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Fab Abs: 10 Best Exercises!

by Kim Droze

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Although he may have been beleaguered by a very shiny nose that kept him from joining in any reindeer games, you're plagued by oversized thighs, a drooping derriere and a sagging stomach. In fact your Christmas wishlist more closely resembles a checklist for an extreme makeover reality show. Unfortunately, Santa can't bring you a brand new body on Christmas morning´┐Ż or any morning for that matter.

However, we do have a stand-in for Santa who can help make your wellness wishes come true. eDiets fitness pro Raphael Calzadilla is the next best thing from jolly old Saint Nick -- and he's a heck of a lot fitter than the portly present provider. In the spirit of the holiday season, he's sharing the 10 best ab exercises to get the washboard stomach you've always dreamed of.

Follow his lead and you'll see a transformation in your tummy within three weeks. The first step is changing the way you view your ab work. Too many people are under the impression they're going to reduce their midsection. Abdominal exercises aren't going to reduce the area -- they actually develop the muscles.

Another common mistake is that many people make is doing too much, too often, Raphael explains.

"One of the biggest misconceptions that people make is that they need to work five or six days a week to get their abs looking good. They also think they have to perform 15 sets. In reality, the muscles are like any other muscle group that needs to recover from any type of workout in order to make progress. Your ab workout shouldn't take you more than 12 minutes, three days a week."

Ironically, if you don't know what you're doing, you can actually do more harm than good. Take sit-ups for example. This popular ab-perfecting move can lead to back and neck injuries if you don't have proper form. Sit-ups also work more of the hip area than the abdomen, Raphael points out.

It's crucial to build strong ab muscles´┐Ż and not just for aesthetic purposes. The core of the body is the abs and the lower back, which is the "center of the universe" on the body. "All of the strength of the rest of the body stems from the core," he says. "It also helps as far as improving balance and flexibility and reducing injury. Having weak abs and a weak lower back is an invitation for injury."


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