Learn how to perform six-pack abdominal exercises with fitness instructor Vionna Jones.
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Vionna Jones: Hi! I am Vionna Jones with Fit in DC and I am showing you how to have fabulous abs. Now I am going to show you three great exercises for strengthening that outer layer of the abdominal muscles, the rectus abdominis, which is what you think of when you think of having six pack abs. This first exercise is a variation on the traditional standard crunch that you probably are already used to doing. We'll first use the bosu and we'll start sitting on top. You're going to just move down the bosu so that your lower back is being supported by the curve of the bosu. Your tail bone is facing towards the floor, so you don't want your tail bone up, you want it towards the floor, lower back being supported. Like a traditional crunch you will put your hands behind your head, resting your shoulders and resting your head and your knees are bent. Abs engaged, pull your belly button in towards your spine and your shoulder blades are relaxed here against the bosu. To begin the exercise, you'll inhale and then exhale, bring your belly button into the spine. You don't have to roll up very far, just until your shoulder blades are off of the bosu and then lower back down. So you inhale and then exhale, belly button into the spine, crunch up, hold it for just a second and then lower back down. You can start with 10 and again work up to 12, 15. You can do two sets of these to begin with and if you feel strong enough, you could add a third set. So now we're going to do a variation of the standard crunch on top of the stability ball. I would suggest that everyone go out and buy a stability ball. You can do so many things with this stability ball. Start with good posture, abs are engaged, shoulder blades back, you are sitting nice and tall. Now to walk into position, you just walk your feet out. Abs are engaged and you stop, once you feel that your lower back is being supported by the stability ball. Your hands are behind your head, just like in the other forms of the crunch and you want to rest your shoulders back. Inhale while you are here and now when you will exhale, you are going to bring your belly button in towards your spine and again roll up until your shoulder blades are off of the ball and then roll back down. So you are crunching just like we did on the bosu and just like you would normally do on the mat. You want to make sure that your tail bone is positioned correctly. If your tail bone is off of the ball, you are not going to feel it as much in your abdominal muscles. So you want to make sure that your lower back is supported and that your tail bone is pointing towards the floor as you do your crunch. Our second six pack ab abdominal exercise is called the jackknife. I'll show you three different ways that you can do the jackknife. We're going to start, kind of like we did with the boat pose. For beginners, you're going to want to bring your hands behind your body, fingertips are facing towards your toes and your knees are bent, shoulders are back, so that your back is nice and flat. You don't want to be like this at all because then you'll start to feel the strain in your lower back. So you want to lean back just a little bit, lean back on the sit bones and lift your feet off of the floor. Then you extend all the way out and then crunch back in exhale. Then inhale to extend out, exhale to come back in. So we're coming out and in. So if you feel okay with doing it this way or you've progressed up to about 15 repetitions on this one, then you can remove your hands from the mat and start to do it in the intermediate step. So your arms are next to the body, just like we did for boat pose. Roll the shoulder blades back, abs are engaged. Then you're going to roll back onto those sit bones, lift the feet off of the floor and then extend all the way out and then come back in. You can always start out small, like this, and then make it a little bit bigger each time, that's perfectly fine. Coming all the way back up, make sure the shou