1. Doing 500 crunches a day will give you a six-pack
Although completing this number of crunches or sit-ups will strengthen your stomach muscles and core, they will not help you to lose sufficient belly fat for your abs to show, giving you that washboard stomach. Performing cardiovascular exercises will burn the fat, which should be combined with performing crunches to achieve the six-pack effect.
2. Eating before bedtime is bad for you
If you are hungry then it is better to eat, whatever time of day it is. If you do not eat and remain hungry for a sustained period, then your body goes into hunger shutdown mode and actually stores more fat to be used as reserves.
3. Stretching is crucial for preventing injury before a workout
You will get more benefit from stretching after a workout as this can increase your range of motion. Some studies suggest that stretching before a workout can destabilise muscles and make them less prepared for strenuous exercise. A warm up that gets the blood pumping is better advised.
4. A hot bath prevents muscle soreness
A cold bath is more beneficial. Our blood vessels open wider during exercise and stay like this for about an hour afterwards, which can allow waste products, such as lactic acid to settle in the muscles through the dilated vessels and cause soreness. Cold temperatures narrow the vessels, therefore restricting the amount of waste products that can accumulate and prevent discomfort.
5. Women will bulk up and look manly if they lift weights because men do.
One of the main contributing factors for men bulking up is that they lift heavier weights and have higher testosterone levels than women. All key for building muscle. Men also have a higher muscle percentage and lower fat ratio than women do.
6. Drinking water helps you lose weight
There is no scientific fact to support this and drinking more water will not make you less hungry. You should only drink when you are thirsty to replace the water a healthy adult loses in a day.
7. Running can be counterproductive when strength training
Unless you are wanting to dramatically increase muscle mass, then running is definitely not a negative for strength training. As a weight-bearing exercise, running will develop more lean muscle in the lower body, which helps to keep bones healthy.
8. Swimming is ideal for weight loss
Although swimming is an activity that works the majority of our muscles, the buoyancy factor of the water is supporting our body weight so we do not achieve as high a heart rate as expected or burn as much fat as hoped. It will expand your lung capacity though.
9. You can increase calorie burn by holding weights whilst doing cardio exercises
Although this is actually true, you will not significantly burn more calories to make it worthwhile and can increase the risk of injury to elbows and shoulders with uncontrolled movements by holding weights. The risks outweigh the benefits, so a better option is to increase the speed or resistance on a treadmill or cross-trainer.
10. Performing squats are bad for the knees
For the majority of people who experience pain in their knees when squatting, it is likely because they are performing the exercise wrongly. If the weight on your shoulders or on your sides is too much, lessen it. This is a great exercise for a strong pair of legs if done correctly.