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Myths and facts on perfect abs!
Samreedhi Sharma |
March 07, 2005
oes the term well-rounded personality immediately make you look at your abs?
Do you find yourself holding your breath every time a pretty young thing passes by?
Is it really because of her breathtaking beauty or is it because you don't like the way your stomach flops over your belt?
Do you always opt for longer, more loose and a size larger blouse or dress so that you can hide that bulging stomach?
Well, well. If you have answered in the affirmative, this is reason enough for you to get your facts right and your abs tight!
The abdominals, popularly called 'abs' in gym lingo, are several muscles located in the midsection from just below your chest to past your waistline.
Anyone who has trained for a few months at a gymnasium will appreciate the hard work that goes into shaping his/her midsection!
Here are some myths dispelled for you:
- Myth: Fat always deposits in the abs.
- Fact: The fat in your body will deposit where it is genetically programmed to.
Some people are apple shaped: they put on flab around the waist, chest and back first.
Others are pear shaped: they put on flab first on the hips and thighs. Their upper body fat is unhealthier as people with upper body fat have more chances of heart disease than people with lower body fat.
- Myth: Spot reducing abs is easy.
- Fact: You cannot spot reduce those abs!
You can do a thousand crunches, but they will not flatten your abs.
Remember, while crunching, you are training the muscle tissue not the adipose.
- Myth: To reduce tummy fat, it is enough to eat low fat food.
- Fact: To rid tummy fat, you must eat the right kind of low fat food.
Also, never ignore your cardiovascular workouts. They are what really burn fat in the body.
- Myth: Cutting down on starches will burn fat.
- Fact: Starches alone do not make your abs fat!
One particular food can never make you thin or fat. An excess intake of calories forces the body to store what is extra as fat.
It doesn't matter what source these extra calories come from. So just those potatoes or rice are not the culprits as much as your overall diet.
- Myth: You must work your abs every day.
- Fact: You do not need to work your abs every day to get flat abs!
Abs are muscles like any other muscles in the body. Every muscle needs a minimum 48 hours rest after being trained in order to shape up, strengthen and tighten.
Train your abs on alternate days. This will give you the results you want.
- Myth: If you have a bad back, training the abs will worsen it.
- Fact: Training your abs will strengthen your back!
If the slightest exertion hurts your lower back or because you have a sitting job, chances are it is because your ab muscles are weak.
The opposing muscles in our body always assist each other. So if you have weak ab muscles, the load of the work falls on the back.
Strengthen the abs and your back will become stronger as well.
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Samreedhi Sharma runs her exercise studio Sizewise, exclusively for personal training and nutrition. She has written a number of columns on fitness, and is the international contributing writer to www.protraineronline.com and www.bodybuilding.com