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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Best way to get defined abs- balance ball or sit ups?

    I have been doing normal situps in order to achieve a six pack… however after a month I am not noticing any difference. Would a balance ball help? I see quite a few people using them at the gym..
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 2


    Shannon Jobson

    Exercise Physiologist

    In terms of getting ‘abs’ or a ‘6 pack’ even doing a million sit ups won't  yield amazing results due to the fact that you can't ‘spot reduce’ adipose tissue, or fat from your body. 
    No doubt the sit ups you have been doing are working your core muscles, however it is in fact cardio exercise such as running which will define your stomach muscles and give you more noticeable results. 
    This is one of the biggest misconceptions in the fitness industry, in terms of sit ups or use of a fit ball, I'd certainly choose the fitball as it promotes muscle stability due to the unstable environment of the fit ball. 

  • Luke Delvecchio

    Diabetes Educator, Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist

    Specializing in the assessment and treatment of metabolism related weight disorders. View Profile

    I second everything Shannon has said above.  There is no evidence that any type of abdominal exercise will help with spot reduction of any kind, I am sorry to say. 

    Focus on reducing your calorie intake ( I highly reccommend a metabolism test to determine the exact amount of calories you should eat to meet your goals) and maximising your calorie output (i.e the amount of calories you burn per workout).

  • Dr Richard Wong

    Personal Trainer

    Qualified with a B: Human Movement Science and Certificate. I grew up with sport. I competed succesfully at a state and national level as a … View Profile

    Doing abdominal exercises will help to increase the muscle size of the abdominal region. No one exercise is any better than the other. But as mentioned before it all comes down to how much body fat you have on your body. So you should conepcentrate on your weight, low to moderate cardio exercise like walking, and a specific nutrition plan. A better plan for defined abs would be to include big exercise like squats, leg press, chin ups, pull downs, presses. You should have the view of increasing your muscle mass. Then do low to moderate cardio exercise because it will help to burn fat and save muscle mass unlike running. Then have a specific nutrition plan with the right amount of carbs, proteins and fats. Now put them in the right structure for the day and then eat right according to your weight training. Do you walking before breakfast. I am a bodybuilder and that is the basic structure so I can compete on stage at 5% body fat. That is the time when I have the most defined abs. Remember to have a long term view if you want to have abs that are well defined and stick out.

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