It seems that everyone is always asking me what the best ab workouts are to get a flatter stomach. The common belief that ab workouts will help you to lose belly fat is one of the biggest misconceptions I deal with daily as a fitness professional. Almost everyone has varying degrees of excess body fat in the abdominal region, and the best way to burn off that extra stomach fat continues to elude most.
The problem is that most people are searching for the wrong exercises and workout types to lose stubborn belly fat. Most people are searching for some miraculous combination of abs exercises combined into the best ab workout ever invented that will burn off their belly fat faster than you can read this article.
Unfortunately, ab-specific workouts do NOT burn fat off of your belly. They only tone and strengthen the underlying abdominal muscles. What you really need to focus on is a full body strategic workout that will cause a much greater metabolic rate increase and fat-burning hormonal response from your training program as a whole.
In addition, simply doing cardiovascular workouts will not necessarily create the greatest metabolic response or hormonal response either. What you really need is a much more rounded training program that focuses on training the entire body with resistance training and multi-joint exercises in a higher intensity fashion.
This type of high intensity full body training combined with a healthy balanced diet full of nutrient density on a regular basis, is the real key secret to losing the extra stomach fat that covers up the abs. This is a much better plan of attack than just trying to do ab workouts and hoping that just doing a bunch of ab exercises like crunches and leg raises are going to make you lose your belly fat.
The amazing thing is that the majority of the population still believes that in order to get rid of belly fat, you need to do ab workouts every day using hundreds of reps. I see people giving this type of erroneous advice every day on all of the fitness forums. Please do not waste your time with this type of advice!
Now before you say "how can an abs expert not recommend abdominal exercises", realize that I do strongly believe that a certain amount of ab-specific exercises mixed into your routines are beneficial. Ab exercises will help you strengthen and tone the abdominal muscles and are useful for other purposes such as a healthy back and posture when done correctly. But the fact remains that ab exercises are not necessary for fat loss.
A much smarter full body resistance training routine and a clean healthy balanced diet are the most important factors. Many of the full body exercises also indirectly work the abdominals and core due to the stabilization required in some of the more difficult variations. -- M Geary