Got some belly fat you wouldn’t mind burning off? Then you’re in good company. Millions of others around the world share your sentiment.
In fact, out of all the body parts people want to improve, the belly sits at the very top. There’s just something about a trim and toned midsection that makes it irresistible.
Unfortunately, it’s also out of reach for many, especially when following this common myth: that situps and crunches are the route to fab abs.
In fact, not only will situps do little for your midsection, they can actually make it look worse. I know this sounds crazy – but take a moment to hear me out.
For starters, everyone has abs. But if you can’t see them, that means they’re buried under a layer (or multiple) of fat. Now, your stomach/midsection area is no different than other parts of your body as far as fat loss is concerned. As such, you can’t spot reduce it (i.e. isolate it with exercise to burn fat off that target area exclusively).
That doesn’t stop many from trying, however. They lie on the ground doing endless situps and crunches, hit the ab machines in the gym, or use any of those silly contraptions seen on infomercials (Ab Master anyone).
But unbeknownst to them, all they’re really doing is building the muscle beneath the layers of fat. The end result is that this larger muscle mass pushes out the belly even further, and thus makes it look bigger. Clearly not the effect you’re looking for if you want a flat stomach.
With that said, exercises that target your midsection aren’t exactly useless either. In fact, they’re great for toning and defining your abs. But there’s no point in doing them unless that belly fat is gone first.
Instead, you should focus on:
- Cleaning up your diet. The right weight loss plan will help you shed the stomach fat more effectively than any type of exercise.
- Nevertheless, you should be exercising regardless. It’s great for your health and amplifies the fat burning effects of a good diet. Concentrate on compound resistance exercises that target multiple large muscle groups (e.g. squat, row, shoulder press, deadlift, pushups. pull-ups, planks).
Doing the above will help you both: a) get rid of your belly fat and b) build some foundational muscle. And once you reach that point, then you can add in the situps, crunches, and other types of isolation exercises that will give you that coveted, sexy stomach.