People are fed a lot of unnecessary and false information when it comes to them wanting to have toned bodies and figures. They are ready to believe anything that has the potential of working without getting into the details and finding out if it is even right. This is the case with the widely perpetuated view that doing crunches or abs exercises can help reduce belly fat. It is a proven myth and people should be aware of its falsity since they tend to do it relentlessly, even when they get no results.
Perfectly defined muscles or “abs” have become the latest fad over the years. They are a marker of fitness and health, which is why you would find piles of articles written on how you can get a six-pack. Most of these incorporate exercises and instruments that target the ab muscles. Apparently, these tend to stimulate your abs to burn belly fat. BUT their effectiveness can be brought into question. They are not as effective as one would think them to be. All the hoopla around crunching leading to reduced belly fat can is nothing but a myth!
The truth about Body Fat
The fat that gets stuck in different parts of the body is more like a kind of latent energy. If and when the body runs low on or out of energy, it makes use of this fat that is present to keep you going. The fat that is accumulated in various parts of the body is like a form of latent energy. When your body needs energy and has run out of it, it will make use of the fat content that is present to keep you going. However, this does not mean that people who have more fat accumulated in their bodies are able to last longer without food. It only means that the body is going to stay functional by making use of the reserve that it has been collecting over time. So in order to burn this fat, your heart needs to beat so fast that it takes up this fat and burns it out. But, it is to be kept in mind that one has to control over where to remove fat from. You cannot just select one portion of your body and start looking to shed the flesh from there in different ways. Your effort should be to try burning fat from the whole of the body rather than from a portion of it. You cannot focus on just one area, say belly, for burning fat.
Types of Belly Fat
There are two types — subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
This is the type of fat you can pinch. It’s there under the skin, between skin and muscles. Subcutaneous fat is not risky in that it can be born in moderate amounts. It may not increase the risks of disease.
This type of fat is located in the abdominal cavity around the internal organs.It’s linked to metabolic syndrome and unlike subcutaneous fat, can be a cause to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Visceral fat is hormonally active. It releases compounds that influence several disease-related processes in the human body. When you happen to burn more calories than you take in, the body converts these triglycerides into energy that can be used to burn fuel. But unfortunately, you cannot decide from where your body mobilizes this fat since it is all about genetics.
Role of Crunches in Fat Loss
Even though crunches do help build muscle, they do not burn a lot of calories. It is highly unlikely to lose weight, let alone belly fat by doing crunches alone. This, however, does not mean that you let go of all abdominal exercises. Partaking in the cardiovascular exercises such as jogging or hiking and strength training is helpful- the cardio helps you burn excess calories and convert fat into fuel. The strength-training builds muscle, which burns more calories when your body is at rest than fat tissue.
Do Crunches Really Burn Belly Fat?
A fact about fat is that it is generally burned in the order opposite to where it was put on. So if the last place where you accumulated fat was your arms, then they will be the first place from where it will come off. So it will be stupid of us to think that doing abdominal exercises alone like crunches are effective in reducing belly fat.
Rather than Crunching your valuable gym time away, spend it performing exercises that involve more muscles, such as Squats, Deadlifts, Presses, Rows and Olympic lifts. Doing these will lead you to burn more calories, develop a stronger core and cause your body to continue burning calories after you complete your workout. On the other hand, Ab exercises such as Planks, and even Crunches, won’t necessarily cause you to burn stomach fat. However, a carefully regimented workout program combined with these exercises will speed up the fat loss and help you get the belly you have always dreamed of!
You do situps thinking you are going to lose a significant amount of belly fat but it does not work that way! You CANNOT target fat loss just by crunches. Cardio is always more effective.
If not Crunches, then What?
If you think crunches do the job, then you have not tried running. Since the process needs a heart that is beating fast, running hits that target and keeps the burning process on. Running is one of the best ways to start burning off fat. It will get you unbelievable results. In fact, a good workout on a treadmill daily will give you a flat and formed belly that you can only imagine achieving by crunches. Cycling too for that matter will give you some great results faster and you will be able to see the difference in a matter of weeks.
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