You’ve probably seen the late night infomercials selling every form of ab machine the human mind can conceive. They always promise a ripped six pack and a tapered V-shape. That promise earns them billions of dollars a year from consumers willing to plunk down hundreds of dollars to find an easier way to work their core than sit-ups and crunches.

The truth is… Working your abs will not target your belly fat. It does not matter if you are using the latest ab contraption or doing sit-ups and crunches. All they can do is help build muscle in that area… which is not a bad thing.

But they can’t turn your beer belly into a six pack like they promise.

Fat doesn’t work that way. You don’t have one type of fat on your abs and another type on your arms or hips. Fat is fat, and when your body burns fat, it does not selectively target the fat from one area.

One study published in Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport examined people put on a rigorous abdominal exercise training program. They were required to do 5,000 sit-ups over a 27 day period. In the end, the people that lost fat lost it in equal parts throughout their bodies.[1]

The main point is that the abdominals are too small to burn a lot of fat by themselves. If you are looking to burn fat - sit-ups, crunches, and ab machines are not the way to go. It is much better to do exercises that involve the big muscles and a larger range of motion.

I don’t recommend sit-ups because it creates a Vasalva maneuver where you bear down with a closed mouth or nose so that no air gets out. That impedes the return of blood to the heart and circulation to your head. Many people have burst blood vessels in their eyes while doing sit-ups.

In my P.A.C.E. express fitness program, I recommend a fat melting motion I call the “Triple Step”.

1. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands by your sides.

2. Raise your arms, with elbows at a 90 degree angle, fists pointing upwards.

3. Raise your left knee to your right elbow

4. As you lower your leg, take two hop steps to the left.

5. Stop and raise your right knee to your left elbow – and as you lower your leg, take two hop steps to the right.

6. Repeat until you are slightly out of breath.

Recover, and do two more sets with slightly increasing intensity. Focus on your intensity, so you can be in control. If you get to your peak heart rate after the second set, you’ve gone beyond your current level of conditioning.

Try the “Triple Step”, and you’ll be working more muscles than a sit-up, crunch, or ab machine. You’ll also be burning more fat off your belly and all over your body.

To understand more about how to melt belly fat and achieve a tapered “V” shaped upper body, please visit:

1. Katch, F.I., Clarkson, P.M., Kroll, W., McBride, T., Wilcox, A. “Effects of sit-up exercise training on adipose cell size and adiposity.” Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 1984. 55(3): 242-247.

Author's Bio: 

About Al Sears MD

Dr. Al Sears, MD currently owns and operates the Dr. Sears’ Center for Health and Wellness in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. It’s a successful integrative medicine and anti-aging clinic with over 25,000 patients.

His cutting-edge therapies and reputation for solving some of the most difficult-to-diagnose cases attract patients from around the world. Dr. Sears was one of the first physicians to be board-certified in anti-aging medicine.

As a pioneer in this new field of medicine, he is an avid researcher, published author, and enthusiastic lecturer. He is the first doctor licensed in the U.S. to administer TA-65, the most important breakthrough in anti-aging medicine today. Dr. Sears currently writes and publishes several monthly newsletters, including the monthly e-Newsletter, Confidential Cures, and daily email broadcasts, Doctor’s House Call and Ageless Beauty Secrets.

He also contributes to a host of other publications in the field. He has appeared on over 50 national radio programs, ABC News, CNN, and ESPN. For more information about Dr. Al Sears, M.D. please go to: