Everyone has the assumption that, “if I do a lot of ab exercises, I’ll form a six pack, get ripped, have a washboard stomach, etc”. There are info-commercials, pills, powders, ripped fuel etc. which are making a great deal of money from the American people who are searching for a “quick” fix. This is a multi million dollar industry and the American people are feeding into it.

According to Dr. Ken Leistner, one of the myths that has persisted in the field of physical exercise is the relation to spot reduction of body fat. When fat is deposited on the body, anyone’s body, it is deposited over all of the body. One’s genetically determined fat storage pattern will dictate how the fat is distributed, but it is distributed all over, not in one area. One’s storage pattern may be such that it appears as if all of one’s fat is in one area, but this isn’t the way the body works.

To lose fat anywhere on your body you need to burn calories. In doing so, you will decrease fat storage throughout your entire body. Improving the appearance of your abdominals is a combination of strength training, cardio, nutrition, ab work and rest. Exercises build and strengthen the muscles of a body part and do nothing directly to the fat tissue deposited there.

Nutrition, genetics, and the intensity in how you train are all major factors in how one attains a lean look. There are a lot of diets out there to lose weight but, by dieting alone you will lose muscle as well as fat. As mentioned above, you need to incorporate a strength training program, a cardiovascular routine and eating well-balanced meals.

Your body is genetically programmed to carry a certain amount of fat in particular body areas. Women have a tendency to carry additional fat in the hip and thigh areas, and men have excess around their midsection. Generally speaking, fat is lost first from the place where it is stored last. “It is difficult to spot reduce fat, because the area exercised may be the preferred fat storage area, and therefore the last place to surrender its fat deposits.”(Westcott)

I hope this gives you some insight on how to properly exercise your body, specifically your abdominals and help you to achieve that lean look you are looking for.

Leister,K.Iron Island Insights Spot Reductions 4:3 March 1996
Westcot,W. The Patriot Ledger Keeping Fit Sept. 2008

Author's Bio: 

I have been strength training people from the ages of 14yrs. to 72yrs. old for over ten years. I owned a one on one training facility on Long Island, New York (The Quality Repetition) for six years. I have done strength training camps and have given seminars on numerous topics regarding strength and conditioning. You can contact me at my web site www.wetrainu.net and ask me any further questions.