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Fitness Rules You Should Break

By Sara Butler

Just as with most other things, there are a lot of fitness rules floating around that are simply outdated. Some "rules" people live by when it comes to exercise are simply misleading, wrong, or misguided. If you're looking to make the most of your time at the gym and whip yourself into shape, then it's worth understanding what fitness rules you need to break. Here are a few you should forget about and what to replace them with to help you get fit and healthy.

Rule No. 1: Target a Specific Part of Your Body to Tone It Up

Who could forget about the Thighmaster or the Shake Weight? These products targeted specific parts of your body in an effort to help you get rid of the flab and get them toned, but they're actually not doing what they claim. There is no way to target fat on a certain area of your body. Sure, you can build muscle, but you can't melt the fat away on just one part.

The new rule is that if you want to tone up, you have to burn fat. Everyone has a six-pack, you simply can't see it if you have a layer of fat over the top. So, don't waste your energy trying to burn fat on a specific area of your body. Instead, focus on exercises that move your whole body to burn calories. A mix of cardio and weight-training should do the trick.

Rule No. 2: Crunches Are the Best Core Exercise

If you want a strong core, then you need to do crunches, right? Nope.

While crunches were seen as the best exercise for your abs at one point, it's now known that they don't really improve your core strength very much. Plus, they're not great for your back.

The truth is, if you want to strengthen your core, then you must do functional full-body workouts. Your abs only make up one section of your core; you also need to work the muscles around your core if you want to get anywhere. Planks and balance work are a much better way to get results than crunches.

Rule No. 3: No Pain, No Gain

Who hasn't heard this phrase? Problem is, it's a lie. You may feel the burn when you work out, but there's no correlation between pain and how much progress you make on your gains.

It's important to understand that if you ever feel pain during a workout, you must stop. You could be seriously injuring yourself if you don't.

Some rules were meant to be broken!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downey, Calif.

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