Burning fat from the abdomen through exercises specially destined to the abdominal muscles was, is and will always be one of the most resistant myths.
Almost all the people with a big belly take up, with a lot of determination, sit-ups, crunches, side-bends, twists, etc., hoping that every new series or set of exercises, every session of repeating them, will help them get rid of the ‘ring’ of adipose tissue around their waist, also called ‘the ring of death’.
Besides the fact that it is probably the most anesthetic ‘deposit’ of adipose tissue, abdominal fat involves many risks for the health of the person which possesses it (related to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, impotence, etc.).
We must keep in mind, once and for all, that when we refer to the melting of the subcutaneous adipose tissue, there is no spot reduction. No matter how much we strive to locate effort in the areas we are focused on, we will only fortify the muscles under the fat, but the reduction of the fat itself will be insignificant. The explanation is simple and is connected to the energetic support of the anaerobic effort, which uses, for the exercises, muscular and hepatic glycogen, and not fat acids from the adipose tissue. For getting to the deposits of fat, what we need is cardio training (running, biking, fast walking, swimming, etc.).This type of exercises must be maintained for a long time (45-60 minutes) and they must be intense (60-70% from the maximum of heart rhythm).
An alternative is cardio training with periods when intensity varies, although the total volume is not smaller than in the case of uniformly cardio training.
A very important role in burning fat is held by the diet. It is said that the most effective of training can be sabotaged in the kitchen.
The nutritionists say that a diet which maintains caloric deficit, but keeps a balanced proportion of the basic principles (proteins, lipids, blood sugar), with a slight increase of the protein part, will always have as a consequence losing weight. Physical exercises like sit-ups, crunches, etc., without other exercises meant to involve bigger groups of muscles (thighs, chest, back) and to fortify the abdominal muscles, do not increase very much the basic metabolic rate.
As a consequence, indirect burning of calories (during breaks, post-training) is very small in comparison with the burning due to aerobic effort (especially the ones with alternative periods) – in their case, during effort taking more than 20 minutes, the energetic support is exactly the adipose tissue.
The magic formula for burning abdominal fat is a combination of hypo caloric diet and exercise – especially aerobic, but also anaerobic (focused on all the body, not only the abdominal muscles).