Having a full length mirror in the bathroom is not for the faint of heart, unless you have already achieved the coveted six pack abs physique. On the other hand, if you are serious about it, having this mirror is a good way to check your progress as you work your way to a toned body and sculpted abdomen. Everybody has abs, except some of us have to rid ourselves of that extra layer of insulation and strengthen them to make them show.

What Are Six Pack Abs?
There are three layers of abdominal muscles. The deepest layer girdles the body, providing stability and support. The next layer flexes the spine. The muscles closest to the surface are the external and internal obliques, which give the body lateral movement and rotation. Many men and women want a flat stomach and abdominal muscles chiseled into the appearance of a six pack.

What Is Involved?
Achieving a strong and sexy midsection requires a focus on proper diet, cardiovascular conditioning, and abdominal training. Good nutrition and thoughtful food choices lead to a healthier and leaner body. While exercise helps burn calories, watching caloric intake is necessary to shed the fat hiding the abs.

Cardiovascular exercises such as walking, running, cycling or even dancing burn excess calories, and also help to decrease the fat built up over abdominal muscles. As well, focus on the abdominal exercises two or three times a week, completing two or three sets of each exercise:

• The reverse crunch, performed by lying on the floor with knees at a 90 degree angle, and contracting the hips up and into the rib case
• The bent-elbow plank, performed by lying on the stomach and lifting on the toes and forearms
• The bicycle, performed lying on the stomach, extending the left leg out while bringing the right knee to the chest and rotating the left shoulder to the right knee, and then repeated with the other leg

Benefits of Diet and Exercise
Following a diet and exercise routine will produce significant results in relatively short time. Here are further incentives for achieving that six pack abs look:
• Increased self-confidence
• More energy and productivity
• Better sleeping habits
• Reduction in stress levels
• Stronger muscles and bones overall
• Increased heart health
• Reduced arthritic pain and risk of cancer

Anybody following this routine will developed a toned body with a flat stomach and well defined abdominal muscles. An enviable physical appearance is the primary goal for many exercise enthusiasts. However, the added health benefits are even longer lasting and more important.