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ABS FABULOUS.

Most men would kill to have a six-pack stomach ... and the ad men know it. Every day there seem to be more weird gadgets to build up your abdominals. But are they any good and how do they compare to old- fashioned sit-ups? MARGARET MALLON asked brawny Claymores defender John DeWitt to test four different ab trainers and find the best gut-buster.

And he should know one - to keep his stomach trim he does around 200 crunches during each training session.

KETTLER AB ROLLER WITH

COMPUTER. The winner at pounds 29.99

JOHN SAYS: "I loved this. It gave me a great abdominal workout and you can work all your stomach muscles with different exercises.

"It was really comfortable, too, because your neck is supported by the pad and your arms pull on the roller. There's no danger of hurting yourself, and it's not the least bit embarrassing to use.

"The computer is an excellent added feature as it not only counts the number of curls you are doing, but it tells you how many calories you have burned."

10/10

Available from Greaves Sports, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

INCLINE BENCH, from pounds 80

JOHN SAYS: "This is a pretty strenuous way to work those abs. It's VERY macho and would impress your buddies in a sweaty gym, but, you run the risk of hurting your neck and your back if you overdo it, or don't support your neck.

"It's a good, solid piece of equipment and you can adjust its height to suit how hard you want to work your abs.

"This is only for serious exercisers - it's bulky and hard work. You might have one of these in your home if you're an exercise nut, but I would just use one of these in the gym. Most good gyms have them."

6/10

We used the incline bench at the Leisure Centre at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel.

WORKOUT MAT, pounds 10 - pounds 19.99

JOHN SAYS: "I use mats for doing sit-ups and abdominal crunches. It's comfortable, cheap and adaptable - you can throw it down in any corner of the gym or at home and just start exercising.

"If you know what you're doing you can avoid neck injury. This involves crossing your arms over your chest or cupping your hands around your neck.

"But you can strain your neck if you're not careful. The mats are thick enough to be comfortable. A good choice for working your abs."

8/10.

Available from Greaves Sports Shop, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.

FLEXABALL, pounds 33.55

JOHN SAYS: "I've seen physiotherapists using it in rehabilitation work.

"It's designed to stretch your backs and your abs. It did stretch my abs, but it was too small for my body - I am kind of large! I could see how it would suit a woman more.

"It would be embarrassing to use working out with the other Claymores in the gym, so it's not for me.

"It would take you ages to inflate with a bicycle pump."

5/10
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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Mallon, Margaret
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 8, 1998
Words:504
Previous Article:BE AMAZED BY A BODY OF STRANGE FACTS.
Next Article:PERFECT GENT: BUT HE NEEDS A STREET-FIGHTER AS DEPUTY; He's too honest and fair for his own good.


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