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Denise Austin: Hit the Spot--Abs gets right to the point with three sessions that target and tone the abdomen. Each 10-minute segment concentrates on the rectus abdominus (a major muscle of the abdominal wall) and the oblique muscles (that run along the side of the midsection). Whichever program you choose will deliver an equal challenge with only a minimal variation on choreography. Spine alignment is imperative here and Austin reminds participants about the importance of keeping the low back close to the floor. Reverse curls, crunches, and torso twists are taught with special attention to contracting the muscles that are used for each movement. Some modifications are offered for beginners or those who have back or neck weakness. While this program provides a great abdominal workout, the opposing muscles of the low back are not worked here. The low back helps aid in torso stabilization and the addition of these isolations would enhance the overall benefits of this great workout even more. Mats or towels are needed, and a small pillow may come in handy during certain exercises. These tried and true exercises are presented with that famous Denise Austin spunkiness that may leave you thinking that smiling and sit-ups can co-exist. --Olivia Voigts
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