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December 29, 2017 3 min read 3 Comments

Abs are by far one of the toughest areas to whip into shape. This isn't because they are  intrinsically stubborn, but because there seems to be loads conflicting information and misinformation about how to get your trimmest, tightest tummy. The result is that many of us struggle heroically and unnecessarily to unearth a healthy, sexy midsection.

Let’s do away with everything you thought you knew about abs and take solace in this one, refreshingly universal truth:anyone can have great abs. Yes, even if you have dug deep and never been able to excavate your best abs before.

And here's another truth: much of what you need to know about getting great abs boils down to unlearning certain ‘truths’: truths that are stopping you from enjoying the fruits of your labors in diet and exercise. (Truths that likely reveal that you’re actually laboring too hard in the diet and exercise department.)

Myth #1: You Have to Starve for Success

When it comes to eating for great abs, less isnotmore. Less food is less success. More food is what will enhance your results. That’s right: you have to eat to get your best abs  — and you probably have to eat more than you think. All too often, we hear people describe their ‘ab diet’ as a painfully restrictive eating regime that would make Ghandi cringe.

If you want a toned, taut tummy, you absolutely must fuel your body so that it can build and maintain muscle. In other words, you need to eat. Obviously, you have to eat clean, focusing on whole foods, complex carbs, piles of protein and plenty of water, but this doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of anything. You can eat sugar and refined carbs sometimes and witness a waistline transformation.

Most of all, you never have to go hungry. In fact, you should never betruly hungry. If you are truly hungry, you eat. Make it a healthy choice even 8 times out of 10, and you will see undeniable, rockhard results.

Myth #2: You Have to Ab Train, All the Time

We’re not going to tell you ab training isn’t important, because it is. However, focused ab training alone isn’t going to score you that sweet, slim stomach. Your abdominals are only one part of your core. Your core is composed of many muscle groups, including your external and internal obliques, your spinae erector, your hip flexors, glutes, hamstrings, transverse abdominis and abdominis recti. The abdominis recti  — the ‘six pack’  —  is what most people focus on when they train, doing sit ups and crunching until they are ready to barf. However, this will only get you so far  — and it’s not going to be that far.

The best way to flatten your tummy with exercise is to increase your overall muscle mass by training your entire core. We’re talking static exercises like planks and reverse planks, and dynamic moves like burpees, squats, deadlifts and mountain climbers. Add resistance whenever possible. This will not only tone more of your midsection, but it will engage seriously massive muscle groups, including your gluteus maximus (your body’s largest muscle mass) and your quads. The more lean muscle mass you have in these powerhouses, the more fat you will burn fromeverywhere — including your abs.

We get it: it’s hard to ditch years of indoctrination, but we’re here to help. Our BodyRock community has been sculpting their stomachs and toning their tummies for years with the help of our on-demand workout and nutrition guides. This year is the year to uncover the best possible version of yourself, and the transformation begins on the inside with a mental shift. It’s time to unlearn all the misinformation that’s holding you back, and all it starts here.


Countdown to 2018

3 Responses

phil t
phil t

December 31, 2017

The only way that I have been able to lose belly fat is a low carb, ketogenic diet. If you do HIIT along with this kind of diet, be sure to have a protein meal immediately after the exercise or your body will consume its own protein to rebuild its glycogen reserves.

Esti Allina-Turnauer
Esti Allina-Turnauer

December 30, 2017

You wrote: …“(the body’s largest muscle myths)”. I think you meant ‘mass’, not myths.
And thanks for this article – very helpful.

Linda Campbell
Linda Campbell

December 29, 2017

I have been a gym rat for so many years I can’t count and I got down to a body weight where my ribs showed and I still had rolls of fat covering my anterior midsection that when I sat down I could grab handfuls I work all the different core areas I cycled to work and I was registered massage therapist so I had lots of knowledge about anatomy nutrition and exercise I was I can fit pro licensed trainer and nothing I did not read that over lying layer Of tummy fat the only other area that was stubborn was my sides of my back on top of my lights back fat as it is called. I was 5 foot 3”, 108 pounds And in addition to the working out I ran 10 K runs on vigorous Woodland trails up pills down hills through the woods finishing climbing about 40 steps and straight up hill to the stop. Did these on alternate days and small runs in between with one day off completely where I did no exercise I look fantastic but I could not wear a bikini because of my belly fat nobody would believe me until I showed them I have never had children but this seems to be a genetic inheritance that my sisters struggle with and cousin I have who is my age. Is it possible there are some people who really can’t uncover sexy looking good abs I had the Stranch muscles were toned but a layer of fat stayed on top no matter what I did.

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