You’ve seen the infomercials: All you need to have chiseled abs is the Ab Coaster or is it the Ab Rocket? Maybe it was the Slendertone Flex Go Abdominal Toning System or the Ab glider.
Now, I must confess I have never used any of these products; though, I have seen a few of these products collecting dust in my clients’ basements. I have direct TV and there are channels dedicated only to advertising fitness gimmicks like the ones mentioned above. This frustrates me. So, today’s busted myth is spot training.
The shocking truth: Doing just crunches or sit ups will not get you the results you want. Neither will twisting your torso on a glider or coaster or whatever. Will you achieve some toning? Probably. But here are the problems:
1.You cannot reduce fat from a specific area. You must reduce your overall body fat. You You must focus on good nutrition, cardio exercise and full body strength training to achieve this. The only true way to lose weight is by taking in less energy than you are expending. (You should not decrease your calorie intake until you know what the safe, recommended calorie deficit is for you. Please do not automatically drop down to 1200 calories!!!!!!).
2. The top layer of your abdominals (rectus abdominus) is not the only part of the abdominals that matter. There are other muscles in there such as the transverse abdominals and the external and internal obliques that require stimulation and training to achieve a chiseled stomach AND more importantly provide support and stability to your entire body.
3. Do you do 1,000 crunches a day? Let me ask you, would you do 1,000 chest presses or bicep curls? Of course not! You probably know that if you can do a lot of reps, you are not lifting enough weight. Well, your abs are no different. It is quality vs quantity that matters. You should be able to fatigue your abs by isolating them and correctly using them. If you are doing 1,000, you are probably using momentum.
Some products I do recommend for strength training your abs:
Stability ball, Bosu Ball, Medicine Ball and foam roller.
All of those pieces of equipment increase the range of motion of the exercise you are performing and create instability to further challenge your core.
I will be sure to post some of these exercises in the future.
So please put your credit cards away and stop speed crunching before you get whip lash.