How to V Ups

About the V Ups

The v-up is a fairly advanced abdominal exercise, which involves the simultaneous flexion of the hip and spine to target the rectus abdominis (a.k.a. the “six-pack”), obliques, and the hip flexors. The exercise requires some level of abdominal strength, so it may not be a suitable choice for a beginner who will likely find the traditional crunch a better starting point.

Some state that the raising of the legs from the ground targets the lower portion of the abdominals, while the raising of the shoulders and head targets the upper portion, yet this is not entirely true. The raising of the legs is primarily performed by the hip flexor muscles, not the abdominals. Gym-goers may mistake fatigue of hip flexor muscles as being that of the lower abdomen. The abdominals will come into play, with regards to the leg raise, at the top of the exercise, if the athlete raises their hips off the ground, thus shortening the distance between the pelvis and the ribcage.

How to perform


  1. Place a mat on the floor
  2. Lay on the mat with arms out-stretched beyond your head
  3. Legs should also be out-stretched, but with a slight bend at the knee which you will maintain throughout


  1. Raise your legs and arms simultaneously, bring your head and shoulders off the floor to perform a crunch, keeping your arms out-stretched overhead, and raising your legs so your hips are brought off the ground at the top of exercise
  2. At the top of the exercise your hips should be raised, and arms stretched upward towards your toes
  3. Slowly reverse the movement back to the starting position
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions

Other Core Exercises