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Get Killer Abs! 5 Ab Myths Exposed

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If you ask friends or personal trainers what they believe will help tone the abs, chances are you’ll hear different opinions from everyone. Trying to get some helpful ab exercise information can seem like trying to find a needle in a haystack! I realize there’s a lot of misinformation spread about exercise in general, but ab-toning exercises seems to be a big culprit. Everyone is quick to offer solutions, but how much of this information will actually help… well, that’s another story!

I’ve outlined five of the more common myths regarding the ever-popular six-pack, and aim to set the record straight on what works and what you shouldn’t waste your time on. Apply this information to your overall diet and exercise routine to get the best results possible!

MYTH # 1: Abdominal fat can be reduced with ab-toning exercises alone.
FACT: There is no such thing as spot reduction. This means that reducing fat from a certain targeted area is not possible using exercise alone. It may seem that you lose fat more quickly in some areas than others, but using specific exercises to lose fat from one spot on your body is an exercise in futility. And obviously, following a proper nutrition plan is essential to decreasing body fat. After all, abs are made in the kitchen!

MYTH # 2: Abdominal machines are the best way to tone your abs.
FACT: While machines can be effective to help flatten your stomach, solely using machines likely won’t yield the best results. As with other body parts, incorporating a variety of exercises is the best way to get the body you want. Variety is the key and, if you’re using only machines, you run the risk of limiting your results.

MYTH # 3: Full sit-ups are more effective than crunches.
FACT: While sit-ups (lifting your upper body completely off the ground) may be effective, crunches (lifting your neck, shoulders, and your upper back off the ground) can do the same amount of work without adding strain to your neck, and with less risk of cheating. Individuals who perform full sit-ups typically anchor their legs under a heavy object for leverage. Anchoring your feet incorporates your hip flexors and thighs into the movement. Use crunches – they require less work but can be better at isolating your stomach muscles.

MYTH # 4: You need to train abs every day to get results.
FACT: While it’s important to state that you should not overwork any muscle of the body, you should also remember that the abdominals can safely be trained on a consistent basis. Though everyone is different, you should be able to work your abdominals with basic exercises two to three times per week without worrying about overworking the muscles. The abdominals are activated on a daily basis with simple things, such as maintaining your posture or helping you stand up out of a chair. Thus, working them consistently will not only help you look great, but will also help you in many other daily activities.

MYTH # 5: Stick to basic movements to get results from your abdominal-toning routine.
FACT: While a few select movements are staples in many people’s exercise routines because they’re generally considered effective, you should not limit yourself to just basic ab-toning exercises. Choose a variety of exercises that are challenging to you and switch them up every four to six weeks. Remember, the amount of time and effort you put into your overall plan will ultimately determine the appearance of your abdominals (and the rest of your body).

Now that I’ve dispelled some of the myths associated with abdominal training, you can add this information to your overall plan to help you work toward getting the best body – and the most toned stomach – you’ve ever had. Train hard!

 

Sarah holds both an Undergraduate Degree in Biological Science and a Master’s Degree in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences. She played on the Women's championship Basketball team during her Undergraduate studies and also played on Team Ontario, winning gold at the National Championships 3 years in a row. She won several gold medals in the 400m and 800m track events, swam competitively, played baseball, volleyball and danced for 10 years. While completing her Master’s Degree in Human Health and Nutritional Sciences, Sarah worked full-time as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Spinning Instructor. Enjoying her career as a Brand Manager for a global sport nutrition and diet supplement company, she continues to train clients today through her own online training services and competes in the Bikini division.

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