36 Pittsfield Road
Lenox MA 01240
(413) 637-1414
  • social media icon for Personal Body Precision on Facebook


Quote: “In order to be wealthy, you must be healthy”

Can you do ab exercises to rid you body of fat in that region?

We all have the same musculature of the abdominal region the reason you can see some abdominals on people and not on others has more to do with fat covering those muscles more than doing more/less sit ups.  It does not take much just a small amount of extra adipose tissue (fat cell tissue) will allow one to have a smoother look around the mid section.  Genes will play about a 25-40% role in where fat is distributed on areas of the body.  You can not spot reduce, defined abs are more dependant on body fat and body fat distribution, therefore if you’ve been killing yourself doing thousands of sit ups that is not going to be your best approach.  Eating less calories/burning more calories than you ingest will rid you of layers of body fat that may surround the abdominal region.   Abdominals do a lot more that just look good they are an integral component to human movement, in a nutshell the abs keep the chest and shoulders stable over or in front of the hips during most standing activities.  They are made up of many regions more than just commonly thought of the 6 pack region, which is actually an 8, pack of the rectus abdominals the middle section.  Then there is the external oblique (largest ab muscle) wraps from one side of the body to the other, internal oblique, transverses abdominals, Quadratus Lumborum, Psoas and many more such as deep segmental muscles of the thoracic rib cage Longissimus thoracis and many more.  A lot of these huge muscles work while standing, bending, rotating to stabilizes the trunk musculature, not when lying down! 

The abs work a lot differently then when lying down performing stomach crunches in the real world, additionally when you are lying down working the abs (rectus abdominals) everything else abdominally speaking goes to sleep is taken out of the equation.  The minute you lie down all the pelvic stabilizers of the abdominal region are not engaged and thus create a lot less stomach muscles are being used.  That does not mean to train an open chain exercise static and non ground based (lying down) is wrong, but it is a small part of the mid section in fact the smallest part of the abdominal region is actually being used during a conventional sit up.  Abdominal muscles in real life have to work with gravity, momentum and ground reaction forces.  They work in a multi faceted environment!  Dynamic (in motion)-moving stabilizing the many trunk muscles, multi planar- 360 degree environment, integration- working them in different paths rotations, bending although lying down and crunching will strengthen the rectus abdominals in a isolated manner.  Unless you plan on lying down and living, the transference of using that "ab" strength will not help you!  So remember, riding your body of extra body fat will not come with doing thousands of stomach exercises, non the less only on the floor.  Reduce your caloric intake, which will minimize body fat and train your abdominals in many ways.   

By: J.D. Reber M.S. $ B.S. Exercise Science, CSCS & NASM- CFT


References: Functional Anatomy of the Core Check institute

Holes Human Anatomy and Physiology 7th edition


Remember, eat healthy and live wealthy!

Personal training in Lenox, MA