But what is the answer? How do you get a washboard stomach?
Even the so called ‘experts’ seem divided on this one. A flat stomach is most people's dream but is the crunch the way to get it? Well consider this recently published number one answer to a yahoo question:
"those who suggest crunches and sit-ups actually have no idea what they are talking about. Large amounts of ab stimulation will actually make your abdominal region larger and give your stomach a more rounded look. "
The source for this reply is listed as being someone with “years of training and common sense. "
Another quote on a website offering advice on Postpartum Tummy states, “Take care that you do not do any ‘crunches’ which can make abdominal separation worse. "
However other ‘experts’ disagree:
"If you want sexy abs then you need to know how to do a perfect crunch. The crunch is the classic abs movement and it is classic for good reason - it works!"
This quote was taken from a women's health and fitness website.
So again I have to ask, “What is the real answer?" After all haven't we all been doing crunches or sit-ups for years to get a toned flat stomach? I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers lying on the floor, hands behind my head with my younger brother holding my feet as I struggled to sit upright. Of course this only led to crippling back pain but I soldiered on until the new way of thinking was to keep your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees.
Nowadays you don't even have to sit upright at all. You simply raise your head slightly off the floor and let your legs do the work with cycling movements. Having said that, I still haven't got a washboard stomach despite clocking up thousands of crunches over the years so maybe it's time I sided with the ‘against lobby’. Of course the hardliners will probably say it's all down to technique but I think I'm going to abandon crunches and look for an alternative. I recently read that reducing fat on the stomach by increasing activity and following a sensible diet will help to reveal the hidden six-pack hiding beneath the surface. So that's going to be my goal from now on. Goodbye gruelling crunches, hello healthy lifestyle and hopefully by summer I'll finally be able to reveal a sexy, washboard stomach
Elizabeth Hartley is the author and creator of The Flat Stomach Diet. This diet plan is the result of many years of research after consultation with doctors and professional nutritionists in an effort to discover the causes of painful abdominal cramps and bloating. The findings are based on personal experience after undergoing numerous medical tests and procedures and failing to find any other alternative long term solution. Details of The Flat Stomach Diet can be found at http://www.flatstomachplan.com