Sunday Abs Tip: Forget Crunches
Of course, it won’t matter how muscular your torso is if your body fat is too high. The best way to build strong, visible abs (full article) isn’t through repeated sit-ups, but by engaging in circuit training that has you working your entire core while you’re burning calories – and to keep yourself disciplined during meals.
“If you want to burn your fat mass, make sure you have a combination of weight training and cardiovascular, but 90 percent of good abs is your nutrition,” says Maresca. However, he does offer a quick tip for those of us with a weakness for caloric food: standing up straight and pulling back your shoulders will instantly tighten your transverse abdominal muscle, making you look a little leaner. It’s not quite as impressive as showcasing a well-developed core via 10 percent body fat, but it does leave a lot more time and flexibility for hitting up happy hour.
[Lucky for you, both P90X and Insanity from Beachbody offer the kinds of workouts that minimize sit ups and crunches over full body moves and circuit training and interval training to get the abs you want. See below to get started today. A+ review of both!]
...and if you are doing sit-ups "to trim your waist", you probably have learned by now that spot reduction like that simply does not happen and that, if anything, strenuous AB work tends to increase the size and muscularity of your waist line. If you are doing crunches for definition", then you have to realize that "cutting up" any muscles of your body is far more a matter of eating wisely and doing sufficiently demanding exercise of many muscle groups beside the abs. (Article based upon a chapter in the book: Siff M C "Facts and Fallacies of Fitness.")
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