It’s been a while since I unrolled mine yoga mat and I did an abs workout by Pamela Reif, in fact, the last time I subjected my abs to such torture was when I did Pamela Reif workouts every day for a week. Yet eager to find out what my favorite YouTube trainer had been up to over the past few months, I grabbed a pillow off my couch and did his intense 10-minute, six-pack workout. Read on to find out what happened.
Why a pillow I hear you ask? The addition of the cushion adds some weight to the abs workout: Although it doesn’t feel much when you press against them while watching TV, a cushion adds a couple of pounds of weight to the movement, forcing your abdominal muscles to work more. Of course, you can add one of the files if you prefer best adjustable dumbbellsand have it between your feet during your workout, but if you’re short on equipment or worried about dropping the dumbbell and upsetting your neighbors, a pad is a safer option for this workout!
As always, if you’re new to ab workouts or are returning to exercise after an injury or pregnancy, it’s a good idea to check with a personal trainer to make sure you’re moving with the correct form. If visible abs are your goal, here they are 5 reasons why you may not see your abs, despite exercising.
What’s the workout?
You can watch Pamela’s full abs workout from her YouTube channel, but here are a couple of exercises to look forward to:
To perform a Russian twist, sit on an exercise mat and engage your core as you lean back. You can keep your legs on the floor or lift them up if you’re looking for a challenge. Strengthen your core, rotate your torso from side to side, and think about lowering the pillow to the side of you as you twist.
Here’s more on how to do a russian twist with perfect shapeand the benefits of this ab exercise.
For this exercise, sit on the mat with your legs extended and place the pillow between your feet, squeezing it with your ankles. Sitting on the mat, lean your torso back as if you were going into a V-sit. Place your hands on the floor behind your body, fingers pointing toward your toes. He lifts his legs, squeezing the pillow to keep it from falling to the floor. Engage your abs as you squeeze your legs and torso towards each other, then lower yourself to the starting position.
For this exercise, place the cushion on your back and maintain a high plank position, with shoulders stacked over your wrists, core engaged, and a straight line from head to heels. Don’t let the pillow fall off your back and think about sucking your belly button into your core the entire time.
I Tried Pamela Reif’s 10-Minute Abs and Intense Six-Pillow Pack Workout—Here’s What Happened
I grabbed a pillow and tried this exercise, here’s why you should do it too:
The pillow made a huge difference
My pillows never felt heavier until I tried this abs workout. I used a standard IKEA throw pillow from my couch, rather than the kind of pillow you’d rest your head on at night. I went so far as to weigh the pillow after this workout, and according to my kitchen scale it was 1.3lbs, that said, it felt a lot heavier as I crunched through the workout holding it.
As a fitness editor, I’ve trained using some of the best home workout equipment on the market – since best resistance bands to the best ankle weights. The beauty of this workout is that it doesn’t require expensive equipment – if you’re on a budget or in a hotel with no gym, this will still give every muscle in your core a workout.
It worked my legs as much as my abs
I didn’t expect my legs to be as sore as they were after this workout, but unlike standard ab workouts, your leg muscles are engaged as you squeeze the pillow. My legs were shaking from the first set of pillow crunches and at one point I had to pause the YouTube video to reset.
The added weight forced my core to work harder to stabilize my body. Working your core stabilizing muscles can help you prevent injury, reduce back pain, and sit with better posture.
My abs have had that post-Pilates pain for hours
As I’m writing this, a full 24 hours after completing Reif’s workout, my abs still hurt. This workout gave me that post-Pilates jolt I’ve come to love — a sign that my abs have been working hard.
Sure, there were no visible results after a 10 minute workout, but this is definitely one I’ll try again. As a reminder, if visible abs are your goal, you’ll need to focus on body fat percentage, as well as a mix of cardio and strength workouts: here’s how to calculate body fat percentage and why it matters.
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