For Your Tummy-Ab-solute Perfection

If you do what you can for your abdominals, they will do some pretty nice things for you. It seems that today's fit-conscious Americans have their eyes on the mid-section, and will stop at nothing to get perfectly-toned "washboard" abs. Good abs are not only desired for appearance, but are a central part of the body that provides strength and stability and are essential for good posture.

It's not surprising then that in a recent survey conducted for NordicTrack Inc., the leading manufacturer of home fitness equipment, 60 percent of respondents selected the abdominals as the area they would like to tone the most. The rest of the body didn't come close, with 14 percent of the vote going to the legs, and the arms and buttocks receiving 9.5 and eight percent respectively.

Beyond analyzing their own bodies, survey participants rated the abs of some male and female celebrities. Who's got the best abdominal tone? Olympic athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee ran away with the female poll, receiving 44 percent of the vote, more than twice that of newly-toned pop diva Janet Jackson.

A spokesman for NordicTrack, which commissioned the survey in conjunction with the introduction of its new AbWorks abdominal exercise machine, said that for men the abdominal area can be a resting place for fat. Women, on the other hand, seemed to worry most about their lower abs-especially after child-bearing. In either case, strong abdominals can be most challenging to maintain.

It's interesting to note that many millions of Americans who suffer from back pain do so because of weak abdominal muscles. Strengthening the abdominals increases support to the spine-the result is stronger muscles, more support and less back pain. Happily, Abworks, is said to be a total back support abdominal exercise system that makes the entire exercise routine more efficient by safely isolating and targeting the muscle groups you most want to work. (NAPSI)

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