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Health and Fitness Tips

Abs, Abs, Abs!!

A beautiful six-pack is only but a dream. Many strive for years to have the perfect abs - it is a challenge, however with a few tips, exercises, and proper nutrition, the dream of a six-pack stomach can become a reality.
Many traditional exercises, such as the basic sit-up, involve the abs mostly in a secondary role as a stabilizer. The bulk of the motion is actually provided by the muscle group known as the hip flexors. I recommend crunches to focus completely on your Rectus Abdominus and External Oblique muscle groups.

I utilize the Triple Training Technique with my clients, to help them achieve a trim waistline and tight abs. This concept involves 1) diet, 2) cardiovascular exercise, 3) direct abdominal strength exercises. For instance, low carbohydrate diet, walking on a treadmill for thirty minutes a day and doing abdominal exercises is a great way to get started on that six-pack abs that so many of us desire.

Tips for an Absolutely great abdominal workout.

  • Choose from a number of exercises. When I put together an ab routine I make sure my client gets a variety of exercises to keep the muscles working in different ways, not only to work different muscles, but break the monotony of the workout.

  • I encourage at least 15-20 reps of each exercise at a minimum. The perfect set of ab exercises is 3 sets, at 15 reps each. This gives the muscle growth potential.

  • Abs are best worked with a limited range of motion. You don't need to come up very far off the bench, or floor, in crunch movements to feel your abs. Just remember to squeeze at the top of the movement.

  • Form is most important. Concentrate on technique - don't just go through the motions. Fifteen proper ab crunches is better than 150 sloppy ones.
The Crunch should be the cornerstone of any ab workout. Lying flat on the floor (preferably on a mat), with your hands lightly clasped behind your head and your knees bent and raised (you should be facing your knee caps when you perform the exercise) now raise your shoulder blades up, just off the floor and squeeze your abs and release. Lower your shoulder blades and repeat the movement (continuously keeping your buttocks on the floor and legs in the crunch position and raised). Perform 15-20 reps and three sets.

The Cross Body Crunch works both the rectus abdominis (like the Crunch) and the obliques. Retuning to your Crunch position on the floor, bring your shoulder blades slightly off the floor, really squeezing your abs as you come up, and cross an elbow to the opposite knee. You dont need to come all the way down, with your shoulder blades to the floor in the resting position, however you should keep crunching for 15-20 reps on both sides of the body and perform a total of three sets for each side of the body.

Great abs are attainable with proper nutrition, exercise, and by watching your form.

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed