Self Firm Flat Abs Fast!

Violet Zaki
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Abs/Core

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I love ab work and Iíve been a fan of Violet Zaki since Crunchís ďCardio SculptĒ so I had high expectations for this workout. It did not disappoint me.

The workout begins with a warm-up that includes standing ab work with a dumbbell. Standing work is my least favorite approach to abs, but I thoroughly enjoy this routine.

The second series is stability ball with a variety of standing and floor exercises. I especially like the reverse crunches with the ball held between your legs. I can really feel it hitting my lower abs.

Both the warm-up and the stability ball sections include some lunges. Lunges usually bother my knees, but I havenít had any trouble with these sections, maybe because they are either moderately-paced or held, stationery lunges.

The next series is pilates. Iím not a pilates expert but I love that the exercises here are a bit different such as leg circles with both legs. I find this version easier to do effectively and can really feel it in my abs, much more so than the standard single leg circles. I love that the bicycle twist is done slowly and held to a count of four. For an ab lover like myself this is candy!

The last series of exercises is yoga-based. It includes plank and side plank work, an interesting combo of boat with toe taps, and some cobra and locust inspired back work. Thereís one lovely side stretch with your legs tucked to one side where you raise one arm and slowly bring it down and thread it through your supporting arm that I just love. Itís simple, feel-good elements like this that, for me, make the workout fly by.

I used to skip the cool down but have since realized that itís so short thereís no reason to not do it. Itís just a few minutes of some simple twists and stretches.

The workout is filmed on a beach with two background exercisers. One shows modifications. From warm-up through cool down is about 27 minutes with the chapters running about 6 minutes each (the cool down is shorter). The chaptering allows you to select one or more sections but Iíve found that once I get started I donít want to stop. Itís a good 25 minutes of lower intensity, non-traditional ab work. If youíre the type of exerciser who likes fast-paced crunches a la Cathe or the Firm then this workout is probably not be for you. But if you are looking for a fun way to work your abs I canít think of anything better.

Instructor Comments:
Perhaps I have a thing for Aussie accents (Iím a big Keli Roberts fan too) but I just love Violet Zaki. She looks fit and beautiful in a healthy, natural way. And she has a calm energy that is encouraging without being distracting. Thereís only one point in the workout where her cuing falters, at least that Iíve noticed, when she simply says ďagainĒ and doesnít add ďon the other side.Ē Once you know the routine, itís no big deal. I wish she'd put out more workouts.

Gina (aka gxm17)


Violet starts off using a weight for the ab workouts. No advice is given on poundage for it though. These exercise concentrate on the obliques. Then she does stabilty ab exercises. Nothing really new here, mostly crunches. The next segment is Pilates inspired. Then yoga, using planks. I also liked the yoga section. The segments move right along so I had a bit of difficulty in moving the weight and ball out of the way quickly to go on to the Pilates and Yoga parts. There is a warm up and cool down for the DVD.

The "bonus" cardio (which was about 4 1/2 min) was fun. Wish she'd do a whole video off of that. She did high and low impact squats, a v step, knees up. Should be longer.Violet was alone in the cardio section.

The two background exercisers don't say anything. One shows some modifications. Beatiful scenery as it is filmed on a beach.

Instructor Comments:
Violet cues well for the home exerciser. She gives a few words of encouragement but no chatter. Violet has a slight accent but is easy to understand.



The workout was a bunch of different core styles chained together.

Tough, but not something I will reach for again, given my strong collection of TLP (and soon, TLT) workouts.

Instructor Comments:
I liked Violet. Her cueing sometimes could have been better, but she's friendly without being perky.