Situps work the front muscle in the torso called the rectus abdominis and the classic situp has been proven to be ineffective in the reduction of abdominal fat. We are unable to do any spot reduction exercise to make a difference. Situps provide strength in the abdominals but they do not provide overall core stability. Multiplanar exercises along with diet are beneficial for the overall core.
What is the core? Your core is the central part of your body that includes the lower back, hips, stomach, pelvis, glutes and diaphragm, the muscle groups that are all interconnected.
A conjunction of exercises in multiplanar movements are contributing factors to an overall fitness improvement with diet being a major factor to the elimination of abdominal fat.
You can do hundreds of situps, but the fact is unless you integrate overall fitness regimen into your work out you will not get the deserved benefits.
From a training perspective we do not perform situps the old fashioned way which is hands behind the head, elbows moving the torso into a forward flexion. The biggest mistake that I see on the gym floor is the situp with the head moving forward which puts strain on the neck and spine.
When we do situps, they are with a ball to support the spine, the movement is minimal and the arms are in various positions. The Pilates situp is with the legs straight or in tabletop and a fluid motion of the entire torso with the back flat and flowing with the movement.
Fat does not magically disappear with diet and your targeted areas may be the last to let go. There is no quick fix for a flatter stomach and you may have to put your exercise plan second on your list.
Focus on your diet and begin to cut out foods that bloat or add fat that are high in sugar, salt or unsaturated fat. Begin drinking plenty of water to flush your system while eating foods higher in fiber such as fruit and vegetables.
Diet in conjunction with cardio and core building will begin to strengthen and sculpt your body. The time that it takes to lose body fat varies from person to person and factors that play a role in reduction may contribute to age, sex, height, weight, diet and physical activity. Generally, a person needs to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat and this can be accomplished by starting to eliminate about five hundred calories per day from your diet or eliminating 250 calories and adding in cardio that burns about 250.
This measure can aid in the reduction of body weight by approximately one pound per week or four pounds per month which is a healthy and sustainable approach to sustained weight.
What are the best ways to engage the core for a flatter stomach with exercise?
Planks burn more calories because they engage the arms, legs and back. Side planks engage the obliques, side core muscles, arms and glutes.
Toe reaches engage the abdominal muscles.
Up right bicycles in a seated position engage the abdominal muscles with a Bender Ball behind the back to decrease pressure on the spine.
In order to see a difference in body composition consistency is the key with diet, strength training, flexibility, cardio and water intake. Patience is the key to success because our bodies did not get the way they are overnight. Sustainability is worth the effort.
Live, love life with movement and fitness.