How To Do V-Ups

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chris Freytag demonstrating V-Ups

V-Ups are a great core body exercise that requires you to lift the weight of both your arms and legs by using your abdominal muscles. Planks may be great for abdominal strength, but it’s important to work different ab muscles in different ways that challenge you to lift the weight of both your arms and legs using the muscles of the abdomen. V-Ups are a more intense way to practice core strength with fewer reps and less time spent overall. Win win!

If you learn how to do V-Ups you will also be challenged to practice your balance and coordination. To lift your body up and balance your legs and arms in the air at the same time, you first need to activate the entire abdominal wall to bring the weight up, and then engage the rectus abdominus to keep things in balance at the top.

It will be important to relax your hip flexors during this exercise in order to keep them from taking over. V-Ups also encourage good posture and help you practice extending your spine.

V-ups are an excellent complement exercise to planks. Moving between the two can give you an amazing core workout that will leave your feeling your belly like crazy!

Keep in mind that abdominal exercises are important for a flat tummy but so is your eating plan. Make sure to eat clean and keep doing your cardio exercise in addition to the core strength moves like the V-Ups.

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How To Do V-Ups

Here are the steps to performing V-Ups:

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.

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.

Benefits of V-Ups

There are many reasons you should incorporate v-ups into your workouts. Here are just a few:

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?

People often ask how many calories V-ups burn.

Most exercises will generally burn about 100 calories for every 10 minutes you are working at a higher intensity, including V-ups.

Bottom line – the harder you work, the more calories you burn. V-ups benefits show less in a calorie burn and more in a core strength benefit.

Other Exercises Similar to V-Ups

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

How To Do Leg Loops

How To Do Ab Reverse Curl

How To Do Bend Extend Ab Tuck

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.

Use V-Ups in a Core Strength Workout

V-ups is one of many amazing exercises you will find in the following workout. This is designed to tackle that “spare tire”, “muffin top” or “love handle” area you might not be fond of. Let’s go get to work on that core!

Oblique Burner – 20 total, alternating side to side

V-ups – 10 total

Cross Body Planks – 20 total, alternating side to side

Ab Reverse Curl – 15 total

Hip Dips – 20 total, alternating side to side

Bicycle – 20 total, alternating side to side

Use V-Ups in a Full-Body Strength Workout

Full Body Strength Challenge: 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 go from one move directly to the next. Make sure you repeat 2 times!

Push-Ups – 12 reps

Plank Jacks – 12 reps

Bicep Curl Lunge – 12 Reps

Tricep Overhead Extensions – 12 Reps

Squat Thruster – 12 Reps

Shoulder Front Raise – 12 Reps

Cross Behind Lunge Lateral Raise – 12 Reps

Straight Arm Press Back – 12 Reps

Reverse Grip Double Arm Row – 12 Reps

V-ups – 20 Reps alternating right to left

Use V-Ups in Circuit Workout

Circuit training is an excellent way to use the most of your time for exercise. You can go from circuit to circuit getting your strength, cardio and core all in one swoosh!

Fat Blast Circuit Crush: Move directly from one exercise to the next with little to no break in between. Rest for 1 minute at the end then repeat the sequence.

30 seconds side lunges

30 seconds high knee run

30 seconds push ups

30 seconds jumping jacks

30 seconds plié squats

30 seconds bear crawl

30 seconds v-ups

Rest 1 minute. Repeat. Stretch.

If you like the results from V-Ups, here are 3 more workouts you will love!

5 Butt and Belly Tabata Moves

10 Minute Belly and Butt Workout

Your At Home Ab Workout

Targets: core, back

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