The 24 Hour Fitness Blog

Myth #1 - Crunches Burn Belly Fat

by ScottG. on July 16, 2013

While washboard abs are desired by most, many people go about them the wrong way. One of the most common fitness myths is that core exercises (most commonly crunches) are all you need to get washboard abs. While core exercises are definitely needed to add build your core, you'll never see those abs without burning fat.

Before we get into the how to, let's talk about the benefits of a strong core. An article by the Harvard School of Medicine describes your abs as a "sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body." If this link is weak or inflexible, you'll have impaired function of your arms and legs. Obviously any twisting motions use your core muscles but hey're also used during everyday tasks such as putting on shoes, sitting in a chair, playing sports, etc.

Aside from movement and exercise, your core is also used for balance, stability, good posture and a healthy back. According to the Harvard School of Medicine, four out of five Americans have had back pain at some point in their lives. A strong and flexible core can cure most back pain and prevent it in the future.

So how do you get the elusive washboard, incorporate a variety of exercises that emphasize different parts of your core. Below are some great core exercises that focus on your back, abs and obliques. If you're not sure how to do something, ask one of our Personal Trainers for help!

  • the ever-popular crunch (abs)
  • planks and side planks (abs and back)
  • bridge (abs, back and butt)
  • wood chops (abs, obliques)
  • side rotations (abs, obliques)
  • Supermans (back)
  • ball roll-ins (abs, back and butt)
  • v-sit (abs, hip flexors)
  • bicycles (abs)

While all the exercise is good, don't forget a healthy diet with a calorie intake that promotes fat burning! You can have the best abs around but if there's excess fat on your midsection you may never see them. Make sure you're burning more calories than you take in and keep up the exercises and you'll be doing laundry on your abs in no time!