Summer is on the way and so, understandably, we get lots of questions from clients wanting to know the best exercise to get rid of stomach fat so they can look their best in their bathing suit. Unfortunately, and clients never want to hear this, there is not one specific exercise that will help you get rid of abdominal fat.
You see, this type of localized fat reduction is not possible. In fact, infomercials or advertisements promising localized fat reduction infuriate fitness professionals who know what is being promised is impossible. You see, what happens during say, an abdominal crunch, is that as soon as you start crunching, your muscles cry out for energy to perform the movement. But there is no direct line from the abdominal muscle cells to the abdominal fat cells surrounding them. So your liver sends some energy, in the form of sugar or fat, to the abdominal muscles. But that fat could have been sent from your arm, butt or back. When fat is mobilized from a particular area, it is first sent to the liver to be routed towards its final destination for usage.
So doing abdominal crunches does not mean you are burning stomach fat. If your abdominal fat is very resistant to mobilization then it will be stubborn and probably will be the last fat to be mobilized and utilized. So you will likely notice great changes to your arms and other areas and start to wonder when the fat around your stomach will start cooperating. Be patient, it is just going to take longer! Doing specific body part exercises will definitely help to tone muscle in that area but unfortunately, you cannot “spot reduce” fat.
And as far as one best exercise for your stomach…there is no such thing for any muscle. A program that includes a variety of abdominal exercises is always the best plan. So include the old favorites like crunches and sit-ups but also make sure you include some of the more progressive stabilization exercises you may be seeing lately around your gym like planks, v-sits and bridging. Incorporate tools like medicine balls, pulleys, kettlebells, BOSU Trainers, TRX straps, VIPRs and stability balls to challenge the muscles in a variety of different ways and angles.
And remember, if you want to see a reduction in fat in a particular area, you are going to have to do a combination of cardio exercise and muscle-conditioning exercise and eat a healthy, clean diet. And of course, you’ll need patience for those stubborn areas!
Pps. We are hosting the Summer Solstice Amazing Race event to benefit the Clark County Foodbank….a great opportunity to put purpose to your workouts and take your fitness to a whole new level!
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