If you have gained a lot of belly fat you are hopefully drawing up an effective plan to reduce it. If you are a budget conscious person you are probably looking for a good calisthenics exercise. Have you thought of sit ups? If you have, one question may be lingering in your mind. Do sit-ups burn belly fat?
Now keep reading and you will not need to consult anyone else. This article will give you all the information you need concerning sit ups and whether they will or will not help in your quest for a flat tummy.
If you have envisioned sit ups as your perfect game plan towards losing belly fat, go back to the drawing board. Sit ups might be of great help to your health, but the short answer is that they will not make your tummy flat.
The health and fitness market is saturated with people who give tips on reducing your belly fat. This idea of targeting a particular part of the body for fat loss is called spot reducing. One of the most common spot reducing myths is regarding sit ups. I am sure you might have read otherwise, but get it right today: doing sit ups will not help you burn belly fat.
The myth of spot training or spot reduction is the main reason why many people believe that sit ups will work in helping you burn belly fat. So why call spot reduction a myth?
Spot reduction is driven by the false concept that your body can burn the fat in the area of the specific targeted group of muscle. However, our bodies work in a completely different way. A study carried out in the mid-80s suggests that the body loses fat in a proportional manner.
In the study, 13 test subjects (men) were put into observation for a period of 27 days, and asked to perform 5000 sit ups. Three target body regions were selected: the butt, stomach and the upper back. Before the ab-athon started, fat biopsies from all the subjects were taken and the results recorded.
The hypothesis was that, if spot training worked, the targeted muscles would have shown more sign of fat reduction in that area than the rest. After the time period was up, fat biopsies were taken from the subjects again. The results showed clearly that all the selected regions had equal fat and weight reduction.
This was a sign that the body draws fat from the whole frame, than just from the region surrounding the working muscles. Though the myth of sit ups is still very strong, this evidence is enough to indicate that they don’t work.
Therefore, as you draw up your exercise plan, don’t expect miracles from doing sit ups, but include them for their overall health benefits. By performing crunches or sit ups you will be firming up your rectus abdominus muscles, which are commonly known as the six packs.
For the body to initiate the process of burning belly fat it requires high temperatures. This temperature triggers the metabolic processes that help burn the fat. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved by the function of just one group of muscles.
To initiate these metabolic effects, the collective activity of your body muscles is core. This is the main reason that only high intensity training, or full body training, is effective in burning belly fat. It’s quite simple to understand this- just compare the amount of heat your body generates as you do crunches and when you run.
The bottom line is, sit ups will not help you shed any belly/visceral fat.
Benefits of Sit Ups
Even though they don’t help burn belly fat specifically, they are helpful to our body. When you do sit ups in the correct way, they help you to improve your definition and core strength. To properly execute sit ups, lie on the floor face up, bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Hold the sides of your head with both of your hands, or you can also choose to cross them over your chest.
Maintain a stable lower body and slowly lift the torso off the floor and move forward. When you feel the pressure on your ab muscle, hold there for a while. Go back to the original position and repeat the procedure till you are tired enough to stop.
It’s clear that sit ups don’t cause the body to specifically burn belly fat. The myth that they work is so strong, however, that some people won’t believe articles like this. However, even if you are convinced they don’t work don’t abandon them, they can be of great help to overall body health and are useful as part of an effective exercise program.