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New research debunks certain fitness myths

October 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Many who exercise think they know the tried-and-true techniques to getting a safe, body-changing workout. However, new research is giving us new insights on some of the hard-and-fast rules.

If you exercise no doubt you have a certain ritual to your workout. But recent research has added new insights to traditional techniques.

Starting with nutrition, many feel that working out on an empty stomach means they'll burn more fat. That's big fat mistake.

"A car can't run without fuel, your body can't run without fuel," said Herbalife fitness consultant Samantha Clayton.

Clayton is a former Olympic sprinter. She knows firsthand what happens when there's exertion without eating.

"You'll get light-headed, you can't work as hard, therefore you don't get as good results," said Clayton.

But the type of food you eat pre-workout is crucial.

"Your body needs carbohydrates to fuel your body. It's our primary source of fuel," said Clayton.

A smoothie, fruit or yogurt are good choices, at about 150 calories.

This month's Fitness Magazine discusses a handful of fitness myths like whether or not you should save crunches to the end of a workout.

Clayton says crunches are "so yesterday."

"Your core has to work for every exercise," she said. In other words, most exercises involve your stomach and back muscles.

"Incorporating your core workout into your regular routine saves you time," said Clayton. "There is no real need to lay on the floor to do abs anymore."

Yoga plank, balance work, even pushups are great examples of how much we already engage abdominals.

One myth causing loads of chatter in the fitness community is where you place your knees during lunges and squats. Conventional wisdom holds that you don't put your knees over toes, but recent research suggests differently.

"I work closely with physical therapists and they do advise you to stay back. But if you think of activities that you do in everyday life,when you're squatting down to pick something up, your knees are going over your toes," said Clayton.

Actually by keeping knees behind toes puts quite a strain on hips. Allowing knees to come forward a bit in either move can reduce hip and spinal pressure.


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