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An ab crunch machine can contribute to visible abs, provided you also burn your belly fat.
Maximizing your time spent at the gym can help transform your body, especially if you're busy and don't have time for daily gym visits. If your chief fitness intention is to lose weight, spending the bulk of your workout on an abdominal machine will only leave you frustrated. While ab workouts are beneficial to your overall health, they won't put you on the fast track toward a slimmer body.
The Spot-Reduction Myth
Take a look around any gym, and you're bound to see someone feverishly performing an ab exercise in an attempt to burn belly fat and lose weight. It's likely this person has fallen for the myth of spot reduction, which runs rampant in the exercise community. Spot reduction indicates that you can burn the fat in a chosen area by exercising the surrounding muscles, but this concept is untrue. Fat loss takes place across your entire body, rather than solely in a desired region.
Make Cardio Your Priority
Losing weight is dependent on your ability to not only burn calories through frequent exercise, but also lower your intake of calories to ensure your body reaches a caloric deficit. Reaching this all-important state requires regular cardiovascular exercise. Cardio exercises burn calories significantly faster than strength-training exercises such as using an ab crunch machine. ExRx.net notes a 170-pound person burns about 612 calories in 45 minutes of running at 6 mph, but only around 300 calories in 45 minutes of general weight training.
Crunches Play a Helping Hand
Although regular cardio exercise and healthy changes to your diet play an instrumental role in weight loss, don't overlook strength-building exercises such as crunches with an ab crunch machine. The use of this machine provides an alternative to body-weight ab exercises such as crunches and front planks, and allows you to increase the resistance to deepen the challenge of the exercise. Improving the strength of any muscles, including your abs, can elevate your metabolism to aid in the fat-burning process.
Despite the minor role that the use of an ab crunch machine can play in weight loss, building strong abs has a number of other advantages. Although you might not frequently think about your abs, you use these muscles in an endless array of everyday actions, from sitting and turning to just standing upright. If you contend with lower back pain, stronger abs can lessen the discomfort, while also leading to better balance, stability and posture.