The Beachbody P90X series includes a total of 12 grueling workouts designed to lean you out, increase muscle mass and improve overall athletic performance and endurance. The DVDs included in the P90X program include workouts for every part of the body. Chest and Back, Shoulders and Arms, Back and Biceps and Core Synergistics are just some of the workouts that make up the 12 set DVD program. After completing the series once, you can continue to do the P90X workouts individually and use them in combination with your other daily workouts. One of the most popular workouts to continue doing long after you have completed the P90X series is the Ab Ripper X DVD. Toned, sleek, six pack abs are highly sought after by both men and women and this DVD workout claims to be able to deliver just that.
The Ab Ripper X DVD is a 16 minute long workout dedicated specifically to the abdominal muscles. The workout includes 11 different moves with 25 to 50 repetitions each. This may not sound difficult but, with no breaks in between and preceded by one of the other P90X workouts, the Ab Ripper X can be quite challenging to complete.
When most think of abdominal exercises, they think of sit ups, crunches and planks. These basic, conventional moves may help improve the ab muscles, but they are not what P90X had in mind for a challenging abdominal workout. These basic types of move focus only on the middle, front section of the abs and do not target the obliques, lower abdominal muscles, hip flexors and entire core area of the body. By improving the core and all areas of the mid-section in general, you not only improve the definition in your abs, you also improve balance, strengthen your back and help relieve back pain.
In order to target all areas of the abdominal muscles, the Ab Ripper X exercises are all done using a variety of leg moves. Using the legs to work your ab muscles will improve your entire core, while also helping define your abdominals and obliques. The exercises performed in the Ab Ripper X workout DVD are as follows:
- In and Outs
- Forward/Reverse Bicycle
- Crunchy Frog
- Cross Leg/Wide Leg Sit Ups
- Fifer Scissors
- Hip Rock & Raise
- Pulse Up
- V-Up Roll Up
- Oblique V Up
- Leg Climb
- Mason Twist
In and Outs
The In and Outs are the first exercises you will perform in the Ab Ripper X. These are done while seated on a mat. You will need to have your legs close together and pressed against your chest. Your hands can be on the ground at each side.
To begin the move, you will extend your legs all the way out in front of you without allowing them to touch the ground. Then you will bring the legs back in and repeat this 25 times.
For increased difficulty, you can put your hands up or across your chest while doing the move. This should not be attempted, however, until you have mastered the In and Outs with your hands on the floor at your side first. Regardless of the method you choose to perform the move, it is essential to maintain proper form throughout the entire set. If you sacrifice form, you will not fully benefit from the moves.
The second move you will perform is the bicycle. The bicycle is considered more of a basic move and is one that many people are already familiar with. To do this move, you will need to be seated on a mat with one leg straight out in front of you and one leg with your knee bent against your chest. Your legs can be placed next to you on the floor at each side. To begin the move, you will begin pedaling, bringing the extended leg in and extending the other leg out in an up and out motion. You will continue simulating a pedaling forward motion for a total of 25 times per leg for a total of 50 times. After you have completed doing the bicycle forward 50 times, you will do the move once again, but pedaling backwards instead. If you are doing the move correctly, you should feel this move in your abs, as well feeling it in your quadriceps and inner thighs.
For increased difficulty, you can put your hands up or across your chest while doing the move. As previously mentioned, this should only be attempted once you have mastered the move with your hands on the floor at your side. Form is key when performing these moves.
For the third exercise in the workout, the Crunchy Frog, you will need to be seated on your mat just as you were for the previous two moves. While seated, you will need to extend your arms out at each side like an airplane and extend your legs straight out in front of you, elevated off the ground. To begin the move, you will need to bring your legs in against your chest and wrap your arms around them as if in a cannon ball position. From this position, you will return to the original position, with your legs out in front of you and your arms out at your sides. This will complete one repetition of the move. You will need to repeat it 25 times. In order to fully benefit from the Crunchy Frog, you will have to keep your back straight and chest high.
Cross Leg/Wide Leg Sit Ups
This exercise can be modified several different ways, with some more advanced than others. To begin Cross Leg Sit Ups, sit with your legs crossed, similar to the way kids sit on the carpet at school. Then lie down on your back with one hand behind your head and the other straight up. To begin the move, you will need to sit up and reach with your straight arm across your body and towards the opposite knee or toes. Then return to the original position and switch your arms. The arm that was behind your head will now be straight up and the arm that was straight up will be behind your head. Proceed to sit up and reach across your body to the knee on the opposite side. Repeat this 25 times.
To do the Wide Leg version of this move, you will lie down as well, but your legs will be spread out in front of you and wide apart. You will perform a sit up with your legs extended out and your arm reaching across the body to the other knee. The Wide Leg version of the move is more difficult than the Cross Leg version and should be attempted after mastering the Cross Leg Sit Up first.
To begin the Fifer Scissors, you will be lying on your back with your legs straight out in front of you. Your hands should be at your side on the floor. To begin the move, you will lift one leg slightly off the floor and the other all the way up in a 90 degree angle. Then bring that leg down and now move the other one up in a 90 degree angle. Your legs will mimic the move of a pair of scissors and you will continue to do this 25 times. The key to performing this move will be to do it slowly so you feel the burn from the top to the bottom of the abdominals.
Hip Rock & Raise
To perform this move you will need to be lying on your mat. Your heels should be together with your toes pointed out. Then bring your heels in about halfway so you form the shape of a diamond with your lower half. Your hand should remain at your sides. To begin the move, you will have to rock backwards and raise your heels and toes up. When you rock back down, make sure to stop just before touching the ground. Each time you rock up and down will count as one repetition and you will need to complete 25 of them.
The Pulse Up is also done by lying down on your mat with your legs together and extended up. Your body will be in a 90 degree angle with your back on the ground and your legs straight up. To begin the move, you need to pulse up by lifting your butt off the ground as much as you can. Your legs must remain together and straight up throughout the time you are pulsing. This move needs to be repeated 25 times. The key to completing this move correctly is keeping the legs straight without any bend in the knees the entire time.
V-Up Roll Up
The V-UP Roll Up is a combination of two moves. To begin the Roll Up portion of this move, you will be on your back with your legs extended out in front of you. You will then do a sit up but, instead of having your knees bent, your legs will be straight out in front of you. Once you are seated in the modified sit up position, you will need to touch your toes and return to the lying down position. Your arms should remain extended out in front of you while performing the move.
To do the second portion of the combination, the V Up, you will sit up with your hands out in front of you again but your legs will also come up. You body will form the shape of the letter V with your back and legs. You should try to touch your toes with your hands as you move up and then return to the lying down position. Each combination of the V-Up Roll-Up is considered one repetition and you will need to do 25 reps total.
Oblique V Up
The Oblique V Up is similar to the previous move but will target the outer sides of your abdominals as opposed to the center. To perform this move, you will need to lie on your back, rolled over more towards one side. Your arm on that side should be on the ground as well, extended out along your body. Your opposite hand should be behind your head and bent at the elbow as if doing standard crunches or sit ups. Your legs will be out in front of you, with one leg on top of the other. The move is performed similar to a crunch, by lifting your shoulders off the ground and bringing the elevated side of your body (the elbow of the arm behind your head) towards your knees. Once you have completed 25 repetitions with one side, you will have to shift to the other side and perform another 25 with the opposite side of the body. If you are doing the move correctly, you should feel the burn along the outer edges of the abs.
The Leg Climbs are done while laying on your back with your knees bent as if you were going to do a sit up. One of your legs will now have to be extended straight up. To begin the move, you will perform somewhat of a sit up and touch the toes of the leg extended out with your hands. Once you have completed 12-13 reps on one side, you switch positions and perform the move with the other side.
This is the last exercise in the workout DVD. This move is started from the seated position, with your hands clasped together. Your legs should be close together, straight out in front of you. To begin the move, you will have to twist your body and touch the floor on either side. Each time you have touched both the right and the left side, you have completed one repetition. This exercise requires that you do a total of 50 repetitions. To make this move more challenging, you can hold a medicine ball in your hands instead of clasping them. This should only be attempted after mastering the move with your hands clasped.
The effectiveness of the abdominal exercises in this workout DVD is undeniable. If you do them correctly, with the proper form and at the proper speed, you will definitely feel and see a difference in your abdominals within weeks. The important aspect of defining your abs, however, lies in the amount of body fat you have. If you are already lean and do not have much fat to lose, you will see definition in your abs very quickly after incorporating the Ab Ripper X into your routine. If you are overweight and/or have some weight to lose, you may feel the burn from the moves, but you may not see any definition in the abdominal area. Although your core will be strengthened and you will benefit from that aspect of the workouts, you will not be able to see truly defined abs until the fat that lies on top of those muscles is burned off. In order to do this, you will need to get your cardiovascular exercise in and reevaluate your diet. With a proper diet, sufficient cardio activity and the Ab Ripper X several times a week, sleek, six pack abs should be an attainable goal.