The misconception among the masses is that the more sit-ups you do, the more crunches you do, the more you exert your abdominal muscles, the quicker you will flatten your stomach.
That may show some short-term, mediocre results, but flattening your stomach is all about shedding the overall fat in your body. It is common knowledge that you can be a lean, skinny person, and still have a gut.
Why? Because your gut is the last place that will lose the fat, your other body parts will lose fat first. That is just how the human body works.
You can do exercises to flatten stomach forever. By doing that, what you are doing is developing your abdominal muscles and creating definition, that nice ripped look that we all want. However, guess what? Those beautiful abs are covered by a layer of fat on your belly, so you can workout all you want – but until you shed that fat, you will never be able to see the definition in your midsection.
In fact, by continuously working out, you are adding lean muscle to your abs, which is good. The dilemma is that if you don't do proper cardio exercises and follow a proper diet plan, you can end up making your midsection look bigger because you've developed all that great defined muscle under there, and you've got a layer of fat covering it at the same time.
Body fat levels are everything when it comes to flattening your stomach and getting great, ripped, shapely abs.
Men can expect their abs to start showing usually when they reach a 10-13% body fat level. However, if you want your abs to be ripped like the ones on those guys in the fitness magazines, you should be striving to achieve at least high single digits in body fat levels.
Women can expect their abs to start showing when their body fat levels reach about 15%. Go just a couple of digits under that and you can start having that amazing ripped look in your abs.
Achieving and maintaining a ripped look for women is just a bit more difficult than in men. It is not as easy for a female's body to maintain low fat levels as it is for a male's body. Always consult with your physician and a professional fitness trainer before attempting to reduce your body fat levels.
So, should we completely rule out sit-ups and crunches when doing exercises to flatten your stomach? Absolutely not. These exercises can definitely contribute to building a flatter stomach and the overall appearance of your torso, but they will not achieve that goal on their own.
Doing more sit-ups and crunches to achieve a flat stomach is not necessarily better than doing less. It is more about the technique and how you exert your abdominal muscles when you do these exercises.
It is not just about the amount of sit-ups you are able to do. It is about creating a balance between doing exercises to flatten your stomach, and following a smart diet plan to help you get the most out of those workouts.