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Crunches Will Not Help You Get A Flat Stomach!

While doing crunches is certainly a good way to strengthen your abdominal muscles, they are inefficient when it comes to reducing belly fat. Here's why.

Crunches Will Not Help You Get A Flat Stomach!

Repeatedly doing crunches can even cause damage to your spinal chord.

If you have been believing that a thousand crunches will pave the way for you to get a flat belly, sorry to say, you're grossly mistaken. While certainly a good way to strengthen your abdominal muscles, crunches are inefficient when it comes to reducing belly fat. Repeatedly doing crunches can even cause damage to your spinal chord. This is due to the bending motion of your back that is required for a crunch. Our spinal discs can only bear a certain amount of bending and excessive strain on them through crunching can mean lower back pain, disc bulging and even hernia.

Why aren't crunches efficient?

This is primarily because you don't burn enough calories that are required to flatten your tummy, while doing crunches. Though crunches do work up your core muscles, it is only the front and side of the abdomen that gets affected. To get a flat belly, you also need to work out your lower back, hips and upper thighs. Instead, doing plank exercises or using the medical ball call help you get flat abs much more quickly.

Also read: 3 Best Ways To Reduce Belly Fat: Get A Flat tummy

Losing belly fat without crunches

Some simple lifestyle changes and exercises can help you get ahead of your belly-flattening program. Try these simple and effective hacks to shed the belly fat now:

1. Increase your heart-rate

Often, your ab sculpting exercises don't show the desired results because your belly fat is hiding your abdominal muscles. You need to get rid of the fat first. Exercises that work up your heart rate are ideal for losing fat as they mean that more calories are burnt with the same level of exercises as those that just move your muscles. Aerobic exercises like running are hence the most effective. High intensity interval training is also a good way to push not just you heart rate but also metabolic rate up. This will help you quickly burn calories and reduce fat.

2. Work up your bones

Shortening of your abdominal cavity due to weak bones or inadequate growth means that your belly has no space to grow other than outward. Cells in our bone marrow, called mesenchymal stem cells either transform into bone or fat. Exercise like rope jumping, tennis and dancing can help you stimulate these cells to transform into more bone cells and lesser fat ones. Intake of calcium is important to ensure bone growth and prevent belly fat.

3. Eat high-fiber foods

By eating foods high in fiber, you feel hungry less often. Not only do fiber rich foods keep you full, but more calories are also burnt while digesting them. Fiber rich foods include brown rice, beans, peas, bran based cereal, sweet potato, wheat and fruits. Your diet should contain at least 22-25 grams of fiber every day for effective fat loss.

4. Switch to pilates

Great for toning your muscles, these stretching-based exercises are also a great form of workout to burn calories. A 50 minute pilates workout can help you lose between 210-300 calories. More advanced the moves, higher muscle work and energy you will need and so more calories you will burn. Some of the most effective pilates moves for fat loss are heel ups, crisscross, plank jacks, leg pull, kneeling side kicks and cannon ball.

For drastic belly fat loss, you will need to mix a lot of workouts together. To lose 1 kg of fat, you need to burn at least 7000 more calories than you are consuming. Cardio, pilates, dancing and planks together can produce effective results for you, without recourse to crunches that are clearly the wrong exercise for flat abs.

work out health body

Crunches are inefficient when it comes to reducing belly fat
Photo Credit: iStock

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