If you’re determined to slim down your middle, read through our checklist of do’s and don’ts to make sure you get the most out of your tummy workouts.
The “chew then crunch” myth
Think you can eat whatever you like and then work off all that naughty food with lots of crunches? That’s not the way it works, says Cheyne Cameron, recreation services manager for the City of Subiaco.
“If you are not lowering your fat intake by watching what you eat, it doesn’t matter how many exercises and crunches you perform. Not only will you see zero results, but you may actually see your stomach increase in size,” he warned.
“This is because you’re building muscle underneath the existing fat. We all have flat stomachs; it’s just that some have layers of fat on top of that muscle we must get rid of first.”
The numbers myth
“Twenty-five good quality crunches are much better than 250 half-done crunches,” Mr Cameron said.
“Many want to get it over with so they lie down and do as many fast crunches as they can while lacking in quality. The best thing to do is perform four sets of 20-25 solid crunches while resting for 90 seconds in between each set.”
The spot toning myth
You cannot spot tone one area of the body.
Mr Cameron said by only focusing on one area — stomach muscles — your metabolism is not raised enough to burn extra belly fat.
“The key to flattening your stomach area is to increase your metabolism so it can effectively get rid of those layers of excess tummy fat,” he said.
“Total body exercise is the key to trimming your waistline.”