Abdominal V-Ups are an exercise that work both the upper and lower abdominal muscles at the same time. You can also use the exercise to help strengthen the lower back muscles and to tighten the thighs. Be careful performing abdominal V-Ups, since the exercise can cause a lower back injury if you do not use the proper technique.
Abdominal V-Ups have a high degree of difficulty and require some coordination to perform correctly. Before you try to do abdominal V-Ups, make sure to do a thorough stretch of your lower back and leg muscles. It is also a good idea to do some standard crunches to warm up your abdominal muscles.
Performing an Abdominal V-Up
To perform an abdominal V-Up, lie down on your back on the floor or on a gym mat and then extend your arms behind your head. The back of your hands should touch the floor while your palms face the ceiling. Keep your feet together and your toes pointed toward the ceiling. To begin the exercise, keep your legs straight and lift them up, and at the same time raise your upper body off of the floor and reach for your toes with your hands. Squeeze your abdominal muscles as you reach for you toes, and then slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position to finish the first repetition.
To make the exercise more difficult, do not let your feet or the back of your hands touch the floor when you lay back down. Try to perform at least 10 repetitions, and then stretch your lower back and legs once you finish the first set. You may want to limit the number of sets to three for the first few times you perform an abdominal V-Up workout. You can start to add more sets once you are able to perform the exercise with ease.
Increasing the Intensity
To increase the intensity of abdominal V-Ups, wear a pair of ankle weights during the exercise. This will make it harder to lift your legs up in the air during the initial part of the repetition. You can also wear some wrist weights, or hold a pair of light dumbbells in each hand.
Another way to increase the intensity of abdominal V-Ups is by trying to perform the exercise for a certain number of minutes instead of counting off repetitions. For example, set a timer for 2 minutes and then do as many V-Ups as you can until time expires. As your abdominal muscles grow stronger, increase the number of minutes that you train.
You can also alternate abdominal V-Ups with other abdominal exercises, such as leg raises or crunches. For example, do a set of 10 V-Ups, rest for 30 seconds, and then do a set of 10 crunches. Rest for another 30 seconds and then do a set of 10 leg raises. Count these three exercises as one set and then repeat the routine for as many sets as you can.