“The Biggest Misconceptions About ABS – 20 Six Pack Exercise Myths” – Monica May
Getting those abs is a real nightmare.
How wouldn’t it be, with so many exercise myths and misconceptions about abs all over the internet.
We’ve talked about this a thousand times, the internet is loaded with so much misleading info that makes it freaking hard to determine what’s really true and what’s not.
They make it even harder to get to our goals, since by being mislead all the time you can’t do what it takes and can’t focus on the true guidelines.
That’s why, I decided to collect the biggest misconceptions about abs, and the six pack exercise myths making a real mess out of the true fitness.
Girls, let’s get started right away.
MYTH #1: Sticking To A Program Is The Key
Our body adapts to the movements pretty fast, and doing the same exercises over and over again is not a choice that’s going to give you great results.
That’s why we have to change up the exercises daily, and that’s easy nowadays when we have thousands of different exercises all over the internet and all over Instagram.
Athletes are so open on sharing their moves, so we should play smart and take advantage of that.
There are plenty of exercises you can do to both tone your abs and burn the fat in the midsection, and it’s a shame that most girls are stuck with the same old exercises (crunches and sit ups) preventing their body get better results.
Remember to make changes on daily basis, to really challenge your body and lead it to real change.
Check out my favorite abs exercises in my ab workout routine…
MYTH #2: Spot Reducing Works
MYTH #3: You Can Crunch Away The Bad Diet
You can’t out-train a bad diet and that’s a fact.
And when it comes to abs, there’s no point in working on your ab muscles while you’re feeding them with fat on daily basis – they’ll never come out.
If you’re constantly relying on malnutrition, sugars and junks and hope to burn them all with a one hour visit to the gym, you’re doing it wrong.
It’s 30% workout and 70% nutrition and this means that you can’t burn away your nutrition through workout no matter how hard you try.
Abs are a result of a perfectly healthy and clean body and you will not get healthy by feeding it with unhealthy foods, hoping to burn them afterwards, it’s just not going to happen.
Check out my Diet VS Workout guide to learn more about what’s important in fitness.
MYTH #4: You Can Get The Abs Of Your Fitspo
We’re all different.
We have different noses, different butts and different hairs and that same stands when it comes to abs to.
Because that’s how genetics work.
Your genes determine the configuration and shape of your six pack abs, therefore, some abs line up evenly when other don’t and for some of us those blocks are symmetrical, while for others they are not.
And there is nothing you can do about it, and you shouldn’t obsess with other women’s body parts.
Instead, except, love and embrace yourself as you are and your body as it is.
MYTH #5: You Have To Avoid Carbs
No you don’t have to avoid them.
They’re absolutely not bad for your abs, as long as you pick out the healthy carbs that come from unprocessed and natural sources.
They’ll load you up with fibers and give you the energy needed for your workout and recovery.
If you’re not sure which carbs are good for you and which ones are bad, you can find a whole guide in my nutrition plan The Hungry Fit Girl.
MYTH #6: The More Reps The Better
As with any other muscle group, it’s not about the reps with abs too – you won’t get the results you want by doing 200 crunches.
You’re gaining indurance by repping it out, but when it comes to toning and building muscles it’s quality that matters, not quantity.
So, if you really want to pop those abs out, try lowering down those reps and adding extra weight.
Also think about the form, every rep should be like the first one.
MYTH #7: Lose The Excess Belly Fat By Sweating
I often see girls wrapping themselves in warming materials while working on the abs, or even go to sauna.
Let’s get one thing straight, you can lose weight if you sit in a sauna long enough and wrapping yourself up while exercising will give you that extra sweat, but that’s not by any means the kind of weight that will make any difference.
You know why? Because water weight is regulated by the body and when you sweat a lot of it out, your body gets dehydrated and starts holding onto more of the water you drink.
So, as soon as you drink any water or eat any food containing water, you will gain back all of the water weight you just lost by sitting in a sauna.
Instead of trying to lose weight by sitting in a sauna for hours, do some high intensity exercise that will help you lose real weight and sweat that fat off.
MYTH #8: You Should Work On Abs Every Day
You can, but you really shouldn’t.
You wouldn’t do it to any other muscle group, but when it comes to abs it always sneaks out.
But why? If there’s a reason why we’re not training the legs each day, the same reason stands for any other muscle group, including the abs.
Your abdominal muscles are built the same way as every other muscle in the body, so they should be treated the same way too.
They need proper recovery too, as working out causes damage to the muscle which is repaired only if you provide them the right recovery process of nutrients and rest.
If you keep working the same muscle group everyday, your body won’t have time to repair the damage and you’ll get weaker instead of stronger and lose definition instead of creating it.
Check out my 5 min AB Finisher Workout:
MYTH #9: Speed And Explosiveness Are Everything
Not true: Form is everything in fitness and that rule stands for abs too.
As I said before, the quality is what matters the most not the quantity.
It’s not all about how many reps you do or how fast you move, instead it’s all about performing the exercises steady and right.
The last rep should look like the first rep, meaning you should keep your form from the beginning to the end.
Most mistakes happen because we don’t extend or crunch all the way, and we “half-ass” the movements, for example you pull your neck while doing crunches or don’t keep a straight body posture while doing plank.
When you focus on your form rather than focusing on making a dozen reps, you’ll make sure to get the most out of every single rep.
MYTH #10: You Can Isolate The Lower Abs
I often hear people refer to certain exercise as exercises targeting certain part of the abs, most often the lower abs, middle abs and upper abs.
That’s why it’s so important to understand that here are only two muscles in the midsection area and that is the Rectus Abdominis and the Obliques.
Now here’s the thing: six packs as we refer to them or the Rectus Abdominis start at the ribs and ends at the pubic bone, and this is all ONE muscle.
This means that when you contract your abs your whole muscle will work and it’s not really possible to chose only one certain area of the muscle to isolate, such as lower abs.
You will target upper, middle and lower area of your core in almost any Rectus Abdominis ab exercise, as long as you do it right – extending and and crunching all the way.
MYTH #11: There Is One Killer Ab Exercise
There are a bunch of different ab exercises, some of them may be better than others, but none of them is the best.
As I said before, even the top exercises get less and less effective over time if you do them constantly, because the human body has the ability to adapt to particular movements.
That’s why you shouldn’t focus on one or two or even 10 exercises, and you should try new moves on a daily basis.
For some amazing abs exercises, check out MY 10 MIN ABS WORKOUT ROUTINE.
MYTH #12: You’ll Get Smaller Waist
Your muscles can do two things: they can either get bigger or get smaller.
When you lift weights your muscles will most certainly grow, which means your waist won’t get any smaller by training abs.
However, it will get smaller by losing weight since most of us store the fat around the midsection area.
Plus, I almost never train my oblique muscles using weights.
MYTH #13: Abs Exercises Will Give You Better Abs
Abs are not a result of only doing only abs exercises, because they’re plenty of other exercises that you should do too.
Exercises like plank, push ups, squats, lunges, frog kicks and many others work your abs too along with the whole body.
This means that you’re working on your abs but making sure to break a sweat by engaging several muscles if not the whole body at the same time.
MYTH #14: You Have To Spend Hours On A Cardio Machine
Yes, cardio is important, but nowadays we know that there’re plenty other ways to engage our heart into the training and not having to spend hours on the treadmill or elliptical.
Yes, if you want to tap into that fat burning zone you need to spend hours on the treadmill, but that way you’re tapping into those muscles too.
That’s why HIIT, Tabata and Interval training are so popular these days – their intervals are made to speed up that heart rate and tap into that fat burning zones in a matter of minutes.
This means that you don’t need hours of strength training and then hours on the cardio machine to lose fat – instead, you can have both in half the time while having twice better results too.
MYTH #15: Certain Foods Blast Belly Fat
No, it doesn’t work that way and anyone who says that is a liar.
Food can’t promote weight loss in certain body part and that’s a fact.
Even though companies will claim their foods target belly fat because it sounds better, know that’s a total myth.
It is true that some foods will help you lose weight, such as fiber-rich food and leafy vegetables, however eating lots of these foods will help you burn fat and get lean overall.
If a food is healthy, it’s good for your whole body.
MYTH #16: Stretching Isn’t Important
Well it is, and you should stretch after every single training session.
Stretching has thousands of benefits and you could only profit out of it.
We always forget to stretch when stretching is one of those super important things responsible for our flexibility, range of motion, lengthening the muscles and overall performance.
And at the same time, it’s the perfect cool-down for the muscles, so we really really should consider it as a part of our abs training.
MYTH #17: You Don’t Need Weights When Working On The Abs
You don’t necessarily need weight to work on the abs, but if you want to get them bigger and stronger you might wanna start.
If you are doing sit ups since forever, they probably don’t even work for you the way they did when you first started.
So, by simply adding up a 2 pound weight on your chest you’re making sure it’s more challenging for your muscles.
The same as muscles adapt to movements, they also adapt to certain weight.
If once squats were hard to do with only your body weight, today you have to add up on the weights to push your body to the limit, and that same rule stands for ab muscles too.
MYTH #18: You Need Supplements To Get Your Abs Out
Yes most athletes use supplements to get results faster, but you don’t necessarily need supplements in fact you can do just fine without them.
Especially if you have light training sessions.
Supplements contain fast calories too and they work amazing when paired with an intense daily routine.
You should be extra careful with supps since they are just another form of energy after all and if they’re not burned with proper workout, they’ll end up stored.
Plus there are many popular supplements that have been proven ineffective in researches.
MYTH #19: Abs Are Made Only In The Kitchen
Not so fast.
Yes, this statement is partially true, but it’s not 100% true either because you can’t build or tone your ab muscles in the kitchen if you don’t train them.
Fat is burned in the kitchen. And muscles are fed in the kitchen.
As I said, proper nutrition stands for 70-80% of your results, but again, you’ll have to work out to straighten that core and tone those abs after all.
Just saying :)
MYTH #20: There Is a Shortcut
Oh I wish there was, but there isn’t.
Contrary to all the misleading info floating on the Internet, there is no shortcut to six packs.
There is no secret exercise, fast diets, magic solution, pills and other supplements only athletes know about.
Here’s the truth: Getting ripped six pack abs takes time and discipline and we all have to go through that long rocky road to get there.
Focus on your goal and never ever stop trying.
Have I Missed Something?
If you’ve come across six pack exercise myths or misconceptions about abs that I haven’t mentioned, please feel free to note it in the comments below.
For more info regarding abs, make sure to check out my articles below:
- 12 REASONS WHY YOUR ABS AREN’T SHOWING YET
- MY 10 MIN ABS WORKOUT ROUTINE
- THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON GETTING FIT GIRLS ABS
Till next time babes!