Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fats?

15 min reading time

Do sit-ups burn belly fat? Many people who’ve tried sit-ups on their own to lose that belly fat with little success can’t help but wonder about this. 

After all, if it did work, then why are so many still left with flabby midsections?

Burning belly fat may be one of the most common fitness resolutions out there today. But, if you ask anyone, they’ll tell you that a solid sit-up routine is a massive part of it. 

If you want to know if doing sit-ups burns belly fat, then keep reading.

What Are Belly Fats?

Belly fat is subcutaneous abdominal fat, fat stored just below the skin. It’s also known as central fat or visceral adipose tissue. When we refer to ‘belly fat,’ we’re usually talking about the kind of fat that builds up in your stomach or around your intestines.

Belly fat is layered on top of the muscle. However, what most people think of as belly fat is actually underneath the real belly. 

They consist of fat tissue and connective tissue or fascia under the skin that supports your internal organs. It is also referred to as visceral fat. Furthermore, it is related to other health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

Belly fat is a disease. It is a substance that accumulates in the belly on its own. Like cholesterol, it can only be created inside the body and causes serious problems right away. Belly fat is made of lipoprotein particles, just like cholesterol is. It can build up in the bloodstream to dangerous levels and eventually cause life-threatening illnesses unless it is eliminated from the body.

Losing belly fat is not as simple as some people make out. The only way to be sure your belly fat goes away permanently is to identify its source in your own particular case correctly.

6 Common Causes Of Belly Fat

Belly fat or abdominal fat is a problem as far as the aspect of obesity is concerned. This is not only an embarrassing problem for the individual but also a significant health issue. Excessive accumulation of fat around the abdomen area increases the risk of various ailments. Some of which are; diabetes, heart diseases and high blood pressure etc. Let us take a closer look at some significant causes of belly fat.

1. Thyroid Problems

One source of belly fat is an underactive thyroid gland. This is more prevalent than you might think. A person with hypothyroidism has a slower metabolic rate than usual. As a result, the body gets less energy than it needs, so it starts storing fat instead of burning it. All the extra weight from this process appears in the belly region rather than the hips, legs, or arms.

2. Hormones

Your hormones affect many aspects of your life. One of these is your belly fat. The three most important hormones for fat loss are testosterone, estrogen and cortisol. Your body has some built-in mechanisms that tell you when you’ve stored enough fat from your diet, but these mechanisms can be fooled by changes in the hormone levels in your blood. In response to weight gain or loss, hormone changes are much more powerful than the signals sent by fat cells – for the first few pounds, at least.

3. Stress & Anxiety

Both can make you fat, but not how you might think. The stress hormone cortisol contributes to belly fat specifically by making the brain more sensitive to rewarding stimuli. 

Stress releases cortisol and other stress hormones, which increase appetite and create cravings for carbs and sweets. If you’re anxious all the time, you don’t get enough sleep, which increases cortisol and affects your insulin sensitivity.

4. Unhealthy Diet

A major cause of belly fat is the type of calories you consume. If you eat food that has lots of sugar or refined carbohydrates, your body will store any excess calories in the form of fat for future use. The more carbohydrates you consume, the bigger your belly will be.

5. Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep is a condition that has been related to different kinds of diseases and conditions. Among them is the formation of belly fat. If you do not have enough time to sleep, working for more hours and in an office can be exhausting. However, it will benefit you if you can manage to get enough sleep regularly.

6 Lack of Exercise

The number one reason belly fat is hard to get rid of is that you don’t do enough exercise. Unfortunately, there isn’t any miracle pill that works without the proper techniques to help you burn belly fat.


Do Sit-ups Burn Belly Fat?

Do sit-ups burn belly fat? The short answer is that there is not much evidence to suggest that abdominal exercises such as sit-ups can cause fat loss in the abdominal area. Ultimately, a balanced fitness program will help you burn off your excess body fat. This may be a combination of muscle, bulk and stomach fat.

Many people are starting to introduce the sit-up exercise into their exercise routine to tighten up their midsections. However, many people believe that sit-ups can make your belly even bigger instead of smaller. 

Temporarily, the first time you do sit-ups or any exercise, your body converts to fuel for energy. More important than burning fat, the body burns sugar (glucose). This will briefly trigger weight loss. After the exercise session is finished and no matter how well or how many sit-ups you did, it will be recovered immediately if adequate food is eaten afterward.

Types/Variations Of Sit-Ups

There are several different sit-ups, and each kind of sit-up targets different parts of your core. 

The abdominal muscles, which make up the area also known as the abs, can be significantly strengthened by doing sit-ups. 

These muscles are located along the posterior of your ribcage. They wrap around to the front of your abdomen and can be seen by an abdominal protrusion when you flex. Unfortunately, this makes sit-ups one of those exercises that are often done incorrectly. 

Likewise, they can be performed in a way that does not work the stomach muscle. Instead, it puts excessive stress on other areas like the lower back. Hence, the need for it to be done correctly.

There are four main types of sit-ups;

Regular sit-ups

Regular sit-ups consist of many core areas in strengthening the abdominal muscles. However, traditional sit-ups can help with much low back and lower abdominal issues. Many people don’t know that the lower abdominals are just as important as the upper abs. The central nervous system is controlled by the lower spine and pelvis, which are both parts of the core. Furthermore, regular sit-ups are an excellent way to strengthen these muscles.

Reverse sit-ups

Reverse sit-ups are a variation of the standard sit up. It worked with the legs flexed and raised to touch the palms of the hands. 

Reverse sit-ups are commonly done with the feet anchored to foot straps. This variation is also called double leg elevated sit-ups or “board sit-ups.”  The purpose of lying on a sliding board is to provide access to a greater range of motion using less resistance.


Crunches — the most famous exercise for a strong and ripped abdominal. This exercise can help you develop a flat stomach, well-developed abdominal muscles and strengthen back muscles.

Knees-to-elbows sit-ups 

Knees-to-elbows sit-ups are one of the best exercises for strengthening your core. 

This exercise will help you build a strong midsection which is important for athleticism and injury prevention. 

To do the sit-up, lie on the floor with your knees bent. Then, put your hands behind your ears and lift your upper body off the floor.

The kinds of sit-ups that benefit you the most are where your back doesn’t sag when you are doing them. 

This is called “retroverted.” It involves your muscles pulling in the opposite direction to gravity while your shoulders remain fixed. For example, if you were doing a crunch-type sit-up, your shoulders will have to stay firmly on the floor for this type of sit-up to be retroverted.

Sit-ups For Lower Belly Fat

Situps are a great type of abdominal exercise when done correctly. You can perform several different types of sit-ups which use different muscle groups. Most of these are done on the floor, but some require equipment. Either way, they work the muscles in your upper and lower abdomen as you try to rotate your torso over your legs.

There are many sit-ups for abs solutions out there, but few of them can give you outstanding lower belly fat results. 

It is clearly seen that many people are struggling with their lower belly fat even when they are exercising regularly and practicing strict diets. The abdominal area is just the most challenging place to burn fat.

The reason that most people fail to perform sit-ups correctly is the same reason they fail to get rid of their lower belly fat.

To burn belly fat, you need to know how to do your sit-ups correctly.

How To Do Sit-ups Correctly 

If you want to make sure that you are getting the most out of your sit-ups, you will do them correctly. When done wrong, they can cause a lot more problems than they will help you to fix. By making sure that you are doing sit-ups correctly, you will get the results you hoped for.

Below are the steps to do your sit-ups correctly.

  1. Find a hard surface
  2. Stretch out
  3. Start with torso perpendicular to the floor
  4. Keep your back straight at all times
  5. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent at 90-degrees, hands behind head
  6. Roll your upper body forward from the waist until it is over your thighs, hold for 5 seconds, then roll back up to starting position.

Sit-up Alternatives

A lot of people think about doing sit-ups to lose belly fat. 

Unfortunately, no amount of sit-up belly fat exercises are going to burn off the belly fat from your body. The only way you’re going to lose your belly fat is through more cardiovascular exercises. It is because exercise is one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat fast. Exercising more will help burn off the extra body fat that you have around your midsection. 

Some of the exercises are; 

Reverse crunch with knee raise

The reverse crunch with knee raise is one of the most effective ab movements to strengthen the lower abdominals.

To do the reverse crunch;

  1. Lie down on your back with your legs out straight.
  2. Place a mat under the lower back to keep the ribs from lifting too high during this crunch.
  3. Place hands behind your head or reach out so that fingers point toward your feet.
  4. Begin by bringing knees toward chest and elbows toward knees, slowly and continuously until upper body is slightly above floor level. (The reverse crunch with knee raise is a great way to tone the oblique muscles in the stomach).

Side plank crunch

  • Lie on your side while balancing on your elbow
  • Lift your hips, but stay on the floor
  • Keep yourself straight from head to toe
  • Use your abs to lift yourself up
  • Hold for 10 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Leg raise

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your arms resting at your sides.
  • Bend your knees, bringing your heels as close to your bottom as possible, then raise them straight toward the ceiling as if you were trying to touch your toes.
  • Continue to lower and raise your legs in an arc-like movement.
  • Do 20 to 40 repetitions.

Russian twists 

  • Lay on your back with your hands out in front of you
  • Bring your knees into your chest, lifting your feet off the ground.
  • Twist the feet to the right and touch the right elbow to the left knee. 
  • Return to starting position 
  • Alternate sides by twisting your feet to the left while touching your right elbow to the left knee.
  • Return to starting position 
  • Repeat for 20 reps on each side.


  • Keep your back straight
  • Lift your tummy
  • Tighten your glutes
  • Squeeze your thighs and butt
  • Relax neck and shoulders
  • Don’t drop your heels to the ground
  • Breathe during workout
  • Do the Planks on toes if you can’t do it on flat feet

Final Note

Reducing belly fat is hard as the body tries to fight back. Countless people have tried numerous methods without meaningful results. Some of these methods can be dangerous and harmful to your health. To make matters worse, people tend to blame the wrong reasons for their failure. 

It is not the fault of their body but rather personal workout mistakes that hindered them from getting the desired results. 

Of course, there are also underlying factors such as hormones and genetics, which can further complicate things.

Nevertheless, it is essential to understand that merely doing sit-ups cannot get you desired results.

Instead, sit-ups combined with a healthy lifestyle can get you better and quicker results. 

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FAQs – Do Sit-ups Burn Belly Fat?

How many sit-ups a day to lose belly fat?

20 per reps is a range that most people can handle in a day. Do more than that, and your abs will get too sore from lifting. Also, do less than ten, and you won’t be working hard enough to see much change. Make sure you do it at least three times a week, but 4-6 times a week is even better.

Do planks burn belly fat?

In a word, yes. 

However, they won’t be as efficient as crunches or sit-ups, though. If you’re interested in simply getting rid of belly fat, you can try running or any other cardio routine. But if you want to strengthen your core, then planks are the answer.

Do push-ups burn belly fat?

Push-ups build both upper body and core strength, making them a great addition to any exercise routine. Push-ups can be performed almost anywhere with no special equipment. Some people mistakenly believe that push-ups will only improve strength in the chest and shoulders. This is not true. These moves also work your triceps, abdominals and legs.

How many sit-ups a day to get a flat stomach in two weeks?

If you are looking for an effective solution to lose your stomach fat, then you should start doing at least 25 sit-ups every single day. If it is a routine that you do regularly, it would be safe to say that you have lost a huge amount of fats around your belly. For beginners, I suggest that you start with 10 – 20 sit-ups per couple of days. After the initial two weeks or so, which is going to be very hard on your body, then you could increase your sit-up workout routine to 25 sit-ups for two weeks. 

Nevertheless, it is important to note that for best results, combine your exercise with the right eating habits.

Do crunches burn belly fat?

They do if you do them right. If your goal is to lose body fat, building muscle and doing crunches is not your best option. It would help if you focused on doing resistance training as it will help burn fat and not muscle mass.

How many crunches a day to lose belly fat?

How many crunches does it take to lose belly fat? It will depend on the other exercise that you are doing. However, crunches can help you work your abs. One problem is that too many crunches might do more harm than good.

What exercise burn the most belly fat?

There are a lot of factors that go into what exercise burns the most belly fat. So, for me, it’s more a question of which diet and exercise regimen would be best for you. However, the most efficient exercises to burn belly fat occur when you incorporate your whole body, especially your core.

Can 100 sit-ups per day lose belly fat?

Doing 100 sit-ups a day will not lose belly fat. But it definitely won’t hurt your progress if you’re doing them correctly. If you want to get rid of your belly and want to lose weight, then the best thing you can do is eat healthy alongside.

How can I have a flat tummy?

A flat tummy is something people think they automatically have when they do sit-ups. This is why a lot of people ask the question; do sit-ups burn belly fat? The truth is, when you eat a diet high in carbs and sugar, you store that as fat. That’s why for a flat tummy, you should say goodbye to the high-calorie junk food and start eating clean. It’s not just about losing weight, though. By eating healthy foods, you can also avoid other health problems like heart disease and diabetes. 

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