The only abs workout that’s * never * worth your gym time, according to trainers

Strong, toned abs are one of the most common goals to achieve in the gym, and it’s not uncommon for people to try to reduce fat in a specific area in order to get results faster with it. targeted exercises. While strengthening your abs with specific core workouts can have its benefits once you’ve lost the layer of fat that may be hiding them, some abdominal exercises are less effective than others and may actually have the opposite effect. when working out to get a flat, lean stomach.

At the top of the list of core exercises that are best to exclude from your workout are crunches, which are often the first movement people turn to when starting their exercise journey. In order to understand why crunches aren’t effective for a flatter stomach, and what you should be doing instead, we took a look at VFit Studio owner and CPT Rachele Jaegers and Shari Roberson Belmarez, VFit StudioHead Yoga Instructor, E-RYT 500, YACEP, ACSM, CPT for a better understanding of the mechanics of core workouts.

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When people think of how they would like their stomachs to look, we often think of a toned, lean frame that is mistakenly assumed to be built by doing crunches, sit-ups, and other exercises that focus solely on those. muscles. However, it’s important to remember that strengthening these muscles may not create the look you want, and it takes a more holistic approach to see results. “Your core is more than your artificial abs,” says Jaegers. “The abs don’t have a ton of functions in the body. People obviously love the way they look, but you really can’t make your way to a six-pack. It has so much to do with diet and genetics.

Using crunches as the only approach to flattening your tummy can often backfire, especially if you’re not exercising the right way, which Belmarez says does for many people. “Most people don’t do it right,” she says. “They put a lot of pressure on their necks and they pull with their head, not their shoulders, and they don’t actually use their abs.” With this, you can end up creating an injury or strain in another part of your body without ever targeting your abs, which will put you off when you’re feeling sore and in pain without actually seeing results.


Instead of using repeated crunches as a method to flatten your tummy, it may be more helpful to focus on full body exercises that will increase fat burning, engage your heart, and allow you to lose weight without ever specifically targeting. your abs. “At VFit Studio, we focus more on the full core, from shoulders to shorts, front to back, doing exercises that target range of motion,” notes Jaegers. “The typical crunch is a waste of time, most people don’t do it right, they pull on the head, they hurt their backs and they just do a little crunch. For me, doing crunches is a bit pointless. Anything that could cause you to pull and compress your back is very dangerous.

By focusing on whole-body movements such as cat-cow and other yoga movements to stimulate your heart without crunches, you can increase your body’s metabolism, naturally increasing calorie burning and allowing you to see results faster. Remember that you cannot cut fat on a one-off basis, and exercising any part of your body and expecting immediate results is unrealistic. Rather, it will build muscle beneath the fat, so getting rid of that top layer is essential before you see any real changes in your body.

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