Your ab workout should start with core training. Whereas abdominal crunches only work your muscles in a single direction, core training involves the stabilizer muscles in both your back and abdominal area. Crunches can’t touch most of those secret stabilizers.

A good core training program works on lots of different muscle groups: upper back, lower back, the butt muscles, hips, inner and outer thighs, and hamstrings. A well-rounded program can even go a long way toward helping you get rid of lingering or recurring back pain.

It targets muscles all up and down your abs and your back. With stronger muscles to help support the entire length of your spine and placing serious emphasis on posture, your body won’t have to work as hard to maintain its proper alignment.

In any ab workout, the proper form is essential. Make a point of keeping your ab muscles tight and your back as straight as possible. If, at any point, you feel your back starting to arch or if you experience any spinal discomfort (usually in the lumbar area), stop and rest awhile.

You can always resume your exercise routine later. Don’t over-extend yourself in terms of either range of motion or if you are bone weary. That is precisely when injuries are most likely to occur.

Remember that the purpose is to strengthen your body’s core and that’s not possible if you cheat on the form. If you have access to a full-length mirror, try to arrange a way to exercise in front of it so you can keep an eye on your form moment-to-moment. There’s a reason ballet studios have wall-to-wall mirrors.

First, INSANITY is not the state of your mind but the latest fitness workout put out by the good folks at Beachbody.com, but you do need to be insane to do it. This workout is no joke and neither are the results you will get. Insane results from an insane workout.

INSANITY is the creation of Shaun T. who also created the Hip Hop Abs workouts. With INSANITY Shaun has taken interval training and turned it upside down to create his 60-day workout program called INSANITY.

In your normal interval training, you start out slow then go all out for short periods but INSANITY has done the exact opposite. Shaun has you starting at full blast with short 30-second rests between these extreme periods. This is going to have your heart racing like a racehorse and you dripping in sweat.

If you have ever done their P90X workout and cursed the day you bought that program, you will be cursing the INSANITY workout ten-fold.

This is not a workout for the faint of heart. You will be sweating and you will be feeling each workout. This is not a workout for anyone who is starting out, has not worked out in years, and has been a couch potato. Be prepared to hate this workout and curse Shaun T. for creating it. On the other side if you want results that will blow you away and in only 60 days then INSANITY is the workout program for you.

As with P90X, INSANITY comes with a well thought out nutrition plan to feed your muscles and handle the workouts. Nutrition is a vital part of any successful program and Beachbody knows this and makes sure you do too.

INSANITY is a great workout as it can be done anywhere you have access to a television and DVD player. Just pop in the DVD and you are ready to workout. Because you workout at home you do not have to worry about traffic, the gym being packed or the weather. You also will not need any equipment except your body, mind, and lots of water. You definitely will want to keep your body hydrated on this one.

If you are new to working out and haven’t done so in some time you will want to pace yourself and take extra breaks but because this is a DVD you can pause at any time and restart and Shaun and the gang will be there waiting for you. This extreme program gets you extreme results and well worth adding to your workout arsenal.

If you really want to, you can start to burn fat in a couple of days. Want to know how? You’ve got to get yourself into the fat burning mode. That process is called ketosis. Some people can tell if their bodies have started burning fat by how they feel or by the change in the odor of their urine.

It’s as easy as a pregnancy test or the way diabetics used to test for sugar levels. If you want to know for sure, get some paper strips you can wave in the urine stream. A package of the strips can be purchased from your neighborhood pharmacy for about $15. They will turn colors if a significant amount of the byproduct of fat burning is present.

Helping your body kick into the fat burning mode is also a relatively simple process. Cut back your caloric intake to somewhere between 1200-1500 calories. Severely restrict sweets and other high sugar carbohydrates and food with a high glycemic index.

Cut back on starchy foods (including vegetables such as potatoes and lima beans), virtually all grains (bread, crackers, pasta), and restrict significant protein intake to a couple of times per day. Protein servings should be about the size of a deck of cards.

It will only take about two or three days, if you exercise enough self-discipline. Here’s the really good news: once your body kicks into gear to burn fat, the fat your body is using will add to your energy levels and help keep your spirits up.

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