This DVD contains three challenging abs workouts using three different techniques: yoga, balance ball, and Pilates.
Abs Yoga for Beginners is led by Rodney Yee, and it is appropriate for someone with no prior yoga experience. The workout begins in a seated position and focuses on breathing, then moves on to hands and knees for a back stretch (cat pose). The main part of the practice is performed lying on your back, with moves such as simple yet challenging leg extensions and twists to target the abdominal area. After a quick rise to a standing position, the workout returns to the floor to end with lying relaxation poses. Although the moves become gradually more difficult, this workout would be doable to most beginning exercisers. This is a relatively gentle way to work your abs and build core strength in just over 20 minutes.
Balance Ball Abs is led by Suzanne Deason. It's more challenging than Abs Yoga, and it includes some Pilates-like moves using the stability ball. The workout begins with some basic twists and crunch movements both sitting and lying on top of the ball. You then move to the floor on your back, placing the ball between your legs for a toe tap series both with and without arm movements; next is rolling up from a lying position and doing a twist while in a seated stradle position. You will then lie on top of the ball, face down, for a series of tough moves in a plank position. In the final segment, you again return to lying on the floor on your back, this time placing the ball between your feet for some moves which concentrate on the lower abs area. Suzanne ends the routine with a few minutes of nice back and side stretches over the ball for a total workout time of 26 minutes (not including the instruction/warm-up).
Ana Caban's Pilates Abs is a more challenging workout, and it is geared to those who already have prior Pilates experience. It consists entirely of floor work and begins immediately with the hundred exercise. Ana then moves through a traditional matwork sequence, including moves such as the roll-up, the roll-over, rolling like a ball, the series of five, and the teaser. For many of the moves, Ana adds a more challenging twist--eg, performing several of the series of five exercises with no arms, doing the open-legged rocker with closed legs as well, etc. Because this is an abs-focused workout, the Pilates side kick series and back extension moves are not included. Ana ends the workout with a unique combination move which is a compilation of rolling like a ball, open-legged rocker, the teaser, and lowering down a rope; she then ends with a few brief stretches to bring the workout in at just under 24 minutes. Although Ana does work out with an assistant, Tara, who shows modifications for some of the movements.
Yee, Deason, and Caban are all excellent instructors, and each lead using voiceover. This DVD would be perfect for those who don't like traditional crunches but still want to get great workouts for their abdominals.