Abdominal v-ups are not only convenient (do them any time, anywhere — no equipment needed!), but they’re also super effective for sculpting strong, sexy upper and lower ab muscles.
Benefits Of Abdominal V-Ups
V-ups are a fabulous variation on the traditional crunch or sit-up and they offer many benefits.
- They build both stronger upper and lower abdominal muscles.
- They really sculpt your abs, giving you that classic six-pack look.
- They’re simple to do and easy to learn.
- They can help improve your balance.
- They tone your arm, leg, and back muscles, too.
- They can be done at home from home without any special equipment.
- You can easily pair them with many other exercises for a full-body workout or in-depth abdominal training.
- You can control the intensity as you go. Simply keep your legs and arms as low as possible to the ground, while maintaining control and keeping your full extension to increase the resistance.
Although easy to learn, v-ups are actually quite challenging to properly master. Unlike most abdominal exercises, v-ups work both your lower and upper abdominal muscles at once. Performed without any special
equipment, v-ups rely entirely on you extending your body and working hard to use your muscles.
It’s important to warm up before performing v-ups (or any exercise) to protect your muscles from injury or strain. To warm up effectively, be sure to warm up the muscles with a light jog, jumping jacks, or better yet, mountain climbers for a minute or two.
Performing The Perfect V-Up
- Lie face up on a firm, but comfortable surface.
- Extend your arms as straight as you can behind your head with your palms facing up.
- Stretch your legs out straight with your feet close together and toes pointing up toward the ceiling.
- Slowly lift your legs together, up towards the ceiling.
- At the same time, raise your arms, keeping both your arms and your legs straight, reaching towards the ceiling
- Raise your shoulder blades off the floor, keeping your lower back firm on the floor and your chin tucked in. Remain
- When you have raised yourself as best as you can, lower your upper body, arms, and legs back into the the straight, extended positions.
- Without letting your arms or legs touch the floor, rest for a second before repeating.
Perform this v-up exercise in repetitions of 10. Start with just a few sets of 10 repetitions, going very slowly to be sure that your form remains straight. Once you find that you can perform the exercise easily and correctly, up the sets to five to eight per day. Just be sure to stretch and rest in between sets to keep your muscles flexible and protect yourself from injury.
Complementary Ab Exercises
To maximize your ab workout, you can enhance your v-ups and pair the v-ups with other abdominal exercises. Enhance your v-ups by wearing ankle weights and/or holding dumbbells.
Try alternating your sets of v-ups with the following exercises to really give your abs a thorough workout:
- Bicycle crunches: Lie on your back with your legs bent in the air moving as if riding a bike for 30 seconds.
- Abdominal roll-outs: On your hands and knees, slowly roll your hips and abs forward and backward 20 times.
- Barbell side bends: With a barbell in each hand, stand with your feet at shoulder width apart and gently bend to each side 10 times, allowing just your stomach to bend.
- Butt lifts: Place your feet on a bench or stable surface and, holding your body as straight as possible, lift your butt up and down slowly.
- Planks: With your feet on a stable surface about knee height, assume a pushup position. Hold the position for 30 seconds at a time.
- Abdominal holds: Sitting in a chair, pull in and tighten your abs. Hold the position for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat 10 times.
- Sitting crunches: Sit on the edge of a chair with your arms crossed over your chest. Keeping your back as straight as possible, bend at the hips slowly until your chest touches your knees. Return to sitting position