I’ve been working out with the Hip Hop Abs DVD fitness program from Beach Body.
There. I’ve said it.
I’m a guy and this hip hop abs thing seemed a bit of a girly thing to be doing. I felt a bit of an idiot buying the Hip Hop Abs DVD workout and doing a review.
After completing Insanity Training and Body Beast, a Hip Hop Abs review was looking like a bit of a step down, but my girlfriend had spotted the Hip Hop Abs DVD workout and wanted to try it out to see what results she could get. I figured I’d give it a go alongside her.
I guess I kinda also liked the idea of learning some dance moves too.
What Is Hip Hop Abs?
Hip Hop Abs has been around for a while. It was the first DVD that Shaun T made for BeachBody, a long time before he started down the Insanity Training path to fat annihilation.
Hip Hop Abs uses a range of different exercises all geared towards giving you a cardio workout while strengthening your abdominal muscles by making you do a standing prolonged isometric crunch. And it’s all done as a series of (sort of) dance steps to a pretty cheesy hip hop music track.
The marketing speak claims:
“Get flat, sexy abs without ever doing a single crunch or sit-up.”
“Using Shaun T’s revolutionary Tilt, Tuck & Tighten technique, you’ll carve out hot-looking abs without ever getting down on the floor. Even if you’ve never danced, it’s easy to learn Shaun’s fun party moves and groove your way to a tighter, sexier body!!
It’s all about doing the exercises while engaging your abs with a “tilt, tuck, tighten” posture. This can be tricky to do at first, while you’re learning all the moves as well.
What Do You Get In The Hip Hop Abs DVD Pack?
Hip Hop Abs DVD 1
- Secrets to flat abs
- Fat burning cardio
- Cardio groove
Hip Hop Abs DVD 2
- Ab sculpt
- Total body burn
- Last minute abs
- Learn to dance: Take it to the dance floor
Hip Hop Abs DVD 3
- Hips, buns and thighs
- Last minute buns
- Learn to dance: Hip hop groove
Get Started Success Guidebook
- Introduction to Hip Hop Abs
- Instructions on how to prepare, track and complete the workout program
- Male and female body measurement and weight charts to track your progress
Hip Hop Abs 4 Week Workout Schedule
- This is the 6-days-a-week workout schedule that you follow to make gains
6 Day Slimdown Guide
- Intense nutrition guide to kick-start your weight loss
- 5 meals per day eating plan
- 6 days of healthy portion-controlled eating
- How to estimate your bodyfat percentage
Step By Step Nutrition Guide
- 6 steps to transform your body through nutrition and training
- Controlling portions and calories
- Calorie deficit equation: work out how many calories you need
- Tips for choosing foods
- Michi’s Ladder (a guideline for healthy nutrition)
Results On The Run Booklet
- Best and worst menu choices at fast food restaurants
- Foods to enjoy and avoid at:
- Burger King
- Pizza Hut
I was really surprised to see this leaflet in the pack. This is an exercise program, and sound health and fitness doesn’t come from putting in a month or two of work and chowing down on junk food at the same time. Health and fitness is about a total lifestyle, so you should ditch the junk food completely.
I wouldn’t touch any of this junk anyway – nasty, crappy food that just doesn’t give you any benefit. Avoid.
Oh, and you get a tape measure too!
Does Hip Hop Abs Work?
I’ve a big hang-up about hype around spot fat reduction. It just doesn’t work. You cannot spot reduce fat, it comes off your body depending on where the predominance of your fat cells are located. It’s not possible to spot reduce off your stomach by concentrating on exercises for your stomach.
That said, this program isn’t really about spot reducing fat. It’s a mix of a cardio workout while strengthening your abdominal muscles by doing a prolonged isometric crunch (keeping your abdominal muscles in tension throughout the exercise program). You also get to dance a bit as well.
It is fun to do, but you need to do the exercises properly and you need to follow a healthy diet to get the results.
I’ve been following the Hip Hop Abs workout for just over 2 weeks now and I have found:
- Increased muscle definition through fat loss and muscle toning, particularly in my legs, shoulders and midriff
- Improved coordination and balance
- Better dancing abilities 🙂
There are only a few core routines in the workout schedule, but I haven’t become bored by them, as there are some fairly intricate moves and the more times that I’ve repeated the program, the better I have become.
On my first session of Hip Hop Abs, I didn’t break into much of a sweat. I was a bit disappointed and thought that it wouldn’t be that great a workout. However, on future sessions I did really work up a sweat.
The reason for this is, the more familiar that I got with the moves, the more effort I was able to put in and I was able to focus more on doing the whole “tilt, tuck, tighten” thing. The more I did the exercises, the more value I could squeeze out of them.
You’ll probably have the same experience. The more you train on it, the harder it gets.
That felt a bit strange after Insanity, which was the other way around. Early on in the Insanity workout I was gasping for breath and having to stop a lot. The more I worked at it the more I was able to do.
While many guys with cardio training experience will probably consider Hip Hop Abs as a bit of a joke and low intensity, but it isn’t. The workout is definitely way less intense than Insanity, but if you apply yourself and really push on these exercises, keeping your core locked in, then you can get a very decent workout from Hip Hop Abs.
You Have To Put The Effort In
As with any fitness program you have to put the effort in and stick with the program if you want to see any results. Hip Hop Abs promises that you won’t have to do any crunches or sit-ups, and you won’t have to use any machines, but what they give you as the alternative is pretty full on.
You’ll be working out 6 days a week. Although some of the sessions are only around 20 minutes, it still means that you need to apply yourself and get stuck in.
The program really gets you moving and doing exercises that will definitely target your abs and give you a good workout. The only problem is that some people won’t have what it takes to stick with it long enough to see the promised results.
The Hip Hop Abs Workouts
Length: 24 mins
Ab sculpt contains some really odd core strengthening exercises that are a bit tricky to get the hang of at first. The moves are complex and it took me couple of sessions to mail it properly and be able to focus on doing everything correctly. After a bit of practice they are fairly easy to follow, but to get the most out of them you need to work hard and keep focused.
Ab sculpt does engage the core and I felt quite a cardio burn too.
Towards the end of the session there is some C-sit position work, which drops the cardio element, but does focus on strengthening the abs.
For fans of the Insanity workout, you’ll see Tanya “The Machine” working it out with then rest of them. Kickass.
Fat Burning Cardio
Length: 30 mins
Fat burning cardio is a full body workout and is definitely the most physically engaging session in the pack. You will be sweating more and activating your entire body in the process.
The first time I did this workout I didn’t get that much from it, but as I perfected the moves my arms and back were burning. This session is definitely a high point.
Hip Buns and Thighs
Length: 25 mins
Here we go, toning your butt and thighs and using a lot more static and repetitive movements. It is still dance-cardio, but you’re going to feel some burn from isolating specific muscle groups.
In this session, you’re going to do squats, a variety of lunges and some single leg raises. Despite the focus on specific muscle groups, you are still moving and kinda having fun.
This was probably the most girly of all the sessions, so after doing this you need to go do something manly like strip down a motorcycle engine or chop down some trees with a chainsaw.
Total Body Burn
Length: 42 mins
This is the longest workout of the program and probably the toughest, but it is very similar to fat burning cardio, the difference is that it focuses a lot more on the lower part of your body: thighs and lower abs.
With this workout we are back into some good cardio moves, so make sure you put in the effort and squeeze out as much benefit as possible.
Other Hip Hop Abs Options
As well as the four core sessions on the DVDs, you also get some quick sessions to use if you don’t for a full session, but want to get some benefit.
There are also some grittier dance move sessions, filmed in what looks like a nightclub. These teach you some specific dance moves that you can take to the dance floor, though some of them are a bit cheesy.
These options allow you to mix up the training a little if anything starts to get stale.
Whatever route you take, you need to stick at it. Without hard work and dedication this program just isn’t going to work for you. It’s like anything in life:
effort in = results out
Take it to the maximum and you will get results. Don’t, and you won’t. It is really that simple.
Hip Hop Abs: The Conclusion
If dancing is your thing and you want a fun way to work out, get toned and lose some fat, then it’s worth giving Hip Hop Abs a shot. If it gets you off the couch and makes you exercise every day and makes you change to a healthier diet and feel better about yourself, then it is worth it.
If you’re a seasoned weight trainer or cardio freak, then this may not be for you. Unless you want a change of pace and something to mix up your usual routine.
As I always say, you need down time in your training program, at least 2 months of every year you should not be training. That way it keeps everything fresh and keeps you interested.
Hip Hop Abs could be another way of changing things around a bit and keeping it fresh.
It does strengthen your core and it does reduce fat levels, but only if you put the work in. Also, there is no point in just strengthening your abs and intercostals. If you don’t put the effort in and get the cardio burn then your strengthened core and six pack will still be hidden underneath the fat. As I mentioned before, you cannot spot reduce fat, so put the effort in and reap the results!
If you’re happy to shell out the cash and you’re ready to commit to 6 days a week, then jump in and give it your best shot. Become the dance. I enjoyed doing the sessions, learned some new dance moves and shaped up some more.
Did You Find This Post Useful?
Have you done this workout? Let me know how you got on, I’d love to hear from you. What was your favourite exercise and was there anything that got the better of you? Let me know!