Lord of the Abs: Core Challenge

Gilad Janklowicz
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Abs/Core , Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball

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]This is the shortest of the LOTA workouts, clocking in at 40 minutes (7 of that is stretch at the end, and there is quite a bit of stretching within the workout). Of all the LOTA's, I felt that this one was most accessible for a beginner or low intermediate.

There is no warm-up, but Gilad starts very easy with some core stabilization movements. I used a dumbbell, which Gilad said was a good substitute; I do think that a medicine ball would've been better. There were many moves where the dumbbell just did not work well (i.e. holding it between the knees or feet). I also found that I preferred many of the moves without any weight; it either was more comfortable for me because of the speed at which they were going or my general lack of core strength.

There were several variations of roll-ups, rowing/figure 8, toe taps, lots of knee drops side-to-side, a couple of blessedly brief (and quite do-able) crunch combos, a long segment of unweighted back work (moves done facing down on the mat, like Y-lifts and T-lifts and an airplane move), and half get-ups. He finished it all up with a long stretch that focused on stretching out the lower back.

I liked the unweighted back work; I have very few exercise dvds that include this type of "core" work. That said, it felt like Gilad was not in his "instructing element" here because the cueing wasn't sufficient for me (I had to keep peeking up to see what everyone was doing and that put a strain on my neck). I also thought that some of the moves were done a bit too quickly (where Gilad would start with a slower count and then move up to tempo, often I'd keep it at the slower count because tempo was uncomfortable).

Of all the workouts from this set, I felt that this one was the easiest and the least repetitive...and it was also the only one that caused any kind of back/neck discomfort. Perhaps that was my fault (peeking up at the t.v. and perhaps using a weight when I should not)....but there ya go.

Even with the discomfort, this one has the potential to be a favorite from the series. I don't love killer workouts and I liked the laid-back feel, much like a pilates workout but....Gilad. There is no dread with this one and it's over before you know it. Some of the longer workouts from this set had me clock-watching but this one easy to get through (which doesn't necessarily mean it was easy to *do*).