Insanity Cardio Abs – Review

This was by far the shortest video of the Insanity series and also probably the easiest, Insanity Cardio Abs. To tell you the truth, I got more of a hip flexor exercise than I did any abdominal exercise. Overall, the video is about 15 or 20 minutes long.

I do get the whole short workout thing, and a good, and the operative word here is GOOD, 15 minute ab workout is about all you need. However, this one ain’t it; I felt almost zero ab work.  Personally, I would have to go through this DVD at least twice to actually get a half-way decent workout.

Insanity – Cardio Abs

As a fitness trainer I am considered WAY above average fitness shape. What I consider easy is almost a death sentence for most people. For example just last week on Wednesday, Julie and I went to San Francisco to eat at Scoma’s on Pier 47.  While on Fisherman’s Wharf, we thought since we were already in San Francisco, we might as well walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Twenty-five miles and over three hours later, we were done. Personally, I didn’t think anything of it. But talking to my editor/friend Julie, apparently walking 25 miles, half of which is mostly uphill, is somewhat of an accomplishment for a lot of people. So, keep in mind that when I say something is not that hard, that it’s coming from a fitness trainer who rides his bike 40 ~ 60 miles several times per week in the spring/summer time *just for fun.*

Personally, I like mind bending, complete exhaustion workouts just so I feel alive. If you consider yourself in the average shape range, this is going to be a good workout for you.

If you are like me, don’t bother with the Insanity Cardio Abs. Instead, precede directly to Ab Ripper X in the P90X series; it’s much better than your double espresso shot morning latte from disgusting ass Peet’s coffee :p

Insanity Cardio Abs

Ok. The start of this is as normal. Warm-up, stretch, exercise then stretch again.  Same format – different day. For this exercise sequence you are going to need a mat.


  • Jog
  • High Knees
  • High Knees with Twist
  • Jump Rope – Keep knees soft
  • Tuck Jumps – Use core to lift knees

Water Break – 30 Seconds – Don’t stop moving

  • Wide Tuck Jumps – These are the same exercise you just did in your warm-up, but your leg stance is wide. Hence…

Get into the C-Sit position

  • Twists – Here all you are doing is having your arms in front of you and twisting side to side in your C-sit position

Twist with Knee

  • The same thing you just did but you are adding a knee to your forearm

A-Frame Ab Twists

  • These are more or less the same thing as the twist, but your arms are extended into an A-Frame shape.

A-Frame with Knee – Hi! 🙂

  • Hold Center – Just hold yourself in the C-sit position

Water Break – 30 Seconds – Return to the C-Sit position

Single Leg Rises

  • While you are in the C-Sit position, extend one leg on the floor. Now raise that leg so it is still extended and about 2 inches off the floor. The sequence for this exercise is in, out, up, down. Now do that with your leg keeping it off the ground. Only go as far as you can comfortably go, while still maintaining good form. Remember this is an abs exercise so use your core to move your legs.

Insanity Cardio Abs

The biggest problem I see with most people who are new to working out, whether it is in the gym, at home or otherwise, is newbies think more is better.  This is especially true with men in the gym. I will see guys who have not worked out in ages try and lift the heaviest amount of weight they possibly can.  Consequently, their form is so bad they will end up injuring themselves. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. DO NOT sacrifice reps or weight in place of proper form…EVER.

For women or girls, this is true in a different way. About 65~75% of the readers to this website are women.

So for women I will use an example you will understand.

Although women don’t necessarily do this in exercising, they will do this when applying make-up. For most newbies (read young and old) women and girls, most think that more make-up is better. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Just because your skin is not perfect like you see in some magazine that tells you that you suck, does not mean you need to cover-up whatever skin problems you have (pimples, wrinkles, bags under your eyes, etc.) with make-up. Just like with exercise less, with proper application, is one million times better than just more make-up.

–          Remember – Less is more. Form is better than quantity.

Single Leg Rises

  • Continue this exercise with your other leg. – always rest when you need it.

Water Break – 30 Seconds

Both Leg Rises

  • Now you are going to do the same thing you just did with both legs at the same time.

High Plank Position

  • You are now assuming the high plank position.

High Plank Alternate Knees

  • While in the high plank position (i.e. a full push-up position), use your core to bring your knee to your shoulder – alternating sides. Remember my little spill about proper form.

High Plank Fast Knees

  • Same exercise you just did, now pick up the pace.  Form, Form, Form.

High Plank Position

  • Assume the low plank position (i.e. in a push-up position but on your elbows)

Low Plank Alternate Knees

  • Watch your form and keep your butt down.

Child’s Pose

  • Use this time to stretch and take a quick breather.

Pulse Tucks – Low & High

  • In this exercise you are in both a low and high plank position. Here you are only moving your abs and butt while keeping the rest of your body as straight as possible. The focus here is to utilize your abs to make the most of the exercise. You are pulsing 5 times then switching plank positions.

Stretch – Really use this time to stretch – Very important.


The work out is really short and was easy for me. If you are not working out on a consistent basis, then this might be hard for you. To me, I barely felt my abs working. I would have to do this at least 2 times just to feel anything.

Overall I give this 2.5 out of 5 Charles Faces.



This concludes my review on Insanity Cardio Abs.

About The Author

Charles Lloyd

Self processed fitness missionary and author of most of the ridiculous fitness articles written on Charles Lloyd I am not really a writer, but a workout fiend who happens to have a blog. The single mission of this website is very simple: Get You In Shape. I have been blessed with the gift of good health and want to share it with you. Join Me.


  • Lev

    September 11, 2010


    Please note that in the Insanity workout series this workout is never done alone — it is always done immediately after the very challenging Pure Cardio workout. That is the reason why this workout is shorter and comparatively easier than the others.


  • Charles Lloyd

    September 12, 2010

    Thanks Lev, Yeah the people who actually bought the thing will know as its in the book.

  • Juci

    January 18, 2011

    Great review, bad analogy for women and girls. Not all women and girls wear make up so that’s a bad example to be using to compare to exercising. >_> Maybe if you used terms “some” or “most” rather than just shoving every one of us into the same boat it would be different.

  • Rick

    February 16, 2011

    I thought it was pretty decent of a workout. I am in decent shape and think after the insane pure cardio workout before it helps also. Maybe if I can do things easier than anyone else, like walk 25 miles without breaking a sweat, or lifting giant boulders for fun I can work out my ego too. People read these reviews for motivation, not gloating.

  • Charles Lloyd

    February 23, 2011

    Gloating? Lol, you obviously have not read the title of the my website.

  • Chris

    September 26, 2011

    Thanks for the review, going to try it tonight for the first time and wanted to see what I was getting into, going to give it a shot, if I don’t like it I think I’ll sub the Ab Ripper X instead too.

    One thing you might want to check…. walking 25 miles in just over 3 hours sounds a little fishy to me. Considering 3:10-3:45 hrs is the Boston qualifying time for most mens age groups for the marathon (26.2 miles), you must be one hell of a fast walker.

  • Charles Lloyd

    September 26, 2011

    Thanks for coming through Chris! Hit me up if you need any advice on these videos, or P90X

  • Jeff D

    November 4, 2011

    Wow, you can WALK 25 miles in just over 3 hours – you should try running marathons – you could probably beat Meb and Ryan!

  • kayla

    March 30, 2012

    you an idiot!

  • Lori

    March 30, 2012

    Thank you for the info. I was considering cardio abs but now I think I’ll stick with ab ripper. I also have to agree with other comments regarding your 25 mile walk. Maybe it was a typo but it ruins your credibility. You’re walking about a 7 min mile. That’s faster than most people’s 5k pace. It’s a little offensive to those of us who actually run marathons.

  • ABS

    April 4, 2012

    While Ab Ripper X is also an awesome workout, I can’t agree with your claim that this works out the hip flexors more than the abdominal muscles. I’ve noticed that the key is the C-sit positioning: you need to lean back until your arms are outstretched completely from your knees, and when you’re allowed to place your hands on the ground for support, they absolutely must be in front of your glutes. SIt up too straight or pull your hands too far back and, yeah, you won’t feel the workout.

  • Tim

    June 1, 2012

    People, notice that Charles put “25 miles and OVER three hours later.” He never said that he walked it in 3 hours flat, over 3 hours could mean anything so give the guy a break.

    Charles, I appreciate these reviews and have found them helpful. Thanks for your work.

  • Charles Lloyd

    June 1, 2012

    Exactly Tim….EXACTLY!

  • Jesse

    July 12, 2012

    Hello, i was wondering if this is a good workout to burn fat? If so, how many calories do you burn.

  • Charles Lloyd

    July 12, 2012

    Hey Jesse, the whole insanity workout program is a good way to lose fat not just this particular video. Its kinda hard to judge how many calories you will burn, as that depends on your weight and level of intensity, but for a guy who is 180lbs, I would say you can burn anywhere from 350 up to over 800 depending on the intensity level.

  • Uday

    July 20, 2012

    Thanks for the helpful review, Charles. Have to admit, I came here straight from google so didn’t get your sense of sarcasm (also it’s not sarcasm if it has to be pointed out to someone via a sub-title at the top of the page). Also I think you mean “proceed directly to Ab Ripper X in the P90X series,” instead of “precede.”

  • P

    November 26, 2012

    So you walked 25 miles all up hill in 3 hours?

  • Lucy

    January 14, 2013

    Well done for calling attention to the percentage of women who read this blog. 65-75% is quite a high number! You might want to think again about the comment about having to explain to women in a way they can understand then using MAKE UP as an example…65-75% of your readership have now been insulted! Congratulations…

  • sm

    April 28, 2013

    Your an ass!

  • T

    May 5, 2013

    A 4 hour marathon is still a 8:30 mile which is impossible to “walk” esp uphill! Just sayin- if u are going to give advice then atleast be honest – once I got past the the walking 25 in a little over 3 hours, you had already lost all credibility in my book

  • Raye

    June 2, 2013

    You are aware that you are supposed to do pure cardio the cardio abs right?…

  • James

    July 3, 2013

    yes it’s easy, I ran 3 marathons backwards with small vehicle strapped to my back as a warm up for this and it didn’t really work my abs at all… make things worse, my wife put make-up on before we went out for dinner that night too!

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