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The New Rules of Ab Training

Ask most exercisers what they would like to change most about the way they look, and odds are pretty good they'll say they want better abs.

Men and women alike strive for that tight, toned core that could be put on display on the beach. The fitness product industry makes billions of dollars producing the next great "ab-worker" contraption that typically overpromises and under-delivers.

Many popular fitness celebrities sell out their integrity to sell an ineffectual technology that they know won't get you any closer to six-pack abs. It takes hard work and disciplined eating to get that chiseled six-pack, but if you use these three tips, I promise you that you will begin to have tighter, stronger abs in no time.

Ditch the sit-ups
Sit-ups if not done correctly can cause neck damage, lower back injuries and shortened ab muscles. None of this is good. Unless you are an advanced exerciser, take the sit up completely out of your exercise list. Stick with rotation and prone plank variations for best results especially rotation and planks performed on a stability ball.

Rotation rules
Rotational movements are some of the most neglected in most peoples fitness programs. You will rotate a lot more often than you’ll perform a crunch type movement, so why aren't you doing it in the gym? Rotation movements activate a ton of core muscles, which translates into a powerful set of abdominal and back muscles. Use bands, tubes, weight plates and cable stations for resistance against the movement.

Give 'em a rest
Working your abs on a daily basis won't get you any closer to a six pack than only training your abs two to three times a week. The muscles in your core need the same amount of rest between workouts that other muscle groups do. The ideal time is 24 to 48 hours between workouts for muscle recovery. You'll actually give your abs a chance to rest up and come back stronger next time.

Work your back
Don't overdo the ab work and neglect your lower back. Get out of balance, and you'll pay for it with injuries. Trust me, a back injury is the last thing you want on your path to better abs. Developing a strong lower back actually helps pull your abs in, giving you the appearance of flatter abs. Reverse lumbar extensions on the stability ball is my favorite lower back strength builder.

These four "new rules" are a great foundation for some solid ab training. Getting a rock solid midsections isn't just for beach pictures, but can also make you stronger in other exercises, and extend your training years by preventing injuries, so do it right.

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