10 Myths and Truths about getting Washboard Abs

December 1, 2015

For fitness buffs and couch potatoes alike, we all seem to have the fascination of the ideal physique. Often, this ideal, no matter if you are male or female, curvy or athletic, is centred around a great set of abs. Whether you admire the girl in the bikini on the beach or the model in the magazines, you may be closer to a great set of your own abs than you may think. Having a flat and chiseled tummy is definitely something to aspire to, but achieving this goal requires a lot of hard work. Before you get started on your pathway to washboard abs, you first have to eliminate all of the ab myths that may be standing in your way. Understanding the truth about abs will ensure that you successfully sculpt your midsection.

Exercises for Abs

The Plank: This move is seen as one of the top moves for getting abs. Holding this move for about 30 seconds engages each and every muscle in your core.

Leg Raises: Anytime you engage your lower body during an ab routine, you will be engaging your lower abs as well.

Seated Rotations: Twisted movements will ensure that you engage those obliques.

Pilates:This form of exercise is completely geared around core strength.

Cardio: Don’t forget to do cardio consistently in order to remove the fat and reveal those abs.

Myths & Facts

Myth #1: Slow and steady wins the race

Truth #1: Now some trainers and workout buffs emphasize the importance of performing ab exercises slowly in order to force the muscle to change. The truth is that slow performance isn’t any more effective at sculpting your abs. Just be mindful or proper form and execution.

Myth #2: You must do ab work each and every day to see results

Truth #2: Abs, like any other muscle, need rest in order to change and grow. This resting period will allow you to see the benefits of all of your hard work. In this case, less is more as long as you have about 3 complete ab workouts in your weekly routine.

Myth #3: The longer the better

Truth#3: People often think that they have to exhaust a muscle by completing an insane amount of repetitions. The truth is that you should be focusing on quality rather than quantity to see results.

Myth #4: Reserve abs for the end

Truth #4: Many people hit the mat at the end of their workout routine in order to begin their set of ab exercises. For some reason, they feel that this time is when they will get the most out of their abs. The truth is that there is no physiological reason to do abs in this order. You can complete your ab sets at any point in your workout, as long as you make sure you have an adequate warm-up period and you are consistent.

Myth #5:  You can spot reduce your abs

Truth #5: This is probably one of the biggest myths out there. You may see people of all different shapes consistently performing their ab routine, yet never quite achieving that sculpted physique that they had hoped. In order to see physical results, reducing all around fat in the midsection is necessary. You can do a million crunches but if you have a layer of fat covering your muscles, they will never shine through. Overall fat reduction should be achieved through diet and cardio exercises. Ab moves alone won’t cut it.

Myth #6: Everyone can achieve a flat and tight tummy

Truth #6: The truth is that for various different reasons, some people will be less prone to achieving that six pack. Some of these variations are due to genetics, age, and gender, which all have a hand in the shape that you naturally have and that you can ultimately achieve.

Myth #7: A bad back ruins my chances of getting abs

Truth #7: Even if your back impedes you from doing certain ab exercises, this does not mean that you are doomed to having a flabby belly. The truth is that abdominal exercises and muscle strength also helps strengthen your back, especially those that engage your entire core. Working your abs can also be helpful for relieving pain in that back as well.

Myth #8: If I stop my ab routine, my muscles will turn to fat

Truth #8: First and foremost, muscle cannot turn into fat and vice versa. As long as you continue to maintain a balanced diet and stay active, your abs will not just disappear. Now if your diet goes downhill completely and you start to eat junk food and become completely inactive, you will definitely lose definition.

Myth #9: Men and women need different ab regimens to see the same results

Truth #9: No matter what the gender, both sexes need to be mindful of their diet, cardio, and consistency and quality of their ab routine in order to see results.

Myth #10: Weighted ab exercises will make my middle bulky

Truth #10: As previously mentioned, the fat surrounding the midsection will be due to lack of proper diet and cardio, not the added weight in your sets. In fact, you should applaud yourself for aiming for quality and intensity.

How you can Succeed

Looking at the recurring themes in the ten myths and facts, there are some key pieces that may help you achieve those great abs that you deserve. Consistency is one, so make sure that whatever routine you select, you stick with it. Quality is another. Rather than focusing on the amount you can pump out, try to make the most out of each and every rep. A comprehensive approach is another thing to keep in mind. Remember, that you can not spot reduce and ab exercise alone will not give you that washboard set of abs. Integrate a healthy diet and adequate cardio with your ab routine in order to achieve success!

In this video Skip La Cour, free-drug bodybuilder, gives some tips for getting washboard abs:


  • A.H. James October 10, 2012 at 3:58 am

    A flat tummy isn’t for all, since it’s the genetics, the age, and other physical limitations that will determine your body. So if your old man’s got an overweight belly, chances are you’ve got one too. The best you can do is to change your lifestyle if you want to be fit and healthy.

  • Jessica Johnson October 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I was able to get my abs into shape by cutting out fat in my diet and doing leg raises along with hiking and mountain bike cardio. Thanks for sharing the write-up!

  • Felicia October 29, 2012 at 7:28 am

    Hi Elena,
    When I was in my early adult years about 5 to 7 years ago, it was quite easy for me to achieve a flat tummy, but no matter what exercise I do and no matter how intense I work out on my tummy, I never got that prominent abs.
    I agree that genetics and lifestyle can really be crucial factors in getting evident abs. Also, without consistency with exercise, good food habits and healthy lifestyle, you will never achieve flat abs, I believe you won’t even have a flat tummy. I have old friends I know who are fat all their life and when they finally slimmed down, they still never got that lean mean physique they wanted.

    • Elena Anne March 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Hello Felicia,
      Each one has more fat cells to certain areas of his body. Others on their belly, legs, buttocks etc. I think that a healthy person with more “belly fat cells” may not see a six pack but he can have a flat stomach. It needs a healthy lifestyle though.