Why Crunches & Sit-Ups Won't Get You 6-Pack Abs by Shin Ohtake
Despite popular belief, isolated ab exercises will not bring you any closer to your 6-pack goal. In fact, these type of exercises won't do much of anything besides waste your time -- time you could be spending doing exercises that will get you that washboard stomach. As a fitness professional, I've been telling people this secret for years, so why then, are so many gym goers still hooked on crunches and side bends?
Over the years, I've discovered it's more of a "mind thing". People just have a hard time believing that the best way to tone up your stomach is without trying specifically target the abdominal muscles. It's understandable and seems to make sense to try to "spot treat" your abs -- that is until you discover what the real role of your abs is...
A Major Misconception
One major problem is the misconception people have about the role abdominal muscles play. Most think that abs are made to crunch, twist, and bend. However, it's actually quite the opposite. The role of abdominal muscles is to prevent your mid section from crunching, twisting, and bending. You heard it right, your abs are a stabilizing force designed to resist movement. In fact, the role of your abdominal muscles is to keep your entire midsection rigid when performing movements such as picking things up off the floor, lifting an object, or twisting from one side to the other.
Here's an example, stand up with your arms fully extended out in front of you. Clasp your hands together and hold that position while someone tries to push your hands to one side while you resist. The first place you'll feel it is in your abs.
Your abdomen engages automatically without you thinking about it in order to keep your torso from twisting. Your abs also play a protective role for your spine. The spines was not designed to go into extreme ranges of motion and so when an outside force tries to move the spine, your abs kick in to try to protect it by keeping everything rigid.
Your abs also play a big part in providing overall strength. Any time you lift, push, or pull something you automatically engage your abs. The heavier and faster the lift, the more you engage your abs. This is why elite athletes have very strong abs. As a general rule of thumb, the stronger, quicker, and faster you are the stronger your abs will be.
How To Properly Workout Your Abs For A Super-Toned Midsection
Stop doing any type of isolated abdominal exercises such as crunches or side bends. These type of movements are a waste of time.
Start lifting heavier weights and do full body exercises such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts (and the many variations of these exercises).
Mix up weight lifting with interval training such as HIIT (high intensity interval training) to burn the fat all over.
Remember, there is no such thing as "spot reduction" when it comes to fat loss. You have to get rid of the fat from your entire body - not just from the abdomen. Stick to a healthy diet low in simple sugars, especially if your insulin insensitive. That means if you used to consume lots of sugar in your diet, your body becomes somewhat resistant to insulin. Since insulin is a storage hormone, you become more efficient at storing fat, especially around the abdominal area.
There are no magic pills or potions when it comes to attaining the physique you want, but there's nothing worse than working your butt off doing the wrong things! So here it is in a nut shell... Stop wasting time doing so-called ab exercises. Start lifting heavier, challenging weights to get lean, combine it with high intensity interval training to burn the fat so you can see your abs. Couple that with a healthy, low sugar diet and your well on your way to getting a washboard stomach.
Shin Ohtake is the author of the world-famous fitness program, MAX Workouts. To learn more about how you can get ultra lean and toned with shorter workouts, visit http://www.MaxWorkouts.com