Getting Fit By Doing Sit-ups
Sit-up is one of the workouts that will help you lose unwanted pounds or fats around your waist. Sit-ups are abdominal exercises that are classic and can be done by lifting your torso while you are lying on your back. But are these workouts effective in reducing belly fat? This article will give you information all about sit-ups and the important things you should know before doing sit-ups and its alternative ways to burn belly fats. This will also answer your question if DO SIT-UPS BURN BELLY FAT – AND HOW LONG TO SEE RESULTS.
If you want to know if doing sit-ups is effective, you can measure and track the circumference of your waist. Belly fat can sometimes be hard to reduce. For most people, your abdominal area is the body part wherein much excess fats are located. It is not impossible to reduce your belly fat, but you need to discipline yourself and have enough patience. Doing sit-up alone is not the answer or way of getting rid of the fat in your abdomen. Doing exercises or spot reducing to reduce fat in a targeted body is not efficient. When you are doing your exercise, you can’t specifically choose where to lose that fat. Fat loss is more attainable and effective when your exercise routine is combined with an active lifestyle and a healthy diet.
To burn your belly fat, you will need 45-60 minutes of high-intensity cardiovascular activities like running, playing basketball or soccer, power walking, jumping rope, and other similar physical activities. You need also to reduce the intake of foods ordered in fast food chains, processed foods, and alcohol. Even if sit-ups will not get rid of fats on your belly instantly, it does not mean that you are going to skip them. Sit-ups are important for strengthening your core. A strong core improves your balance, reduces back pain, and increases one’s flexibility. It will also help you to have good posture and support your pelvis and hips.
PROPER WARM-UP AND FORM
Before doing some sit-ups, limber up your waist, abs, hips, and back. Doing this will ease pressure on your lower back and spinal muscles and this will help hip flexors pull as you are doing a sit-up. Engage your body with a series of dynamic and slow stretches that will engage full range movement:
* TORSO TWISTS. Stand with a foot slightly more than your shoulder-width apart and raise your arms to elevate height and bend your elbows. Twist your trunk and slowly look over your shoulder. Go back to the center and twist in another direction
* SIDE BENDS. While your feet are in a shoulder-width position, start raising your arms and placing your hands behind your head. Bend to the side, face forward, and bring one elbow towards your waist. Straighten your body and bend in another way.
* TOE TOUCHES. With your feet shoulder-width apart, arms must be raised straight up over your head. Sweep down and bend forward at the waist as you bring the arms down for you to touch toes. Slightly bend the knees as you rise.
RIGHT WAY OF SIT-UPS
The proper form of doing sit-up is first, begin by laying on the floor with bended knees and your feet must be flat on the floor. Behind your head, your hands must be clasped loosely and curl your torso fully off of the floor keeping your feet and glutes to be anchored. Continue by lifting your body until your belly will almost touch your knees. In a controlled fashion, reverse the movement and bring the torso back to the beginning position on the floor.
You should curl your upper back slowly off the mat and keep your lower back stable and flat. Then keep the tempo slow as slow speed will allow your abdominals to do all the work. Pulling your head forward and swinging your arms are ways on cheating this exercise. You must keep your shoulders and neck relaxed and concentrate on pulling your belly button.
BENEFITS OF SIT-UPS
Other exercises will help in strengthening muscles in your abdominal area but compared with other exercises like the plank and static core exercises, the sit-up has been tested to be effective at engaging the rectus abdominus which is the muscle that vertically runs along the front of the torso. Sit-ups are traditional exercises normally used in any exercise program because of their effectiveness and simplicity.
These are some reasons why you need to incorporate sit-ups into your workout activities routine.
This is one of the important motivators why most people do sit-ups. By tightening, strengthening, and toning your core, you decrease the risk of having injuries and back pains. By having sustainable core strength, you will be able to move your body with greater ease as you complete your daily activities.
IMPROVED MUSCLE MASS
Doing sit-ups can build muscle strength in your hips and abdomen. Based on research, elderly women who were able to do sit-ups were fewer chances to have sarcopenia or the losing of muscles naturally due to aging. Women who can do more than 10 sit-ups a day will have higher levels of muscle function and mass.
BETTER BALANCE AND STABILITY
A firm core will help to maintain your body stable and balanced as you will move to your daily activities. They will help your hip muscles, lower back, and pelvis in working together with your abdominal muscles. Having a good balance will make you likely to have fewer falls and not injure yourself. Strong muscles are linked to maintaining endurance and improving muscular strength. A strong core gives you stability, proper posture, and form that allows you to perform at maximum levels during any physical like sports activities. You will less likely experience fatigue if you are regularly doing sit-ups.
By moving your spine, will help loosen up stiffness in your hips and spine. Sit-ups will make your backs and hips more flexible which relieves tightness and tension and increases mobility. Increased flexibility will improve concentration and circulation, boost energy levels, and reduce stress.
REDUCED THE RISK OF HAVING BACK PAIN AND INJURY
Sit-ups build strength in your hips, lower back, and pelvis. A strong core allows for a firm or solid center having less injury and back pain. As long as you are careful enough in doing sit-ups, they are always beneficial and can relieve back pain.
Building a solid core makes it easier to keep your spine, shoulders, and hips in alignment which will help in improving good posture. Some benefits of good posture are it will increase energy levels, improve breathing, and less tension and pain. The benefits of good posture are: increased energy, reduced pain on your lower back, fewer headache tensions, better shoulder, and neck health, increased lung capacity, low risk of not even wear on your joints, improved digestion, and circulation, better form during workouts, and reduces jaw pain.
Sit-ups are the best way to practice diaphragm breathing. This will cause abdomen compression which brings positive effects on your diaphragm. Having a healthy and strong diaphragm will alleviate stress, improve breathing patterns, and enhance your endurance.
COMMON MISTAKES OF SIT-UPS
Sit-ups are a technical exercise that requires muscle control and great body awareness but leaves a lot of mistakes for beginner and intermediate exercises. Next time you do this exercise, keep the following common mistakes in mind.
CRACKING THE NECK
It is common for people to have a posture like forwarding head while they are doing sit-ups. One of the common mistakes is by rounding the shoulders and craning the neck forward. If during sit-ups you are craning your neck, this can cause pains and aches and in worst cases, this may lead to a muscle strain in your upper back and neck.
THUDDING ON THE FLOOR
Some beginners will inadvertently thud during sit-ups as they lower themselves. This happens when you cannot control its lowering phase, either you are too fatigued or your core is too weak. Your lower spine will not make any contact on the floor, so the upper back will take the impact. Thudding will not only hurt because of its impact but it can also keep your lumbar spine too curved to prevent causing achiness to your lower back portion.
USING TOO MUCH HIP FLEXOR
The primary movers when doing sit-ups are your hip flexors and your abs. Most people who have a tight hip flexor to start with may use those hip muscles instead of abs in pulling their torso upright. To have fewer hip flexor muscles and to recruit more muscles in the abdomen are the goals to strengthen the core.
HOW LONG IS THE RESULT OF DOING SIT-UPS?
If you think that doing sit-ups alone will help you to burn your belly fat, then you are thinking the wrong way. Doing sit-ups for 10 minutes at a moderate intensity without having rest can burn as much as 60 calories. Your body weight has an important role to play. If your body weight is less than 68 kilos, fewer calories will be burned in the stipulated time and if you weigh more, more calories will be burned if you do 7 sit-ups in a minute. Combining and doing three sets of sit-ups having 25 to 50 repetitions each is helpful in how to sculpt and build your abs. You only need to do sit-ups and crunches three times a week if you are combining these with strength and cardio training. Incorporating or combining abdominal exercises with some core-strengthening movements like squats, planks, press-ups, and high-intensity training will ensure noticeable and effective results in just 2 to 4 weeks. If you have a lot of weight to lose, patience is a virtue. It may take more months or years for you to lose weight for you to see positive changes in your workouts.
While sit-up is a good form of abdominal exercise, other exercises will strengthen your abdominal muscle.
An effective and easy exercise for your abs is doing the classic crunch. For you to do an abdominal crunch, first you need to lie on your back, place your feet on the floor and they must be flat, and bend your knees. Clasp your hands loosely behind your head and curl your shoulders up slowly from the floor to a tilt of 30 degrees. It should also feel like the upper part of your ribs must be peeled away from the floor. Hold this portion for a second and then lower down. You can start out having 2 sets of 8 reps and continue working up to 12 reps.
Sit-ups and crunches are dynamic ways of abdominal exercise as these will create activation of the muscle with movement. These two exercises are all effective in activating rectus abdominis. A static abdominal exercise can also activate this muscle to a lesser degree and it targets deeper muscles in the belly area particularly in your internal obliques which are the muscles in your torso sides. The static exercise engages your muscles without having movement. Abdominal hollowing and bracing are effective than having sit-ups that will target those deeper muscles.
An abdominal plank is a static form of exercise that will require you to have abdominal bracing. To perform this exercise, just lay on the floor having a prone position that is belly down. By resting the weight on your toes and elbows that are bent beneath the shoulders, lift your body in a plank position. Your body must be fully extended in one straight line from the heels to your head top. Do not lift them high in a down-dog position or droop through your hips.
V-sit is an abdominal exercise that is challenging and works different areas of your core and challenges balance. this is a static exercise that will require you to brace the core. To perform V-sit, begin by sitting on the floor with extended legs out in your front. Raise your legs off of the floor while you keep the torso lifted so that your body forms into a V-shape. You can use your hands to have balance as you get into position. Once you are balanced, bring your arms up and extend them longer in front so that they reach past your legs. Hold this position for several seconds, release and repeat the process.
Doing pelvic tilt is a good way of exercise for people who are not comfortable doing sit-ups or planks. This is the best exercise for beginners. Hollowing your core area is efficient for engaging your abdominals. To do pelvic tilt on the floor, with your knees bent, lie on your back and your feet are flat on the floor. Place your hands on the floor beside your belly or near you. Tip your hips so that your lower back will press into the floor and glutes will tip off the floor. Hold this for one second, release it, and repeat the process. This can also perform in a standing or seated position if you are not comfortable getting down and up from the floor.
This variation of crunches will target your obliques which are the muscles on your torso sides. Start like you are doing crunches but as you are curling up, your left shoulder must be pointing toward your right knee. On the next rep, point the right shoulder toward going toward your left knee.
OTHER WAYS OF REDUCING BELLY FATS
Endurance exercises, doing aerobics, and resistance or strength exercises are all effective in burning your body fats. There is no single exercise that will instantly burn fats in your belly, any form of exercise will help in reducing body fats when it is regularly done with a combination of a healthy diet. Abdominal exercises like sit-ups or crunches do not burn belly fat but this can be a big help for your belly to be more toned and appear flattered. This will promote good posture by working on your gluteal muscles and lower back.
SAFETY AND PRECAUTIONS
Whenever you are having an exercise, you need to focus on how to perfect the technique. You can improve sit-ups and avoid some injuries if you keep these precautions in mind.
If you have not tried doing sit-ups before, take this exercise slow. Emphasize its curling motion and focus more by moving one vertebra. This teaches you how to perform sit-ups properly and to keep your back safe.
DON’T OVERDO IT
Trying a new exercise makes you feel excited. But you need to take care of yourself to avoid making you overly sore. If you want to repeatedly perform sit-ups every week, keep your sets and reps at moderate numbers for you not to have more injuries like a muscle strain.
USE A FLAT SURFACE
You must avoid lying on slanted or uneven surfaces when you are having sit-ups. When you are becoming more advanced, you can make this exercise more challenging like using a decline bench on a flat surface before attempting more advanced variations.
DON’T CRANE YOUR NECK
Just keep your neck in a neutral way or position and must be in line to your spine to avoid injuries.
SIT-UPS VS. CRUNCHES
Sit-ups are multi-muscle exercises. While this exercise does not target specifically your stomach fat, sit-ups work on the abdominals as well as some muscle groups like the neck, lower back, hip flexors, and chest. Muscle cells are more active metabolically than fat cells. By helping build your muscle, in the long run, this will help burn more calories. Good posture improves appearance without loss on your weight.
THE CONS: HAVING INJURIES
The main drawback of having sit-ups is the chances of neck and lower back injuries. You should ask or consult a doctor for some advice if you have related injuries to prevent strain.
PROS OF CRUNCHES
Like doing sit-ups, crunches help build your muscle. Crunches only work on the abdominal muscles. This intense muscle isolation lets them become an exercise that is popular for people who want to have six-pack abs. This is ideal to improve posture and balance and to strengthen your core which includes lower obliques and back muscles.
CONS OF CRUNCHES
Having a strong core is vital for overall fitness. They don’t burn fats but they are good for you to develop muscle. Crunches can build up abdominal muscle over more time but this can cause back pains especially for beginners. If you will not incorporate crunches in your routine workout, it is best for you to start off having a set of 10-25 at a time and you can add another set as your body gets stronger.
HOW TO DO CRUNCHES:
* Lie down on your back.
* Stabilize your lower body and bend your legs.
* Place your hands to your ears or cross them to opposite shoulders without pulling your neck.
* Lift your shoulder blades and head from the ground and exhale as you rise.
* Lower your body and return to your starting point. Then inhale as you lower.
Both crunches and sit-ups help develop and strengthen core muscles. A stronger core reduces the risk of having back injuries later in life and this can also improve body posture but neither of the two burns fat. The only way to achieve a muscular and flat stomach is to combine exercises like these with a low-calorie diet and regular aerobic exercise.
To achieve a flatter belly, you will need to do some sit-ups alongside a fat-reduction program. With a combination of a calorie-controlled and healthy diet and proper exercise, you can strengthen abdominal muscles, reduce fats in the abdominal area, and flatten your belly area. Use aerobic exercise or cardiovascular activity so that fat and calories in your body will be burned. If you are overweight and you have of weight to be reduced, you will need to be patient as this can take many months, a year, or even more than a year to lose enough weight for you to see the results like having defined muscles that sit-ups produced. Having a fitness program is all worth it for your body to feel better at all times.