One of the most misunderstood parts of working out and getting into shape happens to be sculpting the abs. A shocking number of people still have the belief that if you want to lose weight and have a six-pack you have to spend all of your time doing sit-ups and crunches. This is some very old-fashioned and wrong thinking. The people who follow this myth believe that spot reduction is possible. They believe that by working out the abs, they will be able to melt away the fat around their midsection and have the chiseled abs that they want. The body simply doesn't work that way.
Why Spot Reduction is False
When you are losing fat weight, your body removes it from all parts of your physique. That's why when you measure the different parts of your body, all of them will be smaller when you start dieting and exercising properly, and not just one area. When the body needs the calories from the stored fat, it doesn't care where it gets them. Thus, reducing fat in one area by exercising that area solely just isn't going to work. It is a myth that has been around for ages, and it probably will not disappear anytime soon.
However, the opposite is true when you are adding muscle, and this may be why some people are confused. Because you are working out certain muscle groups, those muscles repair and grow while muscles you ignore will not. You have to remember that muscle and fat are very different, and the addition and reduction of either doesn't work the same way. Spot reduction for fat loss in the abs (or any area of the body) does not work; building muscle in one area does.
Do You Need Abdominal Exercises?
You may think that since spot reduction is impossible that you do not need to have any abdominal exercises in your routine. That's not true though. Once you start losing weight and seeing your abs, you will see that they still need to have some work. You want to have a strong and aesthetically pleasing torso, and that means you still need to do those crunches and leg lifts. These exercises will help to condition the abdominals as well as to give them that sharp look that you want to have. However, the biggest factor is still going to be your diet and the cardio that you do.
Best Way to Sculpt the Abs
The best way to get killer abs is to make sure that you add quite a bit of cardio activity to your week. You want to sweat and burn fat. You also need to make sure that you are eating properly, and that means you have to stay away from junk food and fatty foods. Have a good all around exercise routine and eat healthy foods. Just as with all forms of weight loss, this is what you need to have in order to be successful when you are trying to have great looking abs.