Crunches vs. Sit Ups: Finding Your Six Pack Abs

A Facebook friend recently asked Sync Fitness:

“Does it REALLY matter if someone does crunches instead of sit-ups? Are 50 crunches better than 100 sit-ups? What’s the real deal from the resident fitness guru?”

Here is my reply:

In terms of strengthening your abs without compromising your back, crunches are better. Sit ups are good as long as you they don’t bother your back. BUT – if you’re looking to flatten your abs it’s more a matter of losing body fat. You can crunch till the cows come home and still carry belly weight. Flat abs are generally attributed to excellent nutrition, low body fat and lots of lean muscle mass. I know that’s not a fun answer.

Also, know that a lot of those people you know who have awesome abs also have awesome genetics. Some people are lucky enough to inherit bodies that don’t carry as much around the middle.  That doesn’t mean flat abs can’t be had if you weren’t born with them. But you may have to work a little harder if your belly is the place where you tend to carry your body fat.

Being very diligent about what you put in your mouth and how much you sweat it out can hugely impact your six pack.  I have to brag for just a moment here . . . I have a client who is preparing for her wedding in Seattle in a month.  She has done an amazing job of watching her diet and exercising very consistently over the past few months.  She came into The Fitness Lab for her personal training session last week and asked me, “Can I show you my six pack?”  She has worked really hard and as a result you can see these beautiful lines carving out the abdominal muscles on her belly.

Food that will help you lose belly weight: lean protein, veggies and water – TONS of this and little to nothing of anything else.  Like I said, it ain’t easy!  But nothing tastes as good as a six pack feels!