Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fat?
Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fat?
If you have noticed a little extra weight around the midsection, you may be tempted to double down on those sit-ups, but do sit-ups burn belly fat? Before you do too many sit-ups, you will want to measure your midsection to see if there is a need for a reduction of belly fat. Once you have decided that you need to, you may start to create a plan to get rid of this belly fat.
Belly fat can be difficult to get rid of, and this is typically the place people first gain weight. It is not impossible to get rid of; it is just a little more stubborn than other fat locations. In this article, we are going to look at whether or not sit-ups are the answer. Let’s get started, shall we?
Sit-Ups – What Do They Do?
Sit-ups are one of many abdominal exercises that are meant to strengthen and define the muscles of your core. This is the area of your body that goes from the hips to your ribcage and is key to almost every movement you make.
A Little About Abs
Abdominal muscles stabilize your body. They are also key in processes like breathing, the protection of your vital internal organs, and supporting your posture and balance. They also play a part in movements like walking.
There is more than one abdominal muscle. In fact, the muscle cluster is made up of four main parts:
- Rectus abdominis
- Transverse abdominis
- External oblique
- Internal oblique
Sit-Ups: Do They Burn Belly Fat? And How Do You Do a Proper One?
Sit-ups can also tone and improve the way your belly looks. However, fat can hinder this by hiding all your progress. Before we discuss whether sit-ups are the way to burn that belly fat, we need to take a look at the different types of abdominal fat.
Types of Fat
Belly fat can lead to a lot of extra health problems, including things like diabetes or even heart disease. Like with everything else, though, the type of fat that you are dealing with matters. There are two main types:
Subcutaneous – When you pinch your midsection, this is the fat you are handling. It is the fat that lies directly under the skin and on top of the muscles.
Visceral – This is the fat that is housed inside the abdominal cavity. It surrounds the internal organs to protect them. This fat can release select hormones that are used during important processes throughout the body. Too much can affect your metabolic health, as well as lead to diseases like diabetes.
Many people work out their abs when they are looking to burn fat and flatten their tummy. However, ab exercises like sit-ups are not necessarily as effective as you may think. There are mixed thoughts on if this is accurate.
Some studies show that the concept of spot reduction is ineffective in burning belly fat. Spot reduction is the idea that working one part of your body can reduce fat. This technique will strengthen and build muscle, though.
Along with all the studies that show this is a miscalculation of thought, there are also some that show marked improvement when using this idea. These studies show that it matters where the fat is. Several of the results show that fat next to a muscle that is active burns quicker.
The truth seems to be elusive, and like many other things in the exercise and diet fields, it may be dependent on the individual. One thing is for sure; you can not burn belly fat with sit-ups alone. However, sit-ups should be part of your workout routine, and because of that, you should execute them properly for full effectiveness.
How Do You Do a Sit-Up Properly?
Lie on the floor and bend your knees so that your feet are flush to the ground. Carefully place your hands behind your head and clasp them together. Then, pull your torso up off the ground while your feet and butt stay firmly on the ground. You will want to continue this motion until your stomach touches your knees. Then, slowly return to that starting position.
Remember, as you bring your body up not to pull on your neck or head to start the motion. You also want to keep your chin from touching your chest. Another great tip is to not use the momentum of one sit-up to help you pull your body off the floor.
You don’t have to stick with the traditional sit-up, as there are plenty of alternative abdominal exercises you can incorporate. Here are a few:
- Abdominal crunch
- Abdominal plank
- Pelvic tilts
- Mountain climber
- Russian twists
Along with sit-ups or other abdominal exercises, you should incorporate other types of exercise to burn that belly fat.
Exercise to Burn Belly Fat
There are good reasons that those studies showed that abdominal exercises like sit-ups are inefficient when it comes to burning fat. One of these muscles does not use the fat that comes from fat cells.
In fact, the fat has to be broken down before it can be used as energy or burned off. Because it doesn’t directly get that energy from the fat around the area that is being worked, it makes no difference in what area you are working on.
Plus, sit-ups and other abdominal exercises are not known for their calorie-burning ability. They are more effective in building muscle and strengthening them, as well.
If this standard ab exercise doesn’t burn belly fat, what exercises should you do?
In order to burn fat, you want to incorporate cardio exercises. Cardio is especially good at targeting that hard to get rid of visceral fat that is stored in the belly.
You will want to make sure you are doing a high-intensity cardio work out if you really want to tackle that stubborn belly fat. On top of that, you will want to make sure to do this type of training on a regular basis for improved results.
Another great tip is to alternate between moderate and high-intensity cardio. Building muscles will burn more fat. You can do this by having different days allocated to each type of exercise or to take part in a good, high-intensity, intermittent exercise routine. This does the same thing but all within one day.
Even with all the exercise in the world, if you do not make the lifestyle changes, you may never see that belly fat burn away.
Fat is created when your body takes in more calories than it burns. That means a key part of melting away that fat is your diet. Along with sit-ups and high-intensity training, you will want to make some alterations to your diet. The biggest impact on getting rid of and keeping that belly fat off is going to be the removal of processed foods.
This will affect your sugar intake, which is one of the primary causes of gaining weight, especially in the midsection. Trying to move your diet to a more protein-based diet may be the way to go. Diets like this have been known to leave the individual fuller after having consumed fewer calories.
You will also want to add higher levels of fiber. Try eating more vegetables, which are a form of soluble fiber that has been shown in several studies to help with weight loss.
Along with this, you will want to begin portion controlling your meals. This will help monitor and maintain a healthy calorie intake. When dealing with the food, you will want to obtain a good calorie deficit so that you begin to lose weight.
Once you start losing weight, your body will need to burn more fat for energy, and that means that your belly will begin to disappear.
Now, do sit-ups burn belly fat? The results of many studies are inconclusive. A majority of experts feel that the exercise does more to build and strengthen the muscles than burn fat. However, on the other hand, some of those experts also say that building muscle mass will cause your body to burn more fat.
One thing is for sure; if you are suffering from excess belly fat, sit-ups alone will not melt it away. You will need to incorporate different types of exercise with a healthy diet plan. One thing that we did not mention but needs to be discussed is the mental aspect of burning fat. Stress has been shown to play a part in weight gain. Thus, looking to have some sort of mindfulness exercise in your daily life is a good idea.
If you take the time to really create a workout routine solely for burning fat and then you alter your eating habits, you will get a lot of great results when it comes to burning belly fat. Throw in a day or two of yoga or even some meditation and you will be giving yourself a full 360-degree treatment. This will elevate and speed up the burning of belly fat and have you well on the way to a much healthier and happier life.