Your Best Body: Abs & More

Keli Roberts
Year Released: 1997

Categories: Abs/Core

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I realized I've been using this tape off and on for years but never submitted a review.

No mixed emotions here - I absolutely *LOVE* this workout. I wish I didn't have to worry about muscle confusion issues, or I would reach for this tape all the time. I just don't have any others I enjoy nearly as much. I get a better workout with this than with the current favorites, Lotte Berk and Mari Winsor. This may be because abs are a trouble spot with me, and I'm not strong enough to use the above workouts to their fullest. But that's another great thing about it - even a rank beginner can do level 1 and really feel the difference, instead of balancing in this half-lying down pose thinking, "I don't feel it - am I tucking enough?"

I also much prefer this tape to traditional ones that focus on crunches ad nauseum. I feel longer and leaner through my abs and even my neck when I am finished. True, I usually only do level 1 and 2, but it really makes me work. And there's always 3 and 4 when I need more challenge.

Good workout, untraditional, and progressively harder as you need it. Grade: a solid A.

Instructor Comments:



I like the exercises in this video as a change of pace from traditional crunches. I find the stabilization exercises very effective. When I do this tape, I tack parts of it on to the end of other workouts. I usually do parts 1&2 together, and parts 3 and 4 separately. I really like sections 1, 2, and 3. However, I find some of the exercises in the fourth section awkward; namely the part where you are on your side with your body raised up at an angle and you are using your abs to stabilize yourself, and then you twist your upper body to face the floor. I'm sure I find these moves awkward because I'm not very good at them yet! Something to work at! I do recommend this tape, but you will need to work up slowly and pay close attention to form. It is easy to cheat on some of the moves. Keli acknowledges this, and describes and demonstrates proper form in detail. Even if you consider yourself an advanced exerciser with strong abdominal muscles, you will be humbled by section 4.

Instructor Comments:
Keli's form is perfect, and her cueing is very clear. She is very inspiring. She encourages you, but not in an aggressive way.

Kristin Aziz


I can't rave about this video enough! Keli's ab workouts are the only ones that ever really make make my abs sore. They're the only ones that target my abs just right, especially my obliques (for some reason, I just can never "feel" traditional oblique exercises like oblique tiwsts, but Keli's ab workouts seem to do the trick). I just loved the ab work on her Ultimate Step video, so I decided to try this when it came out. I am so happy I got it!

The workout is divided into four progressively difficult sections, and begins with a short warm-up. I'm not sure if Keli intends for people to do all four workouts at once, since I read in her Hollywood Fitness book that you shouldn't try to do more than 10 minutes of abs, as it may be too much. Having said that, I think many do the entire workout at once and have had no problems doing so. I've done that a few times, but found that my form suffered. Since quality is so much more important than quantity when it comes to abs, I just decided to break apart the workouts over the course of a week. It's great to add one of these sections to a cardio tape just to get a short but intense ab workout.

Although I've found all four sections to be effective, I think my favorite is the fourth segment. For the longest time I didn't want to do it because it looked so hard (especially the one-armed push-up/rotation), but once I finally tried it, I loved it! I still don't quite have the upper body strength to do all the moves in this section, but I modify by holding the move isometrically and find that it works for me at the level that I'm at. This is the best workout I ever have done for my obliques!! No other ab workout, with the exception of her ab work at the end of Ultimate Step (another favorite of mine), has ever been able to target my obliques like this one does. In fact, it's because of the great oblique work in this fourth section that I find myself doing this section increasingly more than the first three on this tape (although the others are wonderful for variety!).

I love that each section has the complimentary back work to cap off the ab work. As Keli says, it's so important to incorporate back work to balance the ab work, and not all ab workouts include this, unfortunately.

All in all, just a superb workout for my abs. I get soooo bored with the "traditional" crunches and twists, and can't seem to get the benefits from the pilates-type work in the Method tapes, so I was happy to find an ab tape that had moves that were not only unique, but were effective. Keli's pointers help me find the right angles to target my muscle so I can actually feel my muscle working. I would highly recommend this tape ot anyone looking for a good, solid ab workout!

Instructor Comments:
As usual, Keli is in top form in this video! Excellent pointers on form that really does the job in working



This tape is a nice change of pace from other ab videos I've tried. It focuses more on alignment and back stabilization using the abs. There are traditional crunches, but there are so many other exercises to keep your abs challenged, such as "closing your ribcage" and keeping your abs controlled while alternately lifting your feet an inch off the ground or the step. She also does some back exercises to balance the abs. This tape is great to help you improve your posture. I highly recommend this tape!

Instructor Comments:
Keli is very calm and motivating in this tape. She gives gentle instruction and is constantly reminding you of your form. She is an excellent instructor.



This video has already been described in detail, so I am just going to tell you my results. I HATED this video when I first got it off the exchange, did it once, and then it stayed in my "keeper" shelf for about six months, but after doing the Firm's two ab tapes for six months with no real visual benefits I decided to take a new approach to nontraditional ab work just twice a week (in 9/98) with this and Yoga Abs by Rodney Yee. It was difficult at first, but eventually I was able to advance all the way through level 4 (which is still a killer). I can now see my abs which I never had seen before. I will point out that the first two times I did this tape my back killed me the next day but I stuck with it and now my post-C section tummy is tighter than it has EVER been, aside from the loose skin that is.

Instructor Comments:
Keli is one of my favorite most thorough instructors, so she was in top form (as usual).

Stephanie Bridges


I never thought I'd say this about abs work,which I hate, but I really love this tape. And, probably because I actually do the tape (my other ab tapes sit on the shelf), it has strengthened my abdominal muscles like never before.

The exercises are varied. While there are some crunches, there is also a lot of emphasis on using the abs to stabilize your back. There is also work for the lower back. The movements are done slowly, so that you can feel the muscles working with every motion, and think about what you are doing. After the workout, you feel relaxed and soothed, but your stomach is firmly in.

The 4 levels are supposed to be progressively more difficult, but I find 1-3 similar. Level 4 has some moves that are different, and possibly more difficult because they involve upper body strength and a confident sense of balance.

Instructor Comments:
calm, friendly, with clear instruction and excellent form tips

Lyn Seidler


I bought this after reading raves about how it is the best ab workout. I am not enthralled at all with this tape. Keli is a good instructor, but it's too slow - I got great results with Abs of Steel 2000 and Keli's tape is too "weird" in its movements. I love basic ab work and I got defined abs without this tape.

maryann parker


This is the toughest and most well-rounded abdominal workout I have ever done. After just a couple weeks, my abs are visibly stronger. The exercises are unique and I love that Keli Roberts works the complementary muscles in the back after each segment.

ABS and more is broken down into 4 levels. I thought I had pretty strong abs when I started doing this tape, but I still can't make it through level 4 --- OUCH!

If you want a great ab workout... DO NOT MISS THIS TAPE!

Christine Letsky


This is the best abs tape ever. I'm putting all my other ones on the exchange. Since starting this, my abs have gotten noticeably firmer and flatter. This has worked so much better than all my other tapes combined! No more endless crunches!

The tape is divided into 4 levels, with each getting more challenging. 3 and 4 are very difficult, especially 4. The moves are not traditional at all. You work on stabilizing your ab muscles and holding them in place while performing other moves. IT WORKS. I highly recommend this to everyone. It might take some work to get up to level 4, but this is so much more effective than other tapes.

Grade: A++++++.

Annie S.


Level: Beg/Int/Adv

Workout: WU followed by 4 segments (6 min/10 min/9 min/13 min)

The toning emphasis is, of course, abs but the back is also included.

I don't like this tape even though it gets great reviews from everyone, including Collage where it's checked as a staff favorite. VF's Wendy loves it. Self magazine praises it.

So what don't I like? Segment 1 is okay. I liked it fine. Levels 2 and 3 bothered me. They require the use of a step which I found very uncomfortable. You have to lean across it, and it dug into my midsection to do that. My brain was so occupied with the discomfort, really painful, that I couldn't focus on the exercises. Level 4 was just plain awful for me. The movements are very different (that's not bad) and contorted (for me anyway). I tried hard and I felt okay with the actual workout.

It was the aftereffects that bothered me. I've done a lot of ab work. I have strong abs, and I've done most of the well known ab tapes. I bought this one on Collage's advice because I was tired of the ones I had. I'm always looking for good ab tapes.

This tape really messed up my lower back. I don't have any back problems but I did for several days each time I used this tape. I was surprised to ache so much. Not a good ache. I know the difference. This was not good.

I caution the use of this tape. It didn't work for me. It's probably an excellent tape for lots of users, but here is one person who can't use it. My advice: be aware of its potential to hurt at least some backs. I have never experienced pain after ab workouts before, and I have done all the major ab tapes.

Would I recommend it? No.

Karen Borak


The tape consists of 4 different level segments 1-4. You can do one of the 4 workouts on four separate days (just remember your warmup) or you can combine all four workouts into one, long, but fun abdominal workout, which is about 40 minutes. Level 4 is obviously the hardest, and the beginner, or someone with very flabby abs would have a hard time achieving level 4, but with much practice as with anything, I'm sure these ab exercises can be done. I personally, have not yet seen that day, I have a lot more practice sessions to go! I look forward to attaining that level of fitness especially in my ab area. The first 3 levels worked your abs to a Super Level! Therefore, I strongly recommend this video, posture is improved, and as Keli states using the tape just twice a week, you'll see results. I have found this to be a very true statement.

Terrie Bissonnette


Section 1 - 6 min - Beg/Int
Section 2 - 10 min - Int
Section 3 - 9 min - Int/Adv
Section 4 - 13 min - Adv

I loved the ab section at the end of Real Fitness Ultimate Step, so I had high expectations for this tape. It met them and then some!

The tape starts with an explanation and demonstration about finding neutral alignment. There is a very short warm up and then its on to a great workout.

There are traditional crunches and oblique twists, but on many of the sets you are supposed to hold your abs in & perfectly still while doing something else, such as lifting foot about 3 inches off the floor. It sounds kind of easy and was for me until I started using the exact form Keli described!

Then there is the crunch, hold at the top, reach and pull (grasping at an imaginary bar) yourself up another inch or so, hold again, and lower slowly. Very Intense!

Section 4 uses your whole body to work your abs. It also requires upper body strength to do some of the moves.Someone commented in the forum that they found these moves awkward, but, while I found them difficult, I liked them. These moves include a sort of push up, rotate to the side & rotate back all while holding your abs and back completely still, in perfect alignment.

The last set of each section is usually for the lower back, and the ends with a very brief stretch.

I can't say enough good things about this video! Keli explains proper form in great detail so you know exactly how you should be doing it. I think it's because this tape relies so little on standard crunches.

One more plus, my posture has improved greatly since using this tape.

Tonya Bednarick


This is a great workout for the abs and back. It is divided into 4 sections of which I usually do 2 to 4 after an aerobic tape. Level 4 is really difficult. The tape is long - 40 minutes- but it has lots of different moves so you won't get bored My favorite exercise is the oblique curl using your elbow for leverage, I really feel that one. This is the first ab tape in a long time which I have felt satisfied after doing. If you do this tape you will see a difference and with summer coming some of us need all the help we can get.

Cinnamon Conrad