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Drawback of Ab Crunches

If you’ve tried to lose weight around your belly or hips, we’re positive someone you know suggested that you do ab crunches (commonly known as sit ups). We’re also positive, that the person suggesting this would not exactly be a picture of fitness.

We say this because, there is actually a myth and huge drawback of ab crunches that it can help you lose weight or get a six pack.

We’ll show you how this is a myth and a huge drawback. We first want you to understand a basic principle of losing weight or fat. To lose weight, you have to burn calories. To burn calories, you need to exercise. And exercises vary in the amount of calorie burning. Some exercises are more effective at burning calories than others. The number of calories burnt per exercise is dependent on two factors – the amount of muscle moved and the distance of muscle movement.

‘Amount of muscle moved’ means that if you move larger muscles for the exercise, you burn more calories. Say for example, your thigh muscles are much larger than your bicep muscles. So, a squat (thigh exercise) burns more calories than a bicep exercise.

The ‘distance of the muscle movement’ is just that. If you move the same muscle through a larger distance, you burn more calories.

Now Ab Crunches or Sit Ups work your abdominals muscles. These are a set of 8 small muscles in your abdominal region. When you perform sit ups, it only works this set of small abdominal muscles. Since these muscles are small, the calories you burn are also small. Actually, too small to make a dent in your fight against fat!

In fact, researchers at the University of Virginia found that it takes 250,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of fat — that’s 100 crunches a day for 7 years!

So, if someone swears by crunches to lose weight and make a six pack, tell them to go take a hike. Crunches help you work those abdominal muscles, but not lose fat on your belly. To lose fat, you need to burn more calories. Crunches don’t burn nearly as many calories as other exercises, like squats or push-ups. The key to burning more calories and building muscle is to work out larger muscles, like your legs, chest, shoulders and back muscles.

So to get a six pack, keep your crunches only as an additive to your workout. Kind of like dessert, not an everyday thing.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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