Our expert says:
Hi there Mohammed
It depends whether you are trying to tighten the muscles and get stronger, or whether you actually trying to develop a six-pack and a more toned appearance (which is more likely).
If it is the second, and your actual goal, then the key is a combination of proper exercise and careful diet. Proper exercise means avoiding the myth that you can spot reduce. That is, there is a perception that you can target specific areas for fat loss by doing very specific exercise.
Unfortunately, a million sit-ups a day is not the sole solution. It certainly has a beneficial effect, as I’ll explain, but by itself is not the solution. So rather than becoming pre-occupied on one area, your aim should be to increase metabolic rate – that’s how you burn fat. You do through regular cardiovascular exercise, which includes cycling, aerobics, taebo, spinning, walking or jogging.
You should then combine this with some weight training. Weight training, which includes sit-ups, is helpful because it increases muscle mass (which has the long-term effect of raising metabolic rate) and because it literally helps create more muscle. More muscle means a more toned appearance. Just doing sit-ups is a start, but you can raise the impact by doing a variety of exercises that target different abdominal muscles. I’d suggest speaking to a trainer at the gym to discover these.
If you're not at the gym, then the best bet is to do a combination of crunches, and pilates exercises, which you can find here: http://pilates.about.com/od/pilatesroutines/a/Pilates-Beginner-Exercise-Program.htm
Finally, remember that diet is the great “enabler”. If exercise is perfect, but diet poor, then you undermine your progress. So cover that base, perhaps by seeing a dietician, and get cover all three bases.
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