Why sit-ups might be making you fat

I once had a client who put our appointments in her diary as ‘project muffin top’. She had three kids and wanted to get back in shape. But when she first came to see me, she nearly fell over when I told her: “Don’t do sit-ups, they will make you fat!”.

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Contrary to popular belief, the secret to a flat stomach isn’t hours of running on a treadmill or thousands of crunches.

You already have the six pack there – you just need to uncover them, and to do that, you need to decrease your body fat and improve your posture. Sure, nutrition plays a vital role in this, but so too can the way you exercise.

Sit ups encourage poor posture because of the repetitive rounded motion of the spine when you do them, which in the long term will cause your back to lose its natural curve and your belly to become more pronounced.

Here’s an ideal ‘Flat Tummy’ workout that takes no time!

Just do 30 seconds on, then 30 seconds off, for three reps.

  1. Plank Knee Touch – start on your toes and hands in a high plank position. Touch your right hand to left knee as you bring your knee in towards your chest. Focus on keeping a neural level spine. Alternate continuously.
  2. Plank Walk Out – Start in high plank position slowly walk your hands as far as you. If you are feeling it in your lower back, shorten your range. Then walk back raising your hips to the ceiling.
  3. Break Dancer – start in a high plank position. Take one hand off the ground, and rotating your torso towards the raised arm. Finish the position with your arm vertical to the ground while keeping both your feet in contact with the surface and not allowing your hips to sag. Return to the starting position and transition to your other arm.

To find out more on how you can get that flat stomach during our 8 Week Better You challenge, click here.

Image credit: iStock
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Greg has made it his fight to bring professionalism back to exercise. With a university degree in Human Movement and working with elite level athletes, Greg’s knowledge and experience is leading the way. Greg is the founder of Better Being, Australia’s only team of university qualified personal trainers delivering health solutions that suit your busy corporate life. Today, Greg continues to support the health and wellbeing of corporate executives and celebrities. He also educates trainers and regularly contributes to national publications and TV shows including Men’s Health, Sky Business and The Morning Show. Greg was awarded the 2011 Australian Exercise Professional of the Year finalist and is a proud ambassador for lululemon athletica. He has also established a charity, Active Kids, which aims to overcome childhood obesity and physical inactivity in Australia. Greg’s passion is to create ways to inspire, educate and motivate people to build a happy and healthy life.