A three-step plan to starting abdominal training

A three-step plan to starting abdominal training

By Theresa Danks, Hatherleigh Press

A study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that women who engaged in even moderate exercise significantly reduced their abdominal fat, compared to women who exercised slightly or not at all. Previous studies found correlations between excess fat in the midsection, compared to the hips or thighs, and the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

“We’ve long known that excess body fat is linked to a number of serious diseases,” says fitness expert James Villepigue,

author of The Body Sculpting Bible for Abs: Women’s Edition (Hatherleigh Press, 2003), the first book written specifically to help women tone their abdominal muscles. “This

study confirms that even a moderate increase in exercise can help women create lasting benefits.

“One of the best ways to get a sleek waistline is to follow a balanced program of sensible nutrition, cardio training, and

abdominal exercises,” Villepigue adds. He offers the following three-step plan for women interested in starting an abdominal

training program.

1. KNOW YOUR ABS—To sculpt your waistline, you need to know what muscles are involved. Many people don’t realize that the abs are not one set of muscles, but several overlapping layers: the rectus abdominis, the internal and external obliques, and the often-overlooked transverse abdominis.

2. NOURISH YOUR ABS—Starvation diets can actually slow your metabolism and cause you to lose muscle tissue. Be sure to follow a balanced diet that includes enough protein, carbohydrates, and fat to maintain your energy level and build muscle mass.

3. WORK YOUR ABS—Quality, not quantity, is the secret to truly toned abs.

Although crunches are the most popular abdominal exercise, they are not enough to work all the muscle layers. Also, working the abdominal muscles exclusively can lead to problems in your lower back. Use a variety of exercises to train all the “core” muscles of the torso.

Once you make the decision to start an exercise program, you may think you’ll have trouble staying motivated. Villepigue

recommends that you make sure you set reasonable goals to start with and reward yourself as you attain each one. Just

make sure your reward is something like a facial or a massage, not an ice cream sundae.

James Villepigue is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and nationally recognized authority on health and exercise. His new

books, The Body Sculpting Bible for Abs: Women’s Edition, and, The Body Sculpting Bible for Abs: Men’s Edition, are available at most booksellers (Hatherleigh Press, $14.95 each).

Visit www.hatherleighpress.com, or call 800-528-2550 for information on these books and other Hatherleigh products.

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