Do Ab Crunches Target Belly Fat?
It's the question that is on many peoples minds; If I do loads of sit ups - will I loose fat around my stomach?
Having personal trained the general public for a good amount of time, and now as a strength and conditioning coach to elite athletes, abs are probably the most wanted goal to most gym goers, and whether you are male or female, or whether it affects your sporting goals or not - they are wanted. These muscles are at the forefront of social media, they are all around us at the beach and they are slapped over magazines saturated with the judging of celebrities muscle tone.
First off, I want to explain a little more about your 'abs'. When training athletes, I never refer to the group of muscles as 'abs', I will always use the word 'core'. The term core I have noticed has been wrongly thought of as just meaning the six pack on the surface, but it is infact is your whole network of muscles within the torso! These muscles deep within the body are used in the stabilising of the body and are so important in the gym - if engaged correctly they will keep your form correct when lifting weight and prevent injury - the core is far more than just a washboard stomach!
Nevertheless, it is those visable abdominal muscles that people want so much (including me) and yet people struggle to work out how to get them.
I can tell you; It is not by doing tons of ab crunches a day. I can also tell you that training your core will not burn the fat just around your stomach. If anything, if you constantly train your core and complete tons of sit ups in order to 'burn the fat' over the top of them, your at risk of making the muscles bigger which will push the fat over the top and in turn it could make your waist bigger!
Everybody has abs. Fact.
Its the amount of fat that you have over the top of the abs that determines whether you can see them or not. So the key here, is to realise that you can't target fat loss on your stomach, you need to train in a particular way that will ensure fat loss for the whole body. Then when your body fat percentage drops, your magical abs will start to show. You may never have done a sit up in your life; you will still have abs if you drop your body fat percentage. What you may want to do however, and this is currently my goal as i'm sitting around 14.9% body fat at the moment; Is to train your abs as you would any other muscle for hypertrophy and make them bigger so they appear more defined. In reality, I'm not going to drop much more body fat %, but my abs will keep getting better from training at this point.
Its key to realise that until you drop your body fat % then your abs will still be hidden!
Please don't let this post make you think that you shouldn't train your core; it is so important regardless of your goal as it ensures you are stable and strong at all times! I'm just alluding to the fact that you should concentrate on other ways to get your six pack to show rather than just ab crunches!
I hope this helps! If you have any questions about how to successfully lose body fat % or anything else just hit me up on my contact form! Alternatively head to www.torquehumanperformance.co.uk and check out the packages there; these will help!
If you are feeling a little self conscious about your stomach region, read my blog post here, it may just make you feel a little better about things!