Video Fitness

Abs and Stretch

Amy Bento

This is a 60 minute workout divided into 4 sections. Two sections work your abdominals from all angles and the last two stretch your total body.

Amy uses a mat, stability ball, light weights and a resist-a-band.


Ab Section 1
Ab Section 2
Stretch Section 1
Stretch Section 2

Here is a breakdown of the moves:

Ab 1:

Amy does a very brief warm up in this segment. Then using the dumbbells, she does side bends. Taking the left arm, she drives the dumbbell across to the right (similar to a punching move) Repeat to other side. Then she puts the dumbbells in both hands, holds them to the front and does twists side to side to work the obliques. Next she does an elbow strike using one dumbbell to each side. Then hold weight above head & stretch to the side squeezing abs. Next up is v-sits on the floor. Reach up for 2 counts and back for 2. (never coming all the way to the floor) Then she does this move with arms to the sides. Bring knees to chest and stretch out before setting up for the next exercise. Regular crunches are up next, single count. She changes it up by having knees up in air and hands are above the head, crunching up. Full body stretch (lying flat on floor stretching arms overhead and legs out straight) prepares you for more work! Legs straight up in the air, feet apart slightly, drop legs to floor 4 counts, lift back up 4 counts. This works the lower abs and finishes up this segment.

Abs 2:

If you LOVE plank work, this section is for you!! Amy starts out in plank position on elbows. (long holds, 24 counts) Then, while still holding the plank, she lifts her hips up for 2, down for 2. Then she releases into shell stretch (or child's pose). More planks follow, this time on hands with legs wide apart. She drives the knee in on an angle targeting obliques. Then she drives the knee forward into the chest (all while maintaining that plank position). Stretch then grab that stability ball. Roll down on ball and prepare for crunches with different arm motions. Amy then does ball roll outs (where you are on your knees and you place your hands/forearms on top of ball and roll the ball out and using your ab muscles pull the ball back toward you). Back to crunches on the ball using weight to increase intensity. Bridge up with head on ball, twist to one side with the weight, repeat to other side. Then move to the floor, with shins on ball, roll the ball to each side crunching your side abdominals. Ball between legs, 2 counts down, 2 up, then add crunch with arms. A few stretches using the ball round out this section.

Stretch 1:

This is all standing work. Using a resist-a-band, inhale up with arms overhead repeating several times. Then reach arms overhead and reach over to the side, hold, repeat to other side. Amy then does a few shoulder rolls and then pulls arms forward stretching her back. Drop band, bend down with hands on quads twisting to the side to stretch shoulder, outer back muscles. (repeat other way) Standing twist, opposite hand to foot, twisting the spine. Several deep breaths follow. Standing quad stretch then forward bend. Next is tree pose releasing arms forward. The last move in this section is an inner thigh stretch.

Stretch 2:

This segment is all seated stretches. Deep breaths prepare you, then draw arms in front, clasp hands, stretch. Slide legs out, hands behind you/palms flat facing opposite direction and stretch your chest area. Then Amy lifts into reverse plank. She follows this up with seated forward bend, then grabs the band to deepen it. Lying on your back, grab your band, extend leg in air, wrap band around foot and stretch hamstring. Then that same leg moves to the side to deepen the inner thigh stretch. Repeat other leg. Knees to chest then move into runners lunge. Amy then straightens the front leg to target the hamstrings. Down dog is next, then into slow cobra, finally relaxing into child's pose to finish.

Instructor comments:

Denise R


Since I suffer with a post-preganancy paunch, I have been doing all sorts of ab exercises to try to tone up my midsection. This one is one of the better ab videos. There are two sections to the abs: the first section is used with five pound weights, the second is mainly planks and stability ball work. There were some interesting moves with the abs that I have not done before and I am hoping that I will see results.

The stretch sections are also good, using bands. Amy gives you moves that stretch out muscles you're not even aware of.

This DVD is intended to be add-ons to other workouts, I suspect, although I have done the whole thing when I am sort of having a semi-rest day.

Instructor comments: Amy is calm and pleasant in this one.

Lady D


2 Abs (ea. about 15min), 2 stretch (1st 10min, 2nd 15 min).
The moves are a bit difficult to describe as many are non-standard - so please bear with me. For the abs, the music is about 68 bpm, and forgettable techno.

Abs #1
1) 8x squats, arms cross down in front, passing wide to overhead, singles pace;
2) Hold arms up, 16x 'wave' whole body (side leans) leaving arms overhead. Singles pace.
3) Now with alt arms overhead/by thigh (standard move), singles pace. 12 of them
4) Couple of deep breath with big arms.
5) Back stretch, arms clasped forward, tail-bone tucked under

Light Bells, standing, feet shoulder width apart:
1) 24 alt side bends w/arms held straight down by side; 4 beats= right, left, right, left. Yes, it's a bit quick so use light weights!
2) 24 side bends to right only w/ left hand moving from shoulder to ext, pass in front of forehead. I found this too fast for the weight I initially chose. Lightened it & then fine. 4 beats= arm- out, back, out, back.
3) Rpt other side.
4) Bring feet in a bit. Arms bent in front as if -way through a bicep curl - hold there & twist body side to side. 40 twists (20 ea. side). 4 beats= left, right, left, right.
5) Drop one weight. Hands on each end of one bell. On one side only, drive elbow back as if hitting someone behind you - 20 of them. 4 beats= drive, drive, drive, drive.
6) Rpt other side.
7) As previous, but alternating sides, 24 in total. 4 beats= left, right, left right.
8) Feet together, still only a single bell, both hands in the middle & held overhead. Alternate bending to the side, 18 bends in total. 4 beats= Down, 2 up, 2. It's a slow one.
[U]To the floor on mat[/U]
9) Sit with legs slightly bent out in front, lean back, arms out at shoulder height. The move: sit up, arms to overhead then lean back, arms to horizontal. 4 beats = down, 2, up, 2. 18 lifts in total; hold for 8 beats on final down move. Stay there.
10) Do the same as above, but arms go wide (stay horizontal) when lift body to upright. 14 lifts, hold for 8 count on final down move.
11) On your back, bent legs curled into chest for a few breaths.
12) Feet down, standard upper crunches. 4 beats= up, down, up, down. 26 of them.
13) Raise bent legs so shins horizontal, arms straight past ears, upper crunch. 4 beats= up, down, up, down. 28 lifts.
14) Lie flat, arms past ears, stretch, beathing.
15) Raise straight legs to vertical above hips, shoulder width apart, arms by thighs, palms down. 8 beats= down, 2, 3, 4, up, 2, 3, 4. 10 of them. THESE I felt!
16) Pull bent legs to chest, wrap arms & breath.
17) Rock up to sitting cross-legged for breathing - DONE.

Abs #2
No warmup.
On the mat.
1) Plank position, on elbows & toes, feet together, hold for 32 count.
2) Stay there for hip lifts. 4 beats= up, 2, down, 2. 13 lifts.
3) Child's pose, breath.
4) Back to plank, on hands & toes, feet wide. Hold for 8 count.
5) Now drive knee to opposite hip, take back. Alternate legs. 4 beats= cross, back, cross, back. 24 (12 ea. leg)
6) Sit back on heels, breath with big arms.
7) Plank again, hands, feet apart. Alternate driving knee directly forwards towards chest. Faster pace. 4 beats= in, in, in, in. 32 (16 ea. leg)
8) Sit back on heels, breath with big arms.
9) Crunches: Grab ball. Sit on it. Roll down until mid/lower back is on ball, thighs horizontal, knees square, arms crossed w/hands to shoulders. The crunch is to lift the torso so only your lower back is on the ball, lift toes, arms straight out at 45 angle. 4 beats= up, back, up, back. 24 of them.
10) Roll-outs: Off the ball, knees on the mat, elbows on the ball. 4 beats= out, 2, back, 2. 16 of them.
11) Grab a single bell. Sit on ball, roll down as before. Hold bell with both hands, arms out at 45. Go back until arms past ears, then do a pullover into high crunch, lift toes again too. 4 beats= back, 2, crunch, 2. 16 of them.
12) Same starting position as above. Chop bell down to right thigh, then left thigh. Roll ball under back as you chop. 4 beats= chop, chop, chop, chop.
13) Sit up, drop bell, breath with big arms.
14) Pick up weight, held with both hands. Roll back down until only upper back on ball (bridge). Long arm (Russian) chops directly to the side level with shoulders, one side only. Again, roll ball under back as chop. 4 beats= down, up, down, up. 8 of them.
15) Repeat on the other side
16) Same again, but alternate sides, 8 in total (4 each side).
15) Ditch the weight. To the floor. Lie down, thighs/calves on ball, arms out to the side level with shoulders, palms down. Roll ball to the side until legs at 45. Alternate sides. 4 beats= down, 2, up, 2.
16) Legs vertical, ball between ankles, arms overhead past ears. Take the ball to just touch the floor. When coming up, lift hips too. 4 beats= down, 2, up, 2. Only 4.
17) Add arms. When legs/ball come up, reach for the ball (double long-lever crunch). 4 beats= down, 2, up, 2. 16 of them.
17) Sit up, straight legs, wide apart. Breathing. Twist and hold ball behind right leg. Hold for 8. Repeat other side.
18) Up onto knees, round body over the ball in front - DONE.

I've done these twice, both back-back and certainly felt it the next day.

I don't have time now to do a detailed stretch review, but my impressions were:

Felt a bit like yoga, but not quite. I think the only actual yoga moves were down-dog & cobra. Her voice was good for this, she kept it soft & calm. I remember the music being very soothing. The first wasn't long enough - just getting into it and it was over, only 10 min. So I've run them together instead. The second is longer (15 min).

Instructor comments: I like Amy's personality - not excessive in any direction. She's relaxed and informal. Cueing is fine as are form pointers and the occasional "Come on! You can do it! Only 4 more!!"


19th of May, 2006

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