Body & Fitness

Sit-ups may cause spare tyre

Experts reveal the surprising causes of that spare tyre. This week: sit-ups

Sit-ups help strengthen your ‘six-pack’ muscle, but they won’t do much for that spare tyre.

“There’s no way of ‘spot-reducing’ fat from any one part of your body – you need to reduce overall body fat through diet and exercise,” says personal trainer Andy Wadsworth.

Loads of sit-ups over-strengthens a few muscles in your abdomen and can lead to back problems.

And over-working the rectus abdominis muscles (which make up the six-pack) without building up your deeper muscles can make your tummy stick out more.

Solution: Mix running, cycling or swimming (which burn many more calories than sit-ups) with postural exercises that flatten your tummy and protect your back, he says.

Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, push your lower back flat into the floor and tilt your pelvis towards you. Pull your tummy button towards your spine to tighten the transverse abdominal muscle, hold for five seconds, rest briefly and repeat 30 times.

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