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Fitness & Health

06th Aug 2019

Why waist trainers are no better than sit-ups for working your abs

When it comes to working your abs, waist trainers aren't worth it. They are no more effective at engaging the ab muscles than the tried-and-tested sit-up

Alex Roberts

Abs Waist Trainer

You don’t need a trendy ab-training device to work your midsection

It’s normal for people to want a simple solution to their fitness worries that involves limited effort. But when it comes to working your abs, waist trainers aren’t worth it.

They are no more effective at engaging the abdominal muscles than the tried-and-tested sit-up (a.k.a abdominal crunch).

Carl Elliston, a personal trainer offering his services on Bidvine, says social media is partly responsible for the rise in waist trainer and ab belt use.

Why waist trainers won’t reveal your abs

“Waist trainers and ab belts shot to popularity over the last few years, thanks to social media influencers taking paid sponsorship from many different fitness brands.

“The thing to note is that these influencers are paid thousands to highlight how these products work wonders, without them even having to break a sweat. The reality is that this just is not the case; wearing one of these for an hour will simply not produce the same results as actually having worked out.”

While they might appear to produce some noticeable differences in those new to the gym, they aren’t a long-term solution, Elliston continues.

“As a trainer I would never advise to use these devices; initially those who have not worked out before (or rarely work out) may claim to see results, but this is purely due to new stimulus.

“These results aren’t sustainable without actual physical commitment. Your body needs new stimuli and variety for you to truly see your abs develop. Sticking to just one routine or method will not produce the same ‘results’ you may see on Instagram.”

Sit-ups and crunches get you used to using your own bodyweight as resistance, which has crossover for many other exercises.

However, revealing your abs requires more than a few sets of sit-ups.

Diet is crucial

‘Abs are made in the kitchen’ is a phrase you’ll often hear bandied around gyms, and it’s grounded in truth.

While certain gym lifts may help to stimulate the abdominal muscles, diet plays a pivotal role in revealing the abs.

Elliston says: “Using an ab belt by itself won’t suddenly produce a six-pack as the majority of people will find that their ab muscles are below a layer of fat, meaning they first have to rid themselves of this layer.”

Getting into a calorie deficit with your diet will help to burn body fat and reveal the abs. Working your midsection can build and define the musculature there, but only an energy deficit will increase their visibility.

Elliston says: “You cannot achieve a six-pack JUST by doing sit-ups every day. Sit-ups will not burn your belly fat away and, as mentioned previously, abs are hidden away under this fat.

“Ensure you are doing fat-burning exercises, keep it varied and integrate sit-ups into this and you’ll have yourself a six-pack eventually. The brain drives the body, not a machine.”

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