For years, crunches or sit-ups were considered as must-do exercises if you want to achieve belly fat loss and sculpt sexy abs. But research suggests that they are not as effective as was first believed. A 2007 Journal of Applied Research study found that the floor crunches produced the least amount of muscle activity among core exercises. In 2002, University of Virginia researchers learned that it would take 250,000 crunches to burn a pound of fat – that’s 100 sit-ups a day for seven years.
While there is no single exercise that is best for inducing belly fat loss and sculpting sexy abs, there are other exercises that work better than crunches when it comes to strengthening your midsection. Push-ups, which are usually performed to work the anterior deltoids, biceps, pectorals and triceps, also target your abdominals. Strengthening your core muscles is one of the secrets to achieving belly fat loss and sculpting sexy abs. Push-ups are basically moving planks, which are considered as among the most effective core exercises.
The Proper Form When Doing a Basic Push-up
Performing a push-up properly allows you to engage your abdominal muscles and helps strengthen your rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus. The rectus abdominus is the most superficial muscle in your midsection and is what is seen as sexy abs or a six-pack. It runs down the front of your stomach and allows you to support your spine when you do push-ups. The transverse abdominis, on the other hand, is composed of the deepest set of muscle fibers that run horizontally across the middle of your abdominal region. It is responsible for compressing and tightening your abs during push-ups.
To properly perform a basic push-up, you’ll need to kneel on your hands and knees. Place your hands under your shoulders, then widen them about two inches, and bend your elbows at a 45 degree angle from your sides. Extend your legs behind you and lift onto your toes. Keep your body stiff and straight as a plank, aligning your head, shoulders, back, knees, hips, and heels. Lower your chest toward the floor, breathe in on the way down while you tighten your abs, and bend your elbows as you go down. Stop before your chest touches the floor and breathe out as your push-up and repeat.
There are a number of variations to the basic push-up that allow you target your abdominal muscles better including the physio ball plank, bosu plank, medicine ball push-up, elbow to arm planks, and one-legged push-up. But remember, as mentioned above, no single exercise can help you effectively achieve belly fat loss and sculpt sexy abs. If you want to burn fat fast, you will need to modify your diet and stick to a workout routine that incorporates aerobic exercises, interval training, and strength training. You can boost the effectiveness of push-ups and other exercises by applying Sweet Sweat, the thermogenic workout enhancer, on the targeted muscle groups.