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Urban Legends: The Real Deal About Crunches

By Gary Picariello

When I was growing up, the word on the street was that plenty of crunches and sit-ups would result in washboard abs. So naturally, that's what I did. Even though all those crunches kept me toned, I never did get the six pack I was searching for. For many of us, getting sculpted abs is like searching for the Holy Grail.  

What You Really Need 

The truth is, the secret to visibly cut abs has a lot more to do with what you eat more than what you do in the gym. Without a clean diet, six-pack abs will never be yours. According to a recent report, the thing you must realize is that "No matter how many crunches or sit-up variations you perform, if you’ve got a solid layer of fat covering your stomach, your muscles are not going to be seen!" Simple as that! 

The S-Word 

According to MaxWorkouts.com, the secret to getting visible and defined abs starts with cutting out the sugar in your diet. Next up, cut out refined carbs for all meals. That means no bread, pasta, rice, cereal or any starchy processed foods. However, that said, most personal trainers point out that if you consume enough protein and fat per meal, you should feel full and satisfied without feeling deprived by lack of bread, pasta and sugar. 

Getting back to Crunches 

We've established that to reach the abs you always wanted, you need to get rid of the fat. And the best way to do that is through high-intensity cardio. There's nothing wrong with walking and biking, but the trick is to get the heart pumping. Short bursts of speed (interval training) or minimum recuperation time between sets.

A great article in Military.com stresses that "You should do 30-45 minutes of activities like walking, running, biking, or swimming daily 4-5 times per week."  It'll take a few weeks before you start to see results but in the short term, you'll notice immediate results in your energy level and overall mental alertness when exercising daily. 

And speaking of the gym, change your focus to functional ab exercises that focus more on your core like the plank, side planks and ab rollouts. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint in Roswell, Ga.

 

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