If you’re prone to storing weight around your midsection and despite every attempt at exercise, you still find that pesky section of fat under your belly button is going nowhere, I’m here to help.

 

Today, I’m revealing the truth about the fitness industry’s most popular abdominal exercise: the sit up, and why it’s so ineffective at toning that muffin top.

1.       Targeting the wrong area

Ok, so, firstly, I’d like you to think about where you store fat around your midsection.  Is it above or below the belly button or below?  Generally speaking, it’s always below the navel that stubborn fat lingers, isn’t it?  You know, that pesky section of fat that you can roll between your fingers that’s showing no signs of shifting?

2.       Ineffective muscle contraction

Next, have a think about whereabouts in your abdominal area you ‘feel’ a sit up working?  Is it the muscles above, or below the umbilicus?  That’s right – it’s above, isn’t it that you feel the burn after doing a set of sit ups?  So, when you do a sit up, it’s not actually targeting the right muscles, which we’ve established are located below, not above the belly button.  Are you with me so far?

3.       Bad for posture

The majority of people sit down for most of their working day.  Think about the position your spine/shoulders are in when seated.  Is your spine straight, are your shoulders down and is your neck fully lifted, or is your spine bent slightly forward, your shoulders rounded and your chin poked forwards?  Now picture the position your body is in during a sit up.  That’s correct – you’re spine is flexed forward, your shoulders are hunched and your neck is pulled towards the chest.  So, tell me, why would I suggest people do sit ups if all they do all day is sit down in a forward-flexed, hunched forward position with a chin poke?  Doing endless amounts of sit ups can and most will exacerbate this posture.

Claire-294.       Can make back pain worse

Suffer with a bad back?  Well, you guessed it, doing endless sit ups won’t help.  Pilates-based exercise is the best thing to do if you have a dodgy back, poor posture or sit down all day.  Pilates works the deep internal muscles of the abdomen which helps tone the tummy, eradicate back pain and releases tension.  Doing sit ups won’t help you in this department one iota, I’m afraid.

5.       Abs are made in the kitchen

And finally, if you’re eating processed, unhealthy, high sugar foods, then that spare tire is there to stay.  Effective fat loss is 80% nutrition, and 20% exercise.  So, if you’re not cooking your meals from scratch and instead you’re eating microwave processed meals, this will be attributing to your weight gain.

 

And, there you have it, my top reasons why doing endless sit ups will NOT, get you a toned tummy.

 

It’s Pilates-based exercise that is most effective, and you can find out about my Pilates and fitness classes and downloadable home Pilates worksheets here.