Abs Myths Dispelled: The Real Truth About Abs
You’ve seen them on the beach and out on boats. Sometimes even at the pool or the club. Those beautiful, elusive, and seemingly impossible to achieve rock hard 6-pack abs.
We all know that it takes a lot of hard work to get to that level of fitness and the path to get there is surrounded by so many mythical stories of magic pills, focused exercises, and eating just the right food. But what’s the real story?
For me, seeing someone with perfectly sculpted abs doesn’t only make me smile, but also gets me motivated.
You really need to be dedicated to your body’s total fitness if you want to be able to have a 6-pack, and the first step is knowing what isn’t going to get you there. So in this article I want to bust some of the most common myths.
Myth: I heard about a great new supplement that will get rid of all of my belly fat. I can’t wait to try it!
Truth: We’d all like to be able to take a miracle pill that will make us look and feel our best. Unfortunately, like the rest of life’s great achievements, there are no shortcuts and no substitute for hard work. Counting on a supplement will waste your money and your time as you wait for success.
Myth: Sit-ups and crunches are all the exercises I need to do to achieve my best abs. Reps are the key.
Truth: Absolutely do your crunches and sit-ups, but mix up your routine with the long list of exercises that can help you beat belly fat. Anything that works your core will help. Try adding an exercise ball to your routine to help you use different muscle groups and work your core. Mix it up. You can do all the reps you can handle, but doing the same exercises over and over will not get you to your goal.
Myth: Daily focus on my abs will get the best result.
Truth: Whenever you focus exclusively on one particular muscle group you risk overtraining which can force you to take a break from training and ultimately derail your goal. Remember that switching up your routine will allow you to hit your muscles from various angles which will prevent overtraining and injury.
Myth: I don’t need any weight other than my own body weight to achieve the best abs possible.
Truth: Yes, you can use your own body weight to get fit and toned, but adding weights can really improve your look. Be careful that you choose the appropriate amount of weights to add to your ab routine.
Myth: As long as I do my daily crunches, I can eat whatever I want.
Truth: Crunches seem to be everyone’s go to when they talk about toning their abs. While crunches are great, it takes a lot more than a few extra if you indulge in your craving for French fries or ice cream. A healthy nutritious diet rich in whole foods is the first step in achieving your fitness goals.
Myth: Removing salt from my diet will really help me show off my toned abs.
Truth: Although cutting back on sodium helps your body release excess water, your body still needs a certain amount of sodium in order to work optimally. Sodium is a key component of electrolytes which are important for keeping our energy levels up and our bodies moving.
Myth: If I cut out carbs, I’ll reach my goal more quickly.
Truth: Your body needs carbs in order to have the energy it needs. Sure, zero carb diets can help you lose weight quickly, but it’s not sustainable. Try switching from processed white bread to whole grains, and adding more fruits and vegetables for natural carbs, to keep your energy up without the guilt of processed foods.
Myth: If I cut back daily overall calories to the extreme, I’ll be able to sculpt faster.
Truth: Absolutely not! Extreme dieting will prevent your body from working well. You’ll become lethargic and unable to continue your workout routine. Change your diet to eliminate empty calories like diet sodas, fried chips, sugar-filled snacks, and other processed foods.
How Do You Get A 6 Pack?
Aiming to achieve the perfect 6-pack is a fantastic goal. Even aiming to have solid, toned abs is an admirable goal for which there are no shortcuts. The first step is to dedicate yourself to working hard and eating right. Even if you don’t have time to go to the gym, don’t let the day go by without working out.
For an at home ab workout the simplest exercises are often the best. Begin with a brisk walk, jog, bike ride, or do some yoga, then get down to it with some of the basics.
- Side bends
Then kick it up with some twists on the basics.
- Crunch and twist. Standing with your arms bent in front of you, bend and lift your leg to touch your right elbow to your left knee, then switch.
- Sit-downs. Tuck your feet under a couch or bar and begin in the sitting position. Put your hands behind your head, slowly lay halfway down, and then sit up again.
- Sitting leg lifts. Put your arms behind you while sitting on a chair or bench. Raise your legs while bending your knees and lift them to your chest. Release, but don’t let your feet touch the floor.
- Windmills. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and arms straight out parallel to the floor. Bend at the waist and touch your right fingers to your left toes. Stand back and then bend and touch your left fingers to your right toes.
- Russian twists. Sit on the floor with your feet under a couch or bar, knees bent and torso at a 90 degree angle to your thighs. Clasp your hands and extend your arms in front of you. Twist your torso until your arms are parallel with the floor. Return your arms to center, then twist to the opposite side.
The only way to get perfect abs is to work for them and the results are more than worth the effort.