Gael Guevara, Certified Fitness Trainer
Fitness Information and Training
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Can you recommend some exercises that burn fat around your waist that aren't sit-ups?
Can you recommend some exercises that burn fat around your waist that aren't sit-ups? I hurt my tailbone again when I fell in Vegas and it really hurts but still want to work out.
Hi Vero! Thanks for your question and I'm sure many people can relate. Especially when you have a lower back or tailbone injury, situps can be very painful. However, the best way to lose a few inches around your waist actually has nothing to do with sit-ups. You can't target a specific area with exercise, genetics will determine from where your body will let go of it first. What you can control is your nutrition and see where you can cut out foods that are high in calories and low nutritional value. Basically in order to lose body fat, you have to burn more calories that you ingest. Include a regular exercise routine to your week and you'll start to increase the number of calories you burn overall.
Also, I would not recommend sit ups for you or any one with a lower back/tailbone injury. Because of the mechanics of a sit up, your spine is going into flexion each and every time you contract your abs so, overtime it can aggravate the vertebrae and disc in your spine, leading to further injury and keeping you away from doing any exercise at all. Its also not a very functional exercise. Meaning that we often don't go around actively flexing our spine (crunching) when doing every day things like brushing our teeth.
Sit ups are for the most part aesthetic, done by body builders to build those coveted six pack abs. However, they probably are also under really strict diets to lower their body fat % to extreme numbers and if they are smart they are also working their back muscles just as intensely.
Your "abs" are part of a bundle of muscles that make up your trunk and work to keep your spine from going into excessive flexion or extension. Some of the exercises that focus on the functionality of your trunk and help to strengthening it include; planks, side planks, kneeling/standing chops, back extensions, mountain climbers, shoulder taps, push ups, squats deadlifts, lunges, pull ups....as you can see your trunk(abs) is working anytime you engage your whole body so when selecting exercises, choose those that engage multiple muscle groups and you'll be sure to hit your trunk, core and abs too. Thanks again for your question! I'll post it on my blog for all to share. Keep the questions coming! :)
Gael Gundin Guevara
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