Video Fitness

20 Minute Yoga Makeover - Flat Abs

Sara Ivanhoe

In this 20 minute video, instructor Sara Ivanhoe leads a challenging yoga practice aimed at strengthening your core abdominal muscles. She begins with standing side bends, adding a twist with a knee lift. Next comes some additional seated stretches with forward bends, twists, and spine rolls. Sara then moves to an all-fours position and leads some particularly challenging work moving from down dog to plank pose with one leg pulled in towards your chest. This is followed by some additional seated twists, including a twisting boat pose. Lying on your back, you'll then perform Pilates-like abs moves such as criss-cross, bicycle, and stretches with both bent and straight legs. You'll also perform a half sit up with the legs both bent and stright as well as side knee drops with the legs both bent and straight.

Although the box for this video says that it is "designed for all abilities," this is a tough, challening practice which is likely to feel overwhelming for beginners. The practice is best suited to those with some level of prior yoga experience as well as some pre-existing core strength. Overall, if you like Sara, have done yoga before, and want to focus more on your core, this might be a good video for you.

Instructor comments: Sara's personality is very similar to her Crunch and Dummies videos: she is very down-to-earth, although some might find her language to be somewhat patronizing.

Beth C (aka toaster)

November 28, 2004

I really love this workout as a complement to traditional ab work. While I wouldn't replace my Cathe ab workouts with this, I think the slow controlled movement in this workout is a nice change of pace from the fast paced ab work Cathe and others do. The emphasis is on less reps with lots of stretching.

The workout begins with a nice warm up with side bends and twists along with the levitation move found in Core Max. As an added bonus, all the twists and stretchs in the workout really got the kinks out of my back and neck. It also increased my range of motion with my neck.

Following the warm up is a nice series of planks with inverse crunches (bringing the knee to the forehead.) This requires quite a bit of upper body strength as you hold yourself in plank and 3-legged down dog for quite a while. I found this challenging but also effective.

Next is seated postures like boat pose wtih twists. She starts out simple so that beginners have their pose right away but then goes into the more advanced postures. In the future, I'll probably go right into the advanced postures.

She finishes with some upper body work that includes slow bicycles with bent and then straight legs. She also does some crunches that she calls mundra crunches. Basically, you do a crunch and then hold it for a few breaths. Very nice change of pace from traditional crunches. She also does some twists where you lie on your back and take bent legs or straight legs to one side and then the other.

The music is in this workout is all instrumental. I really enjoyed it. There are some driving piano melodies along with some new age stuff that sounds like Yanni. I really liked it a lot. It wasn't intrusive but was upbeat and added to the workout. I also liked how she had stretches between each exercise. The time flew by. I would highly recommend this workout to someone who is bored with traditional ab work and wants to try something a little different.

Instructor comments: Very down to Earth and encouraging. Some might find her patronizing. She shows excellent form and clearly knows her stuff.

Elisabeth (pipsqueak3211)

5/12/05



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