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Abdominal Exercises (rectus abdominus & obliques)

Throughout history, whether it be artwork or media, a sculpted midsection has been the idealized epitome of strength and attractiveness.  Muscles in general and abs in particular are undoubtedly a status symbol.  Everybody wants to be like the guys and gals in the media ads with the washboard abs.  Unfortunately, there are a few things that people don't take into consideration:  those "ab models" that you see on tv and in magazines are genetically gifted, it's their job to be in perfect shape, you only see them on their very best days (nobody stays shredded all year round), they often use unhealthy fat-burning drugs to speed up metabolism and melt off the last bits of fat around their midsection, photographers play tricks with lighting and touch ups, and you typically see them when they are holding their breath and flexing.  Although this is not meant not discourage you from your abdominal goals, it can help you to understand and ensure that your goals are realistic and achievable.

A pound of fat contains 3,500 calories.  A Big Mac contains 570 calories.  Doing 20 crunches burns about 9 calories.  In other words, a few minutes of abdominal exercise isn't going to make much of a dent in a lifetime's worth of accumulated fat.  You need to understand that exercises you do to build midsection muscles won't have much effect on the fat that surrounds them.  There is no such thing as "spot reducing" or targeting an area where you want to lose fat.  Fat does not turn to muscle... you burn fat and build muscle.  Where you lose fat is determined by patterns established by your anatomy and typically occurs systematically throughout your entire body.  In addition to a standard abdominal routine, one that is performed 2-3 times per week, the most effective means of displaying your six pack is to eat healthy with a good nutrition program and combine regular cardiovascular workouts (aerobic) along with your resistance training (anaerobic) for the most efficient calorie burn.  Once you get rid of that layer of insulation, you'll find that your abs are indeed under there... somewhere.

  The Ultimate Ab Circuit Program

1 Leg Crunch
4 Count Leg Lift
Alternating L-sit Crunch
Ball Exchange
Bicycle Crunch

(standard, inverted)

Bird Dog
Cross Leg Crunch
Cross Reach
Flutter Kicks
Full Crunch
Hanging Crunch

(beginner, intermediate, advanced)
Hip Sit
Horizontal V-sit Cross
L-sit Raises
Medicine Ball Wood Chop
Mountain Climber
Mountain Jumper
Oblique Crunch
Oblique Leg Lift
Oblique V Raise
Plank-Cross Elbow
Plank Elbow Walk
Reverse Crunch
Reverse Hyper
Russian Twist

(bodyweight, with ball, decline with ball)

Seated Knee Bender
Standing Oblique Crunch
Steam Engine
Super Crunch
Supported Crunch
Swiss Ball Crunch
Swiss Ball Jackknife
Swiss Ball Mountain Climber

(resistance, cardio)

Swiss Ball Pike-Up
T Reach Thru
Wheel of Pain

(standard knees, 1 arm knees)
(standing, 1 arm standing)


Ab Stretches

Basic Abdominal Stretch
Cobra Stretch (prone stretch)



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