Debunking popular exercise myths - Evewoman
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Debunking popular exercise myths

How to do a plank: Photo; Courtesy

MYTH 1: Crunches are the best exercise when you want defined abs or a flat stomach.

ALSO READ: Fuel it: The flat tummy diet

FACT: They may be the most iconic abdominal exercise around but crunches are not the best way to slim your midsection. First, they do not burn a lot of calories so they don’t help in any major way with fat loss, something that is important for most people who engage in a fitness regimen. Crunches only tone a small portion of your abs so consider including moves that engage your shoulders and butt to more effectively engage your core. You can trade crunches and do a plank or bridges. Here are some ideas to get you going.

HOW TO DO A PLANK

• Start by getting into a press-up position.

• Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms and not on your hands.

• Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

• Engage your core by sucking your belly button into your spine.

• Hold this position for sets of 10-15 seconds and work your way up to sets of 30-45 seconds. You determine the number of sets depending on your current fitness level.

ALSO READ: Safe exercises to close your belly gap after pregnancy

HOW TO DO A BRIDGE

• Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

• Raise your hips of the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.

• Pause at the top then slowly lower your body back to the floor.

• Hold the position for sets of 10-15 seconds and work your way up to sets of 30-45 seconds. Before I take you through the ins and outs of exercise, it is imperative that I smash the popular myths that many of us believe.

MYTH 2: Workouts must be at least 45 minutes in order to have any health benefits.

FACT: We spoke in the last article about working fitness into your day so even if you have 30 minutes or even 10 minutes a day, you have enough time to boost your cardiovascular health. More and more studies are showing that shorter workout sessions could be better for you. If you are trying to lose weight, target at least four and a half hours of moderate to vigorous exercise per week in order to be successful with your weight loss goals.

ALSO READ: Why you should not hit the gym post lunch

MYTH 3: More gym time is better

FACT: You must schedule rest days. The whole concept of no pain, no gain is faulty. Pain is never a good thing especially when it comes to exercise. Your typical muscle soreness should not exceed 48hrs and rest days ensure that your body gets a chance to recover, especially after a tough gym session. If you train daily, you could injure yourself or over train, which keep your muscles from bouncing back or your body from improving. Also my best advice is to mix up your workouts! Keep it exciting for you and your body!

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