Workout of the Week “ab”literates abs


TAMARA RAWSON | Photo Illustration

The workout of the week is designed to give students exercises they can complete from their apartment during the week.

Complete each exercise Monday through Saturday. Neither a gym nor equipment is needed.

Each exercise targets a specific part of your abs to ensure overall fitness.

Proper Crunches

Use slow, controlled movements to complete a proper crunch and get the most out of this exercise.

Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.

According to, to correctly complete this exercise

—Lie flat on back with feet flat on the ground or resting on a bench with knees bent at a 90 degree angle. If feet are resting on a bench, place them 3 to 4 inches apart, and point toes inward so they touch.

—Place hands lightly on either side of head, keeping elbows in. Tip: Do not lock fingers behind head.

—While pushing the small of the back down into the floor to better isolate abdominal muscles, begin to roll shoulders off the floor.

—Continue to push down as hard as possible with lower back while contracting abdominals, and exhale.

Shoulders should come up off the floor only about 4 inches, and lower back should remain on the floor.

At the top of the movement, contract abdominals hard, and hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Focus on slow, controlled movement. Don’t cheat by using momentum.

—After the one-second contraction, come down to the starting position again slowly and inhale.

Jackknife Crunches

This requires a tight core and controlled pulses up to the feet for 3 sets of 10 reps.

—Lie flat on back on the floor or exercise mat with arms extended straight back behind the head and legs extended. This will be the starting position.

—While exhaling, bend at the waist while simultaneously raising legs and arms to meet in a jackknife position. Tip: The legs should be extended and lifted at approximately a 35-45 degree angle from the floor, and the arms should be extended and parallel to legs. The upper torso should be off the floor.

—While inhaling, lower arms and legs back to the starting position.

Scissor Kicks

Make sure the correct form is utilized, with a tight core and movement in legs only.

Complete 3 sets of 30 second kicks: on for 30 seconds, off for 60 seconds.

—To begin, lie down with back pressed against the floor or on an exercise mat (optional). Arms should be fully extended to the sides with palms facing down. Note: The arms should be stationary the entire time.

—With a slight bend at the knees, lift legs up so that heels are about 6 inches off the ground. This is the starting position.

—Now lift left leg up to about a 45 degree angle while right leg is lowered until the heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground.

—Switch movements by raising right leg up and lowering left leg. Remember to breathe while performing this exercise.

—Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.

Oblique V-Up

Complete this exercise by holding the crunch for as long as possible for 3 sets of 12 reps.

—Start out by lying on right side with legs lying on top of each other. Make sure knees are slightly bent.

—Place left hand behind head.

—Once in this set position, begin by moving left elbow up, as a normal crunch would be performed, except this time the main emphasis is on the obliques.

—As elbows are brought up, bring legs toward elbow making a “V” shape with body.

—Crunch as high as possible, hold the contraction for a second and then slowly drop back down into the starting position.

—Remember to inhale during the eccentric (lowering) part of the exercise and to exhale during the concentric (elevation) part of the exercise.

Reverse Crunch

Do not use momentum to complete the reverse crunch. Complete the repetitions slowly to maximize results.

Complete 3 sets of 12 reps.

—Lie down on the floor with legs fully extended and arms to the side of the torso with palms on the floor. Arms should be stationary for the entire exercise.

—Move legs up so that thighs are perpendicular to the floor and feet are together and parallel to the floor. This is the starting position.

—While inhaling, move legs toward the torso while rolling your pelvis backwards and raise hips off the floor. At the end of this movement, knees will be touching chest.

—Hold the contraction for a second and move legs back to the starting position while exhaling.

—Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.


Remember to breathe.

Complete 4 sets of 30 seconds on, 60 seconds off.

—Lie face down on the floor, supporting body weight on toes and forearms. Arms are bent and directly below the shoulder.

—Keep body straight at all times, and hold this position as long as possible. To increase difficulty, an arm or leg can be raised.

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