A fast-paced intermed-adv abs workout with NO CRUNCHES. The workout is tough on the obliques but overall the tape is light on the instruction and form pointers and could have used better music.
Tamilee Webb leads the workout in a gym studio set that looks a bit like the set in the "I Want Those" series, but the lighting is less flattering. The music is a single tune for the entire 10min workout, a fast-paced synthesized pop tune, a bit repetitive and not quite as good as the music in the "I Want Those" series.
There is no warm-up, Tamilee begins quickly with side bends on your knees on the mat and continues non-stop for exactly 10min. She concludes with a very very short (1/2 min) stretch (stretching side-to-side while kneeling).
Funny, I noticed the exercise mat she’s working out on is *pink*. Very pink. Light Barbie pink. Don’t know why this stood out in my mind but it does!
Tamilee demonstrates the exercises with very few form pointers and minimal instruction. She does:
(1) Kneeling side bends alternating arms overhead
(2) Lying side hip lifts R side
(3) Lying side crossover crunches R side
(4) Repeat 1-3 on the L side
(5) Kneeling torso twists with crunch
(6) Lying hip lift, then with knee in to chest R side
(7) Lying side crossover crunches then both leg lifts on the R side
(8) Repeat 5-7 on the L side
(9) Kneeling side bends with upright row arm, alternating sides
TOTAL workout: 9.5min
(10) Kneeling side stretch, both sides (1/2 min)
All in all, I felt that the workout was good (my obliques are VERY sore today!) but I missed the helpful instruction & form pointers Tamilee puts into her other videos, it would be helpful to preventing back injuries when doing some of the faster moves. At one point her side-to-side bends switching arms overhead is so fast it feels like you’re using momentum to change direction – as close as you can get to a ballistic move in an abs video.
It’s especially hard not to compare this workout to "I Want Those Abs" a tape that is a better value (two 15min ab workouts for about $10, the same price I paid for this video), has better lighting and music, better instruction, and a better warm-up & cool-down. Tamilee obviously designed this workout to be tacked onto other workouts, which I can appreciate. But I was a little caught unprepared when the tape opens up with her on the mat and she launched immediately into side bends.
Is the workout harder than "I Want Those Abs"? No, I would say the oblique work is very thorough – I’m sore in the obliques the day after and a little sore in the lower abs, don’t feel much in the upper abs today though. I would say that the 10 Minute Abs is similar in intensity to the 1st level workout in "I Want Those Abs" and the advanced workout in "I Want Those Abs" is tougher and overall more balanced.
If you are looking for a great tough Abs workout, you should spend your money on "I Want Those Abs" (which is also on the "I Want That Body" DVD, a great bargain if you can find it for less than $15).
If you want more oblique work and you never want to see a crunch again, you may want to add the Tighter Assets 10 Minute Abs tape to your collection. I hope that Natural Journeys decides to put this tape on DVD, someday I hope to have all my exercise videos on DVD.
Tamilee is pleasant, serious and straight-forward in this tape, not as friendly as she is in her "I Want Those" workout series.
She sports a jeweled belly-button ring which I found a bit distracting. She definitely is tough though and knows her stuff!
10 minute abs is an all out attack on the obliques. For a 10 minute routine, quite a few variations of exercises are performed with each varying widely in difficulty. All is needed is a soft surface to cushion the knees and glutes – so if you are working out on hard floor, grab a mat. For advanced exercisers however, adding ankle weights will add a challenge to many of the exercises.
The set is bright. There are no background exercisers here, so the focus is on Tamilee and her bright pink mat, which is similar to my bubble gum pink one. ;) The workout feels like it is really one-to-one. The music is cute and upbeat – nothing dominating but it plays softly in the background. I don’t love the music but I like it – it works with this short 10 minute routine.
You will have to be at least an intermediate exerciser to perform this entire workout the way Tamilee demonstrates it. When I first tried this video I had just started exercising and found some of the exercises impossible to perform and when I was able to do them, my form was sloppy. However, there were a few exercises that were very easy to learn and those exercises alone still delivered oblique DOMS.
Now, doing this workout a year later I can take full advantage of all the exercises. If you have successfully completed workouts like Core Foundations, Ab Ripper X and Core Synergistics, this workout will be very doable if not easy for you. But because you are focusing solely on the obliques, to your surprise you might be experiencing major DOMS.
For those wondering what makes some of the exercises difficult for beginner exercisers, the reason is simple: this is not about basic crunches. Some exercises require you to maintain good posture with wide range of motion (the more, the better), while others require stabilization and the ability to engage and fully contract your abdominal muscles. From my personal experience, being more exposed to more variations of abdominal routines, particularly functional fitness workouts has helped me be in more control of the movements featured in 10 minute abs.
ADJUSTING THE PACE:
The speed of the kneeling side reaches (or whatever they are called – Tamilee does not assign a name to these) can seem too quick at first but once you build familiarity with this exercise it becomes easy to perform. I did them at a slightly slower pace at first making sure my posture was good – no hunching here – sit up straight! You might have to perform other exercises slower to get full use of that range of motion and although Tamilee is not waiting for you, who cares, just slow it down – that was my mistake, trying to match her speed too soon, even if that meant terrible form.
Although it does not target the upper and lower abs, I feel that I get plenty of that already in my regular abdominal routines. On the other hand, I rarely experience soreness in my obliques, so 10 minute abs is an essential piece in my video collection. This workout lacks a warm-up and cool down but functions more like an add-on. You can easily tack this on to any regular workout day.
I only wish that this workout was paired with Tamilee’s I Want Those Abs Series so more people would be exposed to it – I feel that this is one of those highly underrated workouts.
I like the sequencing of exercises because you rotate a bunch of different exercises but then revisit them again later in the workout. Overall, I felt the rep count for each exercise adequate but I do add on reps sometimes during the short transition between exercises.
The most difficult exercise is the side hip raise (same exercise seen in P90X Core Synergistics and TLP workouts), an exercise where you lay straight on your side, with your lower forearm (closest to the ground) supporting you while you lift your hip straight toward the ceiling. Tamilee even adds a little extra challenge to the side hip raises by requiring you to hold the elevated position while bringing the knee into the chest. Now that I can do this exercise, I love it – conquering the stability challenge and isometric contractions makes me feel powerful.
I cannot resist this workout because it is a) short b) fun and full of variety c) easy going with no dread factor d) effective in targeting and building the oblique muscle group.
10 minute abs as of now, delivers the best oblique workout for me. There is also room for growth because a learning curve does exist to take full advantage of the exercises. The better you get, the more you will feel your muscles engage and contract. I don’t rely on this workout as a complete solution for my abdominal training needs but I periodically add this workout to my exercise regime because although the exercises are now easy for me to perform, 10 minute abs still has that sneaky factor of pounding in the oblique muscle soreness the next day.
Tamilee is great on camera and nice to listen to. She gives you some helpful form pointers for some exercises but then they are non-existent for others. Her form however is impeccable so if you can watch and learn with minimal instruction you should have no problem learning the exercises.
August 16, 2004