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The only way to truly lean up your midsection is to lean up your entire body with a combination of weight training, proper diet and cardio.

By Aaron Loynes MPT, CSCS and Brent Seegraves MPT, CSCS

As physical therapists, our patients often ask us questions regarding exercise and fitness. By far the most common question is, “What exercise can I do to get rid of this belly and make my stomach flat?” Now to the educated reader, this question may seem a little silly – we all know there’s no “one exercise” that can make your stomach flat; but on closer analysis it’s easy to understand the confusion the general public has regarding exercise and fitness. One has only to watch TV for an hour on a Saturday and you’ll no doubt see at least one ad for a weight loss product or “miracle” abdominal exerciser. “It only takes minutes from your day to achieve a lean, beach-worthy body!”

Now we all know this isn’t true – but the commercials can be convincing. This post will attempt to clear up some of the common misconceptions about fat loss and abdominal training.

Ab anatomy. First, let’s review the anatomy of the rectus abdominis – your “six-pack” muscle. The rectus abdominis originates from the fifth through seventh ribs and inserts to the symphysis pubis. The sheet of muscle is actually six total muscles enclosed within fibrous tissues, three on each side with the linea alba separating them in the center. As the rectus abdominis contracts, it pulls the attachments closer to each other as clearly demonstrated when one performs a crunch or sit-up.

“Lower abs” myth. Anatomy is pretty cut and dry – yet some argue that abdominals are divided into an “upper” and “lower” section and that each section can be isolated with certain exercises. This idea is ridiculous – it would be the same as claiming you could isolate the upper portion of your bicep muscle from the lower portion with a special type of curl. When a muscle contracts, the chemical and electrical signals for contraction spread through all the fibers of the muscle, causing a contraction. Anatomically there’s no other insertion point in the middle of the muscle belly. It attaches at the ribs and the pelvis.

How would you activate one portion and not the other? If you’re very talented or have tight muscle control, you wouldn’t need to exercise your abs. Use this analogy: Take a rubber band, cut it so that it looks like spaghetti or string. Now hold it at each end between your right- and left-hand thumbs and index fingers with tension on the band. The band is your rectus abdominis, the left-hand end of the band is your rib attachment, and the right-hand end is your pelvis attachment. Imagine you’re performing a crunch. Let your left hand come toward your right hand as if the rectus abdominis was concentrically contracting. Did the right or left half of the rubber band do more work? They’re equal! Regardless of the exercise performed, assuming it’s biomechanically correct in form, the results are always the same. The rectus abdominis activates as a unit.

Now why would people believe you can isolate one half of the muscle over the other half? It’s a myth that’s been around since people first started training their abs – crunches for the “upper abs” and leg lifts for the “lower abs.” Again, let’s look at it logically – the abdominal muscles don’t attach to the legs, so why would a leg lift isolate the lower abs? The easy answer here is, “It doesn’t.”

When you perform hanging leg raises, you’re calling your hip flexor musculature into play as the initial prime movers while your abdominals do the work of stabilizing your pelvis. At the top of the movement, unless you do it wrong like 80 percent of the people I see at the gym, your pelvis will curl up and your abs will take over the movement, giving you a complete contraction of the muscle. So, in essence what you’re feeling is a more complete, stronger contraction of the abdominals than you experience with traditional crunches. You haven’t isolated one portion of the muscle from the other. Other examples which purport to strengthen the mythical lower abs are exercises where you lie on your back, lift your legs in the air and kick them up and down – again your abs are working isometrically as a stabilizer while your hip flexors move your legs up and down (remember, abs don’t attach to the legs) – the burn you’re feeling is most likely your iliopsoas muscles and your abs from a long isometric.

Training your abs. So, what’s a good effective way to fully work your rectus abdominis? The safest, easiest way to do it is with a crunch while the hip flexors are reciprocally inhibited – don’t worry, we’ll explain: Lie on the floor on your back with your feet up on a chair (or stool, or ball) and squeeze your heels into the object under your feet to get a light hamstring contraction; squeeze your glutes (which will roll your hips back slightly); and now perform your crunches. You only need to crunch up far enough to lift your shoulder blades off the floor to get a complete contraction. Why is this effective? Using your hamstrings and glutes during the exercise causes your hip flexor musculature to shut down, making it easier to isolate the abs. If the low back remains in contact with the floor and a four-second controlled count (two seconds up and two seconds down) is performed, the abdominals will scream for mercy.

Spot reduction. Please keep in mind that no matter how much you work the abdominal muscles, you won’t magically develop the six-pack you desire unless you clear away the layers of fat obscuring the muscles. According to many of the infomercials for magical abdominal exercise devices, you can burn all your midsection fat by performing exercises with their device for just three minutes a day. Again, the educated consumer is already aware that spot reduction is a myth, but it bears repeating: It’s physiologically impossible to choose where your body will burn fat. Read that again. When you perform an activity that’s aerobic in nature and you begin to need more fuel, your body will pull the fuel from its fat stores. Your body will pull from everywhere to supply the fuel and there’s no way you can tell your body to take it from a specific area.

So, what about the claims of “magical” fat loss from an abdominal exercise? Let’s look at the most efficient fat burning aerobic exercise – cross-country skiing. What makes this exercise so good? It uses almost every muscle group in the body and requires enormous amounts of calories to maintain the activity at a high level for a prolonged period – about 200 calories in 10 minutes for a 200-pound man, in fact. Weightlifting burns approximately 45 calories in 10 minutes. Many of these magical abdominal fat burner machines are nothing more than a sit-up performed against resistance – basically a weight training exercise – so it would take almost 50 minutes of performing the exercise to burn the same number of calories you would burn cross-country skiing for 10 minutes! It seems fairly illogical then that using your “Miracle Abdominator 4,000,001” for six minutes a day is going to give you a lean, tight midsection in just three short weeks as promised. The only way to truly lean up your midsection is to lean up your entire body with a combination of weight training, proper diet and cardio.


Anderson J, Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy 7th Edition, Williams and Wilkins 1980.

Kendall F, McCreary E, Provance P, Muscles Testing and Function 4th edition. Wilkins and Wilkins 1993.

Netter FH, Atlas of Human Anatomy 2nd edition. Novartis 1997.

Norkin C, Levangie P, Joint Structure and Function 2nd Edition. FA Davis 1992.

Rosato F, Fitness for Wellness 3rd edition. West Publishing Company 1994.

The post Biggest Fat Loss Myths: appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.

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By: Team FitRx
Title: Biggest Fat Loss Myths:
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Published Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2023 19:22:13 +0000

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Baller Awards

Cassie and Husband Alex Fine’s Relationship Timeline

Cassie and Husband Alex Fine s Relationship Timeline

Cassie and Alex Fine tied the knot less than one year after going public with their romance — and they’ve been going strong ever since.

“I felt really relaxed during the ceremony,” the singer, whose real name is Cassandra Ventura, told Vogue of the nuptials in October 2019. “As soon as I saw Alex, any nerves that I did have went away and I just couldn’t stop smiling.”

Cassie and Fine welcomed their first baby, daughter Frankie, two months after their wedding. Their second daughter, Sunny, was born in March 2021.

Keep scrolling for a look at Cassie and Fine’s love story over the years:

December 2018

Cassie and Husband Alex Fine s Relationship Timeline
Courtesy of Alex Fine/Instagram
Cassie debuted her romance with Fine by sharing an Instagram photo of them kissing. The upload came two months after Cassie split from ex-boyfriend Sean “Diddy” Combs after dating on and off for 11 years. Cassie went on to sue Diddy in November 2023, claiming that the rapper began a pattern of control and abuse after they met in 2005.

“After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story, and to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships,” she said in a statement.

Diddy vehemently denied the allegations.

“Mr. Combs vehemently denies these offensive and outrageous allegations. For the past six months, Mr. Combs has been subjected to Ms. Ventura’s persistent demand of $30 million, under the threat of writing a damaging book about their relationship, which was unequivocally rejected as blatant blackmail,” his lawyer Ben Brafman said in a statement. “Despite withdrawing her initial threat, Ms. Ventura has now resorted to filing a lawsuit riddled with baseless and outrageous lies, aiming to tarnish Mr. Combs’s reputation and seeking a payday.”

Us Weekly confirmed one day after the lawsuit was filed that Cassie and Diddy reached a settlement.

June 2019

Cassie and Husband Alex Fine s Relationship Timeline
Courtesy of Alex Fine/Instagram

Cassie announced that she and Fine were expecting their first baby.

“Can’t wait to meet our baby girl 💗 Love You Always & Forever,” she captioned Instagram snaps of herself and Fine in a car.

August 2019

Fine asked the “Me & U singer” to marry him with a cowboy-themed proposal. The professional bull rider wore a cowboy hat and rode a horse over to Cassie before popping the question.

“When he got down on one knee, everything just stopped,” Cassie told Vogue in October 2019 of the romantic moment. “I felt like I lost my sense of hearing. I saw just his mouth moving and he said, ‘I Want to spend the rest of my life with you.’ I will never forget how special Alex made me feel that night.”

September 2019

Two months after getting engaged, Cassie and Fine had a backyard wedding in Malibu.

“We wanted a simple venue with a beautiful view that felt warm and romantic,” Cassie told Vogue of the big day. “We wanted the aesthetic to reflect how comfortable and content we feel with each other.”

December 2019

The pair became parents with the birth of their daughter Frankie.

“I can’t explain the amount of unconditional love and adoration that I have for my family,” Casie captioned a September 2020 carousel of Instagram photos of herself and Fine with their newborn. “I wake up everyday so thankful and happy to have my own. I will never take it for granted and will always feel honored to be able to experience this kind of love. Slowing down and simply enjoying each other has been a motto for us. We don’t need a lot, everything we need is right here.

December 2020

Cassie announced that she and Fine had another baby on the way.

“Coming soon …,” she captioned an Instagram video of then-12-month-old Frankie rubbing her baby bump as Fine held her hand.

March 2021

Cassie and Husband Alex Fine s Relationship Timeline
Courtesy of Casandra Fine/Instagram

The couple expanded their family with the birth of daughter Sunny.

“Welcome to the world baby girl! We love you so much Sunny Cinco Fine!” Cassie captioned a series of Instagram photos of her newborn.

March 2023

Cassie and Husband Alex Fine s Relationship Timeline
Courtesy of Alex Fine/Instagram

Fine counted his blessings while commemorating his 30th birthday via Instagram, including “a wife I love [who] loves me” and “two babies that make my heart grow bigger every time they smile.”

August 2023

Cassie and Husband Alex Fine s Relationship Timeline
Courtesy of Casandra Fine/Instagram
Cassie penned a sweet tribute to Fine in honor of the twosome’s wedding anniversary.
“A day late, but had to make sure I showed ALL MY LOVE to this man! My husband! Happy 4th Anniversary to my Best Friend. There’s no one like you in this world,” the musician captioned a photo of the duo smiling.

She continued: “You have the biggest heart and the funniest sense of humor, your curiosity about life still surprises me and warms my heart everyday. I grow more and more and more and more in love with you as time goes on and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Most important of all, you’re only person that can actually make me laugh until I pee my pants – that says a lot. Thank you for loving me the way you do. I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH!! ♥♥♥♥.”

May 2024

After CNN shared resurfaced footage of Diddy allegedly assaulting Cassie back in 2016, Fine penned an open letter to his wife and family.

“I want my kids and every kid to live in a world that’s safe for women and girls, protects them and treats them as equals,” Fine wrote via Instagram. “To the women and children, you’re not alone, and you are heard. if you need help call the domestic violence hotline at (800) 799-7233.”

He continued, “Men who hit women aren’t men. Men who enable it and protect these people aren’t men. As men, violence against women shouldn’t be inevitable, check your brothers, your friends and your family. Our daughters, sisters, mothers and wives should feel protected and loved. Hold the women in your life with the upmost regard. Men who hurt women hate women.”


By: Sara Donnellan
Title: Cassie and Husband Alex Fine’s Relationship Timeline
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sat, 18 May 2024 17:41:30 +0000

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Beach Boy: A surf-ready Yamaha WR155R scrambler from Thailand

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Yamaha WR155R scrambler by Dream Fast Co.
A surfboard rack on a motorcycle might seem like a gimmick to some, but if you live in Bali and love surfing, it’s a downright necessity. The Indonesian island is peppered with surf spots—and a small bike with a rack is the best way to get to them. It doesn’t hurt if that motorcycle looks as good as this Yamaha WR155R scrambler.

The bike was built by Dream Fast Co. for Tiw, the founder of the Laem Yah Rayong Surf Club. Both parties are based in Thailand, but the influence came directly from Bali’s motorcycle and surf culture. Tiw has Balinese friends who use vintage enduro bikes to find hard-to-reach surf spots, and wanted to capture that vibe in his Yamaha WR155R.

Yamaha WR155R scrambler by Dream Fast Co.

Dream Fast Co.’s mandate was to take the modern and reliable WR155R and inject it with a big dose of classic Yamaha dirt bike style. It sounds simple enough on paper, but in reality, it meant wading through piles of plastic to shed the WR155R’s contemporary aesthetic.

Once the Yamaha was denuded of its plastics, the Dream Fast Co. crew set about reworking its lines. The subframe was hacked off, and a new one was fabricated, this time with a kicked-up loop at the back. A new seat sits up top; it’s designed for one, but there is a smidge of space out back if you and your passenger want to get extremely cozy.

Yamaha WR155R scrambler by Dream Fast Co. Read More


By: Wesley Reyneke
Title: Beach Boy: A surf-ready Yamaha WR155R scrambler from Thailand
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Published Date: Sat, 18 May 2024 18:15:34 +0000

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Frontier Adventure

5 Reasons You Must Backpack Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains

Tet19 047 Me on Teton Crest Trail copy cropped 12

By Michael Lanza

Chances are that, by now, you’ve heard of Idaho’s Sawtooths—having typed that name into a search box may be the reason you’ve landed on this story. Maybe you’ve been intrigued at what you’ve heard or images you’ve seen from Idaho’s best-known mountain range. Perhaps you’ve even been there and the experience has only amplified your curiosity to see more of this range.

As someone who’s had the good fortune of having backpacked all over the country and in many other countries over the past three-plus decades, including the 10 years I spent as a field editor for Backpacker magazine and even longer running this blog, I rank the Sawtooths among the 10 best backpacking trips in America.

Tet19 047 Me on Teton Crest Trail copy cropped 13
Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-books to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Backpackers on Trail 154 to Cramer Divide in Idaho’s Sawtooths.
” data-image-caption=”Backpackers on Trail 154 to Cramer Divide in Idaho’s Sawtooths.
” data-medium-file=”″ data-large-file=”″ src=”×1024.jpg?resize=683%2C1024&ssl=1″ alt=”Backpackers on Trail 154 to Cramer Divide in Idaho’s Sawtooths.” class=”wp-image-45355″ style=”width:572px;height:auto” srcset=” 683w, 200w, 768w, 800w” sizes=”(max-width: 683px) 100vw, 683px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />Backpackers on Trail 154 to Cramer Divide in Idaho’s Sawtooths.

I’ve wandered around the Sawtooths at least a couple dozen times over more than two decades, including numerous backpacking trips, dayhikes, peak scrambles, rock climbing, and backcountry skiing. While there remain peaks on my list to climb, a few trails to hike, and many lakes to leap into (or just sit beside), the Sawtooths have become my backyard mountains. I feel at home there.

This story presents the five reasons I think every backpacker should take a multi-day hike through the Sawtooths—spotlighting the characteristics of a trip there that make this place unique. I believe this argument may persuade you to go (if, somehow, the photos don’t do it).

See my e-book “The Best Backpacking Trip in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains” to learn all you need to know to plan and pull off a five-day, 36-mile Sawtooths hike through the core of the Sawtooths, and my Custom Trip Planning page to learn how I can help you plan every detail of a multi-day hike there.

Please share your thoughts or experiences there in the comments section at the bottom of this story. I
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