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Are Crunches Overrated When Trying To Lose Stomach Fat?

Do crunches help you lose stomach fat?  The answer is no...but why?  Why are crunches such an overrated way to lose stomach fat and carve out a smaller waist?

By: Ed Scow, NSCA-CPT: Certified Fitness & Nutrition Expert to the True Superheroes - Busy Moms & Dads and author of Fat Loss To Go

Whenever I design workouts for clients, they always want to know why I don’t include more crunches.

I ask them why they should be included and, without missing a beat, they say “Because I need to lose this belly and crunches are supposed to be a good exercise for the stomach.”

I ask “Why?”

“Because…”fat stomach

Then there’s silence. They really can’t give me a good answer other than “because that’s what I’ve always read or heard.”

To which I always respond “How have those crunches helped you in the past?”

Crunches are, by far, the most overrated and useless exercise in your arsenal when it comes to losing stomach fat.

Don’t get me wrong, they have some value, but they just don’t work as well as you think when you want to get rid of belly fat and carve out a smaller waist.

I understand the thought process. You’re supposed to work the area you want to look better and crunches are a good exercise to hit the middle. On the flip side, if you want bigger shoulders, you do more shoulder presses, which makes that area look better...so shouldn't crunches make your stomach look better?

That’s not the way your body works. I wish it did, but it doesn't.

When you lose fat, you do it from all over your body, not just one particular area.

However, when you gain fat, you can gain it in one area over others and I'm sure you already know this...

Plus, to really burn stomach fat, you need to work a lot of muscle and kick the intensity up a few notches.

Muscle burns fat and your abs just aren’t a very big muscle group.

After learning that, it shouldn’t be too shocking to hear that the best way to lose stomach fat and get a smaller waist is to stick to full body workouts and exercises that move a lot of muscle.

Plus, you should keep your workouts to a minimum in terms of time so that you can really focus on the intensity.do crunches burn stomach fat?

To put that another way and help you visualize what I’m saying about crunches and stomach fat, I want you to imagine yourself doing a crunch and doing a push-up.

You probably don’t think the push-up would be a good exercise to do if you want to lose belly fat, but it is.

Here’s why…

Push-ups not only work your chest, but they also work your shoulders, triceps (back of your arm) PLUS they really work your core.

I’m sure you’ve heard of a Plank before, well a push-up is really just a plank but your arms are moving.

The push-up works A LOT of muscle, where the crunch just works your abs.

There’s really no contest in my mind as to which works better and there shouldn’t be in yours either.

If you’re still skeptical, just trust me for a few weeks.

Throw out the crunches and do full body workouts and full body exercises (like push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, rows, shoulder presses and combination movements) and do them intensely.

I promise you’ll burn more fat, especially from your stomach, doing that type of workout and using those types of exercises. 

To better help you, here are a few workout videos for you to get started in your quest to lose stomach fat:

Abs Workout In 4-Minutes

Six Pack Abs Workout For Busy Parents

Give those videos a watch, and then try, and watch the fat fall off!

If you found this article and video useful, I'd really appreciate you doing me a favor and clicking the "Like" button below.  Thank you! 

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The preceding article was written by Ed Scow, aka "The Fit Dad". To learn more about Ed's story, click here.

To watch a sample 10-minute workout video, click here.

To discover Ed's 'Top Fat Fighting Foods', click here to read an interesting article.

To watch another sample 10-minute workout video, click here.

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Other How To Lose Stomach Fat Articles:

3 Best Stomach Fat Exercises  | How To Lose Stomach Fat  | 3 Worst Stomach Fat Exercises  | Exercises To Lose Stomach Fat  | Best Dumbbell Exercises To Lose Stomach Fat  |