Exercise is important in the lives of human beings, this allows us to avoid health problems, increase our physical strength, somehow increase our energy and endurance by relieving stress. Regardless of why you do an exercise, it is not a secret that you will be healthier. Many of us are serious about how many calories we burn with some exercise a day. The important thing before knowing how much we will burn a day if we do a certain exercise is to know what our limit will be so we can start with the next question – How many calories are burned when doing crunches and sit-ups?
How Many Exercises Do I Need?
A good goal regardless of age is to exercise about 5 times a week at least 30 minutes at a time, however, it is best to start gradually as this will allow you to adjust to your new life routine. It is advisable if you want to start exercising is to do 2 or 3 times a week for 20 minutes each time. Once you get to the point of feeling comfortable, you can gradually increase the amount of time and the number of days of the week on which you exercise.
So in this way, we can reach the key questions for which you have surely been attracted to this article.
How Many Calories Do I Burn When Doing Crunches or Situps?
The abdominals (shortly ABS or abs) can usually make you feel that you are working hard, but compared to other exercises you are not burning many calories wit doing situps or crunches.
True, the abdominals strengthen the abdominal muscles, specifically the superficial abdominal rectum. Which is the one that forms the famous “six-pack” front and obliques? The truth is that the amount of calories you burn during a series of abs depends on certain factors that are mentioned below. The four main factors are the size of your abs, the time you spend doing the abs workout, the intensity with which you do them, and the overall quality of the movement.
The size of your body: A larger person burns more calories than a small one, this makes sense when it comes to activities that require moving your body through space. For example, a 200-pound man who is 6 feet tall burns about 34 calories in 5 minutes of contraction although if that man weighed 250 pounds, he would burn 42 calories in the same amount of time. This is a clear example of what your size influences the exercise.
Working time: Realistically, you don’t have to invest so much time to exercise your abs with doing situps or crunches, even 5 minutes of direct abs is a long time. You probably do one to five sets of abs exercises and each series lasts a minute, at most, five minutes of work. This is enough for your abs training – but it depends on how “nice” your sets are. So it is always better to do less more controlled movements than more uncontrolled swings.
Intensity: The intensity with which it contracts also affects the burning of calories, in this, we can summarize that the faster you exercise the more calories you burn. The most advisable intensity is moderate – just the natural speed of movement, no extreme swings nor too slow.
Quality: The most effective for muscle training and muscle building is a moderate tempo of doing crunches or situps. And this leads us to the most important factor of burning calories by doing abs and that is the quality of controlled movement. You can burn more calories when you will just quickly lifting and lowering your torso but then you use much more muscles than is necessary. And it just misses the point of doing abs training by doing crunches or situps. Because the goal here is to strengthen the rectus abdominals and obliques – the muscles which can help us to get the dreamed six-pack. The movement of crunches and situps should be done methodically and your muscles will contract when you will curl up. This is the key to this exercise.
Warning: The fast movement makes it more likely that you’ll strain your neck. When you will pull too aggressively on the back of your head and drawing your chin in toward your chest – you can injure your backbone in the worse case.
At this time we could read and understand that the exact amount of calories we burn in a certain amount of abs or at a certain time, is undefined. We can only give ranges of what is possibly achieved instead. If your goal is to burn as many calories as you can then crunches nor situps are not what you are looking for.
Better Ways To Burn Much More Calories Instead of Doing Crunches and Situps
It is inevitable to say that there are other exercises during which you can burn more fat and calories. For example, squats are a good example. You don’t need any equipment for doing squats and they are good for your cardio too. It is an exercise for great abdominal strengthening that you can do anywhere. Even if you are at home, in the office, waiting for a bus at the bus stop – just anywhere (OK, I can admit that sometimes it can be just fun to see someone in public doing squats in the suit or skirt). In addition to this, squats burn calories depending on your intensity level, your body weight, and the type of squat.
You can approximately calculate the number of calories you can burn during any physical activity. For this purpose exercise physiologists, trainers, and physical therapists use metabolic equivalents (METs) for the computation.
One MET is the energy which you burn when you just sit and do absolutely nothing – nor speaking. During this, you burn approximately 1 calorie for every 1 Kg (approximately 2.2 pounds) of your weight per hour. So if your weight is, for example, 100Kg (approximately 220.5 pounds) you burn around 100 calories per hour doing absolutely nothing.
For a moderate activity and exercise, you burn approximately 3-6 METs. The energic workouts and activities can bur more than 6 METs. For example, when you are doing jumping jacks the METs is ranging from 8 to 14 – it depends on your intensity, speed, your weight, temperature, and many other aspects like mood and even the music. You can find many MET tables online – for your desired exercise and calculate your burned calories. But be aware all those numbers are just averages and estimations. For your exact numbers, you need to visit a specialist who can measure it more precisely.
You can easily determine how many calories you can burn per minute:
For the idea about how many calories you burn per one minute, you have to find or know the MET value of your exercise.
Multiply the MET value of your exercise by 3.5, so (MET value * 3.5).
Multiply that number by your weight in kilograms, so [(MET value * 3.5) * your weight in Kg].
Divide that number by 200 to get the final formula: [(MET value * 3.5) * your weight in Kg] / 200 = number of calories burnt per 1 minute doing your exercise.
After that, you can get the idea of how many calories you burn (e.g. thanks to situps or crunches) per minute. Right now you can calculate know how many calories you burn when you are doing crunches or situps. The only thing that you need to know is your actual weight.
You Don’t Lose So Much Fat With Abdomen-Specific Moves
Doing crunches or situps don’t slim your belly as you may think. You should change your overall strategy and attitude if you want to lose weight around your belly. All abdomen-specific exercises, moves, and activities don’t burn so much fat. The abdomen-centric moves can shape and build your muscle on your belly but you won’t see your dreamed six-pack. And it is because your muscles will be still covered by a layer of belly fat pudge.
Other cardio activities help you more when you want to reduce your weight faster. You can do running, cycling, CrossFit, dancing, aerobics, climbing, and even hiking and walking and you will strengthen your abs too. Don’t focus just on the ideal six-pack. In some cases, a person with some belly fat is much stronger than an ultra-fit six-pack guy/girl. You should focus on building strength in your core area overall and this comprises your back and hips muscles too. In the end, complex moves burn more calories than local moves.
If you really want to get in the shape lose the weight and be fit you should schedule at least 2-3 full-body workouts per week to be able to accomplish your goals. Your metabolism will greatly improve and you will feel much better. In those 2 total-body workouts you can include crunches and sit-ups but also don’t forget other muscle parts of your body like chest, arms, shoulder, hips, back, and legs. You can expand your abs routine with other core strengtheners like – v-ups, planks, side-planks, side planks with leg up, crunches, situps, or bird dogs. The average woman (155 pounds / 70 Kg) can burn around 112 calories per 30 minutes of weight lifting at a gentle tempo.