Get Great Abs Without Doing Ab Exercises

Can you really trim your waistline and lose fat without doing ab exercises? Yes! Get-Fit Guy explains how.

Ben Greenfield
2-minute read

Recently, I told you about the Hidden Ab Muscle that Can Get You a Six-Pack – but the fact is, you don’t really need to be doing any ab exercises at all if your goal is to simply burn fat off your waistline. You just need to be moving any muscles in your body – not just your stomach muscles.

How can this be? The answer lies in the findings from a recent study that looked into fat breakdown within muscle. In the study, it was shown that a simple full body workout consisting of chest press, leg press, lat pull down, leg curl, leg extension, shoulder press, bicep curl, tricep extension, and abdominal crunches resulted in increased amount of “intramuscular triglycerides” (AKA fat) in muscle. This may sound like a bad thing, but simply means that muscles are burning fat as a fuel.

So if you don’t have excess calorie intake, the fat from your waistline can be mobilized, sent to your muscles, and burned as a fuel. In other words, more fat inside your muscles means less on your waistline!

Here’s how I explain it in the episode How to Lose Fat Quickly:

“Imagine you have a big barrel of crude oil in the trunk of your car. Even though your car’s engine uses gasoline, and crude oil is used to make gasoline, all that crude oil in your trunk isn’t doing you a bit of good unless it somehow gets converted into gasoline and put into your engine!

Your body is no different. Think of all that fat around your waistline like the crude oil in your car’s trunk. You can’t just take the fat and burn it right where it sits on your waistline, because your body must first convert the fat into a form of fuel that your body can actually burn for energy. Your body accomplishes that by taking the fat, sending it to the liver, and breaking it down in something called free fatty acids, which can then be used for energy.”

So the key is to move your muscles (any muscles) frequently, and to do it in the absence of calorie intake so that you’re burning fat from your waistline, not from your food.

Do you have more questions about how to get nice abs without ab exercises? Leave your thoughts over at Facebook.com/GetFitGuy.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.