Hi, I really need to lose weight from around my middle/lower abs. Sit up's hurt my back. Any suggestions welcomed

Answered on December 02, 2013
Created December 01, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Hi, I really need to lose weight from around my middle/lower abs. Sit up's hurt my back. Any suggestions welcomed

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4 Answers



on December 02, 2013
at 05:55 PM

When it comes to getting nice abs, the key is reducing the body fat that lies over the muscles. You can do all the crunches in the world and have nice strong abs, but if your body fat percentage is too high, you'll have a little belly. This applies to both men and women, though women have it tougher as our hormones make fat loss more difficult and we tend to need more fat in the first place to maintain health. Unfortunately, you can't spot reduce body fat. When you start losing weight, (I'm assuming you're female), it could come from your breasts, thighs, belly, arms, etc first. That's determined by your hormones and genetics. That's just the way it is

You should do ab strengthening exercises. Sit ups are not the most effective method. http://www.prevention.com/fitness/strength-training/pilates-ab-exercises-flat-belly

Here are some Pilates inspired abdominal exercises. These are excellent, particularly toe dip (which requires no head/upper back movement). Planks are also an excellent exercise for abdominal strength. Hold the plank for as long as you can the first time, and then work up to 90 seconds. Holding a plank any longer than 2 minutes or so means you're probably not using correct form, so it could actually be harmful for your back and likely isn't as effective at working your muscles

Of course, what you really need to make these muscles visible is lose fat. There's lots of information on this site about fat loss. Best of luck!

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on December 01, 2013
at 11:42 PM

Spot reducing as stated by NVOR doesn't work, however building muscle in certain areas does allow you to control your body and give the appearance of less fat by hold the stomach in.

Sit-ups would kill my back, I do a variety of weight lifting exercises and avoid the ones that hurt. Do this with light weights until you can eliminate the bad ones and then start increasing the weight on the ones that work.


on December 01, 2013
at 10:28 PM

spam [editted away by Matt 11]



on December 01, 2013
at 03:00 PM

What you're referring to is called "spot reducing" - the concept or targeting an area with exercise, thus burning the fat in that immediate area first. Unfortunately, spot reducing is not a real thing. Your body will take fat more or less evenly across your body as you need it. Slight variances can emerge from person to person and there is a large difference in the pecking order of fat between the genders, but without something like serious hormone treatment you absolutely do not get to chose which fat goes first.

Stick to a clean diet, run a modest calorie restriction and stay true to your exercise regimen of choice (lifting, HIIT, Crossfit, rock climbing, whatever). It'll go eventually. No fat is permanently immune to being burned.


Yes, sit ups absolutely can be quite painful and honesty are not all that helpful. There are much better alternatives out there for working the abdomen, the majority of which are in the weight lifting category. If you wish to avoid lifting for whatever reason then chinups/pullups do a wonderful job of working the abdomen, as well as a slew of other muscles. If you cannot do a single full chinup, that is OK! Do a Google search for "starting chinups". You will find many, MANY, articles and blogs about ways to work up to your first chinup/pullup. After achieving that first rep many people report that the exercise becomes exponential, and are soon pounding out 10+ reps in one go.

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