10 Most Unrealistic, Unattainable Abs Photos on Pinterest (PHOTOS)

Carly Pizzani | Dec 26, 2014 Healthy Living

woman with toned abs

We've all seen the pictures of incredibly toned, defined abs on Pinterest. Whether they motivate you to get to the gym, or just make you feel bad about yourself, there are a few things you should know about just how realistic it is to believe the hype about getting those six-pack abs.

 

There are obviously women out there who have amazingly toned abs (otherwise, how would there be so many pictures on Pinterest, right?), but that doesn't mean they are attainable for everyone. If you look at a photo of a six-foot tall model, size zero, with legs for days, and cheekbones that could carve ice, do you automatically assume you could have those physical features if you just try a little harder? Of course not!

So, take a deep breath, stop comparing yourself to fitness models' torsos, and check out these tips on how you can make the most of YOUR midsection.

Do you have any of these misleading pins on your board?


© iStock.com/skodonnell


  • A Workout for Lower Abs?

    1

    Where to start with this image ... let's take a look at the text. As a quick anatomy refresher, there is no such thing as "lower abs" versus "upper abs." What forms the six-pack look this model displays is your rectus abdominus. It's ONE muscle, guys. You're working it, or not.

    One new killer workout for your abs is not going to get the results you see here. Abs like these are genetics, mixed with a strict diet, and a lot of working out.

    Tip: For more definition in your abdominals, start with your diet. Keeping a food journal for a couple of weeks can help you modify habits and behavious that aren't helping your fitness and weight goals.

  • What's Stopping You From Being "That Girl"?

    2

    Hmm ... I think what may be stopping you from being "that girl" is the fact that you're not her. You're you. Your genetics, body shape, lifestyle, career, and commitments are all yours -- not "that" girl's. 

    When I look at the description for this pin, I want to cry. If you lost ten pounds in three days, I would only imagine you had some kind of horrible illness that probably required hospitalization. Maybe that's where the 'No Exercise!' part comes in? 

    Tip: If you want to improve your health and fitness, and you want to feel better about how you look, that's a great goal. Start with changing one unhealthy behavior, or adding one healthy behaviour. Once that becomes a habit, you can move on the the next change. 

  • Inspiration Versus Motivation

    3

    Hey, guess what? I only half hate this quote! I totally agree with suck it up now -- sometimes workouts are hard, and uncomfortable, and you wish they were over. But those kinds of workouts do make you stronger, and fitter, and more likely to reach your fitness goals. The 'Suck it in later'? Not so much. 

    Take a look at this model's abs. As an educated guess from a personal trainer, she is around a 12-13 percent body fat range. The average healthy range for a 30 to 39 year old woman is 23.1 to 26.9 percent body fat, according to ACSM guidelines. Unless you're a dedicated athlete, or someone whose livelihood relies on keeping their body fat percentage below average, this is not an "ideal" for which most women should feel the need to strive.

    Tip: Work out hard because you should make the most of the time you have for exercise. Leafing through a magazine on an elliptical is not going to give you the same results as a major sweat-fest. Just don't strive for an unhealthy result.

  • 3 Simple Tips for Six-Pack Abs

    4

    Something you may not realize about your abdominals is that you're working them out nearly all the time. Walking, squatting, lunging, standing up, sitting down -- you're always using these muscles. So, in actual fact, you probably already have six-pack abs, unless you are incredibly sedentary.

    What makes them visible is lowering your body fat, since the fat on your mid-section is what's hiding them from view. 

    Tip: For lowering body fat percentage, lift heavier weights; try exercises that workout bigger muscles like your glutes, hamstrings, pectorals and lats; up the intensity of some of your cardio workouts; and make sure your calorie intake is in the correct range for your age, height, and activity level.

  • Our Bodies Are Capable of Anything

    5

    Our bodies are pretty amazing. We can carry children, we can give birth, we can run, and walk, and lift heavy things. Our bodies are also really adaptable, so when you start working out, you will notice positive changes in the way you feel, and look. Switching up your routine regularly means you will continue to see these changes. Changing your mindset about what you can really do with your body is a great first step towards getting stronger, and fitter.

    Just remember, your body is not this model's body. You can change your mind about how tall you want to be, but it doesn't mean it's actually possible. 

    Tip: Work out for YOUR best body. Your basic shape can't be changed, but you can use your time in the gym to get to the strongest, healthiest version of your body.

  • Want This Body?

    6

    I don't know about you guys, but I'm sensing a real theme here. Apparently, you CAN have the exact same body as a fitness model! Here are the six easy steps -- it's that simple!

    These steps actually aren't bad advice -- in fact, these are great ways to help achieve fitness goals. It's frustrating if you're following this advice, and your stomach still doesn't look how you hoped. Be kind to yourself, and try to keep track of all the positive results you ARE seeing with hard work.

    Tip: Consistency counts. It's impossible to be perfect about your diet, workout, and habits all the time, but staying on track at least 80 percent of the time can yield amazing results. It's not simple, though -- it will be hard work. 

  • The Challenge for Abs

    7

    I love the idea of a 30 day challenge to kickstart your fitness goals. A month is the perfect amount of time for you to make healthy behaviors like a consistent fitness routine into habit. But those abs? Those aren't going to materialize in 30 days, I'm afraid. 

    Tip: Be realistic about the timing of your fitness goals. While it can be super frustrating to see quick-fix promises like this one, remember that every day you're focusing on your workouts or healthy habits is getting you closer to the goals you've set for yourself. 

  • Got Abs?

    8

    Here we have another model most likely hovering in the 12-13 percent body fat percentage range. And yet again, it is not a healthy, attainable standard for most women.

    We're smarter than this, ladies! Let's not fall for promises of fast results and unattainable goals just because we see a picture of a toned stomach.

    Tip: Keep a workout journal, so you can look back on your hard work and feel good about it, as well as recognizing when it's time to switch up your workouts, change the weights you lift, or try something new as your body adapts.

  • Do You Just Need 4 Exercises?

    9

    Spot reduction is a myth. Doing abs exercises can be helpful if you're specifically trying to build strength in your abdominals (like after having a baby, or surgery), but you're much more likely to get results lifting heavy weights in full-body movements. Why? It all comes back to reducing your body fat to show off your hard work. Even the strongest, fittest women may not look like this model if they're carrying excess fat on their frame.

    Tip: Incorporate specific exercises for abs into your full-body workout, or try exercises that are great for your abs while working other parts of your body -- think push ups, lunges, squats, and rowing.

  • All Year Round Abs

    10

    I've said it before -- I love a good workout challenge. Taking 7 days to learn some new moves to add to your current workout sounds like a great idea. What's implied in this pin, though, is that you'll attain a midsection like this in just one week. Not so much, I'm afraid.

    Tip: Take advantage of Pinterest for finding great new workouts and exercises, but don't fall for the false claims.

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