If you're fed up with straining to reach over your round stomach when you bend to tie your shoes, your body is giving you a not-so-subtle hint that it's time to work out. You can perform a wide range of exercises to help burn stomach fat and fat elsewhere in your body, and while strength-training exercises such as deadlifts can play a role in fat loss, they should only be part of your workout regimen.
Stomach fat, as is the case with excess fat elsewhere in your body, occurs when you burn fewer calories than you consume on a regular basis. This calorie surplus leads to fat gain, and while people gain fat in a number of areas, the stomach is often a spot in which fat appears. Stomach fat has a wide range of health risks, including an increase in your chance of developing heart disease, diabetes and sleep apnea.
No type of exercise can burn only your stomach fat. Exercise leads to fat loss throughout your body, not just in a desired area. The belief that you can work certain muscles to burn just the surrounding fat is called spot reduction, and it's a myth. The key to burning fat is to burn calories during frequent exercise. Aerobic exercises are often an ideal way to burn fat, due to their high rate of burning calories.
Deadlift Exercise Benefits
You can perform the deadlift exercise with a number of means of resistance, including with a barbell or a kettlebell. Regardless of how exactly you perform the exercise, a prime benefit of strength training is increased muscle mass. In the deadlift, you'll strengthen your back muscles, as well as several other muscles including your glutes, quads, calves, hamstrings, trapezius and core muscles. An added perk of strength training is its metabolism-boosting benefits. As you increase your muscle mass, your body will burn more calories throughout the day, which contributes to weight loss.
Developing Your Workout Regimen
Performing the deadlift alone is unlikely to help you lose a significant amount of stomach fat. Harvard Medical School notes a 155-pound person will burn just 112 calories in 30 minutes of lifting weights. This number is much lower than most aerobic exercises. A combination of regular aerobic exercise, strength training and the consumption of a low-calorie diet all play roles in weight loss. Include the deadlift in your strength-training workout routine and perform exercises to strengthen all your major muscle groups. Your weekly workout regimen should include at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise and two days of strength training.
- MayoClinic.com: Belly Fat in Men: Why Weight Loss Matters
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- ExRx.net: Barbell Deadlift
- WeightLossResources.co.uk: How to Make Your Body Burn More Calories
- MayoClinic.com: Strength Training: Get Stronger, Leaner, Healthier
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.