Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors

I have a core exercise for you for the Home Exercise of the Week.  It’s called Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors and if you’re familiar with Pilates then you’ll notice a similarity with this one.

Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors will work your lower abdominals as well as your hip flexors and for an added bonus the crunch and hold will isometrically work your upper abdominals.  So you know what that means….muscle burn time!

Let’s take a look at the key points to doing Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors properly.

  • lay face up on your mat and raise your legs to a 45 degree angle keeping them as straight as possible.
  • reach towards your toes with your hands by crunching up until your shoulders are off the floor.  Avoid going too high as this can strain your back and avoid tucking your chin in to your chest.
  • while holding the crunch, lower one leg until it is about an inch or two off the floor then return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
  • ensure that you are pulling your belly button in towards your spine to achieve optimal ab contraction and to avoid straining your lower back.
  • if you find that your back is arching or hurting while doing this exercise then don’t lower your legs as far down.  You can also just do a crunch while holding your legs up and not doing the scissor movement.

So there you have Crunch and Hold Leg Scissors.  Get those abs burning by adding a couple sets of 20 to 30 repetitions to your ab routine or add it in to a superset to get an even bigger metabolic boost!


V Up Roll Up

It’s Friday and this Home Exercise of the Week is coming a bit late but if you’re planning a workout this weekend then try adding in this killer ab burning exercise!

The V Up Roll Up is a P90X move and I wanted to share it with all of you because it is a very effective exercise to strengthen and tone your upper and lower abdominals.

Technique is important as always but especially with this ab move.  If done properly it will destroy your abs and you’ll be cursing at me for ever asking you to try it.  If done incorrectly, it can put a lot of strain on your lower back and we don’t want that!

So let’s take a look at the key points to doing the V Up Roll Up properly.

  • lay flat with your arms straight up over your chest
  • pull your belly button in towards your spine
  • sit all the way up keeping your belly button pulled in and reach towards your toes
  • keep your head straight throughout (no tucking your chin in to your neck)
  • as you start to lay back down, raise your legs up keeping them straight until your lower back touches the floor.  There is a tendency sometimes to do the second crunch before your lower back touches the floor and this is where your lower back can become strained.  The position you want to be in before the second crunch is almost laying all the way down with just your shoulders and head off the floor.
  • keeping your legs straight at about a 45 degree angle, do the second crunch by reaching towards your toes
  • repeat and let the burning begin! 😉

So there you have the V Up Roll Up.  I thank you Tony Horton from P90X for showing this great ab exercise and although you might not thank him or me for showing you this, in the end your abs will! 🙂