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The Two Biggest Hoaxes About Abdominal Training

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/21/2006 | Fitness
If you have ever read a fitness magazine...

If you have ever watched TV ads about latest machines that will "magically" reveal your abs...

If you have ever gone to a gym and seen tens of people lying on the floor doing crunches....

Then beware - because chances are you are a victim of the two biggest abdominal training hoaxes!

Hoax # 1

Just doing some midsection exercises can reduce your "love handles".


You cannot reduce fat from a certain targeted area of your body just by using exercise alone. The abdominal area is no exception.

So, if you want to get a flat stomach and reveal your abs, losing the fat covering them is the way to go.

The only way to do this is to lose fat proportionately from your entire body by burning more calories than you consume.

How? By doing these two things:

1) Have a healthy and balanced permanent diet: dark green vegetables, fresh fruits, whole wheat and whole grain products, non-fat dairy products, fish, poultry breast, lean red meat, egg white.

You should cut out all sugar, soda, non-whole grain products and saturated fats: These aliments should only be a reward for achieving a goal, not a habit!

2) Start exercising

Aerobic and weight training will raise your metabolic rate. In result, your body will burn more calories.

aerobic exercising

3 times per week, conduct an exercise that keeps your heart rate elevated for at least 30-45 minutes (ex: walking, running, cycling, swimming, aerobics, etc)

weight training

Alternate days of aerobics with weight training. You will build muscles that will burn more calories, even when at rest!

Hoax # 2

You have to do tons of crunches.


Overuse of crunches will only shorten your abs, pull your head forward, and give you bad posture. Do you really want to look like Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre-Dame?

Any standing exercise that will contract your abs will do, but you should specifically target your lower back to strengthen the muscles that support your spine.

The easiest exercise is sucking the gut in, also known as the "stomach vacuum"...

1. Exhale. Suck in your gut.

2. Maintain the contraction for 10 to 20 seconds.

3. Repeat 10 to 15 times, as often as you like throughout the day (...while in the shower, sitting at your desk, while driving, etc.).

Time now for YOU to take action!

PS: Do not forget to consult your doctor before starting any diet and exercise plan.