In Total Ab Workout, fitness instructor and physiologist Tom Holland has created four abs routines, each about six minutes in length. Each routine is progressively more difficult, culiminating with the final routine, which adds a dumbbell to increase the challenge. Tom filmed the workout in "real time," meaning that there are no cuts or edits; it's just a smooth, one-on-one abs workout with Tom. In additional to traditional crunches, the routines offer Pilates-like moves as well as back stabilization work to balance out the core.
The DVD Main Menu offers the option to play the entire workout or go to the Routines Menu, which breaks down each of the four routines into 6-7 segments (you need to actuallly click on the first segment to select the routine). The exercises listed on the Routines Menu are as follows:
Routine 1: arm slide crunches/alternate bent knee pulls/crossed leg obliques/plank/four-point bridge/bicycle
Routine 2: bent knee pulls/bent knee oblique lifts/bridge with lift and hold/crunches with legs up/crossed leg raised foot obliques/plank with raised leg
Routine 3: straight leg lowers/corkscrews/bridges with leg pulses/double crunches/the rope climb/two-point bridge
Routine 4: double roll ups/double oblique twists/bridge with leg holds/double butterflies/double press ups/plank
I liked the fourth routine the best, partly because it felt the most Pilates-like and partly because I liked how Tom worked in the use of the dumbbell; on the other hand, the third workout actually felt more challenging to me. Tom does not show modifications for any of the moves, and thus I think these workouts are best suited for experienced beginner to intermediate exercisers. Overall, a very nice series of ab routines that would be great for add-on work.
Is it just me, or is Tom a virtual doppleganger for Gunnar Peterson of Core Secrets fame? I found their instruction styles to be extremely similar, right down to the way in which Tom says "gooood," just like Gunnar. Overall, Tom comes across as likeable in these short workouts.
Beth C (aka toaster)
October 8, 2007