The 3 Worst ABS exercises to avoid if you are trying to burn belly fat

You probably already have your favorite “core” set of exercises for burning stomach fat; however, many of the most common exercises are some of the worst, at least in terms of getting results. The basic problem is that most people perform abs exercises the wrong way, putting themselves at risk of injury and making it much harder to lose weight, since the exercise ends up being much less challenging than it is supposed to be.

Hanging leg raises: In this exercise, you typically hang from a bar while arching your back, then raise your legs. The problem with this movement is that because you are arching your back most of the stress of the movement goes to your hip flexors, straining your spine. Unless you perform this exercise differently by hunching rather than arching your spine, you will not only lose little if any belly fat but also risk back injury. Unfortunately, many people find this exercise too difficult  to perform properly, at least in the beginning, so until you have strengthened your core a bit, you are probably better off sticking to other exercises.

 Sit-ups with feet supported: This exercise is another back-killer. It involves the classic sit-up but with your feet weighed down or otherwise secured. This minimizes the recruitment of your abdominal muscles, and again places a great deal of strain on your back. Instead, to get more out of this exercise, and hopefully avoid injury, you should never bring your body down to less than a 45-degree angle with the floor. The classic crunch is much more effective than the typical situp, since it is more difficult to “cheat” on the movement.

 Abs machines: Typical ab-workout machines do not offer optimal muscle recruitment and can actually end up hurting you over the long term. You are much better off doing abs exercises that do not involve machines, as long as you are using proper form. Avoid these machines altogether, if possible.

If you are truly interested in losing belly fat, your first goal should always remain losing most of your excess weight through total-body reistance training and cardio before moving on to abs isolation exercises. This will give you faster results, in the long term, than trying to get “six pack” abs by doing situps, which can be a losing game if you are significantly overweight. Not only will you increase your odds of success, but you will also be more likley to avoid serious injury.