Beginner Ab Exercise for Paleo Fitness: The V-Up

The V-up is a wonderful ab exercise to strengthen the abdominal wall, and it’s typically much easier on the back than traditional sit-ups (which often aggravate or initiate back issues). The V-up is a useful progression toward the more challenging ab exercises, such as the hanging leg raise.

Perform the V-up on a relatively soft surface and follow these steps:

1

Lie down flat on your back with your legs fully extended and your arms next to your side.

Squeeze your abs as hard as you can, trying to take the arch out of your low back (imagine you’re trying to push your low back hard into the ground).

This step results in what’s often referred to as a hollow position, which looks sort of like a human banana. It’s an excellent ab exercise by itself. Be sure to own this position before progressing forward.

2

Slowly begin to raise your legs and torso simultaneously, trying to fold yourself in half while balancing on your buttocks.

Keep your legs straight the entire time. Go slowly; it will take some time before you’re able to maintain your balance.

3

For a more challenging variation, extend your arms up overhead.

You may rest your hands on the ground for balance when starting out, but eventually the goal is to perform this step without any “kickstands.”

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