There is no doubt that flat abs looks attractive. This is a beauty standard set by almost every visual ad or movie. Of course, many people want to follow the trend! They sign up for fitness programs, download video courses or do the most obvious exercises they learned in their school PT lessons. And, as a rule, much buzz around the subject creates numerous myths. Unfortunately following them in the chase for six-pack can guide you the wrong way or even cause an injury. Here are some of these myths you have to know about to get the best result and not to lose your precious time.
Myth 1: “Do this workout to lose that fat”
There is absolutely no specific workout that will make you lose the abdominal fat. The way the fat settles in the specific areas of your abdomen is often determined b usually y your genetics and body type and cannot be burned away by some magical crunch exercise. The only way to get rid of it is to apply the correct diet, restricting the carbs intake, and doing extensive cardio exercise.
Anyway, there is a possibility that you might already have those super hard, sexy abs somewhere there, under all that bulk layer… What is the best and the most quick way to expose them? Unfortunately, the way is hard and needs a complex approach. You have to keep in mind that our body works as a complex system and you can not get rid of some specific fat around the specific body structure. You need to follow the specific diet, drink a lot of water, and make complex exercises that involve all the body. Cardio is the best.
A balanced diet provides your body with energy enough to function well through the workday and go tough gym session as well. Some additional food supplements can also be helpful. Nootropic compounds are a good choice if you clearly know your goals. For example, Acetyl-L-Carnitine (Alcar) helps to replace fat with muscles during the training.
Myth 2: “Crunches every day keeps the muscles on display”
This fake statement has a strong connection with the previous myth. Everyday crunches will make your abs stronger, but they will not help to burn the extra fat. At first your ab will get stronger and harder, but your muscles will accumulate the tiredness as the time passes. To get the best results you need do crunches only 3 times a week, 20 minutes for each set, and at least 48 hours after a hectic routine.
You should also apply the variety of exercises to load all your core and not just abs, because all the muscles of the body are connected. And overloading one group of muscles and totally neglecting the other group that has strong connection with it can lead to the serious injury and chronic pains. Also pay attention to the workout schedule as when you do crunches at the end of your training, it can lead to neck pains your core gets tired and your body tries to use other muscles to complete that last crunch set.
Myth 3: “I’ll do my back tomorrow”
Building up the torso is one of the most important parts of your training. The torso muscles include a front (the abs), sides (the obliques), and a back (your lower back muscles specifically). All your torso muscles are deeply involved and get their load during all your training. If your lower back isn’t strong enough to handle constant work, and you’re not paying it enough attention your whole torso be affected by it, and that will result in constant and acute back pain.
To avoid this you have to consider the complex of exercises that gets all your torso muscles deeply involved. And pay the specific attention to the lower back and muscles that support your spine, to avoid the health problems in the future. There are many workouts that incorporate your back and the rest of your core like dead lifts and squats. These exercises will provide enough load for all your torso muscles, engaging the back, front and sides of your core. This is the only real way for you to get that nice toned six pack. It will also help to keep you going for longer in your other exercise routines.
Myth 4: “Today is ab-day”
The problem with this myth is that it is so easy to fall into the trap of choosing a different day for every part of your body. Though most exercises are to target the specific part of your body, almost all exercises need your torso muscles to be engaged. If your torso muscles are tired or not strong enough all the load might target your neck or other muscles that are not supposed to take that much strain.
Now it is easy to understand why having a full workout for just your torso, or your abs, is a ridiculous notion. Your torso got the partial load yesterday with leg-day and tomorrow it will help you with focusing on your shoulders. But do not overdo it (see “Myth 2”). If you want to work on your abs every day, rather include it as a 10-minute set within your hour workout.
Myth 5: “No pain, no gain”
Though this might be a somewhat good philosophy for the most of muscle groups when you want to build a big body, it is not true for the torso. Be practical. After the workout you still need to be able to walk back to your car and get up the stairs to your apartment, so working your core up to that complete muscle failure point will result in a negative feeling about the training, and it will bring some discomfort in the long run. The next day, when your muscles will try to engage without your acing abdomen, you will see weaker results and you will get frustrated and disappointed. Do not play around with your abdomen, take it slow and easy. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will your abs.
What to do for your abs
Now that we got the myths out of the way, here are a couple of things that are good for your ab workout. The most important one is to live a healthy lifestyle to keep away that pesky layer of fat that builds up over your toned muscles. A well balanced diet is the best way to ensure you have the good and healthy source of energy. Also you should get enough rest, else your muscles will never build up.
You can exercise your body every day, but since all exercises require your torso to be engaged all the time, it is not necessary to devote an hour of training for on your torso. 10 minutes a day is enough, especially if you are doing all the other exercises correctly.
Remember: your abs do not function alone. They are the part of your core muscles which include your obliques and back. Working on all of these muscles is important if you want that rock hard, irresistible six pack.