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Flattery will get you anywhere.

. . . if you let it These easy exercises are guaranteed to pancake your stomach, reduce your appetite, make you look and feel super, and save your seams when you bend over.

There are at least seven reasons for using this program for flattening your stomach.

1. It will improve your appearance.

2. It will create better support and protection for your abdominal-pelvic organs.

3. It will help improve those functions in which the abdominals act directly.

4. It will help you avoid the misuse of laxatives.

5. It will help you avoid such problems as hernias and lower-back pain, and it may be used in their therapy.

6. It will help you avoid overeating and related health problems.

7. It is an important supplement to any fat-reduction program (diet or exercises) and any other exercise program.

How to Use This Program

Your goal is to build and maintain a flat stomach easity. If you stay with this program, it will definitely help. If you quit any program, it won't work.

You may feel improved abdominal strength in a few weeks, or even a few days.

If muscular definition is what you want, you will probably need to do one or all of three things. One, step up this program considerably. Two, get into another exercise program designed to burn off more calories. Three, diet. This program, as it's designed, may or may not build you a "washboard" stomach. It will, however, flatten your stomach, and that is certainly worth those benefits mentioned in the first part of this article.

As with any exercise program, you should check with your doctor. When you tell him that you're planning to go slowly, and that your goal is to flatten your stomach, he should be delighted.

First, measure your girth at the level of your navel with your stomach normally relaxed. Pull your stomach in as far as you can, and measure it again. Record both measurements. Do this once a month on the same date each month. If you're excited and want to do more repetitions, it's up to you. But keep these two principles in mind: 1. Unless you're working in a hot area, you shouldn't work up a sweat. 2. If you feel stiff or sore tomorrow, you did too much today. The exact amount of exercising you start with depends on your age and your physical condition. If you're an 80-year-old retired desk jockey, you'll probably have to start lower and proceed more slowly than a 30-year-old construction worker.

As you progress in the program you should lower the number of exercises per workout and increase the number ofrepetitions per exercise.

If you become stiff or sore after the first-or any other-day, there are several methods of relief:

1. Expose the stiffness or soreness to warm water. You can do this in a tub or shower.

2. Massage the stiff or sore area. This helps especially if done in the tub or shower.

3 . Reduce either the number of exercises in your workouts or the number of repetitions per exercise, or both.

4. If a specific exercise seems too difficult or causes pain, soreness, or stiffness, leave it out. After several months of conditioning, see if you can add it without strain. If not, leave it out again.

Stomach-Flattening Exercises

A. Stand with your back 12 inches to 24 inches from a wall, feet shoulder width apart, arms stretched overhead, elbows straight, hands shoulder width apart. Bend back and touch the wall with the fingernails, knees and elbows as straight as possible (pictured). Return to starting position, and immediately bend forward and touch the floor, knees still as straight as possible. Return to starting position for one rep.

B. Lie on you back, arms stretched overhead against the floor, buttocks resting on the floor, feet off the floor, and knees drawn up close to the chest. Extend one leg straight out, parallel to the floor, but not quite touching it (pictured). Draw the first knee back close to the chest, at the same time extending the second leg straight out. Draw the second knee back, while again extending the first leg, and continue this bicycling movement. Allow four extensions for one rep.

C. Lie on your back, legs bent, with the knees pointed at the ceiling, feet flat on the floor, hands on the back of your head, fingers interlocked. Exhale as you rise up, and place the head between the knees (pictured). Inhale as you lower back to starting position for one rep. It may help to place your feet under a piece of heavy furniture.

D., E. It is possible for you to expand your chest after having completely exhaled, in the same manner that your chest tends to expand as you breathe in.

To practice, first inhale deeply, and try to consciously feel the way your chest expands. Next, think only of expanding your chest, and not of pulling in the air; just allow the air to come in as you expand your chest. You will find that you can expand your chest just as much when the air doesn't rush into your lungs. Finally, exhale completely, hold the exhalation, and expand your chest as you've learned to do. When you do this correctly, your stomach will automatically pull in deeply. Learning this action may take patience and practice, but it is well worth the effort! When you have learned to do this action properly, you are ready to do the exercise.

Stand, feet shoulder width, hands on hips. Exhale completely and forcefully! Holding the exhalation, expand the chest as much as possible. Pull the stomach in tightly, and hold up to six seconds (pictured). Relax to starting position for one rep. Do this exercise in front of a mirror to build confidence in your progress.

F. Stand, feet comfortably more than shoulder width apart, arms stretched sideward and parallel to the floor, elbows straight. Keep the feet planted firmly, and slowly twist the trunk as far to the right as possible (pictured). Stretch, pulling the left arm back, and the right arm around to the left. Snap back to starting position, and place the hands on the hips. Return to starting position, and then

repeat to the right for one rep.

Then, try something else. Stand with your feet straddled as wide as comfortable, arms overhead, elbows straight and hands shoulder width apart. Rapidly swing your upper body forward and down, while bending your knees. Reach back through the legs, and touch the ground as far back as possible. Swing the upper body back, and stop suddenly, "jerking" to a stop at the starting position for one rep.

G. Lie on your stomach, hands above the hips and close to your sides, elbows pointed at the ceiling, palms on the floor with fingers pointed toward the shoulders. Keep the feet on the ground, and raise the head, shoulders, and chest as high as possible, arching the back. Keeping the hands and feet in place, lift the rear high, so that your body describes an upside-down V shape. Bearing the weight on the hands and feet, knees and elbows straight, and remaining in the V, pull in the stomach and tighten it. Hold this position (pictured) up to six seconds. Lower the rear to the original arched position, then back to starting position for one rep.

H. Sit, legs bent, knees pointed at the ceiling, feet flat on the floor (preferably supported as in exercise C), hands on the back of the head, fingers interlocked. Lean back until your upper body is at a 45 -degree angle, twist completely left, then right (pictured), then return forward and back to starting position (sitting) for one rep. Twist to the left first on the first half of your reps, then to the right first on the second half of your reps.

I. This exercise is the same as exercise C, except that as you rise you twist the trunk and place the right elbow outside the left knee (pictured). Return to starting position for one rep. Twist to place the left elbow outside the right knee on the second half of your reps. Do the reps on one side consecutively before doing the reps on the other side.

J. Stand, feet comfortably more than shoulder width apart, arms straight overhead, elbows straight, palms toward ceiling, with fingers interlocked. Bend sideward to the right as far as possible, stretching the left side (pictured). Straighten and bend immediately back, stretching the arms and shoulders backward. Straighten and bend forward, touching or nearly touching the palms on the floor. Keep the knees straight throughout the exercise, and return to starting position for one rep. Change directions.

In the last part of this exercise, it is again necessary to have your chest fully expanded while your lungs are exhaled, as in exercise D. This time you expand the chest to its maximum by inhaling; then, you keep the chest expanded as you exhale completely. Practicing this breathing action may

help you learn the other exercises. To practice, inhale completely, then keep your chest expanded as you exhale. When you have the action right, your stomach will pull in deeply as you exhale. Then you are ready to perform one of this program's finest exercises!

Stand straight, feet together, arms at your sides. Rotate your pelvis counterclockwise, then straighten your back, pulling the shoulders back. Without relaxing, again rotate the pelvis, then again straighten the back and shoulders. Without relaxing, repeat the action a third time. By now, the chest will be held high and tremendously expanded, and your stomach will be pulled in deeply. Your back will be extremely straight, and your shoulders will be far back. In this exaggerated position of attention, inhale forcefully, expanding the chest to its maximum. Hold breath six counts. Without relaxing, exhale completely and forcefully, tightening your abdominals, and hold six sec onds. Relax and return to starting position for one rep.

Good luck with your program. Work at it and it will work for you.

From the book How to Flatten Your Stomach by Coach Jim Everroad. Revised copyright (C)1974, '75, '87 by James Everroad. Reprinted with permission of Price/Stern/Sloan Publishers, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 1988 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1988 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:stomach flattening exercises
Author:Everroad, Jim
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Dec 1, 1988
Words:1709
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