Last Updated on by San San

Are Situps Cardio?

When talking about quick and simple exercises, doing a situp is one of the most commonly mentioned exercises by people who are helping out rookies. Doing situps is an exercise that is very simple and convenient for anyone just starting to work out. Doing this exercise does not require tools or a huge space to do it. You can even do this exercise in your bed! This is why people incorporate this exercise into their daily routine, and it usually helps a lot of people get into a routine.

But, to answer our primary question – no, a situp is not a cardio workout. Although it is not a cardio workout, it does not mean it is inefficient in helping people who want to lose weight. If you want to lose weight, starting with doing situp routines is still a great way to start. It is a misconception that aerobics is better for losing weight than anaerobic exercise – it’s simply not true.

A situp is a form of anaerobic exercise. And according to some studies, anaerobic is much more efficient in burning fat than aerobic exercise. Did you know that anaerobic exercises are very different from cardio or aerobic exercise? So what differentiates anaerobic and aerobic?

Are Situps Cardio

Anaerobic And Aerobic Exercise 

Anaerobic and aerobic are terms used to describe how your body produces or uses energy. Every movement requires energy, even breathing, and this is true for your body as well.  Your body uses several ways to use and produce energy, one with oxygen and the other without too much oxygen required.

As defined by Merriam Webster, Anaerobic means living, active, occurring, or existing without oxygen. On the other hand, Aerobic is living, active, or occurring only in the presence of oxygen. In short, anaerobic is an exercise that does not use or require too much oxygen, while aerobic is an exercise that requires oxygen in the routines.

Aerobic exercise, also known as cardio, is an exercise that involves repeating the rhythmic process from low to high-intensity activities for extended periods. This exercise increases the heart rate and the body’s use of oxygen. Examples of aerobic exercises are jogging, running, and cycling. Before you can progress and improve in aerobic exercises, you will need to practice and improve your energy and oxygen until it is able to reach certain levels without being used too much.

Aerobic or cardio exercise primarily involves the use of oxygen to meet the body’s energy requirements. When you do a cardio workout, your body is trained to adapt and be more efficient in using oxygen and energy. The more efficient your body becomes, the less oxygen and energy your body will require. 

During aerobic exercises, you start to breathe faster and deeper compared to when you are at rest. This is when the body strives to maximize the oxygen in the blood. Your heart rate also increases to deliver oxygen faster to the muscles. This is how you know your routines are working out for your body.

So when some people start doing cardio to lose weight, they are about to waste their time and energy. Working out using cardio routines do not fit the idea of losing weight. Aerobic or cardio routines use oxygen, so it does not require using calories or fat for energy.

Although cardio workout indeed burns some fat and calories to a certain extent, it does not burn as much as anaerobic routines.  This is why people hit a roadblock at some point in their journey of losing weight and becoming leaner. It’s taking them more time to burn fat and lose weight when they are using aerobic routines than when they follow anaerobic routines.

There are also downsides to doing too much cardio to lose weight. Too much cardio can also result in muscle atrophy and is prone to tissue and tendon injuries. Muscle atrophy even leads to fat gains. This is because the less muscle mass you have, the fewer calories your body burns when at rest.

On the other hand, anaerobic exercises primarily involve using stored energy within the muscles. What differentiates anaerobic from aerobic is that your body needs the energy immediately. An example of energy being used is the breaking down of glucose. 

Just as aerobic uses calories or fat as energy, anaerobic also uses oxygen to a certain extent. When you start doing anaerobic exercises intensely, your body is deprived of oxygen. Once that happens, your body starts to look for another energy source. The body will need a new energy source, and it will start a process of glycolysis to obtain glucose as energy. 

Glycolysis, as ScienceDirect describes it, is a cytoplasmic pathway that breaks down glucose into two three-carbon compounds and generates energy. This occurs during high-intensity exercise without oxygen, thus delivering energy quickly. As a result of this process, lactic acid is produced. Lactic acid is the reason why your muscles feel listless after intense activity. 

If you do some anaerobic exercises regularly, the body starts to adjust and produces less lactic acid. This enables you to endure and last longer in your workout. 

Now that we know how effective anaerobic is at losing weight compared to cardio, let’s go back to talking about situps. Since we now understand that situps are anaerobic routines, doing situps is a great way to start your weight loss journey. So, what are some benefits of doing it?

Benefits of Doing Situps

Are Situps Cardio

A situp is one of the most recommended ways to start developing your core strength. This is due to their simplicity and effectiveness. Here are a few benefits of adding situps to your daily routine.

  • Core Strength – The reason why situp is always recommended, especially to rookies, is because it strengthens your core muscles. Why are the core muscles important, you ask? The core muscles are very important due to their placement, and that is in the center. If your centre is weak, your body will have a hard time balancing.

Core exercises, such as situps, help better coordinate your muscles in the pelvis, abdomen, lower back, and hips. This results in a better balance in your daily life. Aged people can greatly benefit from this. It will help reduce their chances of falling and being unbalanced.

  • Improved Core Muscles – Situps will greatly improve your core muscles. It will help burn away the belly fat and give you a leaner body. Do you want six-pack abs? Then this workout is for you!
  • Improved Athletic Performance – Strong core muscles make your body much more efficient in doing physical activities. It will help improve your endurance and muscular strength. A strong core muscle will enable you to have better posture, form, and balance. 
  • Improved Overall Health and Fitness – Adding situps to your daily routine will help improve your health. Strong core muscles improve your posture, less chance of back pain, protects your spine and lowers the risks of muscle injuries. 

Plus, doing situps also improves your mental health! It will give you the satisfaction that you have improved and have become overall better. 

Are Situps Cardio Takeaway?

Is situp a cardio workout? No, but it is worth doing! While it is not a workout alone, it can be a part of a routine for it to be a workout. In a combination of exercises, it can really be beneficial for the body! It has plenty of perks that will benefit you, not only today but will also improve your health even at old age.


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