Think swiveling up a storm during a strenuous workout like belly dancing is the only way to lose fat? Think again. There are plenty of other ways (too many to list, really). There are just as many workout misconceptions, too, say the experts at L.A.’s the Sports Club, one of the most comprehensive fitness centers in the country. Here’s the skinny on what they call the four most common exercise myths. — J.B.
Myth No. 1: You have to do cardio to lose fat.
Reality: Getting your heart pumping is great, of course, but for a more permanent solution, you have to add weight training and eat sensibly.
Myth No. 2: When you stop exercising, muscle turns into fat.
Reality: Muscle and fat are different types of tissue, so it’s physiologically impossible for one to turn into the other. But you’ll lose muscle if you don’t use it.
Myth No. 3: Repetition is the key to getting toned.
Reality: Intensity is what reshapes your muscles, so unless you’re using heavy enough weights, all the repetition in the world won’t make a difference.
Myth No. 4: For rock-hard abs, you’ve got to do countless crunches.
Reality: Crunches can strengthen and tone your tummy, but they can’t get rid of that spare tire altogether. That’s because the body can’t spot-reduce with exercise. The transverse abdominus, however, when properly exercised, can help you achieve flatter-looking abdominals.