It may surprise many people – maybe even you – but the best exercise to lose body fat isn’t even an abdominal exercise at all! See, stomach exercises (such as crunches) only work your mid section, which is fine for strength and condition the abs, but in terms of dropping unwanted body fat, it has a long, LONG way to go to beat this classic:
Squats: The Best Exercise For Losing Body Fat
I can hear the moaning already, and some of you might already be saying: “What? Squats don’t even work the abs, how in the heck can they help drop unwanted stomach flab?”
Technically, this isn’t true at all, as squats do work the mid section, albeit mostly as a stabilizing function throughout the movement. But for the sake of the bigger picture, let’s remember that our muscles burn calories at a tremendously faster rate than body fat, and furthermore, the larger the muscles you use, the more hungry muscle tissue you’ll have begging for some of those stored calories (i.e. belly fat). Add in the fact that the Squat actively uses muscles in the lower body, midsection and even the upper body, and not only are you recruiting big muscles, but you’re recruiting them in mass.
I should mention that any workout or exercise routine should include exercises from every major muscle group, but since you probably ended up here looking for the one BEST exercise – the movement you should perform if you could only do one – you won’t find anything better than this one.
How To Perform The Squat
Ready to kick your unwanted belly fat to the curb for good? Get ready because you’re probably going to sweat.
Why? Because all of those big, fat-breathing muscles also demand oxygen as they fire, which means you’ll quickly find yourself in “Oxygen Debt” (a fancy way for saying “out of breath”). But more importantly, it means your big muscle fibers are devouring calories and stored fat like an NFL lineman sizing up an all-you-can-eat buffet.
You can perform squats with or without weights. The two most common ways of using weight are to place a barbell across the top of your back (called a “Back Squat”) or to hold dumbbells in each hand. As an unweighted, or “body weight” exercise, most people either interlace their fingers behind their head (called a “Prisoner Squat”) or hold them straight out in front of them, parallel to the floor. Experiment and find out what works best for you.
Step 1: Stand facing forward with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart. Also make sure your toes are lined up facing forward.
Step 2: Keeping your back straight, bend at the knee and lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Don’t let your knees go any farther forward than your toes; it often helps to envision sitting down in a chair, with the back of your legs already brushing up against the front edge.
Step 3: Drive through your heels (not toes!) and return to the starting position.
See, not so bad, eh? And if you incorporate these into your exercise routine, you’ll get much better results than those silly folks flailing on the ab equipment thinking crunches are the best exercise to lose body fat.