Q: What can I do to lose weight in my abdominal area? Crunches aren’t working.

AM: Great, keep doing crunches to strengthen your abdominal muscles and help tone them. Make sure you perform exercises for your oblique or side and back muscles to make your torso well developed. One of the best exercises for the abdominals is the “bicycle.” You perform the exercise by lying on your back. With your hands behind your head, you twist your upper body to allow your opposite knee and elbow to meet.

In addition, try some Pilates (puh-la-tez) based exercises. Pilates exercises, most of which involve slow, controlled movements, help to work your core muscles, especially your abs. Check out a current fitness magazine for more details. (My upcoming Fitness Atonement workshops will demonstrate some Pilates exercises.)


Nevertheless, all the crunches in the world will not do away with the layer of fat that is preventing your “washboard” stomach from showing. Aerobic activity such as jogging, bicycling, aerobic kick-boxing and intense walking along with a diet that limits sweets, pasta and dairy products will help you get the results you want. Also, practice having a good posture.

Lastly, keeping up with prayer will help us build our inner strength, so that we don’t look to outside substances, such as drugs or food, to give us peace. As a woman thinketh, so is she. Be positive, keep Allah (God) on your mind. May Allah (God) Bless us all with peace, health and happiness. Please consult a physician before beginning any new workout program.

(Audrey Muhammad, a certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor, is also the author of The Sister’s Guide to Fitness and creator of the KIBOS exercise video. Send questions to [email protected] or write to: Get Fit to Live, 13350 San Pablo Ave., A1 146, San Pablo, CA 90806.)