How To Do V-Ups (Tips & Sample Workouts!)

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

V-Ups are a powerful core body exercise that require you to lift the weight of both your arms and legs by using your abdominal muscles.

Use V-Ups as a challenging way to practice core strength with fewer reps and less time than a traditional plank. The extra balance and coordination need are a bonus for your body too!

V-Up Exercise Instructions:

  1. Lie on your back and extend your arms behind your head. Keep your feet together and toes pointed.
  2. Keep your legs straight and lift them up as you simultaneously raise your upper body off the floor. Keep your core tight as you reach for your toes with your hands. Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.
  3. Remember to relax your hip flexors during this exercise so they don’t take over, and of course, remember to focus on good posture!


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    What Muscles Do V-Ups Work?

    V-Ups is an abdominal exercise that strengthens your lower and upper abs, helps train your core stability, and strengthens and protects your low back.

    Here is a little more about each muscle group:

    Rectus abdominisThis long muscle that runs vertically along the front of your abdomen is the primary muscle targeted in this exercise. It’s responsible for flexing your spine.
    ObliquesThese muscles are located on the sides of your abdomen and help with rotational movements and stabilization of the trunk.
    Hip flexorsYour hip flexor muscles allow you to lift your legs towards your torso.

    Benefits of V-Ups

    There are many reasons you should incorporate v-ups into your workouts including strengthening your core and back, and improving your balance.

    Here are a few of the benefits that come with adding V-Ups into your workout routine:

    Stronger Core Muscles

    Your core, particularly your transverse abdominus, is the powerhouse of your entire body. Without a strong core you are opening yourself up to poor athletic form, back pain and general injury.

    V-ups is an excellent way to train your transverse abdominus to pull in correctly and keep you strong in the middle.

    Improved Balance

    V-ups is an exercise that promotes balance and stability. Balance and stability are crucial for overall body strength and learning how to utilize the strength of the middle of your body is so important!

    Low Back Health

    With over 80% of the population in the United States reporting some type of lower back pain in their life, finding a move to help prevent such problems is key. V-ups is a move that teaches your transverse abdominus to contract, which ultimately protects your lower back and helps prevent pain and injury.

    How Many Calories Do V-Ups Burn?

    Like most exercises, v-ups will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at a moderate to intense fitness level.

    However, the amount of calories you burn during your workout session will depend on how hard you’re working. The bottom line is, the harder you work, the more calories you will burn!

    Remember, v-ups are less about the calorie burn, and more about the core strength benefit.

    Chris Freytag demonstrating V-Ups

    Incorporating V-Ups Into Your Workouts

    V-ups are a great exercise to practice any time on its own. However, you could also incorporate it into other workouts to mix them up. Here are some ideas to make that happen.

    Workout #1: Core Strength Workout with V-UPs

    V-ups is one of many amazing exercises you will find in the following ab workout. These exercises are designed to tackle that “muffin top” area of your belly by working your core!

    Workout #2: Full-Body Strength Workout with V-Ups

    This workout uses both body weight and dumbbells for a great workout that covers all of your muscles.

    Grab a medium pair of dumbbells and move from one exercise directly to the next. Repeat the entire circuit 2 times!

    Workout #3: Circuit Workout with V-Ups

    Circuit training is an excellent way to use the most of your time for exercise because you move directly from one exercise to the next, with little to no break in between. Complete this entire circuit performing one exercise after the next. Rest for 1 minute at the end then repeat the sequence a second time.

    Rest 1 minute. Repeat. Stretch.

    Love V-Ups? Try These Exercises

    If you like v-ups and the results you get from it, here are a few more exercises you might want to try.

    More Effective Workouts to Explore

    If you like the results from v-ups, here are 3 more workouts you will love:

    (This will help us personalize your experience so that you can get the best advice possible from us!)
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