Abs “The Myth vs. The Reality”

November 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Myth: Performing a lot of crunches will help create visible abs.

Reality: Low body fat is the best indicator of visible abs. If you can’t see your abs, your body fat is too high. Work on that first.

Myth: To get abs, one needs to do abdominal work such as sit-ups and crunches to properly stimulate the abdominal section.

Reality: Performing multi-joint, traditional strength training exercises such as the squat, deadlift, and pull-ups provides the proper stimulation of the abdominals and lower back. At best, direct abdominal work can slightly improve an already well-developed set of abs. At worst, direct abdominal work is setting the spine up for major injury.

Myth: After performing crunches and sit-ups, my abs hurt and get real sore. So i know those exercises were working and helping form my six-pack.

Reality: Have someone smash your thigh with a bat. Your leg will hurt, and it will be real sore. That doesn’t mean there was any type of training effect or progress that took place !

Myth: The more crunches I can do the better my abs will look.

Reality: Abdominal strength peaks in a short period of time. Doing more crunches will simply improve muscular endurance up to a point. We want to build strength, not endurance.

Myth: The abs function is to contract and flex the spine.

Reality: The abs main function is to stabilize the spine so the body can perform movements correctly and safely. Flexing the spine (bending over with the back ) increases chance of chronic or acute injury. In fact, combining flexing and rotating is an excellent way to financially ensure your doctors or chiropractors. Check out the following study which states that deadlifts, and squats are the only necessary exercises to properly stimulate the trunk muscles.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18076231

 

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