For as long as crop tops, bikinis, and, well, Britney Spears have been around, there’s been an all-consuming obsession with having a flat, six-pack stomach. Eavesdrop on a personal training consult and, more often than not, you’ll hear the client say, “I want abs.” Take a peek around the gym and you’ll probably see half the population cranking away at crunches, bicycles, the ab wheel, and other core moves that’ll make it hurt to laugh tomorrow. (Ex: this insanely hard obliques workout.)
Don’t get us wrong, it’s hella important to have a strong core. But it’s about time we appreciate this ever-important muscle group for what it really does, and stop placing all its value on its resemblance to a pack of Coke cans.
These reasons will convince you to stop seeing your abs as a vanity project, and start seeing the beyond-skin-deep benefits of working it out.