For many of those hitting the gym, six-pack abs are the ultimate goal. A washboard stomach with cut and defined abs can seem like an impossibility sometimes. You have been doing a thousand abdominal crunches a week for months, and although you feel a firmness and strength in your core, there is none of that awesome muscle definition. You believe that you are taking all of the necessary steps to get those six-pack abs, but in fact, you could just be listening to workout advice that is pure rubbish.
Unfortunately, there are so many six-pack myths and shortcuts that are discussed in gyms around the world. No one really knows where the 'foolproof' fitness advice came from, but they always seem to be believed, leading to eventual disappointment when abs that could grate cheese don't appear in 7 days. It's amazing that these six-pack shortcuts continue to circulate as much as they do, as they rarely, if ever, work. Here are some crackpot core theories that need to die.
Target Just The Abs
Just focusing on ab crunches and sit-ups is not going to lead to six-pack abs. Whilst they are great for strengthening the core, a full body workout is much more effective in getting results. Getting, defined abs involves more than developing a strong core. It also requires shedding body fat, as this is what your abs will be sitting underneath, waiting to emerge. A full body workout will help burn off this layer of fat and improve the definition of the abdominals, Exercises that are good at shedding overall body fat include burpees, incline sprints, and dumbbell squats.
Abs Need More Attention Than Other Muscle Groups
There seems to be this misconception that to get six-pack abs, much more reps and much more sessions are required than any other muscle group. This isn't true, you should treat your abs the same way as you do your legs, arms, and chest. This means training them 2-3 times a week max and allowing for recovery between sessions. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep and adequate rest can stall the development of your abs thanks to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. Your body is 55% less effective at burning stomach fat when you get less than 7 hours of sleep a night. Therefore, it is essential that you let your abs, and your body as a whole, recover between sessions.
The Natural Enemy of Abs are Carbohydrates
There is not just one standard type of carbohydrate. Whilst any carbs that are high in simple sugars, including the likes of white bread and rice, should be avoided, there are some that can be beneficial. Carbohydrates are one of the main food groups and should be included in a balanced diet. Complex carbohydrates such as those found in brown rice, quinoa, and lentils, will keep your body fueled up for exercise, and won't be converted and stored as fat, like simple carbohydrates.
There is A Magic Ab Machine
How many paid advertisements have you seen for exercise equipment or gadgets that promise you dynamite abs in 4 weeks? Whether it be an advert for some kind of vibrating machine, strange twisting device, or anything else, you have to take the promises they make with a pinch of salt. There is no gadget or miracle machine that will give you great abs, and in fact, you will be better off using no equipment at all. There are so many body weight exercises that you can do at home that will be effective over time to boost your abs. So turn off the commercial and instead do some push-ups, planks, squats, and walking lunges
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