Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fat?

Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fat?


January 22, 2022

Burning belly fat doesn’t just make you look great.

In addition to helping you get the great shape your want, maintaining a trim midsection can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.

Little wonder many workout routines include sit-ups – the classic abdominal exercises that use your body weight to tone and strengthen your core.

But do sit-ups burn belly fat? Read on to learn the answer.

Can You Burn Belly Fat with Sit-Ups?

Why do fats accumulate at the sides

Here’s a straightforward answer: no!

Sit-ups do not burn belly fat, at least, not specifically.

Of course, the exercise can tone your abdominal muscles and make your belly appear flat. And that’s a good thing.

But no single exercise can exclusively target and burn belly fat.

Instead, it takes a combination of several workout routines in addition to eating a healthy diet to effectively and significantly reduce “spare tire” fat around your midsection.

That means reducing your daily calorie intake and including a few other abdominal and static core exercises into your fitness routine.

Indeed, regular sit-ups can work your obliques, abdominals, and gluteal muscles to give you good posture.

But it won’t give you the washboard abs you want!

Even if you do tons of sit-up variation per day, you’ll probably end up with sore abdominal muscles and little burnt fat to show for it.

Benefits of Sit-Ups

Benefits of Sit-Ups

To be clear, the traditional sit-up isn’t bad at all. If anything, it is an overall great exercise. But you’ll not likely get the result you’re hoping for if your goal is to burn belly fat.

Here are some of the benefits you can get from doing regular sit-ups:

  • Improved Core Strength: In addition to your check, neck, and hip flexors, sit-up works your obliques, transverse abdominis, and rectus abdominis.
    Doing this consistently usually results in strengthening, toning, and tightening your core. This allows you to compete better in athletics or even move about with greater ease as you carry out your daily activities.
  • Strengthens the Diaphragm: When done properly, sit-ups compress the abdomen and make the diaphragm stronger. This can improve your athletic endurance and improve your breathing patterns.
  • Builds Muscle Mass: Sit-ups can help you build muscles strength in the hip and abdominal muscles. The exercise can be particularly helpful for older people. Sit-ups can lead to higher levels of muscle mass and prevent sarcopenia or aging-related loss of muscle mass.
  • Increased Flexibility: Doing regular sit-ups can help loosen up any stiffness in your hips and spine. In addition to relieving tightness and tension, this brings about improved mobility.

Alternatives to Sit-Up

No doubt, the traditional sit-up is a good exercise overall, but it is not the be-all-end-all of developing impressive abs.

If you’re looking to burn belly fat, it is important to include a few other core-strengthening workouts into your fitness routine.

Consider adding these sit-up alternatives to give you an overall balanced core.

#1 Plank

Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fat?

Engage multiple muscles with a plank – one of the best exercises to burn calories.

  • Go into a push-up position, with your back straight, core braced, and your elbows supporting your bodyweight.
  • Hold this position for one minute while using your core to stabilize your body.

#2 Hollow Hold

Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fat?

Stabilize your spine and strengthen your abdominal muscle with this isometric core exercise.

  • Start by lying flat on your back and gently lift your arms and legs toward the ceiling.
  • Push your lower back into the floor while engaging your core.
  • Now, gently lower your arms and legs, making sure your lower back remains on the floor. You are looking to get into a “hollow” that looks like a boat.
  • Hold the position for a minute

#3 Windshield Wipers

#3 Windshield Wipers

Activate your hip flexor muscles by engaging and rotating your hips with the full range of motion of this exercise. It also develops a strong core on both sides of your body.

  • Lie on your back and extend your legs straight up in the air.
  • Spread out both arms to your sides for support.
  • Carefully bring both legs down to your right, while your hip is still facing up.
  • Return your legs to the center and carefully drop them to your left side.
  • Repeat this side-to-side motion for at least 10 times.

#4 Scissor Kicks

Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fat?

Target your lower abdominal muscles with this exercise.

  • Lie on your back and spread out your arms.
  • Lift your legs and open them slightly to form a “V,” while keeping them straight.
  • With your lower back pressed into the floor, engage your core.
  • Bring your legs together until your left leg crosses over the right.
  • Separate your legs again to form a “V,” and bring them back again, but this time, let the right leg cross over the left.
  • Remember to keep your core engaged and your lower back pressed into the floor while you continue to alternate the left and right leg crossing until the reps are completed.

#5 Mountain Climbers

Do Sit-Ups Burn Belly Fat?

This workout adds cardio to your core exercise to help you burn off calories.

  • Get into a push-up position, with your body straight and core braced.
  • Lift your left foot a few inches off the floor and bring your left knee toward your chest.
  • Make sure the rest of your body remains stationary while you move your knee toward your chest. Remember to keep your butt down and back flat.
  • Now, quickly tap the floor with your toes and return your left foot to the starting position.
  • Follow up with your right foot, lifting it off the floor and bringing your right knee toward your chest. Tap the floor with your toes.
  • Repeat the steps in quick succession, alternating between your left and right legs until you complete the reps.


So, do sit-ups burn belly fat? No, but they are a great way to work the abdomen, chest, neck, and hip flexors.

To effectively burn belly and overall body fat, you’ll need a combination of different endurance and resistance exercises, plus a healthy diet.



Justin Rodriguez has spent most of his adult life inspiring people to take their fitness more seriously. He is not new to the business of providing practical solutions for those looking to set and smash their fitness goals. From sharing professional tips and tricks to recommending awesome products, Justin Rodriguez helps just about anyone who wants to get the best out of their workout routines.Having gathered a lot of experience both in and outside the gym, Justin Rodriguez uses DSW Fitness as a medium to show you exactly how to get that great-looking body with toned muscles you’ve always wanted.