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* Pay special attention to your breathing. During contraction of your abdominals and the rolling-up portion always breath out. Inhale during the extension or uncurling of the exercise motions.

* Work for a set time period instead of doing repetitions. This will help in keeping the body fat off. But, try and decrease your time until you can sustain all the movements one-right-after another in 10-minutes.

* Do Not Hold Your Breath while doing AB work. Breathe easy and steady.

Get Me a Six Pack!!!

Copyright Anita Ramsey

This article was taken from Eclipse's magazine, BodyTalk. Click here if you would like a free copy.

Yes, I said a six pack. No, not of Corona’s. The six-pack that is under that winter coat of soft tissue you accumulated from all those goodies. Summer is of course here and that beach body look is desperately needed. But, with the flood of health club equipment specializing in AB training equipment, all the aerobic classes, the latest video craze and let’s not forget the assortment of devices being sold on info-mercials created by your latest guru or computer. It’s easy to get confused and down right frustrated on the smart and quickest way on how those damn AB muscles are supposed to come out. However, remember, understand that to develop a flat and washboard look requires a regimented diet and a steady cardio program in conjunction with this AB routine.

This regimen outlines a simple, efficient, and old fashion approach to tummy toning and shaping that can be done at home or at the gym. All you need to build fab abs is proper targeting the upper, middle and lower abdominal areas. The major muscles are the rectus abdomens and you’ll be working the lower, middle and top of your AB’s, the complete area. Again, you must understand that proper diet and cardio will aid in shaping that washboard appearance. So, lets get started on that washboard look. Perform the following in sequence with 10-12 repetitions each. And then repeat. What’s the fab ab sequence? The crunch, reverse crunch, knee raise, jack knife (V-Ups), and then bicycles with a twist in that order. Are you getting me? All these movements done on the floor at the same time one right after the other that constitutes one set.

The first in a series of movements is the old fashion crunch. Start by lying flat on a comfortable surface, and that doesn’t mean the couch or your bed, lie on the floor with your legs together, knees bent and feet close to your glutes. Cross your hands in front of your chest. Squeezing with your abs, pull your shoulders upward and curl your torso so that your lower back maintains contact with the floor but your chest and upper back moves toward your knees. Squeeze for a moment and exhale, lower yourself to the floor and repeat. Perform one set of 10 repetitions.

Upon completion of crunches and while you’re lying flat with your legs together, bend your knees and bring your feet close to your glutes. If you are able grab something that is over your head this will help support your weight. Squeezing with your abdominals pull your knees up to your chest and continue until your butt lifts off the floor. Then lower and repeat. Do one set of 10 repetitions of the reverse crunch. Next exercise is the seated knee raise. Start the leg raises by lying flat with your legs together pointing up. Move your hands towards your toes. Squeezing with your abs, pull yourself upward towards your toes until your butt comes off the floor. Squeeze your AB’s, exhale, then lower your legs slowly to the starting position and repeat. Perform one set of 10 reps.

Now “V” ups can be executed. Tired yet? You’re still lying flat with your legs together, knees bent and feet close to your glutes. Cross your hands behind your neck. Pull your shoulders up off the floor curling your torso so that your chest moves toward your knees. At the same time pull your knees towards your chest. Lower and repeat. Again, do one set of 10-repetitions.

The final exercise in this series, or should I say one ‘serious’ giant exercise, is bicycles. While still lying on your back with arms at your sides using them for supporting yourself, raise your legs and begin a slow circular cycling motion as if you are peddling a bike. Do this until it burns.
However, always remember the rule of thumb that these TV ab machines fail to tell you is that developing a flat stomach requires a regiment of aerobic exercise (cardio vascular work) and a well balanced diet. Ab exercises determine the size of your abs. Diet and cardio work determines the shape of your waistline. Know the muscles you are training. It’s not the tummy, stomach or belly. But, in fact, the major muscles being worked are the rectus abdomenous. Abdominals stabilize your body in every athletic endeavor. They are fundamental to good posture and keeping you from lower back problems and pain.

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