Ab crunches are good exercises for toning the abs and stomach when combined with a low fat diet. Nevertheless, many people think they can continue to eat what they want and end their day with a couple hundred crunches to "work off" all the fatty foods they ate throughout the day.
If you're not lowering your fat intake, it doesn't matter how many exercises and crunches you perform. Not only will you see zero results, but your stomach may actually increase in size.
Why you ask? Because you're building fat on top of your muscles.
I had this problem when I first started exercising. I didn't lower my caloric or fat intake much but I started doing crunches. For three months straight I did exercised my abs every morning before work. I couldn't understand why I wasn't seeing results. In fact, my stomach started protruding even more.
Well after doing lots of reading I discovered that I was going to also change my diet if I was going to see the results I wanted.
2. The Spot Toning Myth
This is the one that frustrates me the most. I have always been very thin and recently started gaining weight in my hips and thigh area. I welcomed the added pounds .Unfortunately it also left we with a slightly flabby stomach.
I wanted to keep the hips and thighs but lose the stomach so I started exercising my stomach and abs by doing Pilates and crunches.
Well, I didn't see any results. I discovered through reading that you can't just spot tone because if you only focus on one area (ie. your tummy), you won't raise your metabolism enough to burn that extra belly fat. So the key to flattening your stomach area is to increase your body's metabolism so it can effectively get rid of those layers of excess tummy fat, and fat all over your body.
An overall body weight-loss plan is the key to slimming your waistline
3. The Large Number Myth
Twenty-five good, quality crunches are much better than 250 half-done crunches. Many people just want to get it over with so they lie down and do as many fast crunches as they can while lacking in quality.
The best thing to do is perform 4 sets of 20-25 solid crunches while resting 90 seconds in between each set. That is a much more effective way of training your abs than 250 lackluster crunches in a row.
4. The 6 Pack Myth
We'd all love to have that solid six pack to show off when we're at the pool right? Well, what most people don't realize is that solid abs don't start in the gym, they start in the kitchen. If your body contains a lot of fat, your abs won't show no matter how much you exercise.
Your first goal should be to lose that fat, and it starts with your diet. Decrease the amount of fat and calories you consume and increase the amount of protein. Protein is an absolute necessity for ridding fat and building muscle.
You can crunch all you want, but if you're still consuming burgers and fries, you'll end up with a six pack covered in fat.
Start by doing cardio exercises to get that heart rate up and boost your metabolism. A good fast-paced walk or jog three times per week is a great way to accomplish this.
Experts say a good cardio workout can increase your metabolism by up to 24 hours!
Along with a healthy diet, walking and/or jogging is one of the best stomach exercises you can perform because it raises your metabolism enough to burn excess calories all over your body.
Total body fitness, not just spot toning one area, is the key to a flat stomach. Why not kick start your fitness routine with a nice, fast-paced walk at least 3 times per week? It really is the best exercise, and your stomach will thank you.
So there you have some of the most common myths about flattening your stomach and forming your abs. Hopefully you've learned that it's not just about doing a few crunches per day. It's about total body fitness and changing your diet.