Training your abs doesn't make your belly go down. The reduction in waist circumference strictly depends on the type of physical activity and diet.
" How to reduce the waist? " is a very frequent question for all those who find themselves wanting to lose a few extra pounds. The stereotype of the six squares of the abdomen or a flat stomach is often linked to the thought that in order to get rid of excess fat, it is necessary to perform countless exercises for the abdominal muscles. But is it true or is it a hoax? In reality this is not the case: muscle training does not selectively burn fat in the area we are boosting.
Where is fat deposited and how is it made?
Men , due to the effect of testosterone , tend to deposit excess fat in the abdomen . For women it is slightly different because, due to a hormonal issue , there is a predisposition to accumulate in other areas, such as thighs and hips . But there are also women with the so-called " android conformation " who tend to deposit excess fat on their belly. What you feel when pinching your "bacon" with two fingers is the subcutaneous fat which is the most difficult to eliminate but is "healthier". There is also visceral fatwhich, if in excess, helps to give roundness to the abdomen. The latter is directly proportional to the risk of cardiovascular events , insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and type II diabetes .
Following a series of metabolic mechanisms , our body converts excess nutrients into fat. These are deposited inside the fat cells in the form of " droplets ". It is precisely the volume of the lipid droplet that increases the size of the adipose tissue: try to imagine these cells as many inflating balloons . When we lose weight these cells are emptied but are not eliminated! Do you think that the number of fat cells is predominantly predefined in the growth phase based on nutrition and lifestyle. As adults we can only try to limit the accumulation of fat inside them.
Belly and abs: eternal enemies?
When we train the abdomen we go to give a stimulus to the muscle fibers . Depending on the type of training and genetic predisposition, our abdominal muscles can respond by improving strength, volume and resistance. This happens whether you have excess fat or not! Doing core exercises won't reduce your waistline, but it can improve the tone of the underlying muscles . The so-called " muscle definition " (i.e. the reduction of subcutaneous fat) mainly depends on a balance between:
- How much and what we eat
- How much we burn during physical activity
In general, to reduce excess fat, the best strategy is to perform aerobic activity (that is, at an intensity that still allows us to chat) such as a brisk walk, run or bicycle. Another example would be gymnastics classes with music as long as you can appreciate an increase in your breathing rate. Aerobic activity allows the activation of particular metabolic processes which lead to the reduction of our fat stocks. Do you think that this process, called "lipolysis", continues even in the hours when you are not doing any activity.
Even training in the weight room can lead to a reduction in fat stocks, also because muscle tissue increases the body's energy demands.
The turtle definition training
Those who perform well-structured and complete workouts use the deep muscles of the abdomen for correct execution of the movement. As a result, selective ab training, other than through core-stability exercises, could take a back seat.
Those who need to have greater muscle volume or greater abdominal strength can focus some training sessions on stimulating this district. There are various types of exercises but please, be careful with the execution! Many exercises, especially those in "closure" (i.e. those in which the back bends forward), can have negative repercussions on the back.movement specialist !