Archive for the ‘Training Myths’ Category

This afternoon when I was finishing up my workout at the UMass Campus Rec Center, I heard a group instructor ask her class if they wanted to spend the last five minutes of the class training the lower abs or the upper abs.  I had no choice but to laugh to myself knowing that the differentiation doesn’t exist.  The rectus abdominis has only have one nerve supply and always fires equally as one unit.  That extra burn you feel when going after your “lower abs” is just your hip flexors firing and it won’t do much to mobilize that layer of subcutaneous fat hiding your “six-pack.”  There are a lot of misconceptions about this in the media due to uneducated/ money-hungry personal trainers trying to make a quick buck off of a desperate market.  Don’t buy in to what you hear on late-night infomercials, keep yourself educated and avoid getting ripped off.  Those training for aesthetics need to focus more time cleaning up their diet and they’ll avoid a lot of frustration in the process.


Lehman*, G., and McGill, S.M. (2001) Quantification of the differences in electromyographic activity magnitude between upper and lower rectus abdominis during selected trunk exercises.  Phys. Ther. 81: 1096-1101.