Why Training Your “Core” is not as Effective as You Think It Is:

It has become so popular in the fitness community that is almost a meme at this point. Every second soccer mom has tried an ab workout either at the gym or from an online video. More experienced gym-goers however look on in despair as they know that these ab exercises are not as effective as they claim to be. Here are the reasons as to why:

1.) It does not torch abdominal fat:

There is this ever-prevailing myth in the fitness community that rises like a phoenix from the ashes every time it gets dispelled, practically immortal at this point. That myth is that it is possible to spot reduce fat, where training a certain muscle helps burn fat as well in that area. It would be great if it worked like that, but it doesn’t, your body loses fat in certain places first according to your genetics, sorry.

2.) It does not help you get a six-pack:

Whilst it can help to tone your abs to make them look better, it does not help to make them visible in the first place. That is only done by losing fat in the stomach area which again cannot be done through ab exercises.

3.) It already gets enough of a training stimulus:

If you are a regular at the gym, chances are you are already working out the muscles that make up your core enough already. The muscles of your core are active as stabilizers throughout multiple different movements. If you do any compound exercises such as squats, pushups, glute bridges, deadlifts, pull-ups, lunges, bench press, etc. Then you are already training your core enough and you do not need to do any specific additional exercises.

4.) It can be dangerous if you do not train your back muscles:

When you train a muscle, you effectively shorten it as well. This is generally fine if you train both sides of a joint. When it comes to your spine, you are pulling your thoracic spine inwards towards your abdominal wall if you do not do enough back exercises to compensate. Unfortunately, the people who specifically do ab exercises are also the ones that are most likely to neglect their back. Over time this could become a serious problem.

Summary:

Training your core alone is not all it is cracked up to be and believing so can be dangerous for both your goals and your health. If you want sexy washboard abs you would be better off doing HIIT workouts, lifting heavy, and eating less. Doing those ab crunches is not going to get you there any faster.

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