How To Get Washboard
eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resource
blubbery belly into washboard shape while watching TV, reading a book or even
cooking dinner... this device is 30 percent more effective than normal
exercise... achieve rock-hard abs without working up a sweat...
Sounds hard to believe don't it? Yet
people you know have actually fallen hook, line and sinker for such
gimmicky guarantees made by the manufacturers of those controversial electronic
abdominal exercise belts.
You've seen the ads... the ones that
promise six-pack abs with absolutely no effort. All you got to do is fork out
from $40 to $120 and wear the flab-busting belt for a certain period of time.
The verdict is in. If youve
bought into this "fast abs through electronic muscle stimulation fad"
youve been had. Just last week, the product police at the Federal Trade
Commission filed suit against the marketers of the AB Energizer, AbTronic and
Fast Abs devices, alleging that the companies falsely advertised that users get
washboard abs without exercise.
"For years, marketers of diet and
exercise products have been preying on overweight, out-of-shape consumers by
hawking false hope in a pill, false hope in a bottle, and, now, in a belt," FTC
Chairman Timothy J. Muris said in a news release.
"Unfortunately, there are no magic
pills, potions or pulsators for losing weight and getting into shape. The only
winning combination is changing your diet and exercise."
When it comes to tightening your
tummy, the only effective plan involves healthy eating and exercise. So if
youre desperate for a red-hot bod by summer, put your trust in fitness expert
and author of The Firefighters Workout (HarperCollins) Michael
Stefano... not some muscle-spasming device.
"People who have had no experience
with exercise often try stuff like the electronic exercise belts and they're
disappointed when nothing happens," Stefano tells eDiets. "Thats when
they turn to diet and exercise. Plenty of people have turned to gimmicks before
they come to me.
"The only way to firm and tone abs is
to flex the abdominal muscles. There are many ways to do that. There are basic
moves that are more effective than others, such as the leg raise and the
According to Stefano, the size of the
waistline is indicative of a persons fitness level. The minute we notice
our jeans or skirt getting too close for comfort, were ready to shape up.
Whether its the after-effect of too many trips to the buffet table or
post-pregnancy pounds that need to be shed, you can tone up and trim down with
a few do-anywhere exercises.
One of the most important factors to
getting back into shape is performing some sort of aerobic activity. Whether
its brisk walking or cycling, the activity should be done for at least 15
minutes, 3 to 4 times a week. This increases the bodys fat-burning
ability. You must also follow a balanced diet to achieve optimum results.
What you dont need are
overpriced exercise gadgets, Stefano says. By following the three abdominal
exercises described below, youll be well on your way to a better body by
"Each exercise should be repeated to
muscle fatigue if possible," Stefano says. "Each set should take about one
"You should do about 20 to 30 reps to
hit muscle fatigue. Go directly from one exercise to the next with only a brief
pause between sets. If at any time during the workout you feel out of breath or
overly fatigued, stop and catch your breath before you continue."
To get the most out of your workout,
follow the intensity adjustment.
Lie on your back on a
mat or padded carpet, legs straight, both hands under your buttocks to help
maintain the proper pelvic tilt. Exhale and slowly bring both knees to your
chest. Inhale as you straighten your legs to a point where your feet are a few
inches off the floor. Repeat to muscle fatigue.
Intensity Adjustment: Add ankle
weights to increase intensity. Perform with knees partially bent, your toes
tapping the floor, to decrease intensity.
Lie on your back on a mat or padded
carpet with your knees partially bent, feet flat on the floor, arms folded
across your chest (as shown). Exhale as you press the lower back into the floor
and begin to raise your head, shoulders and chest off the floor, concentrating
on bringing the ribs towards the hips. Pause briefly as you feel your abdominal
muscles tighten. The movement need only be a few inches. Inhale as you slowly
curl back down, trying not to let your head touch the floor, maintaining
tension in the abdominal muscles for the entire set. Repeat to muscle fatigue.
Intensity Adjustment: To increase
intensity, lengthen the pause to 2 seconds, or place your hands behind your
head instead of across your chest.
Side Leg Raise
Lie on your left side on a mat or padded carpet, head and legs straight.
Exhale as you slowly raise your right leg as high as it will comfortably go and
pause briefly. All movement comes from the hip joint. Inhale, lower top leg to
starting position and repeat. Repeat to muscle fatigue.
Intensity Adjustment: Perform with
ankle weights to increase intensity, and bend the top leg at the knee to