How to burn fat during your ab workouts… (SAMPLE WORKOUT!)

Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes

Some people think that fat burning workouts and ab workouts have to be done separately.

That’s not always the case.

This at home ab workout hits the best of both worlds for a combined effect of actually training your abs while burning fat.

Not only that but because of the bodyweight exercises in this workout, you’ll be able to create muscle overload and build muscle in the process.

Overload is a gradual increase of stress placed on your body during any training. By increasing the stress on your body, you’ll see an increase in your muscle size and endurance.   

Most think muscle overload can only happen in the form of weights.

Don’t deceive yourself to think that’s the only way to do it.

Overload can happen with carefully selected exercises in any form.

So how are we going to do it in this workout?

First, we break this ab workout down into more than just abs.

With the upper body push, upper body pull and legs components of this routine, you’ll be able to target all of the major muscle groups beyond just the abdominals.

So indirectly you’re going to hit your abs through the choice of exercise and then directly you’re going to hit them during your rest period.

Is this easy? Of course not.

Does it work? Absolutely.

Ready to start carving up that six pack while building muscle too?

Let’s begin.

The Workout

 1. Start with a Spiderman pushup.

Spiderman Pushup Example

  • Get in a regular pushup position with your body aligned from ankles to head.
  • As you lower your body, lift your right foot, while swinging your right leg out sideways and try to touch your knee to your elbow.
  • Return to the starting position, and repeat those steps with your left leg.

The key difference between this exercise and a more traditional pushup is the increased demand on the core muscles needed to perform it.

With just three points of contact on the ground instead of four, you have more work required of your abs in order to perform this classic upper body exercise. By decreasing the points of contact we have with the floor, we’ve made it more difficult and created overload.

If that’s too easy for you, and you can do too many reps, throw on a weighted vest if you have one, and now you’ve created additional overload.

Continue this exercise until failure.

2. Take it into your 45 second ab rest exercise –  the pendulum plank.

Pendulum Plank Example

  • Get into plank pose
  • Step one foot out, and then then step the other foot out to complete one rep

With this exercise, which starts with a plank pose, we target your abs directly.

We can make this exercise more complex by incorporating a four point movement, such as adding in two alpine climbers between the reps.

Pendulum Plank and Alpine Climber Example

  • While pulling your leg back to the center, pull her knee into your chest.
  • As your knee is drawn closer to your chest, tighten your abs to make sure your body doesn’t come out of it’s plank position.
  • Quickly switch and pull your other knee in, using the same form.

By adding in the alpine climbers, this exercise becomes a little bit more complex because of the coordination, but the load on your abs is increased and therefore more beneficial.

Keep doing this for 3 rounds and then you earn a quick breather before moving onto the next portion of the workout.

3. Move onto the upper body pull portion of this workout – high pull, pull ups

High Pull Pull Up Example

  • Start by placing your hands on the bar, shoulder width apart. Hold on to the bar with your palms facing away from your face.
  • Keeping your knees and legs extended and straight out, pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Focus on keeping your entire body tight.
  • Lower yourself slowly before pulling yourself up again.

This type of pull up focuses in on your back and biceps, while, indirectly, keeping your abs activated. The goal here is to keep your abs activated throughout, even if they aren’t the main focus of the exercise.

Do as many of these high pull pull ups as you can until failure.

As soon as you’re done, drop straight down beneath the pull up bar.

4. Start your next rest exercise –  knee drive sit-ups.

This is your rest period between your active indirect ab work sets, so we’ll be directly targeted your abs with this exercise.

Knee Drive Sit-ups Example

  • Start in a traditional sit up position with your hands behind your head.
  • As you come up, pull your right knee towards your chest and drive your left elbow up until your knee and your elbow meet in the middle.
  • Once they meet, head back down to the ground.
  • As you come back up, switch sides and repeat.

Since this is a very challenging version of the sit up, you’re still going to create overload necessary to build upper body strength and size.

Do these for 45 seconds before moving on to our final portion.

5. Move on to the final portion of the workout, the legs  – rolling squats

Rolling Squats Example

  • Stand on your mat with your feet shoulder-width apart
  • Bend your knees and press your hips back until you touch the mat. Make sure your knees do not extend beyond your toes as you get into this position.
  • Roll on your back, keeping your knees bent
  • Roll back forward, returning to the squat position.
  • Stand up. Since we want to keep tension on our muscle, we’re going to maintain a half position at this step – don’t stand all the way back up and lose the tension on your quads and hamstrings here. Stick around in middle.

In this example, I’m demonstrating the two legged version, but if you want more overload,  do it single legged.

Now you have a pistol squat variation of this that will create more overload and challenge you depending upon your strength level.

If that is still too easy then throw on a weighted vest.

Continue this until failure.

If you’re doing the single legged version, switch legs and continue the exercise again until failure.

6. Finish off with a hollow rock exercise.

Hollow Rock Example

  • Establish your position by lying down face up with your arms and legs up off the ground.
  • Keep your pelvis in contact with the ground as your one rocking point.
  • Maintain contact with the ground as you rock your weight back and forth. Be sure to keep your body stiff without raising your arms and legs.

Do this for 45 seconds, keeping your abs engaged the entire time.

To get a complete workout and get the most out of the fat burning and ab training benefits, repeat exercises 1-6 three times.

And finish with one last conditioning movement.

7. 5 minutes of jump rope.

Jump Rope Example

You don’t have a jump rope?

Pick your poison.

I don’t care if it’s split squats.

I don’t care if it’s burpees.

I don’t care if it’s rocket jumps.

Just be sure this exercise will keep your heart pounding and your fat burning on high.

Do this for 5 minutes. Rest intermittently as you have to, but keep that rest to a minimum.

So there you have it – an ab workout that gets the best of all worlds – ab training, fat burning, and muscle building because of the overload. At the end of the day, you’ve got a kick-ass workout that doesn’t take that much time to do, and won’t require much to get it done – except maybe a doorway pull up bar.

This workout is just a sample of the type of workouts we have in our training programs.

If you’re looking for more options – different workouts to do day by day – I have a whole step by step training plan available that requires no equipment at all called ATHLEAN XERO.

This 6 week program has everything you need – the sets, reps, techniques, strategies to build muscle and burn fat with your own body. Xero also comes with our X-Factor Meal Plan, which includes signature recipes, sample menus and a revolutionary approach to eating more to fire up your fat-burning metabolism, while giving you the energy you need to complete the workouts.

With our step by step workouts and meal plan, you’ll have everything you need to build your own body with nothing but your body. You can get a complete 6 weeks of no equipment workouts that burn fat and build muscle at