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How to Get Six Pack Abs

Fitness Secrets for a Flat, Toned Tummy

-- By Nicole Nichols, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor

Whether you're just starting an exercise program, or you've been at it for years, there is one thing on everyone's wish list: a toned stomach. Well-defined abdominal muscles are glorified as being sexy, healthy and youthful. You may have seen one once—the rare person who seems to know the "secrets" of perfect abs. Does he know something that you don't? Is it possible for you, a regular person, to achieve the abs of your dreams?

You may be surprised to learn that you can train less and see better results—yes it's true! And you don't have to buy any special equipment. All you need is your body and the proper training knowledge.

But first, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the rectus abdominis (or abs, for short). They run down the front of the torso, from the center of the ribcage to the pubic bone. It's a common myth that the abs are made up of several different muscles (such as upper and lower abs). The fact that the word "abs" appears to be plural doesn't help this case. But in fact, it is one long sheet of muscle that just happens to look like several small muscles. This is due to a unique feature called "tendinous inscriptions." These inscriptions run across the muscle and down the center, giving it that "6-pack" (but more accurately, 8-pack) appearance.

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