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10 Minutes To A Flatter Tummy

From eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource

Ten minutes... 15 to 20 reps... no equipment...flat tummy!

That’s all it takes to sculpt your sagging stomach. Forget about costly gym memberships that'll never be used. Don’t even think about expensive equipment that'll quickly become dusty coat racks.

It’s time to flatten your tummy with Shawn Phillips, author of the bestselling ABSolution (High Point Media). When it comes to awesome abs, he's the man. Take one look at the 38-year-old fitness experts abdominals and the terms six-pack abs and washboard stomach immediately leap to mind.

With more than 20 years under his belt, Phillips is a familiar figure in the fitness field. And he comes from good pedigree -- his brother Bill is the bestselling author of Body for Life (HarperCollins), a book many consider the bible for body reshaping. It's Shawn's turn to shine with ABSolution, the logical next step for anyone who has done Body For Life (BFL). And if you aren't familiar with the BFL approach, ABSolution is still a great starting ground, Shawn says.

ABSolution is a practical solution that comes from my years of experience weeding through the junk and the noise, he tells eDiets from his Colorado office. Its getting down to what really works. Everybody is looking for that one thing that works, but there isn't one thing. That one thing is everything.

“We’re breaking it down to a simple formula and that’s the focal point formula, which refers to the abs as the focal point of the body. The abs are what we focus on to determine, ‘are we in shape or not in shape?’”

The most important muscle you need to flex to get the tight-and-toned tummy you’ve always wanted? Your mind! Shawn says mental awareness is instrumental to the process of getting in shape. That’s where his three D’s come into play: Decide, Define and Develop.

Decide! You need to make the decision that this is important. Set it as a goal. Practice mentally so you are committed to and aware of your desire and goal.

Define! You need to reduce body fat and do things to get yourself into lean, optimal health. That includes proper diet, supplementation and cardiovascular exercise.

Develop! Develop the muscles of the body -- not just the abs, but the whole body. You should be developing muscles and training.

Instead of focusing on the results while you are training, you should be concentrating on how you hold your body, how you breathe, and how the muscles contract.

And contrary to popular belief, it's quality not quantity that counts in the long run. Shawn is a firm believer in Focused Intensity Training (FIT). Focusing on the exercise at hand will increase the intensity so that you get the most benefits from the move. That’s what makes ABSolution different from the rest.

One of the most common obstacles people encounter on their journey to shaping up is the myths of ab training. If you’re one of those individuals who believe you need to perform 100 reps to firm your abs, you are in good company. It’s a fallacy that has been perpetuated throughout time. But the reality is that even for the best abs you only need to do 15 to 20 reps of an exercise, which takes 10 minutes tops. Shawn suggests working the abs two to three times a week at most.

ABSolution isn't loaded with fancy fitness lingo or unwieldy scientific explanations. Its a book that gets back to the basics and offers easy-to-follow instructions that everyone can follow. Shawn wants readers to come away with three things: clarity, confidence and course of action.

“I want people to come away with clarity of what does work and what doesn’t work, the confidence that you can do it and the best course of action on how to do it," he says. "This is a step-by-step guide for creating the best body and the best abs.”

Are you ready to make Shawn’s solution your ab solution? Use these three exercises to get started. Remember to follow the fitness guru’s tips and recommendations... and don’t exceed the maximum reps.

“By the second or third week, you’ll have a greater awareness of your midsection," Shawn says. "There will be a tautness to it. It’s invigorating to people... the beginning feelings of body transformation. I’m still a big believer that in the 12-week commitment. That’s what it takes to get you from point A to point B.”

Basic Crunch

Basic Crunch for a Flatter Tummy
  • Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet resting flat on the floor. Gently position your hands behind your head to support it, not to pull on it. Please do not lock your hands behind your head! You might find it comfortable to lie on a towel or an exercise mat.
  • Focus your mind on contracting the abdominal muscles before you even begin to lift your shoulders off the floor. This is very important. We’re using the mind to focus the intensity of the exercise.
  • Contracting the abdominal muscles, curl the shoulders up and forward until the upper back starts to lift off the floor. Do not try to sit all the way up! Concentrate on flexing the abdominal muscles when you are lifting the shoulders up, imagining you’re trying to make a dent in the floor with your lower back, and let that contraction pull your shoulders off the ground. Hold the contracted position for a full two seconds before slowly returning to the starting position. Then simply repeat.

    Training Tip: To increase the range of motion and to get even more ab work, try putting a rolled-up towel under your lower back.

Side Crunch

Side Crunch for a Flatter Tummy
  • Begin by lying down on the floor with your knees bent and your torso twisted so your left leg is lying flat on the floor but your upper body is still facing upward. Place your hands gently on the sides of your head.
  • Now, take a deep breath and begin contracting your abdominal muscles. Let that contraction slowly lift your upper body off the floor while you breathe out. As soon as your shoulders come slightly off the floor, try to hold that contracted position for a full count of “one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two.” Then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions in this position, and then reverse the position so your right leg is touching the floor and perform 12 to 15 more repetitions.

    Training Tip: When you rotate your legs to the left, do not allow your upper body to rotate along with it. Keep your shoulders facing upwards.

Reverse Crunch

Reverse Crunch for a Flatter Tummy
  • Begin by lying on your back, knees bent, and feet together, about six inches above the floor. Put your hands behind your head, like you would if you were getting ready to do an ab crunch.
  • Keeping your feet close to your hips, contract your abs while you slowly curl your lower body up toward your shoulders, gradually rolling your hips off the floor. Exhale when you contract the abs, so your rib cage will drop and allow for a more intense muscle contraction. Keep flexing the abs until your hips and lower back are just slightly off the floor. Hold that position for a count of two, and flex as hard as you can! Then slowly lower your hips back to the starting position, take a breath, and repeat. Keep in mind that the slower you do this exercise, the better it works.

    Training Tip: One variation of this exercise I often perform simply involves placing the hands, palms down, by your hips. This is a bit harder and more intense.

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