Why sit-ups won’t give you a six-pack, celebrity fitness trainer reveals

Many of us who dream of a washboard belly want to incorporate sit-ups into our workout routine.

But according to a celebrity fitness trainer, doing a series of daily crunches isn’t the best way to get a six-pack — it can actually make your belly look bigger.

Matt Fiddes of Swindon, who runs a chain of 700 martial arts schools and was a millionaire by the time he was 21, told FEMAIL that the idea that sit-ups and crunches will give people lean, toned abs is a myth.

“It’s an idea that’s been around for decades, but while hundreds of sit-ups every morning can strengthen the abs, the opposite is true,” he said.

According to a celebrity fitness trainer and mentor, tightening your abs through a series of daily crunches isn't the best way to get a six-pack — in fact, it can actually make it look bigger (stock image)

According to a celebrity fitness trainer and mentor, tightening your abs through a series of daily crunches isn’t the best way to get a six-pack — in fact, it can actually make it look bigger (stock image)

“It’s hardly going to have a positive impact on the appearance of your belly, except maybe make it look bigger. Sit-ups make your stomach bulge outward as you push your abs out.”

Matt explained that there’s a “big difference” between strengthening your abs and losing the fat layer on them, and sit-ups “don’t cut it,” no matter how much you do them or how long you do them.

“You’ll go through all that effort without a positive physical difference to show it,” he added. “It’s understandable that you lose all motivation and often decide you don’t have the right body type, or ‘obviously it’s not for me,’ before throwing in the towel.”

So, what’s the true path to a developed upper body? Here, Matt shares his guide to achieving an enviable six-pack.

Matt Fiddes of Swindon, who runs a chain of 700 martial arts schools and was a millionaire by the time he was 21, told FEMAIL that the idea that sit-ups and crunches will give people lean, toned abs is a myth.

Matt Fiddes of Swindon, who runs a chain of 700 martial arts schools and was a millionaire by the time he was 21, told FEMAIL that the idea that sit-ups and crunches will give people lean, toned abs is a myth.

Matt Fiddes of Swindon, who runs a chain of 700 martial arts schools and was a millionaire by the time he was 21, told FEMAIL that the idea that sit-ups and crunches will give people lean, toned abs is a myth.

IT’S ALL ABOUT DISCIPLINE AND LIFESTYLE

What many people don’t realize when they start their fitness journey is that everyone’s upper body has a layer of fat that serves to hide the results of all that hard work and exercise.

Simply put, all the crunches or sit-ups in the world won’t lose the fat around your belly.

The way to the body you want is to make drastic changes to your diet; that way, you’ll lose the fat covering your abs, and you’ll eventually have something to show for all that effort.

That, of course, requires discipline – which is why so few of us have the coveted tan torso that so many find attractive.

Remember it’s a ‘lifestyle’ – make those long-term positive changes, there are no shortcuts.

WHY SIT-UPS AND CRUNCHES CAN CAUSE NECK AND BACK PROBLEMS?

If not done properly, sit-ups and crunches can put stress on your back because the area you target puts too much pressure and compression on your spine.

I’ve seen a number of clients suffer from hernias, who put off any kind of physical activity for months, and you even have trouble walking or sleeping comfortably.

Like your spine, most people suffer neck injuries from doing the activity all wrong. It’s very easy to pull on your neck by doing even the slightest bit of movement wrong.

GOOD BODY ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN, NOT IN THE GYMUS

If you combine a careful diet with the right exercise and you are consistent and patient, the sacrifice will surely pay off.

The key to dreamy abs is the rule of 20 percent exercise and 80 percent nutrition ratio.

Or put another way, good bodies are essentially made in the kitchen and the workout is the icing on the cake!

Understanding the simple math behind weight loss and weight gain is key to unblocking what’s holding you back from achieving your goals. If you eat the wrong foods that don’t “feed” your body, you gain weight, simple fact.

Sticking to a high-protein, low-carb diet full of healthy whole grains with lots of vegetables will reduce the amount of fat stored around your body and stubborn areas, including your midsection.

Not only will there be less fat around your belly, you will also look and feel significantly less bloated due to a boost in your digestion and metabolism.

Banish those food cravings with protein foods by making you feel full for longer. Foods such as eggs, nuts, seeds, poultry and legumes are miracle foods – avoid eating processed and refined carbohydrates which are often responsible for weight gain.

THINK OVERALL WEIGHT LOSS, DO NOT TARGET AREAS

The only way to get a six pack is to lose your total body weight. You have to think about overall fat loss and not “targeted” by focusing on burning calories that lead to overall weight loss.

Achieve this with high-intensity 30-minute full-body workouts with 30 seconds of rest between reps and two minutes of rest between exercises. This combination is the ultimate fat burning.

We all have abs regardless of our body shape, but to reveal them all we need to do is sculpt away the fat that hides them so we can reveal the shape we want. And our six-pack has been lurking under the fat layer all this time!

It’s impossible to target shrinking fat everywhere, including belly. It’s all or nothing – just by losing fat in general, from around our entire body, can we hope to see the specific reduction we want in our abdominal area as well.

In short, you have to get rid of fat everywhere. Do that and your belly will follow.

DO THE FOREARM PLANK

You can get great abs without doing a single sit-up by following the celebrity favorite, The Forearm Plank.

Celebrities like Kendal Jenner are big fans, and Kendal is known for her 11-minute core-crushing circuit moves, which consist of forearm and side planks to reach her impressive abs.

You can get great abs without doing a single sit-up by following the celebrity favorite, The Forearm Plank.  Celebrities like Kendal Jenner (pictured) are big fans

You can get great abs without doing a single sit-up by following the celebrity favorite, The Forearm Plank.  Celebrities like Kendal Jenner (pictured) are big fans

You can get great abs without doing a single sit-up by following the celebrity favorite, The Forearm Plank. Celebrities like Kendal Jenner (pictured) are big fans

To do this correctly, lift yourself off the ground with your body weight on your forearms and toes. You can start by holding for 10 seconds and slowly increase to a minute once you feel ready.

The support of your arms will take some of the pressure off your body. To perform this technique effectively, make sure your arms are under your shoulders and keep a straight line through your body without dropping any part of your body.

STOP STRESS TO REDUCE ‘BELLY STRESS’

We know that stress can cause a number of mental and physical health problems. But research tells us that prolonged stress can cause unwanted belly fat in otherwise healthy and fit people.

Elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, affect our fat distribution and people with higher cortisol levels in their bodies are prone to tummy stress and love handles.

Try to stop stress affecting the shape of your body by improving your lifestyle to reduce anxiety and stress by getting enough sleep, relaxing, exercising and eating healthier.

Follow Matt on Instagram here.

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