Meaghan from Daily Dose of Fitness and I have been sharing ideas and swapping healthy tips lately! Her blog is where I won my Polar watch(woohoo)! We decided a little guest post is just what my readers needed and if you haven't checked out her blog, you definitely should. She has great motivational tips, exercise advice and MUCH more! She also has "myth debunking mondays" each week, which is what she's sharing with all of us right now!
After you read her guest post, head on over and tell her, Move It Momma's sent you!!
MYTH DEBUNKING MONDAYS - TARGETING THE LOWER ABS
This is my 13th installment of Myth Debunking Mondays. If you follow me closely you know that I write a lot of health and fitness related articles and have exhausted many topics. So for now, this will be the last Myth Debunking Monday. I am thinking I will start a new theme: The Monday Move which will feature a new exercise every week.
So, without further ado, here is my final installment of Myth Debunking Monday.
The Lower Abs get a lot of hype. Everyone seems to talk about needing to work the lower abs, exercises to do for the lower abs, etc. The truth is, there is no specific lower ab muscle. The rectus abdominis is the main abdominal muscle that runs down the center of stomach. It attaches on both the ribs and the pubic bone and can pull from both directions (the only muscle to do so). Many of the exercises typically considered "lower" ab exercises are actually targeting the hip flexors which act to raise your legs up in front of you, and are not your "lower" abs. We are talking about exercises such as lying leg raises, leg throw downs, etc. These are targeting your hip flexors, not "lower" abs. You are also putting a lot of strain on your back, and if you have weak core muscles you could get injured.
If you want to work your lower abs because there is extra fat on your lower abdomen then you need to burn the fat away with cardio, not try to "crunch" it away. Spot-reduction is a whole other myth. If you are trying to strengthen your "lower" abs, just do crunches, planks and other core exercises, you don't need to try to work the lower portion, it is all one muscle. Hopefully finding out the truth about this myth will prevent you from doing some uncomfortable and unnecessary exercises, and save you some time at the gym from now on.
Check out my previous Myth Debunking Monday posts. If there is something you wonder if it is a myth or not, email or send me a comment. Maybe I will do a surprise Myth Debunking Monday post again.
Meaghan Massenat, MS, CSCS