Abs & Push Ups Plus is another body-weight only workout by Ilaria Montagnani. As I mentioned in the Atletica 4 review, I purchased these two body-weight only workouts for my daughter who is leaving for college and moving into the dorms. She works out like I do–using my 100s of workout DVDs. However, even if I get her DVDs, she won’t have all of the equipment available to her like she does at home. So I got her these two workouts. Ilaria always kicks butt, so I knew these workouts wouldn’t disappoint–plus no equipment necessary other than your body.
Abs & Push Ups Plus is very different from Atletica 4. In fact, other than the fact they both use push ups and ab/core work almost exclusively, they are very different. For one, Atletica 4 also gives you a good cardio workout and works your lower body as well as your low back (in addition to core and upper body that is). Abs & Push Ups Plus is focused on upper body and core. No cardio, no lower body work. But that is okay. Also, the sets are different. Abs & Push Ups Plus was filmed in 2008 and uses the same set as all of Ilaria’s older workouts. It is also filmed better, the sound is better and is just overall higher quality. Not the workout–Atletica 4 is just as excellent of a workout. I’m referring to production quality.
And Ilaria! She is always amazing to behold but in this workout she looks astounding. This woman is ripped. This is not an exaggeration. And yet she is not a bulky body builder type. She is amazing. And her form! Every rep of every exercise is done with exact form. In addition, she gives so much quality instruction on how to execute every move with good form. I am just astounded by this workout. I can’t believe I waited so long to get it. Of course, next week both this workout and Atletica 4 go out the door with my daughter, but they are both back on my Amazon wishlist–I’m getting my own copies!
Let’s move on to the workout. The total time for this DVD is 30 minutes; however 2 minutes of that is an intro by Ilaria. So the workout time is 28 minutes, with the last minute of that being a stretch. For this workout she alternates between push ups and core work. The push ups will always be done in 3 sets of 10 reps. I like the way it was structured because some of the push ups were very challenging and 10 reps was pushing me close to failure! She burns your upper body out before moving to your core and completely burning it out. The core is structured differently. You just do a lot of reps. In the descriptions, if an exercise focuses on one side of the body, you will do equal amounts of the exercise on the other side of the body.
The workout does start with a sort of warm up. You do up/down planks. These are where you start in high plank (on palms) and lower to your forearms (low plank), then back into high plank. You do 10 then change lead arms and do another 10. Then you do 10 regular push ups.
Start with regular crunches, then raise one leg and do crunches with leg raised. Then do more crunches raising and lowering one leg.
10 tricep push ups, 10 push ups with one leg raised, 10 push ups with other leg raised.
A long series of crunches with the legs in the air, heels toward ceiling and knees slightly bent. You will angle your knees at times and lower your legs at the end.
Cobra push ups–10 regular and 10 reverse. I’ve seen these referred to as dive bomber push ups, too. Very difficult. 10 spider push ups–bring your knee to your elbow as you lower your body.
Oblique crunches with leg crossed over knee. First you do a lot of standard ones, then you raise your legs with each crunch.
Next is a sort of walking push up. Every time you lower your body you move one arm out to the side for a wide push up. Optional–when you come back in touch opposite shoulder. Do 10 each side, then 10 alternating sides.
Start with regular crunches, then full sit ups with arms reaching in front of you first, then to the sides.
The workout ends with planks. This is challenging. You hold high plank, then every so often Ilaria has you move your hands out further in front of you. She does this 5 times so use judgement or you’ll fall on your belly!
The workout ends with a much needed stretch.