There are many good reasons to want a stronger core from wanting a solid foundation for weightlifting to preventing injury and pain in everyday life. There’s a good deal of misinformation and false promises about how to go about getting a strong, lean midsection because so many people are interested in the idea of having a flatter stomach.
Here, expert trainers debunk the biggest core-training myths they hear from their clients on a regular basis:
Doing core exercises burns belly fat
Julia Buckley, a certified personal trainer explains: “People are always asking me for exercises that burn belly fat and they often seem a bit confused when I suggest moves like lunges, clean and press or burpees,”. “When you do exercises like crunches and you get that burning sensation around your belly, it’s caused by lactic acid building up in the muscles — a chemical reaction that happens in the body when we train hard,” Buckley explains. “When the body uses fat to fuel exercise, it takes it from fat cells across the body, not only (or even predominantly) from the area you’re working.”
“Rather than doing lots of little crunches, it’s better to choose exercises that fire up lots of muscles across the whole body,” affirms Buckley.
Crunches – best for training your core
Garrett Theriot, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and personal trainer affirms: “Crunches are possibly the easiest ab exercise you can do, just like walking at a moderate pace is the easiest form of cardio you can do,” “Walking is good. But if your goal is to improve cardio, you would pick up the pace with a brisk jog or bike ride, right? Your abdominal muscles work the same way.”
Consider modifying how you do crunches if you want to continue doing them. Theriot adds: “If you are trying to make some real progress, you will need to step up your intensity by making the crunch much harder (adding weights, performing them on a stability ball, etc.) and adding other ab exercises that demand much more intense recruitment of all abdominal muscle fibers,”.
Tone your abs with planks
Engage your whole body by squeezing your glutes and pushing through your shoulder blades if you want to perform a plank correctly. It is recommended to hold a solid plank for 10 seconds, then resting for 20 seconds and repeating for 3–5 sets.
Theriot explains: Our bodies are so good at adapting to anything repetitive that eventually a plank just becomes too easy and, similar to crunches, the only way to continually improve your abdominal muscles will be to increase the resistance (like adding a plate to your back) or incorporate more exercises.”
I’ll get a six-pack if I work my abs
Harper affirms: “We have different genes, different muscle tissue, and different fascia.” In other words, your version of defined abs won’t look the same as a celebrity’s or your gym buddy. “For example, if your tendinous intersections are thick, there will be more separation and definition in your abs. Whereas if you have relatively thin tendons, it will look more like a sheet, no matter how hard you work that washboard, creating what people call a ‘two-pack.’”
Now that you know the truth about this kind of exercise and the training myths were debunk, you know how to do a correct workout to get the best results.