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Situps only help you burn fat if you are burning more calories in a day than you are consuming. However, they will help you tone the muscles in your stomach, which can also raise your metabolic rate. How many situps you should do in order to burn a pound of fat depends on a number of factors, including the types of situps and your weight.
Calories In, Calories Out
You must burn approximately 3,500 calories in order to lose one pound of fat. However, the number is not an exact science, because even when you lose one pound on the scale, that is typically a combination of fat, water and muscle weight. In addition, you must watch the calories that you consume each day and make sure that your eating habits don't negate the calories you've lost by doing situps. Consulting a personal trainer or your doctor can help you better understand the intricacies of weight loss.
Calories from Situps
In general, vigorous calisthenics such as pushups and situps will burn 430 calories in an hour if you weigh 130 pounds, and 563 calories in an hour if you weigh 155 pounds. Extrapolating these figures, it would take a little over eight hours of situps to burn the 3,500 calories need to lose one pound of fat. However, the calculation is a little more complex than that. The amount of calories you burn also depends on the intensity and duration of the situps, along with the type of situps. If you work your abs nonstop, you'll burn more calories than if you do situps slowly and take frequent breaks. If you use your arms and legs while doing situps, you will burn more calories.
How much weight you will lose is not determined solely by how many calories you burn doing a situp. Your metabolic rate also plays a role. The basal metabolic rate is how many calories you burn at rest. This is mostly determined by your body type and genetic makeup.Your resting metabolic rate determines 60 to 70 percent of the total calories you burn a day. You can go to a personal trainer or your local gym to find out your basal metabolic rate.
When doing situps, you will not only burn calories; you will also gain muscle. Gaining muscle can give you a small metabolic advantage and helps you burn calories more efficiently. A woman who strength trains three times a week for six months may burn 10 to 32 extra calories per day from her muscle. However, in general, cardio exercise will burn more calories for you than extra muscle.