Are one hundred crunches all you need to get a six pack abs?
How much effort does it take take to men and women to get the so much desired flat belly?
You need commitment, perseverance and sacrifices.
Also, watch out for false promises and easy solutions. Here are five myths about the six pack, the top 5 lies.
1. Cardio Exercise is Useless
Sit-ups alone do not make a six pack. In fact, just by doing specific exercises for your abs won't get you a flat and defined stomach, if you are overweight.
Useless is also the number (even infinite) of sets and reps. Who dreams of the perfect abdomen must begin with a low percentage of body fat.
In other words, to get the six pack it is essential to combine a balanced low-calorie diet and exercise. Sport doctors recommend at least three to four intense sessions per week (15-30 minutes) of jogging, treadmill or exercise bike.
Swimming, walking and aerobics classes are also effective.
2. A Six Pack is Made of Six Muscles
At first glance, a sculpted abdomen seems to be composed of six muscles. But actually, the rectus abdominis is a single muscle.
It is a wide, flat and long muscle on the front, and it covers the region extending from the sternum to the pubic bone.
The aesthetic effect of the abdominal muscles is due to the tendons that pass through the muscle group.
There are no specific isolation exercises to train just high abs or low abs: the rectus abdominis muscle is always trained in its entirety, although there are exercises that make you feel that you're training a specific area.
For example, with crunches you feel like you're working the upper abs, while leg raise seems to focus more on the lower abs.
3. To Get the Six Pack Abs You Just Need to Train the Rectus Abdominis Muscle
With sit-ups you strengthen the abdominal muscles, especially the rectus abdominis.
However, a proper workout also requires exercises to strengthen the muscles in the back, trunk and gluts, to avoid an imbalance. The lower abs, and the obliques, build a powerful bond between the upper and lower body, and also stabilize the torso.
In other words: for sexy abs it is crucial to train the whole body.
4. High Reps Are Better Than Intense Workout
To obtain defined and strong six pack abs you need to work your abdomen with resistance.
It is necessary to increase the resistance (or weight) gradually, to get your muscles used and adapt to the changes.
Ab muscles, like any other muscle in our body, can grow and become stronger only if trained with intense workouts that provide a limited number of reps.
5. Women Take Longer to Build a Perfect 6 Pack
Nope, this is a lie. It doesn't depend on the gender. The important factors are others.
Although men can build more muscle mass because of testosterone, they're not faster.
The perception that women take longer to get a defined abdomen comes from the fact that usually (don't hate me for this!), and I mean..usually...women have a higher percentage of body fat compared to men.
Therefore it just takes naturally longer to get rid of that first, before the six pack abs can show.
Trust me, if everybody had a very very low percentage of body fat, everybody could show six pack abs.
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