Have you ever seen people in the gym doing the exact opposite of what you were taught? Chances are that one of you is doing it incorrectly. But how do you know who’s doing it right? And who can you trust when it comes to fitness myths and facts?
Ben Cohen, an accomplished collegiate strength coach and founder of Ben Cohen Athletic Advising, offers the truth about several fitness myths, and what you need to know to ensure your workouts are safe and effective.
1. There Is no Such Thing as Spot Reduction
Trying to lose your gut by doing sit-ups is futile. One million ab exercises a day won't flatten a stomach that is covered in layers of fat.
Burning calories through frequent, consistent cardio would help shed that belly fat. A calorie deficit helps the belly, and a lot of other body parts, get smaller.
Eventually, the ab exercises will help tone the ab muscles, which will become visible when the excess fat is gone.
More: 4 Exercises to Lose Your Love Handles
2. Easy Bar Curls Are Not a Good Bicep Exercise
That curvy-looking thing you see people in the gym using to curl a ton of weight is not isolating a beneficial part of the bicep. That specific position, with the thumbs facing up, takes the tension out of the bicep when curling.
Straight-bar bicep curls, with the palm facing up, are best.
More: 10 Ways to Build Bigger Biceps
3. Lat Pull-Downs, in Front of the Face to the Chest, Are More Effective
Pulling the bar behind the head can hurt your shoulders, as most people don’t have the range of motion to safely do this.
4. You Don’t Have Lower, Middle and Upper abs
It’s all one muscle. To effectively target regions of your erectus abdominus, you need to pre-fatigue certain parts of it. With a crunch series, for instance, you’ll need to fatigue the top of your abs, then the middle in order to get to the bottom.
More: 10 Exercises For Flatter Abs