Work Those Abs: This Ab Workout is No Joke

Core strengthening in Marci Vucich's Ab Structure class is no joke. This intense ab workout will build, tighten and stretch your abs like never before.

Never again will I walk into a fitness class and think, “this is going to be easy.” Because if history repeats itself, I’m in for another butt kicking.

On Monday I walked in to a 45-minute ab class at the . I was a few minutes late and the instructor Marci Vucich had already started.

Five students were standing over their mats warming up, by the looks of things it seemed like an easy class. I was expecting a light workout. And because I like to challenge myself, it even crossed my mind to walk out.  But that would’ve been a huge mistake.

It wasn’t 10 minutes into the fitness routine, which is focused on strengthening our core, before my legs felt heavy and I was struggling to keep up. I was sweating in an ab workout? Yep, that’s right. This is no ordinary ab class.

The instructor, Vucich, has 28 years as a fitness instructor under her belt. She knows how to make every motion count.

When things got tough, she reminded us to breathe and counted the reps out loud (this helped me push myself further because I knew how many were left).

 She belted out some “Woohoos,” when the intensity built up.

 This class was more like an ab bootcamp—just what I needed. It combines Pilates, cardio, circuit training and strengthening all focused around the core.

Vucich has taught the class at the Highlands Recreation Complex for three years. Two of her students have been with her since the beginning. One of them, Vuich said, has lost 40 pounds.

 “If you’re a dedicated student, you would see results in a month,” she said.

“You’ll definitely see inches lost,” she added.

Vucich began her life in fitness with a modern dance class in college. While she was attending the University of Tampa, majoring in mathematics, she took the class as an elective. She was so good at it that she started teaching classes at the school’s dormitory.

“I had a love for the arts and exercise,” she said.

Since then she’s taught aerobics, step aerobics, Tae Bo and abs. The abs class was requested by the recreation center three years ago and has been a big success. My first reaction to the class is no surprise to Vucich.

When I asked her if she gets that a lot, she laughed.

“I do,” she said.

“A lot of people find it very challenging when they’re in there,” Vucich said. Most people, like myself, have a misconception that abs is all about crunches and sit-ups. When strengthening the abs is more about strengthening our core, Vucich said.

The benefits are vast. “It really helps our posture, decrease our overall fat and its preventative for back injuries and problems,” Vucich said.

The class is broken down into four segments that focus on a different aspect of ab strengthening. The Pilates segment tones and stretches; the cardio segment burns fat, the resistance portion increase muscle strength and the boot camp segment works the abs on a deeper level.

One of Vucich students refers to her method as peeling back the onion. “We could truly do the same routine twice a week for, four weeks and you’re actually working a deeper level of your muscles. You’re focusing on the work groups of your abs that are deeper into the tissue,” she said.

So with that in mind no matter how many times you take the class it will always be challenging and sure to work.

This class is a great compliment to a regular fitness routine and healthy eating. Vucich offers the class in a combination with her step aerobics class, which is right after her abs class on Monday, for $40 a month. If you take this combo you can go to both classes unlimited for the month.

“I leave no rock unturned,” Vucich said.

After I expressed how intense (in a good way her abs class was), she said, “You should take my step aerobics class.”

 Here’s the schedule:


What: Ab Structure

When: Monday and Thursday 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Price: $5 per class for Largo residents

More information contact Largo’s at 727-518-3016.


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