5 Ab Training Myths
Updated: Mar 14, 2019
“How do I get a Six Pack” is one of the most common questions we fitness trainers hear from exercise enthusiast. This likely explains why when you walk into your gym all the ab machines are occupied along with people laid out on the floor performing a variety of ab exercises like crunches and knee raises. The sad truth is though, try as they might, most of them won’t get the results they are looking for and are probably doing themselves more harm than good.
Unfortunately there is a lot of misconceived information and myth’s out there about abdominal training. While there is no real clear cut way to obtain the illusive six pack, here are some truths that can start you on the proper path to getting those chiseled abs in a safe and effective way. Not only will these tips help you understand more about proper ab training they will also help you add more exercises to your arsenal.
Myth #1 - You Can Out Crunch a Bad Diet
Truth #1 – You Need To Shed Fat
Obviously to see your abs you need to lose the belly fat. However, doing tons of ab work isn’t the answer. Instead start by trying to clean up your diet. Focus on portion sizes and getting rid of the processed and high carbohydrate foods. Replacing those foods with protein and vegetables is a good start to getting leaner. Drink plenty of water too and replace the cola’s, fruit juices, diet drinks and high sugar sort’s drinks.
Myth #2 - Spot Reduction (Isolation Exercises such as crunches and knee raises)
Truth #2 - Use Exercises that Work Many Muscle Groups Together (Compound Exercises)
Although you may be able to mobilize the fat nearest to the working muscle, research shows that isolation work (exercises like crunches) fails to be significant enough to make any changes in that area. Also, crunches and small ab exercises burn very few calories. So to really burn fat and make those abs show; you need to perform exercises that use many big muscle groups such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses and pull-ups which burn tons of calories. Plus to perform these exercises properly, your core will work extra hard to keep your spine in a good position.
Myth #3 - Train Abs Every Day
Truth #3 - You Don’t Need to Train Abs every day
Just as you wouldn’t train your legs or arms every day, the same holds true for your abs. Over-training isn’t better and can lead to injuries. Besides, if you follow truth #2 your core will get plenty of work while performing other exercises and you definitely don’t want a fatigued abdomen while using big compound movements. This is where injuries can lurk.
Myth #4 - Ab flexion machines (are better)
Truth #4 - They flex the spine which is in that position all day
Lower Ab’s vs Upper Ab’s
The rectus abdominis is all part of one muscle group that is attached to the costal cartilages of the 5th, 6th and 7th ribs and the pubis of the pelvic bone.
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