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Fitness & Wellness

Why sit-ups are a waste of time in your quest to build strong abs

No sit-ups: Experts recommend several other exercises that are much more helpful in building a strong core and abs.

Why sit-ups are a waste of time in your quest to build strong abs

Anjishnu Roy

Published: 30 Jun 2023 9:15 AM GMT

No summer body is complete without well-defined abs that bulge out of the core. Whether you’ve decided to work your way towards building abs after watching your favourite celebrities or to give yourself a new challenge, the journey is going to difficult. In fact, getting abs that pop out immediately requires a great deal of dedication to both workouts and diet as well as consistency.

However, the common perception among first-time fitness enthusiasts is that they will be able to build their abs with something as simple as sit-ups. However, most fitness experts and veterans consider sit-ups to be a waste of time.

Most people with knowledge of the core believe that there are much better exercises than sit-ups that target the entire abs and obliques. While sit-ups are a good place to begin with, they are not very effective at sculpting abs.

Instead, fitness trainers recommend other exercises because the core is also extremely important and needs proper training and development like any other major muscle group in the body. The benefits of a strong core are several fold but besides achieving aesthetic goals, they also help with the following:

1. Relief from back pain
2. Lower risk of injuries
3. Lower risk of accumulating visceral fat

The thing about abs is that in order for them to be visible, one needs to have low enough levels of fat. It is widely believed that the abs start showing prominently once someone has a body fat percentage below 15%.

Therefore, it is advised to work on reducing belly fat first and following a healthy diet while exercising regularly for the purpose.

The reason why sit-ups are ineffective at building abs properly are because:

1. They are not effective if performed incorrectly and most people use momentum to drive the exercise instead of actually squeezing the core.
2. Sit-ups and crunches can be tough on the lower back
3. Presence of better alternatives

So, what are the exercises that should be done in order to build better abs instead of simple sit-ups?

The most effective exercises are hanging knee raises and hanging knee twists which target both the abs and the obliques. However, if one finds it difficult to hang from a bar for a lengthy period of time, the alternatives are cable crunches, weighted planks, Russian twists, ab rollouts and flutter and scissor kicks.

Mountain climbers and side plank pulses are also good ab-building exercises.

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