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The Truth About Sit-Ups- Do They Really Burn Belly Fat?


The way most people go about getting a flat belly is by doing sit ups. After all, it looks like it should work because it is engaging the stomach muscles. People can go about doing 50-100 of these per day without seeing any results. Why is that? Why doesn’t sit ups help melt belly fat?

To answer this question, we first need to learn about a misconception called spot reduction. This concept is the long held belief that you can target a specific body part and burn the subcutaneous fat on that area by doing workouts that engages the muscles of the desired area.

This is why you see people incessantly doing ab crunches and sit ups in the hopes of burning the belly fat. But the truth is that you cannot spot reduce body fat from any certain part of your body.

In one study, the researchers wanted to examine the effects of localized muscle endurance resistance program on body fat and specific area tissue composition. Here’s how the experiment was carried out.

11 participants (7 men and 4 women) with average age of 23 were made to train their non dominant legs, 3 times per week, for 12 consequent weeks. The results showed that the participants lost a significant amount of fat from their upper body rather then the lower extremities. There have been many other studies that have debunked this concept of spot reduction.

This means that doing muscle targeted high rep exercises will reduce fat, but from all over the body and not just a specific area.

But Then Are Sit Ups Totally Ineffective? No!

The main muscle group targeted with sit ups is Rectus Abdominis, also known as lower abs. Sit ups will make this women-fitness-studiospecific muscle stronger; it will strengthen your core but it won’t burn the layer of fat on top of it. Chances are with your abdominal muscles becoming bigger,sculpted and stronger, it will make the fat stick out even more.

If you have been doing a lot of crunches, sit ups and other stomach targeted exercise, you might already have that washboard abs, but it might just be hidden underneath that sheet of fat.

Best Way To Lose Belly Fat?

Pick a high intensity workout regimen that engages your whole body. Working out consistently will help you lose weight from all over your body, including your abdominal area.

Once all the fat is gone, your abs will be finally revealed. If you don’t have abs, you can then do sit ups and crunches to get that chiseled look.

The other half is diet. Eating a clean meal with food elements high in fiber and protein will keep you full longer in lower amount of calories. Skipping junk food and carbonated drinks will prevent additional fat from being stored on the belly. Plus, don’t forget sleep. To keep fat storing and hunger inducing hormones under control, getting 6-8 hours of sleep every night is very important.

Building abs is a science, and I hope this article debunked one of the biggest misconceptions people who want abs are under. Working out a specific muscle does help you lose weight, but from where? That your body decides.

So tell me…what’s your favorite total body workout this season?

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Written by Ingrid Macher

Certified Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Motivator - I have a passion for helping people change their lives. I started out helping my friends and now I give advice and tips to perfect strangers who have now become my friends. I love what I do and I wouldn’t change my life even if I could. This kind of happy is truly a gift and I’ll do whatever it takes to be able to give this gift to others.

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