There’s been a lot of talk about abs lately, let us put our spin on it…
The big news (and we hope you already have…) is that you can put the ab roller away.
“Ain’t nobody got time for that!” (as Sweet Brown says).
Here’s why you should stop doing daily crunches…
Crunches and sit-ups can do some serious damage to your spine (read here). They also flat out don’t work. For those of you who still believe that crunches are the way achieve washboard abs, I’m here to set the record straight.
So, what’s the go-to way for a shredded gut?
High Intensity Interval Training
Yes. In fact, here’s the recipe…
High intensity interval training + healthy food choices = six pack
HIIT – through jump rope circuits – combined with good food choices is one of the fastest ways to achieve those washboard abs you’ve been after.
But before I dive into the HOW, let’s first address the WHY.
Why HIIT will get you a six-pack
Ever since resistance machines first hit gyms back in the 1950s, it was commonly assumed that by targeting certain muscle groups or areas of our body, we would be able to get rid of fat in a specific ‘problem’ area.
Science stepped up… and said “Nope!”
Targeted fat loss or ‘spot reduction’ does not work.
Remember the Thigh Master?
Suzanne Somers must have missed the memo…Oops! She ain’t happy.
Now let’s get into some science
A study from 1971 conducted on tennis players revealed that regardless of the player’s dominant hand (whether left or right), the layer of fat on both arms was exactly the same (despite the fact that they used one arm more often than the other).
Another more recent study on abdominal fat (2011) revealed a similar outcome.
A focus group were asked to perform 7 abdominal exercises for 2 sets of 10 repetitions 5 days per week for 6 weeks (no other exercise).
They found absolutely no impact on abdominal fat loss (though their ab muscles did become stronger).
So what does this tell us?
It tells us that fat is distributed evenly throughout our body, and fat is also lost evenly throughout our body.
Spot reduction exercises, though they may make certain muscles stronger, won’t reduce fat. You can train your left leg 5 days a week, and your right leg zero days a week every day for a year, but they will still have the same, exact fat measurement in the end.
Importantly, these types of targeted exercises don’t burn nearly enough calories to effectively contribute to fat loss.
So, while targeting a muscle group will make that particular muscle group stronger, it is not efficient (or intense) enough to help you get rid of the overlying fat.
Think about it this way: You could have an amazing ‘hidden’ six pack, but no one would ever see it unless you applied the proper exercise and diet techniques…
Which leads me to the “How” portion of this post.
How HIIT helps you get six-pack abs
In fact, just to give you a basis of comparison, HIIT is 9 times more efficient than steady-state cardio.
And everyone, from athletes to trainers, is quickly discovering that jump ropes are the ‘superstars’ of HIIT workouts.
Jump ropes are what we like to refer to as a ‘Friend of HIIT’ of ‘FHIIT’.
They can be effortlessly incorporated into any HIIT circuit (no waiting for machines, or walking to the other side of the gym between intervals), they’re versatile (used alone or combined with bodyweight training), and they can be taken anywhere.
Oh – and did I mention they’re also fun? Who says workouts have to boring?
Note: HIIT, of course, is only one part of the fat loss equation. Nutrition plays an even more important role, but we’ll save that for another blog post.
We hope you enjoyed this post. Here’s a quick summary:
- Crunches won’t help you lose fat. They’re not only inefficient, but they can damage your spine.
- You can’t target specific areas of the body for fat loss. Science has shown that spot reduction won’t work.
- HIIT workouts are much more efficient for fat loss. They not only burn more calories, but they keep things fun.
- Jump ropes are ideal tools for HIIT workouts because of their versatility – you can incorporate them into any circuit and mix them with other training methods.
Article Source – our friends at Crossrope.com