About a week or so before my last half marathon, I really started to work on my core. I was sick and tired of my side always cramping up on me while I was out running. I did some research on RunnersWorld.com and created my own little regimen for getting a tight core. Now that I ran that half about a week ago, I haven’t done the workout once, so it’s hardly my “daily abs” anymore.
Nevertheless, I recently had someone ask me what “my daily abs” consisted of. So, in case anyone else out there is wondering, here it is.
I feel like I should mention here that I’m in no way recommending these moves because I’m not qualified to do so. But this is what I have done and it has worked for me, so if you decide to try it out on your own, you’re on your own.
P90x’s Ab Ripper X workout PLUS 5 Runner’s World Core moves
So that doesn’t really answer the question, I guess. Here’s a little more…
P90x Ab Ripper X
These moves are summarized at this website and are pretty accurate.
In & Out
You are basically using your butt as a pivot point while you kick your legs out, and lower your upper body slightly towards the floor. This is a very difficult exercise at first, and putting your hands on the floor for support is not only recommended, but probably necessary, because by this time you are seriously tired.
Starting from roughly the same position as the In & Outs, you just simulate the movement of peddling a bicycle, and then you reverse direction. Yeah, it sounds easy, but it’s not. Don’t be surprised if the hip flexors in your legs give out even before your abdominal muscles do.
Seated Crunchy Frog
By this point, you may feel inspired to say “You MUST be kidding” when Tony demonstrates the exercise. In essence, it is just like an In & Out, only your have to momentarily wrap your arms around your knees, which means that you can no longer have your hands on the floor for support. Don’t be discouraged if you only get about 5 of these out before you have to take a break. Get right back to it, though. All of the Ab Ripper X movements give you plenty of time to rest for a few seconds, then attempt a few more repetitions.
Wide Leg/Cross Leg Sit-ups
Such a simple sounding name for a NOT very simple exercise. Basically you lay down with your legs wide apart, and put one hand behind your head. Then, you lift straight up with the other hand while doing a sit-up, and then reach across your body after you are sitting straight up. You alternate back and forth like that on both sides of your body, and by this point you are wondering how it is even POSSIBLE for the people on the video to still be doing it.
Much like the standard scissor exercises that many people used to do in gym class, only this one has an added twisted. You do start in the lying down position (which is wonderful by this point!), but rather than just kicking your legs back and forth in a spastic manner, you only do one leg at a time while the other leg is held 6″ off of the floor. By this point in the workout, even holding one of your legs off the floor is difficult, let alone lifting the other leg up a full 90-degrees. As always, don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do it. Just try your best, rest for a few seconds, and then try again. All that matters is that you try your hardest, not that you work as hard as Tony and the other people in the video.
Hip Rock n’ Raise
Again starting in the lying down position, this time with your knees out, and the heels of your feet touching. You contract your ab muscles to bring your lower body off the floor, then push your hips up towards the ceiling. It does not sound easy, and it ISN’T easy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking at the clock in the lower right-hand corner of the screen, and then being truly grateful that it’s almost over!
This is more of a standard hip raise type of movement where you basically have both feet facing the ceiling, and you do your best to push your heels as high towards the ceiling as possible. If this exercise was done earlier in the routine, it would not be as difficult, but by this point, it is truly challenging to get out very many reps with good form.
It’s a bit difficult to explain, and even watching it takes a few turns before you finally get it right. Basically you reach both hands up towards your extended legs, then you rock backwards to bring your legs off of the floor. You go about halfway back to the position of having your back on the floor, you stop, and then you reach toward your toes, all the while keeping your legs off of the floor. It is as difficult as it sounds, but at the same time, it is an incredible exercise. Just take your time and focus on form rather than a high number of repetitions.
Basically this is a side bend while lying on the opposite side of your body, but again, Tony makes it more challenging by saying that you also have to lift your legs up at the same time. The golden chalice of this movement is being able to touch your thigh with the elbow of the arm that is behind your head. Very difficult to do in the beginning, although you can bend your knees in order to build up strength when you first start doing this exercise.
This exercise is not just difficult because you are so incredibly exhausted by this point, but also because you are all sweaty. Basically what you do is lift one leg about 45-degrees off of the ground, then reach up with both hands trying to “climb” your upper body up your leg until you can touch your toes. Flexibility goes into this exercise as much as abdominal and core strength do, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t touch your toes. Just keep doing the exercise as long as you can, alternating to the other leg as directed.
The “tour de force” that is the final exercise in Ab Ripper X, and the final exercise of the workout session, they saved the best for last. Once again, you are using your butt as a pivot point, while your upper body and your legs are both held above the floor. Once in that position, you clasp your hand together and rotate very rapidly from side to side, trying to touch the floor on each repetition. This exercise is thankfully not done for a very long time, because at this point in the workout, you are pretty much shot. It is a fast-paced movement, however, and does a good job of getting you to give it one last final punch to make it through to the finish line.
- The Basic Plank– Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat. Gradually increase the number of repetitions and the length of time you hold the pose.
- The Side Plank– Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat. Gradually increase repetitions and time.
- The Superman Pose– Lie face down. Raise one arm off the ground and hold for 20-30 seconds. Release and raise the other arm. Then move to your legs; hold one leg at a time off the ground. Then, try holding an alternate leg and arm off the ground at the same time. Then, try both arms up at one time and then both legs at one time. The most advanced version is holding both arms and legs off the ground at one time; hence the name Superman Pose. Hold each of these poses for 20 to 30 seconds, relax, and repeat.
- Bridge– Lie faceup on the floor, with your knees bent 90 degrees, your feet on the floor. Lift your hips and back off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Hold for five to 10 seconds. Lower to the floor and repeat 10 to 12 times
- Metronome– Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent and raised over your hips, with your ankles parallel to the ground, your feet lifted, and your arms extended outward. Rotate your legs to the left side, bringing your knees as close to the floor as possible without touching.
Return to the center, then move your knees to the right side. Do 10 to 12 reps on each side.