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Workout Review: Hip Hop Abs

The cover art and promo materials may look silly, but Hip Hop Abs is serious stuff! There's a basic "tilt, tuck, tighten" move that activates the core muscles... and this move is carried throughout almost every more for the entire program!!

You'll learn the "tilt, tuck, tighten" move during the initial "Secrets to Flat Abs" intro session... The challenge is to keep it going throughout the longer workout sessions, even as your abs get tired! It takes concentration, but I can really say that my body awareness and coordination have improved through doing this program.

This was two weeks out of a three-month hybrid calendar for me, so I've actually only tried each session once, but I can definitely imagine that you'd get some noticeable core toning and tightening from doing the program all the way through!

The songs in this program are mostly a beat without words, although there are a few songs you'll recognize, but the moves aren't set to the music to tell the story of the song the way they are with Cize (one of my all-time favorite programs), and Shaun T doesn't explain the moves quite as well as in Cize. Basically this program feels like his warm-up for Cize, where he was dipping his toe into teaching choreography (if you've done Cize you'll recognize a lot of the moves!) but Cize was where he was allowed to really flesh it out and TEACH versus just leading a workout.

Still, Hip Hop Abs is a fun workout that will please Shaun T lovers, especially if you have a dance background and can easily follow the moves. There are some fun fashion choices for entertainment value (think shirtless male dancers in camouflage cargo pants), and the music is pretty decent. I think this program could also be great for postpartum women, since it helps bring awareness to the abdominal muscles and strengthens them without resorting to crunches.

Program length: 4 weeks

Workout length: 14 full-length workouts ranging in length from 20 to 55 minutes, plus two shorter (5-minute) sessions focused on abs and buns, and three "Learn to Dance" sessions (length: 10 to 20 minutes) that teach you moves you can use at the club ;-)

What equipment is needed? No equipment is required, but I used light hand weights (3 lbs) for many of the sessions to make them more challenging from a strength perspective. I also wore ankle weights for some of the ab work (leg lift-style moves), although I don't recommend wearing these for the dance portions (my knees started to hurt when I did). A cushion mat is helpful for some of the V-sit style ab work on the floor.

How is it structured? The program comes with a workout calendar that shuffles you through the sessions, with six days on and one rest day each week.

What kinds of moves are involved? Hip-hop style dance moves, learning one combo at a time and then moving on (so there aren't long strings of choreography to remember); some sessions have a more drill-style, strength-focused orientation (repeating the moves many times, sometimes with weights).

Low-impact? Yes, and the moves that have some hopping or are more intense have modifications shown.

Interested in trying this program? Learn more in my video review or email me at to find out when my next challenge group starts! I can also guide you to my recommended sources for the equipment mentioned here, or get you set up with a different workout program if this one isn't up your alley. I'm only an email away... Let's chat!

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