Today’s question is “should i do ab exercises if i have belly fat?”
The answer to this question is yes.
Ready for a quick cardio workout that works? Try this amazing workout. It's free for 14 days!
You should do ab exercises even if you have belly fat if these three things are true
- You do not have a genetic predisposition to have visible abs.
- You are within 10 pounds of your ideal weight and
- You want to see visible abs
I’ll give you some examples of ab exercises later in this post.
And I’ll explain these points a little bit further.
But first I should introduce myself in case you’re new here.
Here's an awesome belly fat workout you might enjoy. It's free
My name is Kola (just like Coca Cola).
I’m Certified as a Personal Trainer & Nutritionist.
I’m a wife.
I’m a mom.
And I’m here to help you out. 😃
I have awesome workouts. You should check them out and take the free quiz on the homepage.
It’s really good.
“Should i do ab exercises if i have belly fat?” – let’s continue
The first thing I said is to do ab exercises – even if you have belly fat – if you do not have a genetic predisposition to having visible abs.
Depending on how far you’ve dug into this issue, you may have read in some places that you just need to clean up your diet.
And – allegedly – once you’re eating clean, you’re just going to magically have abs.
I just want to clear this up for you because this is something that I personally needed cleared up for me as well.
Listen to this.
When someone says it’s all about cleaning up your diet, most likely, you’re listening to somebody that has genes that makes it so they naturally have visible abs without trying!
Side note: these people also tend to naturally store fat on their backs.
But we usually won’t be able to see that because they’re usually not turning their backs for us to see.
All we can see is the abs and we all want it.
And if you’re asking “should I work out my abs if I have belly fat?”, you might want to have abs.
My point is: it’s not in your head if your diet is clean and you still don’t have abs.
You may just not have the genetic predisposition to just have abs.
“Should I do ab exercises if i have belly fat?” – is there hope??
Does that mean you can’t have abs?
No, it doesn’t mean you can’t have abs.
You just need to work for it the way I did.
Think about it this way. Some people are born with money – some people have to work for it.
Some people are born with the genes to have abs without doing ab exercises.
Some people have to work for every speck of an ab they have.
So for those of us that we naturally store fat on our bellies, we do have to do ab exercises.
We actually have to do the sit ups and the crunches and we’re not crazy.
There’s nothing wrong with us.
It’s just how our bodies are built.
So if you don’t have that genetic predisposition to having visible abs, then sorry, you’ve got to do them ab exercises and I’ll give some examples in this post too to help you out.
“Should I do ab exercises if i have belly fat?” – well are you 10 pounds away or nah?
The second thing I said is you need to be within 10 pounds of your ideal weight.
Your ideal weight is a number that you can pull out of the heavens if you want.
I don’t recommend doing that.
It is better to google “ideal weight calculator” and type in your info.
They typically need your height, your weight, your lifestyle and it’ll spit out a number that is your ideal weight.
I agree that “ideal” is a very vague word to use in connection with weight.
Just think about it as a weight that’s generally considered healthy for somebody of your stature.
That’s basically what that means.
And then when you are within 10 pounds or less of that, that’s a good time to start working on abs.
For people that are more than 10lb away from their ideal weight….
…there is nothing technically wrong with doing ab exercises.
It’s just that that’s not the highest priority type of exercise to be doing at that point.
“Should I do ab exercises if i have belly fat?” – an example
So to give a concrete example.
Let’s say there is a woman that currently weighs 200lbs and her ideal weight is 120lbs.
She’s 80lb away from her ideal weight.
At that particular point in time, she may want to prioritize just weight loss in general as opposed to specifically doing ab exercises.
When a person has more than 10 pounds to lose, ab exercises naturally would be lower priority than weight loss exercises.
“Should I do ab exercises if i have belly fat?” – well do you want to see the abs?
Finally, this question of whether to train abs is something that matters only to people that want to see visible abs.
If you genuinely don’t care about seeing visible abs, then you literally never have to do ab exercises.
You should still do core strengthening exercises like planks.
And you should still engage your core when you’re doing compound exercises like squats and lunges.
But do you have to sit there crunching and doing sit ups and all these things like the rest of us?
No, you absolutely do not.
So if you just want a flat stomach, or a gorgeous figure to oppress your neighbor with, then you don’t need to do ab exercises.
But if you want to have visible abs like six pack abs, a four pack, 11 line – whatever variety of abs you want to have, then the ab exercises do help tremendously.
Examples of Ab Exercises You Can Do
And so let me give you some examples of AB exercises just so we’re on the same page.
I don’t want to make any assumptions that we’re thinking the same thing when i say “ab exercise”.
Examples of ab exercises
- Sit ups: excellent ab exercise
- Crunches: wonderful ab exercise
- Bicycles: epic ab exercise
- Slow cycles (bicycles but done really slowwwwwly – it’s literally slow motion)
These exercises are targeting your ab muscles to get them to show.
If you have more than 10 pounds to lose, you can still do these exercises.
That way, you have practice, you’re strengthening your abs, and no exercise done is ever wasted.
But they shouldn’t form the core of a weightloss workout routine.
What this looks like is – if you have 30 minutes to work out and you have 50lb to lose.
The 50lb that needs to be lost will cover up those abs and they will never show.
This is why ab exercises shouldn’t be the main core or foundation of a workout routine for someone in that particular situation.
I am pretty confident that this has cleared up this issue of “should I do ab exercises if I have belly fat?”
You should now have a clear path forward.
Also take the opportunity to take a clear path forward to the quiz on the home page.
See if my workout programs are right for you.
“Should I do ab exercises if i have belly fat?” – Benefits vs Drawbacks to Consider
Benefits of working out your abs
The ab exercises I’ve offered above are great for strengthening the core.
This means that your spine is better protected. You reduce your exposure to back pain. And other necessary exercises (like squats) are much easier to do with excellent form.
A win is a win 😀
When you do ab exercises, your stronger ab muscles make it possible to have great posture.
In addition to – again – helping to prevent pain, it just kind of looks good to have great posture.
It commands more respect and we like to see it. 😃
Better physical performance:
A strong core is needed for literally anything physical.
Sports, cleaning, carrying groceries, keeping up with kids – all these activities need a strong core for balance, stability, and power.
Makes me grateful to be able to do a crunch.
Increased calorie burn:
Ab exercises, like any form of physical activity, contribute to burning calories and can support weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and overall fitness plan.
Reduced risk of injury:
A stronger core can help decrease the likelihood of muscle strains.
Admitedly, this applies more to exercises that really go deep into the core (like planks).
Drawbacks of working out your abs
Needs to be combined with other exercises
Ab exercises can strengthen the muscles underneath belly fat.
But sadly won’t melt the fat itself away.
To get rid of the fat, a well designed workout program and eating plan is needed.
Temptation to focus too much on abs
Some people might find themselves neglecting cardio or legs.
And putting all their effort into ab exercises.
Focusing too much on ab exercises – without also training other body parts can lead to muscle imbalances and injury.
Possible neck pain
Some ab exercises – done incorrectly – can worsen or create neck pain or discomfort.
This is easily avoidable by using good form. But, unfortunately, it does happen.
Time and effort:
Sad to say, but it does take time to see results from ab exercises.
This is definitely a major drawback for people with already busy schedules and a million things to do.
Do you know what kind of potato you are?
As a Personal Trainer for almost 7 years, I can tell you with 100% accuracy.
Take this instant quiz and find out