Killer Abs

jmkillerabsKiller Abs is part of Jillian Michaels “Killer” series. She has 3 other DVDs in this series: Killer Body, Killer Arms & Back and Killer Buns & Glutes. This DVD contains three 30 minute workouts. And like all of Jillian’s workouts she has a beginner modifier and also shows how to make the workouts more advanced. After doing 6 Week Six Pack I was very much looking forward to these workouts. As I mentioned in that review, I usually avoid long core workouts because of the dread factor. I do not want to do long, painful core workouts. But when I saw 6 Week Six Pack and this workout at a Goodwill for $1 each, I decided to give them a go. And I adored 6 Week Six Pack. Jillian varied the core work–some floor work, some plank work, some standing abs, some cardio–and she mixed it up very nicely so you worked hard and got good cardio with your very varied core workouts.

Well, I don’t like the Killer Abs workouts nearly as much. First let me say that these are excellent and intense workouts. But these lean more towards the long painful core work than 6 Week Six Pack which mixes things up more/better. It did dawn on me that maybe it had more to do with the workout structure. 6 Week Six Pack workouts are structured as one long circuit that is repeated. Killer Abs workouts are structured as 4 short circuits that are repeated, which makes it seem more repetitive. It also made me think of two of my other favorite Jillian workouts: Hard Body and 10 Minute Body Transformation. They are both set up similar to 6 Week Six Pack–long circuits that are repeated once. However, my absolute favorite Jillian workout, Extreme Shed & Shred, is shorter circuits that are repeated. So who knows? All I know is that, even tho these are great and effective workouts, I am not as inspired to return to them like I am 6 Week Six Pack, which I already want to do again. In fact, I probably won’t return to them. There seems little point when I can just do the workouts I like: 6 Week Six Pack.

Level 1 is 32 minutes long; 2:30 minute warm up and  1:30 minute stretch. Equipment needed: dumbbells in various weights up to 8 pounds, a fitness mat and sliding disks if you are on carpet, wash cloths if you are on a slick surface.

Circuit 1:

  1. Inchworms: start standing and bend at waist, walk hands out to plank, walk feet to hands, jump feet back out to plank, walk hands to feet and stand
  2. Get into static sumo squat and hold, place one hand behind head and reach other hand down to touch your heel (0blique crunch)
  3. Get into crescent pose and hold one DB behind your neck; crunch nose to knee (I used one 8# DB)
  4. Roller boat: lay on back, knees raised and bent and feet off ground; roll up into boat pose and hold, then roll back down
  5. High knees w/ torso rotation (add a DB to increase intensity–I used one 5# DB)
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

Circuit 2:

  1. Static lunge w/ torso rotation (arms are held straight out sides of body in a “T”; to increase intensity hold light DBs–I used 3# DBs)
  2. River dance: place a DB on the floor and tap the ends of the DBs w/ balls of feet w/ a hop, alternating feet (I used 8# DB, but heavier would work better so in the future I’ll probably use a 20# or 25# DB)
  3. Start in down dog, bring one knee in to nose and hold in this position
  4. Triangles: hold a DB in each hand and get legs into triangle pose, raise one arm overhead and the other rests on the thigh; in this position, lower into triangle pose then raise back up–keeping arms/DBs in position and legs in the triangle position (8# DBs)
  5. Jump rope drills: 4 skip ropes + 4 kick out skips (hold light DBs to increase intensity; I used 3# DBs)
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

Circuit 3:

  1. Lay on back, legs straight, arms held straight but palms together; raise straight legs to ceiling, open legs into a “V” and crunch, pressing palms between thighs, then do a reverse crunch
  2. Plank jack/Mogul combo: 2 plank jacks, jump both feet to one side near hand, jump feet back into plank, jump feet to other side near hand
  3. Tornadoes: lay on back, arms straight out to side in a “T” flat on ground, raise straight legs to ceiling, and rotate legs in a circle
  4. Bear walk into crab: get on hands and knees, then raise knees a few inches off the floor so you are on hands and toes–this is bear; bear walk 4x forward, flip over into crab and walk 4x back to start
  5. Sit on mat with legs straight in front of you and arms crossed over chest; lean torso back so you are at a 45 degree angle and rotate torso side to side (add holding a DB to make it harder)
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

Circuit 4:

  1. Get into elbow plank; bring knee to opposite elbow underneath body, then immediately open knee to same side elbow on outside of body and circle leg back so you are in plank; alternate sides
  2. Dancing crab: lay on back with legs straight; push up onto one arm and opposite leg while touching hand to opposite foot above you; alternate sides
  3. Alternating bird dogs: on hands and knees, raise one arm straight in front of you and opposite leg out straight behind you; alternate sides
  4. Get into elbow plank, placing disks or wash clothes under feet; pull feet in so they slide up and you are in pike, keeping legs straight, then push back, sliding legs back into plank
  5. Lay on back, hands behind head and head/shoulder raised, legs raised straight to ceiling; raise and lower one straight leg to 6 inches off the floor then back to ceiling
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

Level 2 is 32 minutes long; 2:30 minute warm up and  1:30 minute stretch. Equipment needed: various dumbbells–both heavier and lighter for this workout, and a fitness mat. I definitely found this one more challenging than Level 1. Definitely felt this one working abs and upper body.

Circuit 1:

  1. Wide push ups: fingers facing away from you and arms very wide
  2. Extended plank: hold plank with arms far in front of you
  3. Chest press + chest fly + head-banger while in hollow man (12# DBs)
  4. Around the world hip heists: get on hands and feet w/ knees bent; rotate from bear to crab and just keep rotating
  5. Sumo boat: sit on bottom, knees bent and close to chest, balls of feet on ground while holding one DB in both hands behind head; swing DB in front of you with arms straight while raising legs straight so you are in boat pose (8# DB)
  6. Repeat circuit

Circuit 2:

  1. Diagonal touchdowns: stand w/ feet wide and lower into a squat while twisting on DB (held in both hands) to the outside of back foot, stand and pivot to other side, raising DB overhead while also raising back leg into the air (one 8# DB)
  2. Alternating side lunges w/ a bent over rear fly: you fly while bent over (3# DBs)
  3. Standing mountain climbers: high knee run while alternating pushing DBs overhead (3# DBs)
  4. Good morning press: stand w/ legs wide and arms in goal post; hinge at hips and, while bent w/ flat back, press arms straight overhead, then stand, keeping arms overhead, when standing again return arms to goal post (5# DBs)
  5. Lunge chops: holding one DB in both hands, halo DB around head, come into forward lunge and chop DB to side of body; alternate legs/sides (one 8# DB)
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

Circuit 3:

  1. Do one push up, bend one leg and rotate body until foot hits floor behind you, lower onto your bottom with other leg still straight and one arm raised overhead, push up off bent leg and return to plank; alternate sides
  2. Bicycle in boat (exactly as it sounds)
  3. Superman to pike crunch: do a superman, roll over onto your back and crunch up w/ arms and legs straight, touching fingers to toes; alternate between these two moves
  4. Chatarrunga push up w/ knee pulls: start on belly w/ hands under shoulders; push up to plank while bringing one knee in to same side elbow; alternate knees
  5. Side plank angel: start in forearm plank; lift hips while also raising top leg and arm
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

Circuit 4:

  1. Side to side hops
  2. Sit up to stand up: roll back, so legs go overhead, then roll back up, crossing legs beneath you and standing
  3. Reverse plank: while in reverse plank, alternate pulling knees in to chest
  4. Three point burpee: one burpee straight back, one burpee angled to side, one burpee straight back, one burpee angled to other side, one burpee straight back
  5. Scissor abs w/ a dumbbell pass: get into a straight leg boat holding one DB; scissor legs while passing DB under leg each time it scissors (5# DB)
  6. Repeat circuit

Level 3 is 33 minutes long;  2:30 minute warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. Equipment needed: dumbbells from 3-8 pounds and a fitness mat. This workout is definitely the most advanced of the 3–very challenging. And no fun. Great workout, but it is 30 minutes of advanced core work with a few more fun and interesting moves thrown in to work your core in different ways–but mostly, lots of hard plank based moves. This is one of those Jillian workouts that, for me at least, it was impossible to go very heavy because the moves were so challenging.

Circuit 1:

  1. Sledgehammers: hold one DB in both hands behind head and slam it down between legs, halo it around head when bringing it back behind head (one 8# DB)
  2. Tuck jumps
  3. Reverse lunge w/ a pass: do a reverse lunge and pass one DB under front leg, when you return to standing you bring back leg into a knee raise w/ a hop, bringing DB overhead w/ both hands (5# DB)
  4. Warrior 3 crunch: get into warrior 3 but w/ hands behind head and crunch knee in to nose, then return leg to warrior 3 (balance move)
  5. Triangle pose rotation w/ static military press: hold light DBs straight overhead w/ both hands and get legs in triangle pose; rotate torso, keeping arms in same position, all the way around to the other side while shifting feet into triangle facing in the other direction; alternate sides (3# DBs)
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

Circuit 2:

  1. Start in elbow plank w/ one DB lying beside you; raise into straight arm plank, reach across and grab DB, row into tricep kickback, pivot feet into side plank, raising DB overhead, return to forearm plank, setting DB beside you; alternate sides (one 8# DB)
  2. Bear hops: in bear, hop both hands and feet at the same time
  3. Get into superman holding one light DB in both hands in front of you; keeping body raised in superman, pass DB behind back and back to front (3# DB)
  4. Sit ups w/ DB punches (3# DBs)
  5. Around the world: lay on back w/ straight legs raised to ceiling; reverse crunch, twist hips and lower straight legs; alternate sides w/ reverse crunch in the middle
  6. Repeat circuit

Circuit 3:

  1. Side lunge w/ rotation and hop: holding one DB in both hands, do a side lunge, twisting torso to side at bottom of lunge, return to standing w/ knee raise and hop (one 8# DB)
  2. Twisting lunge: start standing w/ legs a little wider than shoulder width, arms straight out sides in a “T”; reverse lunge, twist torso and tap heel w/ opposite hand; alternate sides
  3. Single leg burpee w/ a push up
  4. Get into straight arm side plank w/ feet staggered; kick bottom straight leg out and touch toe to fingers then kick top straight leg out and touch toe to fingers
  5. Hanging mountain climbers: mountain climbers but jumping feet as you do it so your feet have “hang time.”
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

Circuit 4:

  1. Get into elbow plank and raise one arm and opposite leg; in this position, open and close arm and leg simultaneously
  2. Clapping mountain climbers: clap hands as you switch feet
  3. Donkey kick moguls: in bent knee plank, jump feet from side to side, kicking feet high
  4. Hollow man w/ a chest press, a chest fly, scoop and return to hollow man (“scoop” means bringing bent knees in and DBs beside them so you are balanced on bottom) (5# DBs)
  5. Squat thrust combo: start in plank and jump feet in w/ knees bent, jump feet back out to plank, then jump feet in w/ straight legs; alternate these two moves
  6. Repeat circuit; if the move was done on one side of the body, it is now done on the other side of the body

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One response to “Killer Abs

  1. Pingback: Killer Arms & Back | 2 Lazy 4 the Gym·

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