Are you ready to play fitness fact or fiction?  There is a lot of information out there regarding what makes a workout work - but not all of it is accurate.  It's time to finally bust those misleading myths and silence those know-it-all burpee buddies offering too much unsolicited advice on your cardio competency.

Here are the cold, hard facts:

Myth:  Static stretching before exercise prevents strains and sprains.

Fact:  Believe it or not, the stretching game is a little more advanced than propping your leg up on a bench and leaning in. Anytime we hold a stretch for a period of time, that is called a static stretch.  Contrarily, dynamic stretches are designed to serve as a mini-workout before the main event, and are characterized by the use of momentum.

Recent studies suggest swapping static stretches for dynamic stretches prior to exercise for a safer, more effective warm up.  For example, implement dynamic stretches like high knees, toe touches or jogging in place, as it simulates the body's mechanics and eases the muscles into exercise.

Myth:  The treadmill is safer on my knees than pavement.

Fact: Running is a high-impact exercise, so whether you are on a treadmill or asphalt, your knees are taking a beating.  Avoid running-related aches and pains by mixing in other forms of cardio during the week, such as the elliptical, cycling or even taking a Barre class. Switching up your workout is the best way to prevent overuse injuries. Your knees will thank you for it.

Myth:  SIt ups are the key to washboard abs.

Fact: While sit ups do strengthen a small portion of the abdominal area, they won't whittle away your waistline.  Not only do these crunches miss the mark on crushing calories, they also add a ton of stress to the neck and spine when done incorrectly.  If you want to tone your abs, stick to a solid core curriculum of planks and bridges; and always remember that abs are made in the kitchen.  A lean body is only possible with a healthy diet and exercise.

If you want to be a workout buff, you have to know the facts.

Earn it.

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