Kira Stokes is a big deal in the world of personal training. She’s worked with celebs like model Ashley Graham and she has more than 25 years of fitness experience and over 300,000 Instagram followers. The social media platform helps her get her message out there, but she says it can also perpetuate fitness myths. According to this trainer, these are the things you shouldn’t believe on social media about working out.
- Myth: You can look like an Instagram model if you eat like one- Instagram influencers may be pushing trendy diet or fitness products, but that’s not what gives them those six-pack abs. They do rigorous workouts and follow nutrition plans, plus photoshoots involve the perfect lighting and the right filter to help them look their best.
- Myth: Box jumps are the best way to show off explosive strength- Stokes says box jumps are overrated and that less flashy movements, like step-ups are just as effective and less likely to cause injury.
- Myth: A good push-up or plank includes a "booty pop"- "I see so many people doing it wrong — they stick their butt straight up in the air," the trainer explains. She says they’re doing “what’s cute versus what’s right,” and instead she advocates the “ugly butt” position - tucking your tailbone in to keep your spine straight.
- Myth: You can learn good form just by mimicking what you see online- Just watching an exercise doesn’t explain how your body is supposed to work to do it effectively, according to Stokes, having a fitness expert in-person helps you fine tune what you’re doing and why.
- Myth: Following the latest trend or hot new gym is the best way to work out- There’s always some new fitness trend to try, but she says committing to a program and being consistent is the best way to go.
- Myth: Workouts should always feel difficult- "'Go hard or go home' does not lead to long-term success," Stokes says.
- Myth: Rest days are for wimps- Stretching, using a foam roller to ease sore muscles, and getting eight hours of sleep are important for recovery and key to top performance and results at the gym.