“I do sit-ups – I do one sit-up a day. I do the first half when I get up in the morning and the second half when I go to bed at night”, Comedian, Mark Lowry.
Everyone wants abs. Whether you want a chiseled six-pack or just want a flat tummy, fit abs are one of the most coveted body parts. The problem is many people are doing the wrong exercises, investing in the wrong fitness tools, and focusing on the wrong things.
Here are 5 common mistakes I see all the time:
1.) People think that abdominal exercises will get rid of belly fat. Wrong! Diet and cardio get rid of belly fat, not abdominal exercises. Yes, you will have shapely muscles UNDER the fat, but if you actually want to SEE your abs, you need to control your eating and burn some calories!
2.) People invest in fitness gadgets that are worthless pieces of junk. The Ab Belt, Ab Lounge, Ab Rocker, Ab Flex and hundreds of other crazy contraptions promising to carve ice cube abdominal muscles. If you really want to invest in something, invest in a good abdominal video, hire a trainer, or take an abs class at your gym so you can learn how to do abs correctly instead of wasting your hard-earned money on useless apparatuses. It’s like riding a bicycle, once you learn how to do them you’ll never forget – plus you can do it anywhere!
3.) Too many people believe in paid advertising. Anyone can pay a fitness model to pose or talk about a supplement or program, but that doesn’t mean they use it or actually got THAT body using THAT product. Believe me, I modeled for a product I had only used for one week. Although I liked it, it didn’t mean it sculpted my body. Trust me, abs like these involved a LOT of work and a strict diet – not an ab belt! Let’s get real! If you really want sound advise, ask the pros – real people who have tried real products and have an honest opinion. (Side note: That’s why I’m an Ambassador for FitFluential, a great team of influential people in the industry who only partner with and support brands we believe in – because honest opinions are becoming more valuable than traditional advertising!)
4.) People think side bends will get rid of love handles. On the contrary. Side bends develop the obliques, which is a very large muscle that can easily develop in size and actually add WIDTH to your physique if you aren’t careful. As you can see in this photo, the oblique muscle is pretty large. Imagine if this guy had body fat on top of that muscle and how that would affect the size of his waste. The best way to streamline your waistline is to work your the front of your obliques, pulling that muscle inward, by doing oblique crunches, bicycle crunches and other rotating type movements.
5.) People neglect their core. I know it feels like you are doing more when you lift a weight or do 300 crunches, but one of the best exercises to tighten the midsection requires no movement at all. Yep, you heard right! I’m talking about planks (and NO, not the kind of planks where you are lying face down on some crazy object in a public place to post online). I’m talking about front plank and side planks, where the only thing touching the ground is your hands and feet. I’ve never sweat so much not moving! Holding a plank position for 6o seconds can seem like torture at the time, but you will feel an amazing tightening all around your midsection including your low back, obliques and abs.
OK, I admit it – there are a lot of other reasons why people struggle, from not being consistent to not doing exercises correctly. However, these are my personal top 5 I see all the time. Hope it helps you start seeing some results!!
BEFORE you get too excited and start doing these workouts below – don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss my latest tips and encouragement! Subscribe, Follow & Like! 🙂
Featured Ab Workouts:
BCx Core (click on the link to get video instruction and more at FitStudio!)
25 sit ups
25 oblique crunches
25 bicycle crunches
(3 rounds for time)
Plank-n-simple (click on the link to get video instruction and more at FitStudio!)
(please forgive the haze on the camera – that’s what happens when you wipe the lens with a sweaty shirt! ha!)
Side Plank Right
Side Plank Left
Hold each position for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times