Many words begin with the letter “V”: vacation, verdict, vigil, vocal, voluptuous, to name five. For fun, you could write a short story using each of these words. Voluptuous and verdict gets my mind working into something sordid, but I’ll hold off on that because right now I’ve got another idea for the letter “V.” Funny, I feel like The Count on Sesame Street - “The letter of the day is V.” When was the last time you watched Ernie, Bert and Big Bird? OK, OK, I digress… Back to the letter V and to the leotard side of The Literary Leotard.
A very effective exercise for abdominal strength is called The V-Seat. It can be done on the floor, in stages according to your strength and ability, or in a chair. Below are two videos showing each method.
The first is of three women, Rose, Mary, and Dian, from my exercise class in Radburn’s Grange Hall in Fair Lawn, NJ. They range in age from 66-76 (though not necessarily in that order). They graciously agreed to appear in the video to represent the average woman, and to show how easily this exercise can be performed at any age. Though, in my opinion, they are above average! Notice they are in street clothes. No need for any special attire, just something comfortable that allows you to move freely. And men, you can do this to. I just happen to have only women in the video.
The second video stars me! As you can see, I’m sitting on the floor without a mat. If you do this exercise, I suggest you sit on one, or on a carpet. This gym floor was pretty hard on my tail bone. I show you variations for the V-Seat. Watch the video first and choose which way to perform it according to your own abilities. As the letter “V” has straight lines, your spine should also be straight. Yes, your spine does have natural curves. Keep them. Stay in a neutral spine (blog post from 11/22/11) Sit back on your tail bone, pull your belly in, and begin.
As you can tell, we're not professonal videographers. You'll hear Mary's voice at the end trying to figure out how to use the video camera on my iPhone. We're all regular people - not professional athletes or dancers - we're just like you. So, have a seat, chair or floor, and give it a try.
Remember: If you have any pain, stop the exercise immediately. And if you have a spine issue (stenosis, herniated disk, etc) and are unsure about doing the V-Seat, check with your doctor first.
I'd love to hear from you after you've tried this. You felt those abdominals, didn't you? And your thighs? It's great strength work for them, too. So, if you want, leave a comment on the blog. If you ask a question, I promise I'll get back to you. Have fun!