Try one set of each exercise, and use our modifications to create the right workout for you. Do it three times per week — before your strength exercises or as a routine on its own — for a stronger, Oxygen-worthy six-pack.
Start by lying on your back, with your legs straight and arms extended overhead. Contract your core and exhale as you hinge forward from the hips and lift your legs to create a “V” with your body. Hold for one count, then inhale as you slowly return to the start. Aim for doing 20 to 25 of these — but we’ll forgive you if you tap out at 10.
Another option: get into the “V” position and hold it for as long as you can instead of doing reps.
Rest your forearms on a stability ball and extend your legs to rest your feet on another ball behind you. (Have a buddy steady the ball if necessary.) Hold here for as long as you can — it won’t be long! — before bringing your feet and knees back to the ground. Perform this exercise close to the beginning of your workout, before your abdominals become fatigued.
Tip: Not ready for this advanced move? Perform a plank with your forearms on the ball and feet on the ground.
V-Up to Pressdown
Lie face up, with your arms and legs outstretched. In one motion, sit straight up, place your hands on the ground beside your thighs, and press through your palms to lift your glutes off the mat. Curl your upper body to bring your head towards your legs – the motion may be small, depending on your ability. Lower your butt back to the floor and reverse. Try 10 to 15 reps — if you can hack it!
Tip: Your heels should remain on the ground from beginning to end. Make it easier by using a slower curling motion to lift your upper body from the ground. Focus on raising one vertebrae at a time until your torso is vertical.
Hold a stability ball and lie on your back, with your legs straight and arms extended overhead. Raise your torso and legs off the floor at the same time, and pass the ball from your hands to between your shins. Slowly reverse, lowering back to the floor one vertebrae at a time. Repeat, passing the ball from your shins to your hands, to complete one rep. Vanda prescribes anywhere from 10 to 15 reps in total.
Tip: The larger the ball, the harder it will be to hold on to, and the more difficult the exercise will be.
Note: If you have back issues or are just starting out, only curl your shoulders off the floor.