Toning Your Tummy with the V-Up


A Part of Fierce Play’s Grounded Gymnastics Series

The v-up is an exercise where the athlete lies on the floor and then folds the body at the hips while keeping arms and legs straight to create a v shape in the body. Similar to the hollow hold and plank, the v-up is an excellent movement to engage the core muscles of the body. However, unlike the hollow hold and plank, the v-up is not a static exercise where the athlete holds a single position. Instead, similar to the sit-up, the core is engaged through a repetitive movement, in particular, with the athlete raising straight arms and legs off the floor and touching them in the air.

Watch the video clip below for a full explanation of technique, tips and tricks for performing the movement with efficiency, as well as precautions for staying safe.


  1. Reach Up: While lying on your back, move your legs and arms up toward the ceiling and reach up to touch your toes.
  2. Stay Straight: Keep arms and legs as straight as you can while you left them toward the ceiling. This will better engage the core muscles during the movement.
  3. Feel the Ground: Try not to arch your back and think about keeping your lower back touching the ground to protect yourself from lower back strain.


  1. No Need for an AbMat®: Unlike the sit-up, you don’t need to use an AbMat® to complete the movement. You should feel the floor with your back at all times.
  2. Scale with Your Shins: If you are newer to this movement and struggle to touch your toes each time, try to reach up and touch your shins. As core strength improves, you will find it easier to reach up further until you’re able to touch your toes.
  3. Count it Out: Work toward increasing the number of reps you do in each set of v-ups. Start by setting a goal of completing a certain number of reps in each set, and challenge yourself to complete more than a few sets of v-ups. Move faster to increase intensity.
  4. Max Time: Another method for v-ups is to simply go as long as possible! Max time simply means that you attempt to do the movement for as long as you can before dropping down to rest. Set a goal for yourself as you complete your max times to continue to drive improvement. Even reaching for that additional ten seconds of time can make a big difference in your core strength!



Fierce Play’s Grounded Gymnastics Series focuses on proper technique, as well as tips & tricks, to master some of the foundational movements that will be integrated into many of the workouts you will perform. Start your next workout with the confidence and skills to do the movement safely and effectively.

QUESTIONS: Ready to get started, or curious to learn more about how Fierce Play can help you meet your health and wellness goals? Contact us for more information. Also feel free to check out more of our videos series to learn how to perform the basics with solid form and efficiency.


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CrossFit Level 1 Certification



Mark Mancuso started his fitness journey while enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Like most individuals, at first, he only focused on bodybuilding type workouts. Mark learned quickly that focusing just on the aesthetics of the body would get you only so far. In 2013, Mark found out about Crossfit and fell in love with everything that it stood for.

In June of 2015, Mark was Honorably Discharged from the Marine Corps and returned from his duty station in Okinawa, Japan to his home in Maple Grove, MN. Not having any formal coaching in Crossfit he was on a mission to find a Crossfit Box to call home. Fierce Play welcomed him with open arms, and he hasn’t looked back. Mark obtained his Level One Crossfit certification in November 2015 and plans to add additional certifications in the future. He also intends to compete in a variety of Crossfit competitions as opportunities arise.


CrossFit Level 1 Certification


Owner & Head Coach

Jeff Birthler has a contagious passion for fitness. He graduated and obtained a personal training certificate from the National Personal Training Institute in 2010. On his way, he discovered and fell in love with CrossFit. Jeff hasn’t stopped learning, and still seeks a well-rounded education within the health domain, going beyond physical facets. He has trained clients at several corporate gyms, including Fitness 19 and LA Fitness, as he established a plan for his own gym.

Fierce Play was established in 2012 in a 500 sq. ft. garage. After a few moves and upgrades, it now has a permanent, 4800 sq. ft. location in Maple Grove. Jeff calls it “home”.


NPTI (National Personal Training Institute) CPT Diploma January 5, 2012

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CrossFit Power Lifting Certificate

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CrossFit Gymnastics Certificate

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