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BENGEC1 SparkPoints: (7,572)
Fitness Minutes: (3,439)
Posts: 32
6/28/13 12:07 P

Wow. These were not the responses that I expected. How interesting! I have been educated. I did find the "put down the fork" remark a bit harsh. Being "schooled" is not the same as being educated. emoticon

FYI, I track my calories religiously and follow my daily calorie plan the way that I am supposed to do. I do very much appreciate the other replies.


Edited by: BENGEC1 at: 6/28/2013 (12:09)
JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
6/28/13 11:57 A

WAYCAT- Marketing :) It sells. Just like there are million and one ab-concentrated workout DVDs and a million + 2 articles in fitness mags on ab-targeted workout routines.

Gives everyone the impression that you have to work your abs to ashes to get a flat, toned stomach. When all it really comes down to is reaching (a usually unhealthy) low body fat %. Which is why it's nearly impossible for most people to achieve, particularly women and why we're desperate to find some guru out there with the "magic cure" to abdominal fat.

Telling women that they're most likely never going to achieve a six pack short of reaching 12% body fat wouldn't exactly perpetuate the cash flow.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/28/2013 (12:01)
MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,452
6/28/13 11:26 A

Many people WANT to reduce fat in specific areas (which is a perfectly natural desire), but many weak-willed instructors give them what they want, even if it is factually incorrect. And I suspect that many good instructors are tired of seeing people gravitate to "upper and lower ab" merchants, and feel compelled to include this in their dialogue, even if their actual exercise routines are properly designed and intended to work the entire core.

There is a lot of money to be made by just giving people what they want. Sadly, there is not nearly so much money to be made in educating people.


PS. And I guess that the appearance of a SIX pack makes it look visually as though there are several different muscles there. So it can seem a bit counter intuitive that it is one muscle.

Edited by: MOTIVATED@LAST at: 6/28/2013 (11:31)
WAYCAT Posts: 1,012
6/28/13 11:16 A

How interesting!

Thanks for the link M@L - I always knew that to target abs specifically was very much a waste of time and effort, but I didn't realise that the abs were infact one long muscle.

One has to wonder, then, why so many workout DVDs & their respective instructors (naming no names!) seem hell bent on working upper and lower abs separately - and seeing this diagram simply confirms something that I've always thought - planks are the way to go!

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,452
6/28/13 10:55 A

I agree with Jennilacey - the abs are one long muscle - there is no such thing as upper or lower abs. Take a look at the diagram at

Visible abs are normally a product of very low overall body fat, rather than massively developed abdominal muscles. And to achieve this, rather than an exclusively abdominal workout, you would be better off aiming to strength train ALL the major muscles in your body (along with cardio and watching your intake of course).


JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,972)
Fitness Minutes: (86,286)
Posts: 2,489
6/28/13 9:35 A

The abs are one muscle. There is really no such thing as "lower abs".

Compound exercises will strengthen/build muscle in the core because all muscles meet at the core, the core is used to stabilize during compound exercises. Targeting the abs is a waste of time. You don't need Abs of Babylon to have fab abs. You need to lower your body fat percentage so you can see them. Building huge abs while you still have fat on top will just make your stomach look more poochy.

Since I stopped targeting my abs my stomach is looking *less* poochy. The abs have to be *the most* unnecessarily overworked muscle group.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 6/28/2013 (09:42)
LEC358 SparkPoints: (11,135)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
Posts: 2,744
6/28/13 9:32 A

Target your abs by doing fork-putdowns, fridge door closes, and table push aways. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.

BENGEC1 SparkPoints: (7,572)
Fitness Minutes: (3,439)
Posts: 32
6/28/13 8:46 A

Hi! I just read the FAQ about losing body weight in a specific area and I get it. However, I still would like to target my lower abs. I know that one day, at the right weight, they will show up! Even when I weighed 127 lbs and worked out a lot, my lower abs were pouchy. I am doing a "dancer's abs" strength training workout and I see a change in my upper abs but my problem area is still plaguing me. Any suggestions for target exercises?

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