Get Absolutely Awesome Abs!

By Shana Daniels, Fitness Expert and 2002 Ms. Fitness CA,b.s. Sports Science

             It’s the #1 body part that most people want to tone up and for a good reason- it’s the center of our bodies-a focal point.  It’s also very important to have a strong “core” (abs and lower back) for everyday functionality.

             In order to train your midsection most effectively it’s important to understand that the real muscles responsible for flattening the abs are not the rectus-abdominals-the proverbial “6-pack”, but the deeper muscles of the transverse abdominals that lie beneath it.  You can feel these muscles if you’re on your back with knees bent and place two fingers inside your hip bones and cough.  Now try to contract them without coughing by breathing in deeply, relaxing the abs, then exhale drawing in your navel down towards the floor.  Hold this contraction 5-10 seconds.  It takes focus and practice but it’s well worth the effort.  If you include this in your routine ab work, you’ll reap the results twice as quickly.  Go slow using good form and hold each contraction a moment.  Even though the abs contract as a unit, you can place more emphasis on certain areas so try and hit the lower, obliques, and upper abs.  Remember, its quality not quantity.  These are the only muscles that can be worked everyday without “overtraining”, so break out your “six-pack” for summer by training smart!

For more information on fitness contact Shana Daniels at or to find out more about her 12 week Body & Life Make-over Challenge visit her website:




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