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Health tips; how to get six-pack abs

October 22, 2010

Your abdominal muscles (abs) are just like every other muscle in your body. Crunches will not give you a six-pack if your abs are covered by a layer of fatty tissue. To get toned abs, you have to do more than just crunches and ab work-outs. You have to work-out your whole body in order to get the perfect six-pack we all dream of.

Walking, running, swimming, and laying off the second helping at dinner will help to achieve your goals of a six-pack. Having strong abs is extremely important even if you aren’t trying to lose the extra layer of fatty tissue. Having good ab muscles helps us in every other exercise we do and can also help decrease back pain. Here is a good ab exercise to do when you work out. This is called the basic crunch.

1.     Lie on the floor on your back and bend your knees, placing your hands behind your head or across your chest.

2.    Pull your belly button towards your spine, and flatten your lower back against the floor.

3.    Slowly contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about one or two inches off the floor.

4.    Exhale as you come up and keep your neck straight, chin up.

5.    Hold at the top of the movement for a few seconds, breathing continuously.

6.    Slowly lower back down, but don’t relax all the way.

7.    Repeat for 15 to 20 repetitions with perfect form for each rep.

8.    To add variation, bring your knees in at the same time you lift your upper body off the floor for a full body crunch.

9.    To make it more difficult, balance on an exercise ball.

Some tips to help achieve your perfect six-pack are:

1.     To keep your neck in proper alignment, place your fist under your chin to keep your head from moving.

2.    Keep your back flat against the floor throughout the entire movement.

3.    If your back arches, prop your feet on a step or platform to make it easier.

What you need to get the perfect six-pack abs:

•      A yoga mat or a carpeted surface. In front of the rock climbing wall there is enough room to do abs.

•      An Exercise Ball (Optional.)

Other abdominal exercises include; the plank, the dolphin plank, the side plank, flutter kicks, squirrmies, pregnant ladies, heel touches, leg lifts, and lemon squeezes.

Some of the information used in this article was found at http://exercise.about.com/cs/abs/ht/Crunch.htm.

BY KELSEY BESHEARS
Co-Sports Editor

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