411 Friday

Let’s talk about abs! First off, if you are a female who believes girls shouldn’t have abs you should just keep on scrolling. ;)

Now, let’s get down to business, shall we? There are so many myths out there about how to get those chiseled abs and we’re here to set the record straight.

Crunches and sit up are probably the most popular form of ab exercises but they are far from the best or only way to work your abs. Studies have shown that people with block abs are getting them from heavy squats, deadlifts, overhead press, and pull ups. The reason being, you have to recruit your core like crazy when moving heavy weight around in order to keep your back safe and complete the lift.

You can do ab exercises all the live long day, and yes, they will get stronger but unless your body fat percentage is low enough (most sources say between 8-12%) you won’t be able to see them. So, lowering your body fat through heavy lifting, metabolic conditioning, interval training, a good diet, and getting plenty of sleep is the only way to see the abs you are working so hard to get. And while we’re on the subject of body fat, you can’t target fat loss. Meaning, doing a million crunches won’t lower the body fat on your abs just like doing 1,000 squats won’t lower the body fat on your legs. (Sad news, I know!!!) Focus on lowering your entire body fat percentage and the fat on your abs will eventually melt away!

Just like every other muscle on your body, it requires some sort of stimulus to grow. Don’t be afraid to add weight to your ab exercises, such as weighted sit-ups or hanging leg lifts (try to lift your legs or knees past 90 degrees) which target those pesky lower abs that are so hard to hit. After all, if your abs aren’t big enough they won’t be visible.

While having strong, ripped abs are visually appealing they also serve a purpose outside of just a superficial one. Having a strong core keeps your back safe while doing everyday activities, working out, playing sports, and the list goes on and on.