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FITNESS by jeff csatari Best Supporting Action


Building a stronger midsection will make your whole body feel better.


DOING ABS EXERCISES TO get rid of your belly is an exercise in futility. Consider this: To burn off a pound of weight, researchers estimate you would have to crank out 250,000 sit-ups. That would take you roughly seven years at


100 crunches a day. It’ll take your son less time to complete his rank requirements for Eagle Scout! But there are better reasons for exercis- ing your abs than losing a little middle jiggle. Your abdominals and lower-back muscles,


collectively called your core, are involved in just about every move you make. This girdle of muscles supports your spine so you can crawl out of bed in the morning and stand erect. Whether you pick up a baby or a sack of


kitty litter, you call upon your core muscles. When you do a J-stroke with a canoe paddle, you rely on your abs. While standing at attention during the Scout Oath or Pledge of Allegiance, your core muscles keep your posture arrow-straight. And if you complain of a bad back, chances are that weak core muscles are part of your problem. In fact, in a study at California State


University, people who followed a 10-week core exercise program reported 30 percent less lower back pain. Back pain or not, your core is critical to


being an active Scouter. So, work these exer- cises into your fitness routine twice a week to flex and strengthen this pivotal area of your body. Start with one round of eight to 10 repetitions, taking about 30 seconds of rest between exercises. After a month, try to do the circuit without any rest between moves. In two months, try for a second circuit of these exercises after resting one minute between rounds. ¿


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JEFF CSATARI is the best-selling co-author, along with David Zinczenko, of The New Abs Diet Cookbook: Hundreds of Power-Food Meals That Will Flatten Your Stomach and Keep You Lean for Life.


54 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2010


LEG-LOWERING DRILL 1 Lie on your back on the floor with your arms out to your sides and palms up. Keeping your feet together, bend your knees to 90-degree angles and raise your legs until they are over your hips.


2 Bracing your abdominals, press your lower back into the floor as you slowly lower your legs. Take three to five seconds to lower your feet to within an inch of the floor or until your lower back starts to arch. Allow your heels to touch and then raise your legs back to the starting position. That’s one repetition.


Do 8 to 10.


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2


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SUPERMAN 1 Lie face down with your arms extended straight out in front of your head, palms down.


2 Lift your arms, head, and chest while also lifting your legs. Hold that position for two seconds and then lower to the starting position.


Do 8 to 10 repetitions.


PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAN BRYANT; MODEL: JUAN CASTILLO


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