Insanity Insane Abs – Review

This post is a review of the dvd Insanity Insane Abs.

Insanity Insane Abs

This workout is about 30 minutes long and it *is* very good. Is it bone chilling, Academy Award winning, call yo mama, P90X Ab-Ripper X good?…No. But for the purposes of what it is trying to accomplish it *is* very good. Reason being is because 30 minutes dedicated strictly to your abs is A LOT of time, almost impossible unless you are an Olympic athlete. Think about this: Usain Bolt, the fastest guy by Olympic standards, can run the 100m dash in less than 10 seconds, actually recorded at 9.58 the last I looked. Then he is done for a few hours. So, for someone to go at full strength, training ONLY their abs for 30 minutes is VERY hard, almost impossible. So to get the full effectiveness of the workout, I had to do some serious pacing, which is productive if you are going for muscular endurance and not strictly strength. Keep that in mind. When most people think of an abdominal workout, they think of 6 or 8 pack abs and very low stomach/waistline body fat. There is a famous quote that says “abs are made in the kitchen and not the gym”.

Unlike all other Insanity workouts, the format is not the same in this dvd: here we do a very quick warm-up, and then we get straight into the workout. If you are adding this workout as an “extra credit” workout, then you should already be warm. If you do this workout as a standalone, then you will want to do more of the workout as stated below to get your core temperature up.


  • Jog
  • High-knees
  • High knee w/twist


Tuck Jumps – We have done these exercises in other videos and we are doing them again today. A tuck jump is jumping straight up and using your abs to lift your knees to just in front of your center section abs. Use your hands as a guideline. Be sure to act like a cat and land softly on your toes to cushion your fall.

  • Power Jumps: The key to this exercise is not going for a ton of reps, but for power and safety. Power jumps are similar to the tuck jumps you just did but instead of bring your knees in front of the center section of your abs, you are bringing them (your knees) outwards to where your oblique’s are by opening up your hips. Your knees, feet and hands are all out wide.

T-Kicks – This is also another exercise from previous Insanity workouts. The main thing I notice with people at our F.I.I.T. Camp sessions is, people tend to just kick their legs up using their quadriceps/and or hip flexors, this is the wrong way to do this exercise *if* you are working out your abs (which is what we are doing here). So pay close attention here. Stand straight up and hold your arms straight out to your side as if you are in a “T” then using your abdominal muscles kick your right leg out in front of you. If you are doing these correctly you will notice that you do a slight standing crunch in order to get your leg in front of you. If you have somebody watch you do it there is a very significant difference in the way it looks AND the way it feels. You can actually feel your abs working. Your foot will come right about to the level of your hips/belly button or higher, the stronger you are the higher you will go. Repeat for the allotted set.

  • T-Jumps – These are the same as the T-Kicks but you are adding a jump in between sets, be extra careful not to hurt yourself, this is usually done by landing on your toes.

Water Break

Here we repeat the set starting at the Jog.

  • Jog
  • High knees
  • High knees with twist
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Power Jumps
  • T-Kicks / Jumps

Water Break

Now we are down on the floor

Position yourself into a C-sit. As in the very first Insanity dvd the “fit test” is a c-sit that is done by sitting on your butt with your knees up and your heels on the ground. Then put your hands underneath your respective quadriceps (right hand with right quad, left with left).

This next set of ab work is one of my favorite sets of the whole dvd.

From your C-Sit you are going into:

  • 6 inches – this is where you just hold your legs (which are together) off the ground six inches. Then hold them there for the allotted time. Both of your legs are out in front of you for this exercise.
  • 5 second break
  • Flutter kicks – most people know what flutter kicks are, however if you do not, they are the same as the 6 inches you just did, but flutter kicks you are making small 3-4 inch kicks up and down while your feet are still in the air. Keep doing these for the allotted time. How long? Go get the video!
  • 5 second break
  • Scissors – most people know what scissor kicks are, however if you do not, they are the same as the 6 inches you just did, but scissor kicks you are making small 3-4 inch kicks side to side while your feet are still in the air ;). Keep doing these for the allotted time.
  • 5 second break
  • Knees In & Out – This exercise is also very similar to the 6 inches you started off with, but instead of just holding your legs up at 6 inches, knees in and out are doing just that while the whole time your legs and knees are together AND still 6 inches off the ground.
  • Rest

Set #2

For the second set of your C-sit exercises you are going to be doing the same thing, but in half the time, so if you did 1 minute for each exercise, you are going to do 30 seconds this round.

  • 6 Inches
  • Break
  • Flutter kicks
  • Break
  • Scissors
  • Break
  • Knees In & Out
  • Rest

For this next series we are going to continue from the C-sit position.

  • Power Abs (Hands Down) – This exercise is somewhat like the power jumps we did earlier. But we are still sitting down. Start with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees up off the ground (like you are a woman and sitting on the table with stirrups waiting for the OB/GYN ;P). With your hands on the ground next to your quads for support, bring your knees up to your shoulders or as far as you can then back down and have your heels touch the floor. Repeat this exercise for the allotted time.  Be extra sure to keep your chest up.
  • Rest
  • Power Abs (No Hands) – This exercise is the same as what you just did, but now your hands are up in the air. However, when your knees come in towards your shoulders, have them rendezvous with your elbows at about lower chest height. Rinse and repeat for the allotted time.
  • Rest
  • Over the Mountain – This maneuver is a combination of a couple of exercises we have already done. Over the mountains combine In & Outs, 6 Inches, and to a lesser extent Power Abs. Start with your feet up and knees together, however your legs and knees are shifted to your right side, then just like the In & Outs, bring your legs in towards your chest but this time you are producing a half circle and going “over the mountain” and extending your legs to your left side then just tap your outside heel on the ground then go again. Be sure to watch your form and don’t strain yourself. Like always, it is better to do fewer repetitions with proper form than higher reps with a half-ass form.
  • Rest
  • Core Adduction (Hands down) – This exercise is very similar to the Power Abs you just did, but instead of your legs coming towards your chest your knees will meet in the middle of then go back out to tap the floor.
  • Rest
  • Core Adduction (No Hands) – You knew it was coming; so did I and I was all like “Damn.” The only variation is with your hands. Your hands are doing a jumping jack like move.
  • Rest
  • Bicycle runs (Hands down) – I’m sure you don’t need me telling you what bicycles are, but I am anyway. Bicycle runs are like a modified scissors but a combination of pedaling and running at the same time. On this exercise just make sure your heels do NOT touch the ground.
  • Rest
  • Bicycle run (No Hands) – If it sounds like a bitch, it should, because they are. Yes they suck, yes they hurt, still gotta do em’. If you are tall like me these are even more of a bitch. Keep your elbows by your sides like you are a boxer.
  • Rest
  • Set #1 complete. <rubs hands together and breaks out a sinister laugh>

Well, since you just breezed through one set of these, the second set should be much easier….Right?

Set #2 – Again we are only going to be doing half the time as the first set. Rest breaks are still 5 seconds however.

  • Power Abs (Hands down)
  • Rest
  • Power Abs (No Hands)
  • Rest
  • Over the Mountain
  • Rest
  • Core Adduction(Hands down)
  • Rest
  • Core Adduction (No Hands)
  • Rest
  • Bicycle runs (Hands down) – Be sure to control your movement.
  • Rest
  • Bicycle runs (No Hands) – Be sure to control your movement.

Water Break.

Ok we are finally getting out of the C-sit position and getting into a starting position of a low plank position.

  • Low Plank Hops – Starting out in a low plank position you are using your core and legs to hop side to side on your toes. In this exercise your feet stay together the whole time. Do your best to keep your butt out of the air as much as you can. Also do not sink your hips. You don’t want to have the strong abs but a broken back.
  • Rest
  • Alternating Balance Holds – Again starting out in a low plank, you are going to start off by  lifting the same side leg and same side arm straight out and holding that position for a (split, if you have to) second, then come back to low plank and immediately go into balance holds with the other arm and leg. Like with all planks, don’t put your butt in the air or sink your hips. There should be a straight line from the back of your head through your heels.
  • Rest
  • Alternating knee to elbow – We did these exercises in the last video but in a full plank. Alternating knee to elbow also starts out in a low plank, then like alternating balance holds, you bring your right knee to your right elbow, and then rotate sides.
  • Rest
  • 15 second alternating knee to elbow. Yes again.
  • Oblique rotation (aka: 1 leg crossover mountain climbers) – Right side – For oblique rotations we start out in a full plank. Then use your right knee to bring it to your left elbow, and then use your right knee to bring it to your right elbow.
  • Oblique rotation – Left side
  • Rest
  • Plank walkers- Right – This is a combination of military crawls (if you remember them from my last post) and an exercise we have never done before. Plank walkers start out in a full plank. Then you start out with your right elbow and drop down to it, then your left elbow (now you are in a low plank), next (since your legs are still together) you want to “walk” your legs out to shoulder length right leg then left leg. Next you want to come back up into a full plank starting out with your right arm, then your left arm. Next you want to bring your legs together, so start out with your right leg then your left leg. Now you are back at the starting position. The sequence is: right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, and repeat. The variation is to start out with your legs.
  • Rest
  • Plank walkers – Left

Child’s pose.

Cool down stretch sequence

Child’s pose.

Insanity Insane Abs

Insanity Insane abs is a brutal, brutal workout; I really do not recommend you doing this workout unless you are already in decent shape. Like I said above, it’s a very good workout, but I think it’s too long and I personally prefer the P90X Ab-Ripper X workout to this one due to its condensed time and being more concentrated. However, when Ab-Ripper X loses its luster and/or you are looking for abdominal muscular endurance (read: cyclist, marathon runner and the like), then this is probably the better workout for what they are doing. And since Insanity is a plyometric workout series, it fits totally with the scheme of what it is trying to accomplish.

Despite me liking the P90X version for abs better, I still give this an overall 4.5 out of 5 Charles’ Face rating.






This concludes my review on Insanity Insane 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.


  • Sandy

    February 13, 2012

    I just want you to know that I love and appreciate your insanity workout video reviews. Thanks for writing them.

  • Charles Lloyd

    February 15, 2012

    Thanks for dropping by Sandy:)

  • Terrell

    March 1, 2012

    I just found your reviews and they are on target. I just did “Insane abs” right after “Max Cardio” and brutal aint even the word for it. Keep writing and sharing your gift, Charles

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 5, 2012

    Will do. Thanks Terrell

  • Mike

    March 13, 2012

    Would you recommend doing this before or after another insanity work out? I’ve been doing this before, and then skipping the “warm up” in the regular work out.

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 20, 2012

    I almost always do the abs workout after.

  • Amanda

    May 15, 2012

    I did the set of seated excersises and I was mostly feeling it in my hip flexors and thighs. What am I doing wrong?

  • Charles Lloyd

    May 15, 2012

    Exactly what you said, you are not using your abs for this exercise but your hip flexors and quadriceps. Form is everything!

  • Avery

    June 30, 2012

    Thanks for the detailed review. I am looking forward to getting to this point, I have two days left of month one Insanity. I wondered if you have any tips for losing body fat.

  • Charles Lloyd

    June 30, 2012

    Yes either the nutrition guide in the Insanity box, or the P90X2 fat shredder guide. I have personally used both and they both work well.

  • Samantha

    September 9, 2012

    Hey yeah so I don’t know if you respond or check these responses often but anyhow! Tomorrow Ill be on Day 15 of Insanity. Fit test. Whoop-de-doo, I already know my endurance is better.. Really not fond of the rest days or simply doing just the fit test so Im either going to do pure cardio or insane abs on top of this. Friday did the cardio abs and it was horrible..sure some of them were a little hard but I felt absolutely nothing afterwards or the next day and the difficulty level was like 3 on 10. Im liking the thought of incorporating the insane abs workout about 2 or 3 times during the week to really attempt to flatten my stomach more and just overall get a better workout.Would you think an addition would be beneficial?Also, since reading alot of your topics I give value to your well do you feel insanity works your whole back area? If you don’t mind the blabbing..

  • mark

    September 14, 2012

    For most people, Insane Abs is going to be an awesome workout. It’s been a while since I have tried the P90X ab workout. I tend to like Shaun T’s style better than Tony Horton. Tony does not do any explaining. He jumps into things and offers no words of caution or advice. Shaun T rocks!

  • Mark

    October 19, 2012

    Hi, is the Insane Abs dvd supposed be cut-up with additions from other workouts, as opposed to a standalone session like the Cardio Abs dvd? Found it a little hard to follow as I wasn’t expecting that! Thanks

  • Chelli

    October 27, 2012

    Same here Mark. It was very awkward to follow; i thought I got a horribly edited copy.

  • Charles Lloyd

    October 29, 2012

    Mark, No this DVD is straight up WYSIWYG, but was done prior to the success of the DVD, so its kinda hard to change it mid-sentence.

  • Linwood

    April 28, 2013

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.
    I will always bookmark your blog and definitely will come
    back in the future. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have a nice weekend!

  • Nikhil Verma

    March 12, 2014

    Love your reviews man! They are really helpful.Good job and thanks!

  • Charles Lloyd

    March 14, 2014

    No problem Nikhil. Thanks for dropping by.

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