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The Little ABs Workout Book    by Erika Dillman order for
Little ABs Workout Book
by Erika Dillman
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2003 (2003)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Having previously enjoyed Erika Dillman's The Little Book of Healthy Teas, I looked forward to finding out how to go 'From Flabby to Fab' in this small book. Its author addresses what normal people 'who can't afford on-call personal trainers or devote four hours a day to exercise' can do about their abs, with over 30 step-by-step exercises appropriate to a range of fitness levels.

There is an informative introduction to the anatomy and physiology of abdominal and back muscles. The connection between strengthened abs and back health is mentioned, as is the importance of improving the function of core muscles. Examples are given of good and bad posture, and three types of exercises are introduced - 'stabilization exercises, which retrain core muscles to support the spine; functional exercises which duplicate everyday movement' and 'six-pack exercises' that help achieve a better look.

Guidelines are given for successful fitness training and exercises are presented (with pictures to make instructions clear) in a series of 5 workouts. The first series addresses building a foundation with exercises like pelvic tilt and the 'dying bug series' (love that name as it captures how I often feel while exercising). Further series build on these exercises, and continue to incorporate some of them, e.g. stretches, in training sessions. Some require a medicine ball, stability ball or wobble board (sources for these are listed at the end of the book).

Finally the author encourages us to continue choosing from these workouts for 'many months of abs training'. I recommend The Little ABs Workout Book to anyone who has the self discipline to exercise on their own or with a friend; it's clear, thorough, and much less costly than a personal fitness trainer.

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