To sculpt a strong, stable core, you need to put up a fight. And we don’t just mean working hard and breathing heavy. We’re talking about literally punching and kicking your way fit. The perfect way to do that: a kickboxing-inspired abs workout.
“Kickboxing is such a great core workout, because every punch, every squat and every kick activates the abs,” says Anja Garcia, one of the lead trainers in Daily Burn’s latest program, Undefeated.
“As you punch, remember to exhale and squeeze those abs a little more,” Garcia says. “Creating long levers and extension in your arms allows the core to engage more and stabilize itself. Therefore, when you are punching away from the body and twisting, you are going to feel a lot of activation in your tummy.”
Of course, adding in some planks and sit-ups will also help you hone in on those midsection muscles. With that in mind, we rounded up the three best core-focused exercises from Daily Burn’s Undefeated program. Get ready to attack those abs in just 10 minutes!
3 Kickboxing Moves for a Fierce Abs Workout
Perform each move below — from Garcia’s Undefeated core workout — for one minute, limiting rest time between each exercise. Repeat for two more rounds (three total). Then, end with a set of burpees to really get in fighting shape. It’s time to knock ‘em out.
1. Table Punch Twist
How to: Start sitting on the ground, legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee and plant your foot flat on the floor, close to your butt. Shift your weight on to your left hand, and bring your right hand to a fist by your face, elbow bent. Flex your left foot and lift your hips so your left leg lifts a few inches off the floor. This is your starting positon (a). Lifting your hips even higher, twist your right shoulder toward the floor as you bring your right hand to your left foot in a punch motion (b). Return to the starting position, keeping your hips elevated (c). Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Trainer Tip: To modify this move, keep both feet on the floor for the starting position, then lift your hips and legs on the twisted punch.
2. Roll-Up Punch
How to: Start lying on your back, knees bent and heels planted on the floor (a). As you roll up to a full sit-up, perform alternating punches to each side. Remember to twist to the side on the extension and keep your resting hand by your face (a). Slowly roll back down, one vertebrae at a time, continuing to punch to each side (b). Repeat.
Trainer tip: Maintain control as you roll up and down to really fire up your abs, keeping them tight as you go.
3. Plank Punch Leg Lift
How to: Start in a high plank position, shoulders over wrists and body straight from head to heels (a). Perform one push-up, lowering as far down to the ground as you can go without breaking solid plank form (b). When you reach the top, punch your left arm forward by your ear as you lift your right leg a few inches (c). Return to a plank, then perform another push-up (d). At the top, punch your right arm forward by your ear as you lift your left leg (e). Return to a plank and continue alternating sides, with a push-up between each punch and lift.
Trainer tip: Aim to keep your hips as stable as possible as you punch. If you need to modify, keep both feet on the floor as you punch, then lift one leg after the punch. And feel free to place your knees on that ground for that push-up.