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Abdominal muscles are often associated with being healthy and fit. Everyone wants to have a good-looking set of abs to show off all of their hard work while getting and staying in shape. Good-looking abs are often defined as a six-pack for the men and a flat and toned stomach for the ladies. To reach this epitome of the healthy-looking “hourglass” figure, many would give their left arm, or something worse…doing more sit ups than grains of sand in the desert.
Unfortunately, losing belly fat is not contingent on how many sit ups a day one does, at least that isn’t the sole reason. The number of sit ups does matter, to a degree, but to achieve significant results you must engage in quality and well-rounded exercise routines that include other exercises apart from traditional sit ups (see how to use a treadmill to lose weight in a month). Maintaining focus more on the quality of your exercise vs quantity and eating the proper diet is the right track to lose belly fat in a healthy and productive manner.
To illustrate how ineffective only relying on situps to lose weight actually is, check out the below calculation:
100 situps = 30 calories burned in 5 minutes
1 lb of fat = 3500 calories
So, based on that extremely crude representation of the number of calories burned by sit ups, you can lose approximately 1 lb of fat for every 10,000 situps done in 5-minute increments. Sit ups are great for toning and defining muscles (six pack), but to really lose weight or lose fat, you will need to practice a balanced exercise routine.
To get a full-body workout and lose weight, you must incorporate various exercises into your routine. If you’re interested, you can read about how stationary bikes can benefit your legs here to help with a well-rounded workout.
If you are wondering how many situps a day to lose body fat then here are some of the statistics that may be quite surprising:
• A pound is the same as three thousand five hundred calories.
• To lose a pound in one week then you need to get rid of five hundred calories in a day.
• According to research, a person weighing more than 140 pounds doing strenuous sit ups for five minutes a day will burn approximately thirty calories. This becomes a total of a little over 200 calories in a week.
These numbers show how ineffective relying on only sit ups can be in efforts to lose belly fat. Health and fitness experts recommend that you do 100 sit ups per day and accompany that with a diet that is 500 calories less than your normal intake. That is one of the surest ways to lose a pound of belly fat in a week.
In addition to diet, ensure you exercise using a variety of tools and techniques. Below are a couple of complementary tools to situps to help you get a well-rounded workout and lose body fat:
• Elliptical Trainer – The use of an elliptical trainer is an indirect form of doing situps while standing. A person who weighs more than one hundred and forty pounds can burn about three hundred calories if they work out on the elliptical trainer for thirty minutes.
• Exercise Bike – Think about how similar the posture of riding a bicycle resembles doing sit ups. An intensive high-speed 30-minute bike ride will result in around five hundred burnt calories and can quickly result in reduced body fat. If you’re interested, read our review of the Sunny spin bike to see how spin bikes can help on this quest. On the other hand, if you have limited space, take a look at our review of this folding exercise bike.
The above exercises can be done in combination with situps to ensure maximum belly fat burn.
The technique is very important in determining how effective your sit ups routine is in losing fat around the waist. One important aspect of doing sit ups completely for an extended period is to find a comfortable surface to perform the exercises. Below are some tips to better perfect your situp technique on your journey to that elusive six pack:
• Target Your Core Abdominals – Get in the sit up position where you lie down on your back with hands at the back of the head. Then make sure the soles of your feet are flat on the ground with your knees protruding on the sides. Make sure your back is flat to the floor as you raise only the upper part of your body. From the waist down should remain in position. Repeat the upper body raising a minimum of 15 times. Remember to maintain regular breathing without holding your breath.
• Target Your Sides – With your back flat to the floor, bend your knees to make about a 90-degree angle. In this position try sliding your left hand towards your left foot without moving the lower part of the body. Repeat this for the other arm and carry on for a minimum of twenty times.
• Target Your Stomach Area – One of the more popular ways to accomplish this is by incorporating hanging leg raises, which means to hang and pull your knees up towards your chest. Gyms often have machines specifically dedicated to hanging leg raises, but you can use any other household bar that allows you to grasp and hang. Make sure that you are not swinging in any way but moving up and down with your knees up high. Do this a minimum of 30 times.
• Using the Lower Body – Lay flat on your back and stretch out your arms on the floor to either side. Now raise your legs up then slowly move them from side to side, keeping your knees together. Make sure your upper body remains in place. The trick is to make sure your belly area feels like it is twisting. It is vital that you do not touch the floor with your feet once you begin. Set a goal to achieve at least 20 reps.
• Scissors Style – This one may look simple, but it is effective in burning belly fat. First, lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head. Suspend one leg midair as you raise the other knee towards an opposite elbow. For example, make sure the right knee meets the left elbow. Repeat the process at least 15 times. Relax your hands to make sure that your neck is not pulled in any way.
In addition to these exercises, it is very important to adhere to a healthy diet that synergizes with your workout routine. You need to know how many calories you are burning from engaging in daily exercise to ensure you are burning enough calories to flatten that stomach and trim body fat. The minimum goal should be to burn a minimum of five hundred calories daily. A small percentage of the lost calories can be from the diet. For example, 400 calories can be burnt through exercise and the food taken can contain 100 fewer calories than your normal caloric intake. An easier way to reduce calories from the diet is to avoid eating unhealthy foods such as candy bars and fast food. Cooking for yourself is the best way to ensure you are getting the correct type and amount of nutrients through your diet.
In summary, there isn’t really a set number of sit ups that will help you to lose belly fat. A combination of diet and a well-rounded exercise routine is the fastest and surest way to lose that stubborn fat around the stomach. If you reduce your caloric intake while simultaneously targeting your abdominal area through a variety of exercises, you will have that toned abdomen in no time flat (pun intended).