One word. Ouch.
Workouts like P90X and Insanity became a huge fad this past year, rightfully so because they push most people past their comfort zones! I dusted off the Ab Ripper DVD by P90X and decided to try it..I teach a 15 minute Absolutions class, it’ll be easy-peasy
False. Tony Horton’s 16 minute abs workout is one of the toughest DVD’s I’ve done in a long time! There were 11 exercises focusing on the entire core-not just the abdominals. A lot of people hear the word core and think of only the front of their abs (what they can see). In actuality, the core is compromised of the following muscles (groups):
- rectus abdominis (“6″ pack)
- transverse abdominis (TVA-horizontal belt)
- internal/external obliques (sides of abdominals)
- erector spinae (muscle that runs from neck to lower back)
- multifidi (underneath erector spinae, stabilize and rotate spine)
- hip flexors (located in the front of the pelvis and upper thigh)
- quadriceps (upper thigh muscles)
Tony Horton’s workout makes you aware of all of them! The first couple of exercises (in and outs, forward/reverse bicycles, froggy-things) involve a lot of hip flexor and quadriceps strength-very fatiguing and challenging. If your hip flexor and/or quadriceps are weaker, you won’t be able to complete all 25 reps with good form. The other exercises that followed focused on the obliques, TVA and erector spinae, all of which contribute to a stronger core, better posture and can reduce lower back pain. I really liked that Tony’s Ab Ripper workout provided 3 other exercisers with him, all doing a variation of the exercise (regressing and progressing). AND he stressed that taking a break is encouraged! A lot of hard-core (no pun intended) DVD’s don’t mention that taking a break during the exercises is OK, especially if your form is in jeopardy.
This 16 minute workout is short enough to complete at the end of a cardio-type workout and/or weight training or it can be done by itself for a quickie. It will leave you breathless and rolling on the floor, screaming “why did I just do that?”! Like I always say in my group fitness classes..”If you didn’t feel it today-you will tomorrow” .
Change up your abs workout every couple of weeks! Hop into a core class at your gym, search different exercises online or
daretry Tony Horton’s Ab Ripper DVD! But remember! Abdominals are just like every other muscle; don’t focus on them everyday, they too need rest in order to breakdown and rebuild.