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Six-Pack Secrets; Love Handle Erasers; The 5 Foods To Avoid If You Want A Six-Pack; 10 Core Exercises To Whittle Your Waist; Best Ab Moves

If titles such as these still attract you to read them, then this blog post is for you!

It’s for you, not because it’s going to help you get 6-pack abs, but rather to dispel all the false-promises articles with headings such as these make.

Anytime you see fitness articles that tell you the 10 Best Exercises For Ripped Abs, you should read them with a pinch of salt – and a large pinch for that matter!  No matter what exercise you use to target the abs, whether they may be crunches, leg raises, planks, balance balls, kettle bells, or even electrical muscle stimulation devices, you will not see your six-pack if you still have a layer of fat covering them.

Warning – the following image is graphic but illustrates this point well:

abs cross-section_female

A cross-section of a female body across the abdomen


As you can see from the image above, the rectus abdominus – aka. “abs”, is a very thin piece of muscle that is completely covered by (in this case) a thick layer of subcutaneous body fat.

You can train your abs until the cows come home and you will still not see any shape of your six-pack surfacing.  By doing strength training, you may be able to grow them from 2cm thick to 3cm thick, but that 5cm fat layer will cover everything like a winter duvet.

That is not to say you shouldn’t bother doing any strengthening exercises for your abs; you definitely should for a variety of health reasons: to enhance your posture, promote better mobility and the transfer of energy between your upper and lower body, and to protect your spine, but the focus is no longer on flattening the stomach area.

The only way you will see your abdominal muscles is by losing all the belly fat covering them.  And the most effective way in doing so is definitely not by doing crunches!

But won’t doing crunches and planks help to reduce the body fat around the mid-section?  After all, they are exercises that target the core!

Sorry – the answer again is a science-backed “NO”, as (fat) spot reduction is now a widely-accepted fallacy in our understanding of human physiology.  Although, there is a study that showed it may help burn fat around muscles that are being used, the results are so infinitesimal that for all intents and purposes, is a non-practical solution.

So what is the best way to have a flatter stomach?

The fact of the matter is, belly fat is very difficult to get rid of.  It’s usually the first place people put fat on and the last place to go away.

The best strategy to slimming your waistline down is a long-term, sustainable lifestyle shift that prioritises your health.  And you guessed it, that will involve making healthier eating choices, reducing alcohol and sugary drinks, and coupled with high intensity training (specifically speaking, good old-fashion strength training) to build up your muscles.  And if it’s properly designed and executed, your abs will get all the exercise it needs without even doing a single crunch!

It will be a slow and arduous journey, but as the saying goes:


“Focus on the journey, not the destination.”



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