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Crunches are among the most popular abs exercises, you can hardly find a workout without them.
But, do you know why we do crunches?
Most of the people say: To get rid of belly fat!
It seems to be a logical answer, but the fact is that crunches are among the least effective moves to burn belly fat.
Why do crunches for belly fat not work?
Almost all the abdominal exercises out there from sit-ups to leg raises are useful for developing your abs muscles in size and strength. So, the muscles of your midsection will be stronger. And, since they become more prominent in size, they pop out more leading to more attractive tummy visually.
To sum up, you should think about these exercises like the ones you do for other muscle groups of your body. For example, you do biceps curls to shape your biceps, or bench press to get bigger pecs.
Ok, abs exercises also burn a few calories, but the amount is negligible.
The question is why?
If we examine the motion of crunches, we can unequivocally state that it is a short movement that engages only the rectus abdiminis. That is the muscle which is on the front and middle of your stomach. If it is well-developed and your tummy is fatless, then you have six pack abs.
What are the best exercises to lose belly fat?
The ones that require many muscles to work together, intensive and, with that, boost your heart rate. It is logical that the more muscles work, the more energy they need, so your body burns more calories.
So, do crunches burn fat?
Not that much since almost one muscle works.
Hence, instead of doing hundreds of crunches, it is much better to focus on calorie burning, compound exercises such as running, jumping, squats, etc. with and without equipment.
Find more tummy fat burning workout advice:
What is the most vital key to reducing belly fat?
I hope you now understand why crunches to reduce tummy fat is not sufficient. But, there is a point that we have not talked about yet? That is: Why you have fat on your stomach?
In most of the cases, the answer is that we take in far more calories than our body requires to function daily. And, our “clever” system stores the calories in the way of fat to prepare itself for worse days.
Did you know that it stores fat not just under the skin of your stomach, but inside your belly, around your organs? That is called, visceral fat which is dangerous for your health. It is responsible for such diseases like diabetes, cancer and various cardiovascular conditions. You can find more about this topic here.
So, everything starts with your diet!
If you swallow unhealthy and high-calorie foods day in day out, you can do the “best fat burning exercises in the world” or “the best six pack abs exercises,” it will be much harder to see results. The fat on your belly be there hiding your strong and developed abs muscles.
So, take a healthy diet which gives you the right type and amount of nutrients.
Tips for a better abs workout plan
Before getting into the details, I would like to answer a typical question: Are crunches effective?
Well, they are, since we can target a particular muscle group, the transverse abdominis, effectively making it shaped. However, the correct form is crucial.
On the other hand, I prefer abdominal exercises which provide a more extended range of motion (ROM) for fibers leading to better strength and size. For example, if you do hanging leg raises, the abdominal muscles have to move as far as anatomically possible. That is not true for crunches which provide a partial range of motion.
What is a good abs workout?
Which works every part of your core and intensive. This way it is not enough to do only crunches, but you should include various exercises depending on your fitness level. Get at least one training for your lower and upper abs, obliques, and lower back. Just follow the previous links for details.
To sum up
“Do crunches help lose belly fat?” No! But it is not a bad move to strengthen your abs. Although I think there are much better ones. It does not mean it is worthless to do, just doing only them is not enough.
Hi! I’m Walter, a 36-years old gym owner. I’ve been working out since I was 15. Now I do calisthenics and boxing. On this website, I’d like to share my workout and home workout equipment tips.