Everyone wants a six pack but there’s so much information and mis-information it’s hard to know whether or not what you’re doing is helping, hurting, or useless to your cause. This article will help dispel some of the incorrect information and get you on a safe and healthy road to abdominal bliss.
1. Doing crunches EVERY DAY will tone my abs fast. Think you’re doing yourself a favour by doing crunches every day? Think again. The rectus abdominus (six pack muscles) are like any other muscle; over-train them and they’ll stop growing-keep doing exercises like crunches everyday and that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Try the plank once in a while; it targets muscles that the crunch will never in a million years get to. It’ll hit the postural muscles that are used to working hard by making sure you don’t fall on your face, and guess what? Because of this they can be worked just about every day.
2. Ab exercises will give me a six pack. Doing ab exercises will get that area stronger but if you’re looking for the holy grail of fitness, the six pack, you’ll have to burn fat to reveal that hidden treasure. There’s a saying: “great abs are made in the kitchen”, what you eat and your cardiovascular training will play a big part. Shed the fat and you’ll see the pack.
3. “I just need to pick up the Ab Rocker 2000xxxxxx and that’ll solve my problems.” Listen, all you need is a little space, knowledge and your own body weight. You don’t need to make three easy payments. 4-5 great core exercises (throw them into a high intensity circuit) can work wonders.
4. “I’ll just buy some fat burning supplements from that guy in the black hoodieSome supplements will help burn fat, provided that you’re eating right and training correctly, but they’re called supplements for a reason; they’re not meant to take the place of common sense. There’s no supplement for common sense, eating right, and the right kind of training.
5. “They’re born like that, it’s all genetics.”Born with what? A stomach? You have one too Einstein. The difference between them and you is how much fat they’ve burned. Most of us can achieve a great looking mid-section and nearly everyone could stand to lose some fat, but do it in a healthy way: eating sensibly, being disciplined and working hard.
6. It takes forever to get great abs. Again, I hate to sound like a broken record but we all have the same muscles. It might take longer for some people to lose fat, but all things being equal, if you train properly and eat right you’ll get them.
7. Ab exercises can hurt my back. Actually, proper ab exercises can help your back, and the key is proper exercises. If you have a weak core and you start out by trying to break the Guinness book of world records for crunches well ya, that’s bad for your back, but exercises like the plank will strengthen your back and your abdominals.
8. If you do ab exercises without losing fat it will make you look even fatter. We know that muscle burns fat so if you train correctly you should be building muscle and burning fat.
9. Ab muscles are different from other muscles. Abdominal muscles are no different than your other muscles.
10. Everyone and anyone can have a perfectly flat stomach. Again, all things being equal, all of us can achieve a toned stomach but there are certain things that might come into the equation when trying to get a perfectly flat stomach. Age, genetics, body mass and type will influence how flat your tummy is. It’s important to be fit, strong, and healthy, and to avoid carrying excessive fat, but it’s never good to obsess over one body part either.
Your focus should be on good health and physical fitness, and strengthening your stabilizer and postural muscles is a great way to start, so start today.