Bootcamp workout ideas: Cardio Abs

Author: Marc Pearce

Most bootcampers love the feeling of doing an ab workout, maybe not at the time, but the ache for the next day or two makes them feel like something is happening to their body and they have worked hard.  The problem is crunches and planks are super boring!

So, I always try to have an ab/core element to every session I do but it’s not very often that I make them just to 20 crunches, 1-minute plank followed by 30 seconds bicycle crunches etc in isolation. 

I try and build it into the session so they are working that area without knowing it, such as with bear crawls, kneeling exercises, woodchops etc, or do the basic exercise but immediately follow it with a CARDIO ABS burst of energy or chance to explode with another movement. 

This is where my Cardio Abs session is great as it ticks loads of boxes

WARM UP (10 mins approx.)

Equipment Required: area to run round (e.g. centre circle of pitch), instructor in the centre

Super simple warm up where the group starts by walking round the circle, trying to keep roughly equal distance apart. At intervals judged by the instructor, shout certain body parts and/or actions and whilst they all move round the circle.  The member has to touch that body part on the ground or complete the action.  Every couple of minutes increasing the speed around the circle and increase the amount of call outs.  Example of things to shout are:

  • Knees
  • Butt
  • Back
  • Head
  • Hands no feet
  • Tummy
  • Sprint (pick a tree or land mark to sprint to and back)
  • Jump
  • Change direction

Be as inventive as you like!


Equipment: Although bodyweight exercises, add weight to increase difficulty so whatever you have, dumbbells, light sandbags, slam balls etc.

The session involves an area where an exercise is completed down one side and then another exercise is completed directly opposite on the other side of the hall/field so depending on the size of your group you can line everyone up on one side or split them into two groups and they just cross in the middle when they change station.  

The format is everyone complete a stationary ab exercise, then they run across hall/field to complete a cardio ab exercise.  They then run back and move to a different stationary ab exercise, complete that for set amount of time then run across to the same cardio ab exercise.  Basically, the stationary ab exercise changes but the cardio ab move stays the same until all exercise have been completed.  That’s Round 1.  In Rounds 2 and 3 the cardio ab move changes.

So round 1 would look like this for a member;












There should be the same amount of ab exercises as members if a smaller group or half the amount if a larger group (e.g. a group of 14 would need 7 ab exercises) and you are splitting the group.  If your group is very large, say over 16 then you could add a third station.

The set up I use for about 10 people is below.  So, I have 5 people doing the ab exercise, 5 people doing the cardio ab exercise then after the stated time, they switch positions.  In total they will complete 10 change overs. Rest about 2 mins before going into the next round with the new cardio ab exercise.

Knee tuck into full extensionROUND 1 = marching elbow to kneesROUND 1 = 30 secs per station
Single leg hip thrust (alt.)ROUND 2 = Squat thrustsROUND 2 = 45 secs
Reverse crunch with twistROUND 3 = Plank jacksROUND 3 = 60 secs
Alt leg jack-knives
Flutter Kicks

Give it a go and let me know what you think!

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Marc Pearce

Owner/Manager at MAP Fitness Training

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