V-Ups is a great core exercise that targets the upper and lower abdominals. It requires you to simultaneously lift the weight of your arms and legs off the ground by using only your abdominal muscles to form a V-shape. For those that do yoga, it is similar to the boat pose. Think of this as a combination of sit-ups and lying leg raises, in a single movement.
A 2020 research suggests that 90% of lower back-pain diagnoses are non-specific meaning it has an unknown cause. In fact, core stability is vital for proper load balance within the pelvis, spine, and kinetic chain. Core exercises are used for lower back pain conditions, and they will translate to improved balance, stability, and good posture. This will make everyday activities easier such as: putting on your shoes, picking up a package, or simply sitting on a chair.
The V-Up is a compound exercise that works on your core and lower body muscles at the same time. The primary muscles targeted are the rectus abdominis and the obliques. The secondary muscles targeted are the hip flexors, adductors, and quadriceps.
This exercise is highly beneficial for your everyday functional movements such as walking, running, and lunging. You would get shredded abs while developing your hip flexor strength, that's hitting two birds with one stone!
This exercise is for beginners as you will require only your body to practice this, but here’s the catch, you will be challenged to train your balance and coordination because you will need to activate the whole abdominal wall, along with the rectus abdominis to balance your legs and arms in the air at the same time.
Begin by lying flat on your back with your arms extended over your head. Keep your feet together, toes pointed, and lift them up about 6 inches off the floor. Engage your core. This is your starting position.
Exhale as your lift your torso and legs simultaneously to create a V-shape. Reach your arms up towards your shins. Keep both your arms and legs straight, and engage your core as you do this.
Inhale as you gradually lower your body down to the starting position, with your arms overhead and legs extended. Use your core strength to slow down the descend while keep ingyour feet at roughly 6 inches above the fround. This is one rep.
Repeat this movement between 10-20 reps for 4 sets.
You should move on to harder variations once you have achieved your reps and set goals.
This is the most obvious one as the V-Ups are great for targeting the rectus abdominis, obliques, and hip flexors. You will be forced to utilize your core strength to lift up your torso and legs. The muscles involved will be seriously worked, especially the upper and lower abs. When done with proper form, you’ll start to see serious abs definition quickly.
V-Ups is an excellent exercise that advances your balance and stability. The movement of this exercise is unique, you may find your body to be wobbling and your core to be firing away to keep your body in balance. This is crucial as your core stabilizes your body, thus, strengthening them will improve your overall movement function.
Lower back pain is a bothersome problem that, unfortunately, most of us have experienced in some way shape or form. A weak core will cause your body to rely more on your passive structures, in particular your ligaments and bones, which induces greater stress on your discs and thus increases your likelihood of injury. Strengthening your core is an excellent way to prevent these problems and better support your back.
A 2022 study suggests that balance and core stabilization exercises are associated with improved athletic performance and/or decreased incidence of injuries. In fact, core stability exercises performed under stable or unstable conditions showed improvement in muscular endurance, strength, and body balance.
This is a static variation where you will hold a “V” shape in a seated position with your legs and torso in the air. It targets the same muscles and will require a significant amount of core activation to keep your body in balance. To perform this, you will:
In and outs is a regression variation to the V-Ups. The movement path is similar as you will lift both your legs and torso off the ground to bring them towards each other to create a V-like sitting position.This will work on your upper and lower abs. To perform this, you will:
This variation is similar to the V-Up. The only difference is that you will alternate between each leg as you reach ups towards the V-Up position. To perform this, you will:
Oblique V-Up is a targeted exercise that isolates your abdominal muscles. The primary muscles worked are the internal oblique, external oblique, and rectus abdominis. To perform this, you will:
If you find bodyweight v-ups easy to do, you can progress to weighted v-up by adding external weight to your torso, you can use ankle weights or hold a weighted object inbetween your hands. This is a great way to ensure progressive overload by increasing stimulus to your targeted muscles
V-ups are great as they will light your abs on fire. You will be forced to use your core strength to pull your legs and torso up and close to touching your legs. This exercise will seriously work your upper and lower abs which would give you a well-chiseled mid-section.
Here are other core exercises you can add to your routine, I recommend you to check out the following tutorials:
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My name is Pat Chadwick, I am a calisthenics coach with over 4 years of experience in helping people from all backgrounds to achieve their calisthenics goals. My goal is to become the number one calisthenics coach in the world as it is my passion to help people change their lives through inspiring bodyweight movements. I believe everyone deserves the right to feel good about their health, body, and be delighted inside and out.