The 12-set DVD workout known as P90X, led by master instructor Tony Horton and produced by BeachBody, promises to transform your body in 90 days. Your abs aren't left out of this fitness regimen, and have their own workout that lasts 15 minutes. Called the Ab Ripper X, the workout consists of 11 total exercises, each of which you do for 25 repetitions each in quick succession.
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Each move flows into the next and borrows from traditional strength training, Pilates and yoga. Most of the exercises are familiar to regular gym goers, they just have fancy names. You're expected to do these moves at three workouts per week to get you closer to developing six-pack definition.
These moves aren't for the novice. They require a good deal of body awareness and core strength, so when you dive in, be ready to feel a serious burn in your belly.
The Ab Ripper workout has you perform the exercises in the order listed.
1. In and Outs: Sit on a gym mat with your knees bent; reach your arms toward the ceiling so your upper arms are next to your ears. Lift your feet off the ground as the knees pull closer into your chest, then extend the legs long to make a 45-degree angle with the floor. Pull the knees back in to finish one repetition.
2. Seated Bicycle: Hang on to your v-shape position, arms extended toward the ceiling. Pedal your legs as if you were riding a bike.
3. Crunchy Frog: Assume the same position you did for In and Outs. When you pull your knees into your chest, hug them with your arms. Open your arms wide or reach them to the ceiling as you extend the legs parallel to the floor.
4. Wide Leg Sit-Ups: Lie on a mat with your legs mat-distance apart, or slightly wider. Place your right hand behind you head and leave your left arm long alongside your torso, resting in the mat. Sit-up and reach across your body to touch your right foot with your left hand. Roll back down to complete one repetition.
5. Hip Rock 'n' Raise: Lie on a mat with your knees bent, feet flat. Turn the soles to touch and butterfly your knees to the sides of the room. Roll your hips up and lift them off the floor, while keeping your feet together and knees open. Return your butterflied legs to the ground to complete one repetition.
6. Pulse Up: Stay on your back, but extend both legs straight up over the hips so they face the ceiling. Roll your hips up just like you did in the previous move and lower them back down; keep your legs lifted until you've completed all the sets.
7. Fifer Scissor: Keep your legs up toward the ceiling, back in the floor and arms alongside your hips on the mat. Lower your right leg until it's hovering just a few inches above the floor. As you lift the right leg back up, lower the left leg to simulate a scissoring action.
8. Roll-Up V-Up Combo: Lie flat on your back, legs extended and arms alongside your torso. Roll up slowly and lean forward to touch your toes. Roll back down, and then lift your legs and torso at the same time to create a v-shape; fingers touch your feet. Return to a reclined position to complete one repetition.
9. Oblique V-Up: Lie on your right side with your hips bent so your legs make a 45-degree angle with your torso. Prop your body up on the right forearm and elbow as you place the left arm behind your head. Seal your legs together as you bend your knees and lift them up off the ground to do a side crunch. Simultaneously draw your left elbow to your knees. Do 25 reps on each side.
10. Leg Climb: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet planted hip-distance apart on the floor. Raise your right leg straight up to the ceiling. Reach your arms up toward the right leg, climbing them up the extended leg, as you also roll your head, neck and shoulders off the mat. Do 25 repetitions on each side.
11. Mason Twist: Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet planted. Lean back with your torso and lift your legs up off the floor, legs remain bent. Interweave your fingers together in a fist in front of your low chest. Twist side to side, rotating your entire torso -- not just your arms. A rotation right, then left, equals one repetition.
These P90X exercises are effective, even if you choose to do a strength-training and cardio regimen that differs from the DVD set. Always warm up before you do the moves. Work up gradually to the prescribed 25 reps, especially if you're just starting out.
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