Most exercisers refer to stomach exercises as abdominal exercises or ab exercises. They’re simply different names for the same body part. Although I’ve already published 5 Best Abdominal Exercises, I’ll post this as well so I can use it as an opportunity to clear up a common misunderstanding. I feel pretty confident that your goal is more to get a flatter stomach than it is to strengthen your abdominal muscles. I say this because you didn’t search for the muscles (abdominals), but rather the body part. I will give you exercises for the stomach area, but I strongly suggest reading below for some truth so you can actually achieve your goal of a flatter stomach.
Truth About Stomach Exercises
The hard truth is that stomach exercises do little to flatten your stomach. The reasons are that:
- You stomach area is large because it has fat deposited around it, not because your abdominal muscles are big and soft. Performing exercises for a specific area only strengthens those muscles, it doesn’t burn fat from that area.
- In order to lose fat, you must burn more calories than you eat. This can be done by a combination of a good diet and regular exercise.
- The exercise will “burn” your fat for fuel. You will decrease fat and lose weight. BUT, you can’t select where it will be taken from. Stomach exercises will not burn fat from your stomach and leg raises will not burn fat from your hips.
Since you can’t target where fat will be taken from, you will always have best results by choosing exercises that burn the most calories…everywhere. You can read more about exercising for weight loss here. You can also see the 5 Best Exercises to lose weight here.
Benefits of Stomach Exercises
With all this being said, you may be wondering, why bother doing stomach exercises? I’m here to tell you that they’re not a waste. Abdominal exercises:
- Strengthen your core area and help with all physical activities.
- Support your spine leading to less risk of back injury and pain.
These two points can lead to many other sub-points, but you get the idea. So, please do abdominal exercises, just do them for the right reasons and as part of a god balanced exercise program.