05/30/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Summer Washboard Abs

Washboard abs look great and who doesn't want them? Yet, contrary to common belief, it is not that difficult to get and to maintain them if you know the secret.

The secret for washboard abs reveled:

The last thing you want to do when your goals is to get washboard abs is crunches. Think about it! Abdominals are a smaller muscle group whereas your chest, back and legs are larger muscle groups. So, do you burn more calories by working your small muscle groups or your large muscle groups? It is clear that your larger muscle group is the right answer.

The reason some people have washboard abs is that they lower their body fat to approximately 13 - 14 % or less for men and 14% - 20% or less for women.

Lowering your body fat is accomplished through your workout program and diet that is planned and followed consistently. This regiment should also be followed during your travels or whenever you're outside of your daily routine!

So, do I still need to do abdominal training?

If your goal is to receive washboard abs you are better off with strength training your entire body 3 times a week and cardio vascular training 3 times per week. So, since abdominal training is a part of your core training, it's important to do those exercises regularly.

Core strength is essential for proper motion and exercise execution without sustaining injuries. Keep in mind that your abdominals (abdominal wall, trans versus abdominus, rectus abdominus) and internal and external oblique take part in protecting your back from injuries.

Hence, abdominal strength is important and it has an indirect effect on your washboard abs. If you don't have a strong core, you can't lift heavier weights or do more repetition to build up a leaner defined body to burn more fat calories.

So next time, when anyone instructs you to do crunches to build up your washboard abs, educate them! Now you know better.

Stefan Aschan is a leading expert on lifestyle, health and fitness who has helped more than 30,000 people get fit through advice on nutrition, fitness and lifestyle changes. For your free "How to live 100 years in perfect health" report and the must read "updates and solution" newsletter on how to have 10 times more success, stay on top of your goals, and accomplish the change of body and appearance," visit