STS - Ab Circuits

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core



Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first


This DVD has seven ab workouts, with different focuses (yoga, pilates, bodyweight, weighted), equipment used & duration of time (9-20 min. segments). The abs exercises are mostly floor, although the med ball segments do have some standing exercises. I think this a good “bang for your buck” DVD, as the workouts are thorough (variety of challenging exercises w/ excellent instruction) & there’s a lot of material to work w/ (to create custom workout), but there isn’t chaptering for each exercise. I really liked the ball segments (med & stability), yoga (lots of isometric holds), No Equipment, and the Weight & Plates segments.

I generally prefer to perform abs/core workouts for only than 5-15 mins, and/or like to sprinkle abs/core exercises into my other workouts (resistance or cardio), so after the initial try of all of the segments (except the partner abs), I plan to modify these for shorter workouts (split up the weights & plates segments, just perform half of a segment).

Cathe recommends to warm-up before starting any of the ab workouts, and does provide modifications for some exercises. Performing 2-3 of these ab workouts per week is recommended. Cathe does not name all of the exercises, so I did name some of them according to what I am familiar w/ or what they are focusing on (body position and/or area worked).

There are 5 background exercisers (2 male, 3 female), form was very good for the females, not always for the males (seemed to struggle a lot more w/ some of the exercises, like the plate & stability segments).

Equipment: mat, med. ball, stability ball, paper plates (gliding disc), ankle weights, weighted hand gloves or wrist weights.

Music: none, just Cathe’s verbal cues.


Yoga-inspired Abs (15 min.)

Rolls from seated position: seated w/ bent legs held off of floor w/ C curve in spine, hands on shins> roll back in tucked position (shoulders touch floor), reverse motion, 8 reps> boat pose

Rolls w/ single extension: on reverse motion (roll back), extend one leg straight & other w/ bent knee (hands held on bent knee) into isometric hold (few seconds), 8 reps, alternate sides.

Levitation hold: easiest (Indian style crossed-legs), intermediate: half-lotus (outside of foot placed & held on opposite inner thigh or groin), advanced: full lotus (both feet placed & held on opposite inner thighs or groin)> hands placed on side of body, lift body off of floor & hold (few seconds), 2 reps.

Extended leg Levitation hold: start w/ levitation hold, then extend both legs to front (straight) & hold, reverse motion & hold, 2 reps.

Reverse Plank: start seated w/ upper body leaning back, bent knees/feet on floor, hands placed in back of body (bent elbows, heel of hand facing back> lift torso off of floor (body forms straight line on diagonal plane) & isometric hold for 30 seconds.

Isometric crunch: Lie supine w/ bent knees, feet on floor> walk fingertips up to top of knees (3-4 counts) & isometric hold (6-8 seconds), lower (2 counts), 4 reps.

Lie supine w/ bent knees, feet on floor, hands on behind head> lift upper body up, then rotate to side, return to center, lower down, alternate side, 4 reps> slower pace, longer hold in each position, 1 rep per side.

Bike Maneuver: body is supine w/ bent knees, hand behind head> crunch w/ alternate (opposite elbow taps inside of knee, other leg extended straight), 4 count isometric hold, 1 rep per side> 2:2 count, 2 reps per side> single reps (16).

Spinal twist: body is supine w/ bent knees held in air, arms reach out to side> rotate lower body & alternate lowering knees to one side (as far as possible), isometric hold, 1 rep per side> extend both legs in air (straight), 1 rep per side> 2:2 count, either bent or straight leg for faster pace (windshield wipers) 4 reps per side> knee circles.

Cat/cow: 3 reps

Prone plank into side plank (feet stacked)> scoop top arm down under body, twice, repeat on other side, 1 rep per side.

Crocodile: body in plank/push-up position, lift butt up a bit & bend arms to lower upper body to floor for isometric hold> upward dog> downward dog> 1 time.

Repeat sequence, twice, starting w/ Prone plank into side plank (last time through has faster pace).

Stretch

Child’s pose> cobra pose> child’s pose> seated position (crossed legs), rotate to side (one hand in back, one on knee), repeat on other side> face center, namaste position (arms).


Pilates-inspired Abs (19 min.): after each exercise is completed, there is a short stretch (bring knees to chest, for static hold or gentle rocking back & forth)

100: press down w/ arms 5 times while inhaling for 5 breathes, then 5 times while exhaling for 5 breathes, for 100 counts. Level 1: bent knees, level 2: straight legs, level 3: straight legs at 45 degree angle.

Roll-up: 4:4 count, 6 reps.

Double (bent) leg stretch: body is supine on floor, static hold w/ bent knees into straight leg extension w/ swimmer arms (fan overhead and to the side), 12 reps.

Double Straight Leg stretch: lie supine w/ straight legs extended in air, arms next to side of body> lower legs as far as can w/out back arching (head stays on floor), 16 reps.

Side twist: lie supine w/ bent knees, arms reach out to side> rotate lower body & alternate lowering knees to one side (as far as possible), 5 reps per side.

Criss-cross: lie supine w/ bent knees, hands rest on back of head> opposite shoulder/elbow moves to touch opposite side knee (bent), other leg is straight & close to floor, 32 reps (16 per side), slow pace.

Scissor: lie supine w/ straight leg extended to floor/close to floor, other leg is straight & extended perpendicular to floor (and held by both hands, above the knee)>lower leg pulses twice in position (shoulders & head come off floor during exercise), then switch position of legs, repeat, 24 reps (12 per side).

Corkscrew: lie supine w/ straight legs extended in air, pointed feet, arms at side of body> 8 circles w/ legs in clockwise direction, 8 circles in counter-clockwise direction.

Teaser (modified): lie supine, w/ bent knees, feet on floor> roll up w/ both arms reaching forward w/ single leg extension/lift (level of other knee), then lower down, repeat on other side, 4 reps per side.

V-sit: Level 1: bent knees, level 2: straight legs, level 3: straight legs w/ both arms extended, isometric hold for 4 seconds.

Side plank: start straight legs w/ top arm extended up> rotate upper body & lower top arm to front & leg to back (floor), return to plank position, 8 reps, repeat on other side.

Saw: Sit w/ legs forming a V, arms reach to side> rotate to one side w/ arm reaching, then body & arm comes forward to reach for outside of foot, alternating side, 4 reps per side.

Mermaid (cues the males to continue to do the Saw exercise): start w/ both legs have bent knees (90 degrees, front leg/outside flat on floor, back leg/inside of leg on floor) & arms reach to sides> rotate upper body and reach to place both hands on floor/static hold, lift up & return to starting position, then reach to opposite side (same side hand on floor, other arms reaches overhead to side)/static hold, 8 reps, repeat on other side.

Stretch: start legs crossed, arms to side, hinge at hips, arms reach in front> bend arms (elbows on floor) & roll down (look into lap w/ head)> sit up, rotate body, look over shoulder, back hand on floor in back of body, front hand rests on knee, repeat on other side> seated w/ both arms reaching forward (hands clasped together, inside of arms face each other), rounded back> place hands on floor (in back of body) & expand chest> inhale w/ overhead arm reach.


Weights-and-Plates Abs (19 min.): uses ankle weights (2.5 lbs), wrist weights or weighted gloves (2 lbs.) & plates (gliding disc).

Weights segment (short stretch after each exercise)

Rope Climbers: lie supine w/ bent knees & arms to side, upper body crunch (shoulders & head lift off floor) w/ alternating arm, simulating a rope climb, 16 reps per side.

Sit-up w/ 2 jabs: perform sit-up, at top of exercise, jab twice to the front, then lower down, 8 reps.

Torso twists: seated body w/ bent knees & feet on floor, alternate rotating torso to each side, 4 reps per side> one leg is held off of floor, 4 reps per side, repeat on other side> both legs held off of floor, 4 reps per side.

Hip Lifts: lie supine w/ legs (slight bend in knees), held off of floor, arms to side of body, 16 reps> lift up to side to rotate lower body, reverse motion, 8 reps, repeat on other side.

Opposite limb reach crunch: Body is supine on floor, one arm out to side (on floor)> upper body lifts, and opposite arm & leg lift to meet up in center, 16 reps, repeat on other side.

Bike Maneuver: body is supine w/ bent knees, hand behind head> crunches w/ alternate (opposite elbow taps inside of knee, other leg extended straight), 16 reps.

Reverse Crunch: add upper body crunch& chest press motion of arms w/ lift of exercise, 12 reps> 8 count isometric hold, top of exercise.

Roll-backs: similar to reverse crunch but at top of exercise (2 count lift), the hips roll back more (hips lifted so knees are over chest, weight centered over body), slow pace (6 count lower) on negative/lowered part of exercise, 8 reps.

Superman: upper body lift w/ bent arms open to side (90 degrees), 12 reps> lower body lift, 12 reps> upper & lower body lift, 12 reps.


Plates segment (uses 2 plates for both feet)
Stretch (legs crossed, arms to side, hinge at hips), both sides (switch front foot).

Slow mountain climbers: body in plank/push-up position, feet on plates, 6 reps per side.

Spiderman mountain climbers: body in plank/push-up position on elbows, w/ bent knee, leg slides out to side of body (w/ turned out leg), 16 reps, alternating sides.

Knee pull-ins (tucks): body in plank/push-up position, slide in towards hands by pulling knees to chest, 4 reps> pikes (straight legs, hips lift up pull legs into body), 4 reps> alternate single reps of each (pull-in & pike), 4 times.
45-Degree Angle Slides: perform pike, then alternate slide w/ legs to side on lowered part of exercise, 12 reps.

Plank Jacks: body in plank/push-up position, slide both legs out to side, 4 reps> pike into plank jack, 4 times.

Single-leg adduction slide: body in plank/push-up position, alternate knee slide to front, then leg extends straight out to opposite side, 12 reps.

Stretch: wrist rotations> chest, then back stretch (clasped hands)> wrist stretch> overhead arms once.


Stability-Ball Abs (20 min.)

Seated crunches (shoulder blades off of ball w/ lift) w/ overhead arms (hands clasped together), 4 reps> arms open w/ bent elbows (90 degrees) on lowered position, move in next to each other on lift (like a chest fly motion), 4 reps> combine two exercises (overhead arms crunch, open arms, bent elbow crunch), 4 reps.

Sit-up w/ leg lift: Ball held over head> lie supine, w/ one leg/bent knee/foot on floor, other has straight leg> sit up w/ both arms/ball reaching forward w/ straight leg lift (level of other knee), then lower down, 8 reps, repeat on other side>stretch (ball held overhead, legs resting on floor).

Roll-ups: 4:4 count, 2 reps> 2:2 count 8 reps> stretch (ball held overhead, legs resting on floor).

Seated twists: bent knees w/ ball held overhead, alternate rotating body to side & lowering ball to floor, 8 reps> double pulse, 4 reps> triples pulse, 4 reps> stretch (ball held overhead, bent knees lowered to one side for static hold, repeat on other side).

Ball exchange (pass): (modified version) lie supine w/ bent knees, feet on floor, ball held overhead> bring knees to chest, place ball between feet, then extend both legs & arms overhead, then bring knees to chest, hands pick ball, extend ball overhead to tap floor & straighten legs, 8 reps> stretch> (long-lever) legs are straight during the entire exercise, 16 reps> stretch.

Side-lying bends (crunch): cue to walk over toward wall (for support, foot of bottom leg is anchored against it), lie on ball w/ side of body (hips, side of waist/abs) w/ the top leg bent or straight in front of ball, arms are straight overhead or bent/hands on head (easier version)> upper body lowers down to floor (lower hand touches floor) & lifts up, 16 reps, repeat on other side.

Reverse hyperextensions: lie prone on ball w/ abs resting on ball, w/ hands are on floor feet apart & on floor> bend arms to shift bodyweight forward, lift both legs off floor, hold in air> contract glutes & lower back to lift legs up (lower body movement of superman exercise), then lower,16 reps> stretch (body drapes around ball> forward/back roll).

Prone rocking (side to side):lie prone on ball w/ legs in wide stance, ribs are resting on ball> back up to rest chest & chin on ball w/ bent arms resting on front of ball> alternate lowering/rocking body to one side, so that elbow almost touches ground, 7 reps.

Roll-outs: start facing ball w/ knees/shins/feet on floor and outside of hands rest on ball (modification: place palms of hand on ball)> lean forward to roll the ball forward & straighten arms on ball (shoulders to hip form straight line in lowered position), reverse motion (press arms down into ball), 8 reps.

Prone knee pull-ins: roll forward onto ball (body is in plank/push-up position), thighs/above the knee rest on ball, hands on floor (beneath shoulders)> bend knees & roll ball toward body (shins & feet rest on ball), reverse motion, 2:2 count, 5 reps.

Prone Ski twist: from push-up/plank position on ball, roll ball forward to bring bent knees on top of ball (90 degrees)> alternate rotating lower body (knees initiates movement, roll on ball) to each side, 8 reps per side> stretch (wrists).

Prone knee twists: body is in push-up/plank position on ball, knees (toward shins) rest on ball> (modified version) alternating pulling in knees into body on angle (side of legs rest on ball), 3 reps per side> (regular version) bottom knee pulls in w/ top leg extension to side, 12 reps, alternating sides> stretch (wrists).

Double leg pike: body is in push-up/plank position on ball, middle of shins on ball> roll ball toward body, isometric hold (few seconds), reverse motion, 4 reps. Modification: ball is placed in upper part of legs> stretch (wrists).

Single leg pike: alternating one leg extends up in air, when ball rolls toward body, isometric hold, reverse motion, 4 reps.

Stretch: round spine over ball (chest, abs, thighs rest on ball, bent arms on floor)> quad stretch, both sides.


No-Equipment Abs (17.5 min.)

Crunches: 8 reps> crunch w/ both arms (form carriage, hands clasped) reaching to knees & bent knee lifts (reverse crunch), 8 reps> reverse crunch w/ upper body crunch (overhead arms reaching to heels of feet on lift of exercise) 8 reps> double leg extension w/ overhead arms to reach to shins, 8 reps.

L position crunches: legs for a L (both straight, one on floor/close to floor, one held extended in air), arms held to sides>upper body crunches up w/ arm reach then lowers down, 1 rep> 2 reps, 3 reps> 4 reps> repeat on other side, 2 times.

Rapid Fire reaches: lie supine w/ both legs extended in air, flexed feet> upper body crunches & arms reach for toes, fast pulses (upper end of crunch), 64 reps.

Hip Lifts: lie supine w/ both bent legs , held off of floor, hands behind head> 1 rep up to lift hips then lower, then double lift (2 counts), then lower, repeat 3 times> slow down pace 4 reps.

Reverse crunch w/ 3 taps: reverse crunch w/ elbows folding in to tap outside of knee w/ lift, then lower knees down>3 taps to floor to straighten legs onto floor, 8 reps.

Climb the mountain(rope): lie supine w/ bent knees & arms to side, 4 counts to lift up to seated position w/ alternating “climb the (imaginary) rope” arms, 4 counts to “slide” down rope to starting position w/ straight arms, 8 reps.

Oblique crunch (single-arm reach): lie supine w/ bent knees, one arm bent/hand behind head, other straight, next to body reaches to tap side of body (aim for leg or foot), 16 reps> turn body to face & lie on same side w/ elbows bent, hands behind head for crunches, 16 reps> repeat sequence on other side.

Oblique crunch (w/ side leg lift): lie on side of body w/ straight legs extended a bit off of the floor, hands in front of body, toes are at a bit of an angle> lift both legs up, 16 reps> Knee pull-ins (from straight legs), pull in to meet arms, 16 reps> stretch (sit cross-legged, hinge at hips, arms in front of body)

Plank position: lift bent leg/knee up to outside of arm, 16 reps per side> child’s pose.

In, out, back planks: from plank position, bent leg/knee (turned out position) rotates inward, under body, then externally rotates out (still in turned out position), then straighten leg, leg lift to back, lower down. Alternate sides, 4 reps per side> child’s pose.

Superman: bent arms, hands clasped & under chin, 12 reps> head stays in place, just arms & legs lift up, arms open w/ bent elbows (90 degrees) 12 reps< child’s pose.

Stretch: crossed legs, hinge at hips w/ hands on floor, switch feet> rotations (sit up, rotate body, look over shoulder, back hand on floor in back of body, front hand rests on knee, repeat on other side> neck stretch (seated w/ hands on feet, lower chin down to chest), side neck stretch, both sides.


Medicine-ball Abs (10 min.): Cathe & crew uses an 8 lb. med ball.

Floor
Single leg crunch: body is supine on floor, bent knees/feet on floor, w/ ball held overhead w/ both hands>lift upper body for crunch w/ the ball, it is above the leg or light tap on the leg lifting (w/ bent knee), alternate legs, 16 reps> rest (ball overhead on floor, w/ bent knees on floor).

Double leg crunch: same form as previous exercise but w/ both legs lifting, & ball taps to shin, heels tap the floor, 16 reps> rest (ball rests on abs w/ bent knees on floor).

Scissor motion: same starting position as previous exercises, but ball is held overhead/static hold> alternate bent leg scissors, 4 reps> straight leg scissors 6 reps (use bent leg as modification)> 8 reps w/ ball & head held off of floor> 8 reps w/ ball on floor> 8 reps w/ ball & head held off of floor> stretch (ball held overhead, then ball held on abs, legs straight & resting on floor).

Sit-up w/ leg lift: Ball held over head> lie supine, w/ one leg/bent knee/foot on floor, other has straight leg> sit up w/ both arms/ball reaching forward w/ straight leg lift (level of other knee), then lower down, 8 reps, repeat on other side> stretch (ball on abs, bent knees/feet on floor).

Seated rotation: seated w/ bent legs, heels of feet on floor> ball is placed in back of body (center) w/ each rotation, then picked up on other side, 8 reps per side> stretch (seated w/ ball held on thighs).

Standing
Chops: plie squat w/ arms/ball swings overhead w/ lift of exercise, 12 reps.

Diagonal chops: start in lowered position (reach to side & down w/ ball) & rotate body w/ lift of exercise,10 reps, repeat on other side.

Standing twists: upper body/waist twist, alternating sides, feet stay on floor 8 reps> feet pivot w/ each rotation (heel comes off of floor), 8 reps.

Side-to-side bends: start w/ ball held overhead w/ both arms, 2:2 count, short,static hold at bottom of exercise, 5 reps per side.

Circumference circles: 4 counts per rep, upper body rotates w/ ball (starts overhead/top, side, down to floor, side, top), 3 reps each direction>stretch.


Medicine-Ball-with-a-Partner Abs (9 min.): Cathe & female exercises use a 6 lb. ball for standing abs, 8 lb. for floor abs. Cathe states that it is good to be partnered w/ someone of similar height. This workout is also tacked onto the previous segment (plays right after).

High-Low pass: two people have backs facing each other, both people rotate w/ body (both turn to same side)> one passes ball high (overhead level), other passes it low (hip level), 8 reps per side.

Outside rotation pass: same starting position as previous exercise, ball is held to center of body, both people rotate w/ body> one passes to side (both turn to same side), other passes on the other, 8 reps per side.

Sit-up partner pass: partners are seated, facing each others, w/ bent legs. The shorter person places feet on inside of partner’s legs, other places on outside of legs, both turn in toes to anchor the body on floor> both partners perform sit-up w/ overhead arms, ball transfers to other partner w/ each lift of exercise, 16 reps.

Partner Toss: One person is standing, the other is seated on floor w/ bent legs. The seated person performs an overhead sit-up & catches the thrown ball (by standing person) on the lowered position of exercises (ball taps floor)> seated person throws ball back to standing person, 16 reps.

(Oblique) Partner toss: seated person faces front, standing person faces the side of the seated person> standing person tosses ball, seated person catches ball & rotates to other side, then throws ball back to standing person> 8 reps per side> repeat sequence (starting w/Partner toss) w/ partners switching positions.

cardiomama

05/24/2011