Chapter 6 : Cardiovascular Exercises For Abs

In addition to toning exercises that isolate the muscles and give you the tone that you want in your abdominals, you also need to use cardiovascular exercises that will work on the lower half of your body, including your abs. 

There are many cardiovascular exercises that you can use for the lower half of your body.  If you are overweight and want to develop the perfect abs, the first thing that you need to do is to start to lose some of that excess weight.  We have already talked about proper diet and nutrition, now we must talk about cardiovascular exercise. 

Cardio exercises are those that get your heart pumping and will help you lose weight fast.  Cardio exercises should be performed in the morning or as early as possible in the day so that you can get your metabolism going and also burn more calories during the day.  You should never perform cardiovascular exercises right before bed as you will find it difficult to go to sleep.  You should also never perform cardiovascular exercises after you have eaten or it can give you a cramp.  If you cannot set your alarm early so that you can get up to work on cardio exercises, you should do them when you get home from work and before you eat.  This will help you burn off calories and will also tone your lower body. 

This is not to say that the cardio exercises that you do cannot work for your upper body, too.  Some cardio machines will work both the lower and upper part of the body, while others will tone the lower half of the body.  You want to make sure that whatever type of machine you use, you will be toning the lower half of your body. 

You can purchase your own cardio machine or you can join a gym and give yourself the workout that you need to tone up your abs.  Or you can join a gym and have access to several machines.  You will find that the gym is comprised of many exercise machines that can help you get the abs that you want as well as help you lose weight. 

Even if you are not overweight, you should still exercise using cardiovascular machines for your abs.  This will give you an intense workout that will help sculpt your abs faster and easier.  There are some gyms around that charge a low monthly fee for membership.  Not only will you get access to the cardio machines that will help you burn calories as well as tone up your lower body half, but you can also get access to weight machines that we will talk about in the next chapter. 

Some of the cardio exercise machines that you can use that will tone up your lower half and give you the abs that you want are the following: 

  • Stair stepping machine
  • Elliptical machine
  • Rowing Machine
  • Treadmill
  • Exercise Bike

All five of these cardiovascular machines will work to not only get you slimmer, but also to tone up your abdominal muscles.  You can use some or all of them to get the abs that you want.  Most people find a machine that they like and settle into a routine.  You can do that to help you get your tummy flatter than ever and start to get that six pack that you have always wanted.

Stair Stepping Machine

The stair stepping machine was the exercise machine of choice in the 1980s and works very well as a cardiovascular machine as well as a lower body toner.  You can get your abdominal muscles toned easily when  you are using the stair stepper. 

When you first start working on the stair stepper, you will find that it is difficult to stay on this machine for long.  There are several types of machines.  Some of them actually have a rolling set of stairs that you have to climb while others simulate the climbing motion.  Most stair stepping machines today will tell you how many stairs you have climbed as well as how many calories you have lost.  

The first time on the stair stepping machine you will find it hard to stay on for more than five minutes, especially if it has been a while since you exercised.  If you feel lightheaded or dizzy when you are using the stair stepping machine, or feel short of breath, you need to stop the exercise right away.  Stair stepping is a high impact cardiovascular exercise.  You should always discuss any new exercise routine with your physician before starting. 

After you have used the stair stepper more often, you will notice that you can stay on the stair stepper for a longer period of time.  You do not need more than 20 minutes on the stair stepper each day to get the results that you need.  You can adjust the tension of the stair stepper to make it more difficult to use the machine and increase the tension. 

As you get better and better on the stair stepper, you can also attach leg weights to your ankles so that you can increase the tension when you are climbing the stairs.  You can continue with this exercise routine as you work to sculpt your abs. 

As you are using the stair stepper, you need to concentrate on your abdominal muscles.  Your abs should be first and foremost when you are using this machine to get the perfect abs.  Pull your abs in as you are using the stair stepper and keep them taut while you are using the stair stepper for the maximum benefit. 

In addition to exercising your abs, you will also notice that you can get firmer legs, buttocks and thighs when you use the stair stepper in this way.  If you like the stair stepper, you may decide to purchase one of these machines for home.  You will find that the more you use the stair stepper, the better toned you will be and the more calories you will burn.  It will also get easier to stay on the stair stepper for the full 20 minutes as you continue. 

Elliptical Machine

The elliptical machine will not only get your abs in shape, but will also exercise the lower half of your body as well as your upper half.  The elliptical machine performs the motions of cross country skiing.  This is a machine that is low impact and is easy to use.  It will allow you to move both your legs and your arms at the same time.  It is one of the most effective ways to lose weight using a cardiovascular exercise machine and can do wonders when it comes to toning your abs.

The elliptical machine will be easier to use than the stair stepper as it is not as high impact, but it do the job.  You will start to notice the results right away, but will not feel as out of breath or as much impact when you are using this machine as opposed to the stair stepper. 

Many people like using the elliptical machine because they can do so without the impact to their knees and back that other machines give.  The elliptical machine also allows you to move your arms back and forth, promoting more calorie burning energy. 

Again, when you are using the elliptical machine, suck in your gut and tighten your abdominal muscles.  You will feel the machine start to work on all of the muscles in your body.  When you concentrate on a certain set of muscles and tighten them as you are working out, you can then expect to get better results in that area. 

If you like using the elliptical machine to tighten and tone your abs, not to mention to lose weight, you may enjoy owning this machine.  This is a fun machine to use and will work well to tone all of your body and work towards giving you the rock hard abs that you want. 

Rowing Machine

The rowing machine is one way that you can also get your abs tightened up.  It will also work on your legs, buttocks and arms.  This is a high impact machine and will require you to mimic the motions of rowing a boat.  It is an excellent way to lose weight and will help you burn calories.  It is best used for someone who is reasonably good health and not severely overweight.

Some of the new rowing machines that you can use will tell you how much you have rowed and even allow you to race against other rowers.  You can also learn how many calories you have lost and your heart rate with this type of cardiovascular exercise machine.  The rowing machine can be hard on the knees, which is why it is best for someone who is not obese and having trouble with their knees. 

Suck in your gut as you are rowing and you will feel the tension pulling on your abdominal muscles.  As you continue to row, you will note that it gets easier and easier each time that you use the machine.  While you may find it difficult to continue rowing for a long time when you first start out, after you get the hang of this machine, you will find that it is easy to use and even entertaining.  You may decide to get one for your home to keep your abs as well as your other muscles in shape.


The treadmill is one of the most popular of all cardiovascular exercise machines.  It is used for walking as well as jogging and running.  Anyone can use a treadmill.  One of the best aspects about using the treadmill is that it can be used by anyone to tone up as well as lose weight. 

You should start out by walking on the treadmill and sucking in your abdominal muscles as you are walking on the treadmill.  Whenever you are exercising on the treadmill, you should concentrate on the muscles that you want to exercise and tone and then focus on them when you are working on the treadmill. 

The treadmill will tell you how far you have walked as well as how many calories you have burned when you are walking.  This will also tell you your heart rate.  The treadmill can be used for running, although it is just as effective at toning up your abdominal muscles when used for walking. 

The treadmills that you get today are much more advanced than those that were made many years ago.  You may find that you like the treadmill so much that you decide to buy one for your home. 

Exercise Bike

The exercise bike is one way that you can tighten your abdominal muscles and also lose weight while toning the lower half of your body.  You can get an exercise bike that allows you to sit straight up and down, or one in which you recline and have your legs in the air.  Both of these exercise bikes are useful for toning up your abdominal muscles. 

The new exercise bikes that are on the market today, as well as in the gym, are able to tell you how far you have ridden as well as how many calories you have burned. 

The new exercise bikes will allow you to race against other riders that are depicted on the LCD screen.  This can give you an added incentive if you need some motivation to keep pushing on when you are exercising.  This can make using this piece of cardiovascular exercise equipment easy and fun. 

Whenever you are using cardiovascular exercise machines, you should make sure that you are in good health before attempting the routine.  You should talk it over with your doctor and see if you are healthy enough for an exercise routine. 

If you feel any pain, dizziness or lightheadedness, you  should stop exercising.  This is something that  can be a danger signal.  Start out your cardiovascular exercising slowly so that you can gradually work your way up to the point that you can work with these machines to keep your body trim and healthy and also tone up your abdominal muscles. 

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