Why Getting Visible Abs Has Almost Nothing to Do with Crunches
Everybody wants a toned body, but what does it really take? Endless crunches will get you nowhere, and neither will those silly ab gadgets that are seen on television screens across the world. Crunches are closely associated with a defined abdominal section, so how could it be that crunches aren’t to thank for a chiseled six pack?
Muscle definition occurs only with fat loss. All of the crunches and ab exercises in the world will only serve to build the abdominal muscles, which will not be visible if there is a layer of fat covering them. In order to have visible abdominal muscles, you must shed the fat covering them. Unfortunately, a myth has been widely spread that you can lose fat in a specific area through muscle targeting.
This myth is called spot training, and it has been proliferated by ignorant gym-goers.
Spot Training is A Lie
- All of the crunches and ab exercises in the world will only serve to build the abdominal muscles, which will not be visible if there is a layer of fat covering them.
Spot training implies that if you do a specific exercise, such as crunches, that you will lose fat around your abdominals. When losing fat, the body determines where the fat will come from. Doing crunches or any other muscle-building exercise does only that, builds muscle. It could help the muscle become larger and be seen slightly more through the fat due to its mass, but that’s about it.
In fact, sometimes crunches are hardly a muscle building exercise. When crunches are done in repetitions of 50 or 100, it is simply a cardiovascular exercise for the most part.
Sure, there is muscular fatigue and breakdown, but extremely high repetitions are done for endurance. While abdominal muscles are somewhat different from other muscle groups such as the biceps, you would never do a set of curls consisting of 100 repetitions each. Why are abs so much different? They’re really not. Some muscles respond to higher volumes of training such as the calf muscles.
With the calf muscles, it is not uncommon to find athletes doing high repetitions. The abdominal muscles are unique from muscle groups such as the pectorals or the triceps, but they still will not respond to high volume training. Only losing fat will make them visible!
There are Actually No Lower And Upper Abs
Physiologically speaking, there are no lower and upper abs. The Rectus Abdominus, Internal and External Obliques, Transverse Abdominus, and the erector Spinae are the components of the abdominal trunk. All of them have separate functions, but none of them work to lift the legs.
Doing leg lifts to work the “lower abs” are actually working muscles that work to flex the hip. Working the abs can be as simple as doing weighted crunches for a lower number of repetitions (8-12), or doing compound lifts such as deadlifts. Remember that even if you have massive abdominal muscles, they simply will not be visible unless you shed the fat! Get your nutrition in check and lose the fat around the abdominal region.
Mike is the co-founder, editor, and researcher behind Natural Society. Studying the work of top natural health activists, and writing special reports for top 10 alternative health websites, Mike has written hundreds of articles and pages on how to obtain optimum wellness through natural health.