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July 04, 1993|CHARLES SOLOMON

THE COMPLETE BOOK OF ABS by Kurt Brungardt (Villard Books: $17; 244 pp., illustrated, paperback original). The abdominals are an important, if frustrating, muscle group to exercise, and Brungardt's thorough how-to book offers a battery of routines ranked according to difficulty, area worked and risk to the lower back. The contributors include notes on diet and aerobics, but many of the keys to a "cut" midsection are difficult to control--age, metabolic rate, heredity. Unfortunately, abdominal definition is like money: The best way to get it is to chose ancestors who had it.

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