometimes. Do you ever get moments when something seems really smart in your head, but as soon as you say it or write it, you suddenly feel thick as champ… (cue the crickets)…

Workout Breakdown

Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for either 10 or 20 cycles of either:

  1. Beginners – 30 seconds rest, 30 seconds effort
  2. Intermediates – 20 seconds rest, 40 seconds effort
  3. Advanced – either 15 seconds rest and 45 seconds effort or, 25 seconds rest and 1 min effort – you’ll hate me for the later (evil laugh).

Complete either 2 continuous or 2 separate rounds of the following 10 exercises. If you have a pull up bar, do as many pull ups as you can in between each round. If you don’t have a pull up bar, then – don’t haha! Ok instead, you can do some rows, inverted pull ups from a broomstick and 2 chairs. The reason why I am putting pull ups in is because I have just found out that they are the best exercise for activating the lower abs – better than hanging leg raises!

If you would like an alternative exercise to the pike then do Diagonal Knee Tucks.

The exercises, and my weights and numbers (in brackets), are:

  1. KB Vertical Swing Burpee (with 16kg – 13, 12.5 )
  2. Stability Ball Pike, or SB Jackknife (16, 15)
  3. Two-Handed KB Swing (with 20kg – 37, 35)
  4. Plank Hip-Touches (didn’t count)
  5. Tactical KB Reverse Lunges (start with KB on the same side you are stepping back on) (with 16kg – 23, 25)
  6. Burpees (18, 16)
  7. Weighted/Unweighted Single Glute Bridge Hold (right) (8kg)
  8. Weighted/Unweighted Single Glute Bridge Hold (left) (8kg)
  9. Evil Jumps (sorry) (17, 15.5 )
  10. T-Push Ups + Hip Raise ( 13, 11.5)

+/- Pull Up MAX (5.5, 5)

With there being a good variety of exercises, you should enjoy this one, as I did, but the intervals made it a killer!!! Use a light to moderate weight, as it is not about strength as such, but more about creating and maintaining tension and stability in the abs and core.  Even the cardio exercises I chose will activate the core in some way. Even the Evil Jumps – due to the balance issues.

Anyway I hope you had fun. Let me know your thoughts and if there are any ab exercises that you find more effective.

See you soon.



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  1. I love this! It coincides so well with what I discussed on my blog last week. Feel free to share this with my readers when you comment. I may just have to link to it myself.

    1. Hi Kellie, thanks for this. It’s funny, when I commented on your blog earlier I immediately thought of this workout 🙂

      For everyone else, Kellie has written a great post on her blog about the downs side of direct ab work, on female curves. Check it out, it’s called “Is Ab Training Deminishing Your Curves“. While you’re there check out the rest of Kellie’s blog – I love it 😀

  2. Now I am back home again, I can finally do another of Marianne’s exercise routines — so this was thursday morning’s:

    I used the 15/45 protocol for 2 rounds — I could not bring myself to go for the minute!

    1.Vertical swing burpee 12g 10.5, 10
    2. Ball pike 13, 14
    3. 2 handed swing 16 Kg 26, 26
    4. Plank hip touches 21, 26 (about one touch per breath)
    5. Tactical Lunges 14 Kg 17, 17
    6. Burpees 10, 10
    7. Single leg glute bridge w/ 15 lbs Right
    8. Left
    9. Evil Jumps 10, 11
    10 T-pushups to hip raise 7, 7

    pushups 3+2, 3+1

    added 4-hour body rear-end routine — just to make sure…
    glute raises (elevated) x 20
    bird dogs 30 (15 each side)
    heavy swings 20 Kg x 50

    My numbers weren’t great — my burpees and pushups were even slower than normal, and even my pullups were suffering, but I expected that as I had only been home a short while after my last trip. I was looking at Marianne and Rashelle’s numbers, and I was thinking I can’t have been THAT SLOW!, But maybe you guys did the 25/60 protocol. OK, I wimped out — coulda woulda shoulda.

    Regardless, I found this to be a fabulous routine to get back into working out without using a lot of weights. I was already sore from doing a 2 minute wall sit yesterday — that should have been easy! This routine could easily be altered so that an absolute beginner could do it and it was a nice all-body series. This was a real classic to do again.

    I LOVE the variety — it helps reduce the mind games (which is what happens to me if I have to do lots of sets of the same thing) –this is so much easier to keep going!

    Definitely worth doing, for anyone in doubt — I think this is also a great intro into kettlebells.

    Have a great day everyone!

    ~ Gillian

    1. Hi Gillian, welcome back (I seem to be saying that a lot to you these days 🙂 ) Hope your trip went well – must get over to the forum and read your diary.

      Glad you like the routine, I am trying to keep the workouts I do managed to upload, as fresh as possible. I agree that this can be adapted easily to suit a beginner. Simply don’t have the time to do my modifications 🙁 Sorry beginners!

      Hope you have a GREAT Easter!

  3. I decided on this workout last night as I was a bit tired and was looking for something on the easier side…well I was wrong! lol This one was hard but lots of fun:) Here are my numbers:

    10X 25/1:00:

    KB Vertical Swing Burpee (with 14kg – 14, 13 ) * ready to move up to 16kg, just have to get up the confidence
    Stability Ball Pike, or SB Jackknife (18, 17)
    Two-Handed KB Swing (with 16kg – 39, 39) **will use a 20kg next time
    Plank Hip-Touches (20,20)
    Tactical KB Reverse Lunges (start with KB on the same side you are stepping back on) (with 16kg – 24, 23)
    Burpees (13, 10) 🙁 Not happy with my #’s but couldnt find it in me to push harder
    Weighted/Unweighted Single Glute Bridge Hold (right) bodyweight only
    Weighted/Unweighted Single Glute Bridge Hold (left) bodyweight only
    Evil Jumps (sorry) (13, 14 )
    T-Push Ups + Hip Raise ( 10 both rounds)

    I had a little chuckle when I got to the end of my second round and still had another round left on my timer… I had to go back and figure out what I had missed….plank hip touches so I finised off with those.

    Marianne I find it helpful having your numbers to compete with, it gives me something to strive for:)

  4. Hi Marianne

    Can’t wait to try this workout tomorrow. I’m a ‘two chair broomstick’ girl….very annoying not having doors that support a pull up bar. Wonder if Mr Canter would consider moving house for better doors lol

    Question about the ball pikes. How do you get into the correct position to even start ? I do manage to get both feet on the ball and hands on the ground eventually, but every time I waste time struggling with a rolling/moving ball behind me before I get my second foot up. I also have to reposition my feet every few times pikes.


    1. Hi Sarah, I have the same problem sometimes. It might be better to set the reps for this exercise until you become faster at setting up. I have found if you set your feet up slightly further back to start with, they finish in a better position for the next reps. Hope that makes sense. Whe I have more time, I will try and do some tutorials for these exercises, which may help illustrate this more.

      Pity you can’t get to do pull ups, maybe you could get a bar outside sometime 🙂

  5. Marrianne, I did this workout at 5:00AM this morning.I really enjoyed this one. It really kept my heart rate up. the pull-ups were the hardest because I was in the gym 2 hours yesterday and my lats are sore a little.
    It looks as if your doing ok. I hope it wasn’t to hard to go to Andrew’s class this past week. I don’t want to see you have any set backs. Everyone of us who belong to myomytv care about you. It shows in all their responses.

    1. Thanks Jim 🙂 that is so kind. Funny you should mention set backs… yup I may have hit one, but I will motor on as I was before – this time in my life sucks, but hopefully there is a reason behind it and a reward at the end 🙂 The comments here and the support I have from my amazing family and friends is what is getting me through – I am so lucky to have great people in my life!

      1. Marrianne, I want you to think “oh well, it’s his loss not mine”. When my first wife divorced me that is what I thought and it got me through it but it’s the truth. Just go slow, as time always heals. If I was 30 years younger and single, I would be knocking at your door with red roses in hand,You will meet your knight in shinig armor and everything will workout. Just remember, you can always reflect on the past but dwell on the future because today is the first day of the rest of your life. So make it a happy one.
        Your friend

        1. That is great advice Jim, thank you. That is sweet, I have only ever been given flowers once in my life – I think I am due a knight in shinning armour 😀 I hope I can


  6. I hit the garden sunshine for this work-out. Couldn’t reach the 90 degrees on the ball, maybe 45; at best. The 20KG swings left me puffing and the leg raises went on and on and on. For the pull-ups I slung a Vipr between two chairs – genius idea – perfect.

    I whimped a bit and opted for the 45/20 secs splits but made it – just.

    Love the variety of these workouts. If shocking the body in to action is the key to quick improvement, mixing up the sessions like this beats what I have been doing in the gym for years and years. My core already feels tighter and there’s not so much of it, lol.


  7. Thanks for another great routine:-) It’s great that you describe the workout at the start and end, otherwise I (and I’m sure others) would not know what to be aware of when going through each set.

    thanks again,

  8. Ha, I can’t even do one pullup! Do pushups help with those because I’m doing the 100 pushups program now. Looks like a great workout!

    1. Hi Vickie, That’s great that you are starting the 100 push up programme. Unfortunately, push ups will not help your pull ups – they use completely different muscles and the movements are in opposite directions. Some Rowing exercises may help, especially with your grip strength. I would recommmend complimentary rows for all the push ups you will be doing – you want to keep posterior/anterior muscle balance. As for the pull ups, you can try doing assisted pull ups and negatives (when you jump up into the pull up and lower slowly). Pull ups are definitely worth perservering with though 🙂


  9. Hi Marianne,

    Whew – this workout looks really tough! I will try it tomorrow as I have Monday Madness booked in for tonight :). There are a couple of new exercises here for me, so it will be good to give those a go.

    As for other effective ab exercises, about the hardest one I know is V-ups. I learned them when I used to do gymnastics training, but 20 years later, they aren’t getting any easier :). This is about the best demo I could find – ouch!

    It was good to see you had fun on your hen weekend btw and thanks for sharing your piccies with us.

    All the best,


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