My Thoughts on the Hip Hop Abs Workout

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Let me start by saying I LOVE Shaun T!  Perhaps that leads me to be predisposed to love his workouts too.  I’ve completed Rockin’ Body and done a handful of the T25 & Insanity workouts.  Since I don’t love cardio (to put it mildly) I need it in a format that I will enjoy, so dancing is my preferred method of getting it in.  That’s what made me decide to try Hip Hop Abs.

There are two different calendars for Hip Hop Abs – a 30-day basic calendar and the deluxe 60-day calendar.   I chose to complete the 30-day basic calendar because I’m not a fan of cardio.  Because I ordered through Team Beachbody I got the Extreme Cardio & Extreme Abs workouts.  I also purchased the Dance Party Series DVD which includes 3 workouts:  Rockin’ Abs (30 min), Hard Body (35 min) & 5 minute Ab Blaster.  These are not on the calendar, but I’ve completed them a few months ago before I ever started following the calendar.  They are similar to the other workouts in the series.

Let’s start with the results.  I lost 1.5 pounds and just under 4 inches in the 30 days I was on the program.   Since I already drink Shakeology daily and eat clean, I didn’t have to change much in the diet department.  I did, however, use my Fitbit Flex to help me keep track of my calories, sleep and steps.  Logging everything that I ate forced me to be more mindful about my food choices and portions.

Before and after Hip Hop Abs
Before and after Hip Hop Abs

Alright, now let’s talk about the workouts themselves.

Secret to flat abs (13 min):  in this video Shaun T discusses his “tilt, tuck, tighten” method step by step.  He also covers some of the moves that are used often in the workouts.  This is not really a workout on its own, but just explaining how to do the moves in the workouts before you get started.

Fat Burning Cardio (30 min):  this is the workout that you will do most often during Hip Hop Abs.  It consists of several different moves and combinations, including the basic bounce, party bounce, the get busy, etc.  It is set to hip hop music that resembles some songs that were popular when the workout came out (like Don’tcha by the Pussycat Dolls).  It’s a fun workout.  I didn’t find it to be super-difficult, but I always broke a sweat.

Ab Sculpt (23 min):  this is the second-most performed workout in the series.  It includes several of the moves that are also in Fat Burning Cardio plus a few that aren’t.  There is some work that happens on the mat, but no sit ups or crunches!  You will do things like the C-sit and the bow and arrow, which will help sculpt those abs J

Total Body Burn (43 min):  this has many of the same moves in the Fat Burning Cardio workout and the addition of “Drive the Car” and a few others.  There is a section of squats and several parts of the workout where you add weights.  I really love that since weight-training is the best way to sculpt muscles (and it happens to be one of my favorite kinds of workout).

Hips, Buns and Thighs (25 min):  this workout has both dancing and floor work, and in my opinion the floor work was the most challenging.  You have to lift the same leg for quite a few exercises in a row and by the time you’re done, you’re feeling that lower body for sure!

Last Minute Buns (5 min):   Don’t be fooled by how short this workout is!  It’s chock full of things like squats, squat-jumps, lunges, donkey kicks, and sprints.

Last Minute Abs (5 min):  Another super-effective but short workout by Shaun T!  Standing ab-work only, but you WILL work the entire 5 minutes.  There’ even some hip flexor work to help create that V shape in the lower abs.

Extreme Cardio (55 min):  This workout has a higher intensity level than the others in the series.  It has many of the same moves from the other videos, but in different combinations and the addition of sprints to burn more calories.  Even though this was not on the 30-day calendar, I did it a few times when I just didn’t feel like doing Fat Burning Cardio again.

Extreme Abs (11 min):  Another one that’s not on the 30-day calendar but I added it in a few times when I was feeling ambitious.  It’s almost entirely on the floor, but still no traditional sit ups or crunches.  There were a few of the same moves from Ab Sculpt but they were made more intense by adding in arms and legs.  There were also things that I’ve seen in Insanity such as burpees, knee jumps, and plank with jump in/out.

My overall opinion:

After about the second week, I was tired of doing Fat Burning Cardio.  It’s on the calendar almost every day.  No matter how much fun a workout is, it gets old if you do it almost every day for 30 days.  On the weekends when I had more time, I did the Extreme Cardio workout instead of Fat Burning Cardio just for a change of pace.  That is a 55-minute workout and still has some of the moves from Fat Burning Cardio but has some new ones and a few sprint sections.

My biggest complaints about this program are the length of time it takes to complete the workouts some days, and the fact that you’re supposed to do Fat Burning Cardio so often.  Most people don’t have the time to work out for an hour, even those of us who work from home.  That said, the workouts are fun and you will get results if you follow the program as directed.  Doing the same 3 workouts for 30 days got boring really quickly.  That really surprised me, because I’m a creature of habit and don’t get bored easily.  However, I found myself rolling my eyes when I saw Fat Burning Cardio on the schedule AGAIN.

Bottom line, it’s a fun workout that will get results.  You’ll sweat, tone, and burn fat all while dancing to hip hop music!  Shaun T is encouraging and has a great personality which makes up for the repetition in workouts in my opinion.  It’s not a super-challenging workout, so I think it’s best suited to the beginner or intermediate exerciser.   If you want to give it a try, contact me or head straight to my website if you’re ready to go now!

I hope you found this review helpful.  Please let me know what you think in the comments.  Thanks for reading!

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