QuickCheck: Do sit-ups actually make for six-pack abs?

WHEN people start going to the gym, they are often pursuing goals such as greater strength, greater flexibility, or to improve their general health. While some people want to shrink the stomach and others destroy, there are also those who want six-pack abs as an important milestone in their fitness journey.

So, is it true that focusing on crunches will give you the abdominal definition you want?



This is a common misconception that has been debunked time and time again.

Most people think that trimming the area around the abdominal muscles is about doing crunches – or rather, ‘spot training’ the muscles around the stomach. But unfortunately, this didn’t work.

“Freckle reduction” refers to the misconception that you can lose fat in one place by training that part of the body.

While it’s true that on-the-job training will leave you feeling burnt as your muscles grow and strengthen, many studies show that it won’t help you lose belly fat.

On the other hand, many studies (and even personal trainers) will tell you that you should focus on reducing overall body fat by creating a calorie deficit while doing ab exercises that will strengthen and tone your entire core.

Note that you can’t see your belly right now because your body fat is getting in the way. There is a saying that “abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym”.

And the truth is good nutrition is essential if you want to lose body fat.

Once you’ve lost weight, you can start looking at your abs, and the next step is to focus on core training and muscle development.

Core training should be combined with compound exercises using body weight, free weights or equipment.

While getting six-pack abs may still be a good goal to reach, remember that the important part is the journey – an active and healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet.


1. https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/health/2019/02/01/develop-washboard-abs

2. https://www.livestrong.com/article/467113-how long-need-to-get-six-pack-with-500-sit-up-a-day/

3. https://www.coachmag.co.uk/Abdominal exercises/exercises/3544/why-sitting-not-helping-you-can-a-six-pack

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