Do Ab Workouts Burn Belly Fat?

Many people target their abdominal muscles when working out, however do ab workouts really burn belly fat in 2018? The answer is not as simple as yes and no. Obviously ab workouts help in the aid of losing weight but alone they are not enough.


The latest trend with fitness is achieving abs. This has become a symbol of being fit and healthy. Due to this the internet is loaded with a lot of information on how to achieve a six pack. The exercises that are recommended only target the abdominal muscles. These methods are supposedly used to stimulate your abdominal muscles to burn belly fat. However, as much as we would like to think, these methods are not as effective as we once thought.

What are Abs?

Abs are also known as your abdominal muscles. These muscles help stabilize your core and assist in many things such as:

  • Breathing
  • Allowing Movement
  • Protecting Internal Organs
  • Posture Support
  • Balance

There is not only one type of abdominal muscle. In fact, there are four which consist of:

  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Transverse Abdominis
  • External Oblique
  • Internal Oblique

When working out your abdominal muscles it is extremely important to work out all these groups. It will improve your posture and could decrease back pain.

Two Types of Ab Fat

There are two types of abdominal fat which are subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.

  • Visceral Fat
    • This is the type of fat located in the abdominal cavity surrounding your internal organs.
    • This is the type of fat that is linked to metabolic syndrome and many other health conditions including type 2 diabetes and even heart disease.
  • Subcutaneous Fat
    • This is the fat that you can physically pinch. This is the type that you find directly under your skin before your muscles.
    • This type of fat is not directly related to metabolic risk. If you have a moderate amount it will not dramatically increase your risk for any type of disease.

Ab Exercises and Belly Fat

A lot of the population focus on abdominal exercises in order to lose belly fat. This, however, is not proven to be very effective.

The term for focusing on one part of the body to work out is called spot reduction. These exercises will make you feel the burn and will strengthen your muscles. However, in recent studies it is proven that spot reduction is not going to make you shed belly fat.

Best Exercise for Fat Loss

If you are looking to lose fat it is not recommended that you are doing a spot reduction. The reason this method does not work for many people is because muscle cells cannot use the fat cells directly.

If you are looking to lose fat your fat mass needs to be broken down before it will enter the blood stream. This type of fat can come anywhere in the body and not just the part of the body being exercised.

If you are looking to lose belly fat you should do whole-body exercises. This will not only help lose fat but it will speed up metabolism and burn calories along with fat. Cardio is very effective when you are looking to shed weight.