Washboard Abs Debunking 6 Myths

Washboard Abs Debunking 6 Myths

Debunking 6 Popular Myths About Washboard Abs

Nothing signifies success at the gym quite like a set of washboard abs. They’re the athletic equivalent of the Lexus, a sign that you’ve arrived. And, to be fair, it takes discipline and intense effort to get to that point. To the disappointment of many, there’s still no easy way to get ripped abs.

There are, however, a lot of prevailing myths:

With the right workout, I am guaranteed washboard abs. Maybe, maybe not. It turns out that our choice in parents has a lot to do with whether or not we can develop the much-coveted washboard abs. When it comes to toned stomach muscles, genetics are as critical to success as hard work and a well-designed exercise regime. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t target your abdominal muscles. Strong abs, along with conditioned back muscles, support and stabilize your torso, reducing back pain and the risk of injury while improving posture and balance.

I’m doing crunches everyday; my abs are getting ripped. Crunches, and other abdominal exercises, are not the way to washboard abs. To get a ripped torso, you need to burn fat. Your abdominal workout, which strengthens and stabilizes your core, must be complemented by regular, intense cardio activity and a healthy diet in order to be effective. Crunches may give you killer upper abs but no one is going to notice if they are hidden under a layer of fat.

More is better. Not so. It turns out that frequency is more important than intensity when it comes to strengthening abdominal muscles. Researchers have found that those who take it slow—one rep every two to three seconds instead of one rep per second—achieve better results. Ideally, you will perform your ab workout twice a week. For washboard abs, you need to target the upper and lower abdominal muscles as well as the internal and external obliques. The entire ab workout should only take 15 minutes from start to finish.

You need an ab machine to get washboard abs. Although an ab machine can provide motivation and help you perform certain exercises more comfortably, it isn’t necessary for success. In fact, a recent study by the American Council on Exercise found that the single most effective ab exercise is the bicycle. If you want to tone your abdominal muscles, incorporate three to four sets of this mat exercise (15-20 reps) into your existing routine twice a week.

I can eat anything I want as long as I burn it off at the gym.  If you want washboard abs, you need to watch what you eat. Experts recommend a low-fat diet that includes complex carbohydrates (brown rice, oatmeal and whole grain cereals), lean protein (chicken, fish and lean steak) and healthy fats like olive oil. Other foods that should star in your diet from now on are berries, especially raspberries and blueberries; nuts; legumes and green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli. These foods enhance your body’s ability to burn fat in addition to boosting your stamina and immunity.

Women shouldn’t do strength training exercises. It will make their muscles bulky and unfeminine. Not true. Women who want to develop washboard abs or a strong torso should incorporate an ab workout and other strength training into their weekly routine. Since they do not produce as much testosterone as men they do not need to worry about developing large, bulky muscles. Instead, their bodies will become more sleek and well-defined.

Because of the increased amount of fat required to support fetal development, women do have a more difficult time developing washboard abs. In fact, those with strong abs and little fat may have difficulty menstruating or conceiving a child. If you develop exercise-induced amenorrhea, see your doctor.

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