Calorie-Burning HIIT Standing Ab Workout for a Small Hourglass Waist

Every woman dreams of an hourglass waist, but it’s notoriously hard to achieve. While some rely on diets and others on genetics, the truth is a mix of diet, body type, and the right exercise. 

To sculpt a classic hourglass figure you need a slim waist, strong upper body, and shapely hips. But the question is how?

The answer….High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) standing ab workouts. This technique is perfect for losing weight and building your core at the same time.

What Is HIIT?

HIIT is an exercise technique which involves short bursts of intense cardio mixed with brief rest periods or low-intensity activities like brisk walking or stretching. Studies have shown that this type of exercise is more effective for weight loss and muscle growth.

Most HIIT sessions last about twenty to thirty minutes. These workouts can be done nearly anywhere with bodyweight exercises or using free weights.

Why HIIT Is Perfect for Building an Hourglass Figure

Effective for weight loss. HIIT exercises trigger a body state called Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). EPOC means your basal metabolic rate (how much energy your body uses to keep basic functions like breathing going) is temporarily higher for one to two days.

This helps your body burn fat even when you’re not exercising which is why HIIT is so great for losing weight.

HIIT stimulates faster muscle growth. HIIT places metabolic stress on your muscles. This causes muscles to release anabolic hormones. Anabolic hormones stimulate muscle repair and growth, helping you gain muscle faster.

Maximize your gains by combining your HIIT routine with resistance training exercises that target the core, hips and upper body. Some great examples are kettlebell swings, resistance band exercises, barbell rows, and squats with a weighted vest.

HIIT is great for adding variety. High-intensity interval training can be performed nearly anywhere and requires little or no equipment. This allows you to add a wide range of exercises to your routine and effectively target different muscle groups. You can also combine your routine with resistance training or other forms of cardio.

HIIT is safe for nearly everyone. HIIT can be adopted for individuals at nearly any fitness level. It’s great for exercise enthusiasts, amateurs, and people just starting their fitness journey. The technique can also be adjusted for people with disabilities or chronic diseases.

It improves your overall health and fitness. Aside from weight loss and muscle gain, HIIT is also great for your heart, endurance, blood pressure, lungs, mental health, blood sugar control, and bone density.

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How To Maximize Your Routine

If you want to get the best from your HIIT standing ab routine here are some useful tips:

  • Monitor your heart rate. Aim for between 64% to 76% of your maximum heart rate during moderate exercise. You can monitor your heart rate by putting a finger at your neck or using fitness trackers.
  • Warm up before your session. This ensures your muscles are fully primed with oxygen and nutrients before your workout.
  • Your weight is key. Combine your routine with an effective diet plan. This means low carbs, healthy fats, high-quality protein, no hyper-processed foods, plus lots of fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and multivitamins.
  • Choose outfits that highlight your figure. Choose outfits with low-riding jeans, cinched belts, and fitted dresses that emphasize your hips and waist. 
  • Stay hydrated. Take about seven to ten ounces of fluid every fifteen minutes during your workout. Plain water, protein shakes, and zero-sugar electrolytes are top choices for staying hydrated during a workout.

12 Effective Standing Ab Exercises to Spice Up Your Routine

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1. Ab slide (L and R) – 30 secs on each side

  • Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
  • Place your left arm straight above your head and rest your right arm against your thigh.
  • Slowly slide your right arm down against your leg by bending your waist sideways, while keeping your left arm pointing straight up.
  • Perform this exercise for thirty seconds on both sides to engage your obliques.

Try this out while holding a free weight in the dropped arm to add a bit more challenge.

Oblique exercises without equipment - Ab Slide

2. Jump + Arm Opener – 2 sets, 30 secs

  • Start in a standing position with your feet together and your hands pressed lightly together in front of your chest.
  • Jump in place while simultaneously opening your arms wide to the sides and spreading your feet apart.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Perform this exercise for two sets of thirty seconds each.
No equipment HIIT for women - Jump + Arm Opener

3. High Knees – 3 sets, 30 secs

  • Run in place while lifting your knees as high as possible, aiming for hip height. 
  • Perform this exercise for two sets of thirty seconds each.
  • Wear a comfortable pair of elastic gym shorts and trainers for this calorie-burning exercise.
Cardio for weight loss - High Knees

4. Squat + Waist Crunches – 30 secs

  • Start with your feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart
  • Perform a squat, and as you rise, perform a waist crunch by bringing one knee up to the elbow on that same side by bending sideways at the waist.
  • Perform this exercise for thirty seconds alternating between both sides.
Home exercises for small waist - Squat + Waist Crunches

5. Jumping Jacks – 2 sets, 30 secs

  • Start with feet together and arms at your sides.
  • Jump, spreading your legs apart while raising your arms overhead.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Perform this exercise for two sets of thirty seconds each.

Try this out with ankle weights and wrist weights.

No equipment cardio workout - Jumping Jacks

6. Crunch + Cross (L and R) – 30 secs on each side

  • Start in a standing position with your hands held behind your head and your elbows pointing outwards.
  • Perform a waist crunch
  • Return to the starting position then twist your torso to bring one elbow towards the opposite knee.
  • Perform this exercise for thirty seconds on both sides.
Standing ab for flat stomach - Crunch + Cross
Weight loss for women at home

7. Ab Twist – 2 sets, 30 secs

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your core engaged.
  • Clasp your hands together in front of you at chest height.
  • Keep your hips facing forward and rotate your torso to the right, engaging your obliques to control the motion.
  • Return to the starting position with your torso facing forward.
  • Perform this exercise for two sets of thirty seconds each.

Try out this exercise with a medicine ball or dumbbell.

Core exercises without equipment - Ab Twist

8. Starfish Jump – 30 secs

  • Start in a standing position.
  • Jump explosively, extending your arms and legs outwards to form a star shape in the air.
  • Land softly while lowering into a crouch and touching the floor with both hands.
  • Perform this exercise for thirty seconds.

A weighted vest is a great way to make this exercise more intense.

HIIT without equipment - Starfish Jump

9. Squat + Cross Crunches – 30 secs

  • Perform a squat, and as you rise, bring one elbow towards the opposite knee in a cross-body crunch.
  • Perform this exercise for thirty seconds alternating between both sides.
Standing ab exercise at home - Squat + Cross Crunches

10. Plank Jump + Cross Crunch – 30 secs

  • Start in a high plank position, jump your feet towards your hands, and then stand up.
  • Bring one knee towards the opposite elbow in a cross-crunch.
  • Return to the plank and repeat on the other side.
  • Perform this exercise for thirty seconds alternating between both sides.
Love handle exercise - Plank Jump + Cross Crunch

11. Half Burpee – 2 sets, 30 secs

  • Begin in a standing position, drop into a squat, and place your hands on the ground.
  • Jump your feet back into a plank position, then immediately jump them back towards your hands and stand up.
  • Perform this exercise for two sets of thirty seconds each.
No equipment cardio - Half Burpee

12. Squat Hold – 30 secs

  • Lower into a squat position and hold, keeping your thighs parallel to the ground and your back straight.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
No equipment exercise at home - Squat Hold

For more visuals, be sure to check out this video by Pamela Reif.

Frequently Asked Questions on HIIT Standing Ab Workouts

  • How effective are standing ab exercises?

Standing ab exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, improving core strength, stability, and functional fitness. It’s also a great way to combine cardio with your ab workout.

  • How do you engage your abs while standing?

Tighten your core muscles, maintain a neutral spine, and focus on controlled movements that target the abdominal muscles. Inhale while relaxing and exhale when your core muscles are contracting.

  • What is the purpose of core stability exercises?

Core stability exercises enhance the strength and endurance of the core muscles, and improve balance, posture, and overall functional movement. They also protect your spine by strengthening your back muscles.

  • What happens if you exercise your abs every day?

Exercising your abs everyday without enough rest can lead to muscle fatigue and injuries. Aim for two to three ab exercises per week.

  • Does a HIIT standing ab workout help build a strong core?

Yes, a HIIT standing ab workout effectively builds a strong core by combining high-intensity cardio with targeted ab exercises, promoting muscle gain and fat loss.

Get Started With Your HIIT Standing Ab Workouts!

Ready to transform your body and achieve that stunning hourglass figure? Dive into these HIIT standing ab workouts and feel the burn as you sculpt your waist, strengthen your core, and boost your confidence.

You are welcome to pin and share this handy workout note to your Pinterest board for future workouts.

Oblique workout without equipment


I am a fitness enthusiats who is passionate about exercising, eating well and living a healthy lifestyle. Come along with me as I share some of my favourite exercise and fitness tips with you.

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