How Many Crunches A Day To Lose Belly Fat – Experts Will Have Answer For You In 2023

Christine VanDoren, Nutritionist
Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN
Are you curious about how many crunches a day to lose belly fat? Read on to learn if there’s a magic number and what else you can do in 2023.
how many crunches a day to lose belly fat
Crunches help strengthen the abdominal muscles. Photo: Shutterstock

With today’s beauty standards, many people are desperate to do whatever it takes to get in shape. For those specifically looking to have slimmer bodies, exercises such as sit-ups and crunches may seem like a great way to burn away belly fat for a leaner figure.

However, too much of something can be a bad thing.

People might think that the more crunches you do at once, the quicker you’ll burn off the fat. Doing too much at once can hurt your body instead of making it slimmer.

That poses a question — how many crunches a day to lose belly fat is considered enough?

How Many Crunches A Day Will Help Lose Belly Fat?

Crunches do not target belly fat but strengthen the abdominal muscles. However, starting with 20 to 30 crunches a day and working your way up will help you tone while burning extra calories contributing to weight loss.

How Many Crunches A Day Will Help Burn Belly Fat?

In general, 20 to 30 crunches a day is a good number to shoot for, but up to 50 crunches a day is likely the most effective. This way, you challenge your abdominals without overtraining and burning calories through the crunches.

Beginners may want to consider starting with ten to 20 crunches a day before slowly increasing the amount over time. You could also break up your 50 crunches into five sets of ten crunches throughout the day to make it more doable.

No matter how desperate you are to lose belly fat, doing too many crunches at once can lead to overtraining and increase your chance of injury. Any more than 100 crunches at once are considered overdoing it for the average person, as you could damage your abdomen and strain your neck and back. 

Do Crunches Burn Belly Fat?

First, it is important to understand the process of burning fat. 

Some people are under the impression that you can turn fat into muscle. This can lead some to believe you can crunch your way to turning your belly fat into abdominal muscles, but this is untrue. The body uses fat for energy, and is most often expelled through carbon dioxide when you exhale or through sweat and urine.

You also cannot spot-reduce fat[1] — it is up to your genetics where your body burns fat first and last. Many people have the most difficulty burning fat on their abdomens compared to the rest of their bodies, which is why losing belly fat is such a common goal. Recognizing that your body is burning fat in multiple places simultaneously can make the weight loss process much less frustrating. 

So, can crunches burn belly fat? The body fat that is burned to be used as energy for you to conduct the crunches themselves can contribute to weight loss. However, you can’t choose for this weight loss to occur only in your belly. 

To get rid of that stubborn weight more efficiently, consider also doing strength training workouts and following a healthy weight loss diet to increase the fat-burning effect further.

How To Perform Crunches Effectively

To perform traditional crunches, start by lying on your back with your feet planted on the floor. While you’re still in this position, bend your knees and lightly cradle the back of your neck in your hands. 

Brace your abdominals as you bring your shoulders and upper back off the ground as much as possible, then slowly return to the starting position. Aim your chin at the ceiling throughout the movement rather than tucking it into your chest.

If this seems too easy or boring for you, you can also try bicycle crunches. They’re mostly the same as traditional crunches, but the main difference is that you move your legs as if you’re pushing against bicycle pedals while your upper back stays off the ground. As you move your legs, try touching each knee to the opposite elbow — your right knee to your left elbow and your left knee to your right elbow.

Side crunches are another variation to consider if you want to tone your oblique muscles. In this version, you lie down sideways and crunch your body up to bring your elbow as close to your thigh as possible. You focus on crunching one side first and doing the desired number of repetitions before switching to the other side and repeating the process for the same number of reps.

What Other Exercises Will Also Help With Belly Fat Loss?


how many crunches a day to lose belly fat
Running increases your heart rate, promoting fat burning. Photo: Shutterstock

Running is simple and effective as it increases your heart rate, promoting fat burning. Running is a test of your entire body — this allows you to strengthen the muscles of your core and lower body. 

However, it is important to note that running isn’t a surefire way to get a flatter stomach in less than a month, even with this increased rate. It must be incorporated into an aerobic exercise routine like crunches to be effective.

Running is great because almost anyone can do it. You can run on a treadmill or outdoors; minimal equipment is required. Studies show that sprint interval training[2] — running at maximum intensity across short intervals of time — can decrease body fat mass by 8% in six weeks in some candidates.

Jumping Rope

It may seem like a game that only kids play, but freestyle jump rope can also benefit adults. Jumping rope provides similar benefits to running, improving cardiovascular health and allowing fat to burn. The increased heart rate and breathing rate that naturally come with jumping rope can contribute to fat loss.

If you don’t have a jump rope or possibly worry about injuring yourself, a good alternative is shadow jumping. This is essentially just mimicking the movement of a jumping rope without actually using a jump rope. This can also help those who want to try jump rope but don’t feel confident enough to use an actual rope and want to avoid injuring themselves.

When you jump rope, choose to aim to sustain the activity for a certain amount of time or several jumps. Be sure to keep your rest time short to ensure your heart rate stays elevated.


how many crunches a day to lose belly fat
Doing Burpees alongside other exercises can contribute to substantial weight loss in the long run. Photo: Shutterstock

Similar to jumping rope, burpees focus on improving endurance and cardiovascular health by involving most of your muscle groups. It also has the additional benefit of helping to increase your natural metabolism,[3] which can help break down fatty acids somewhat faster. Thus, doing it normally alongside other exercises can contribute to substantial weight loss in the long run, but it’ll still take time to reach your goal of a flatter or more toned abdomen. 

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers are another effective strength training exercise targeting your core and can lead to weight loss via burning fat. It also works your arms, shoulders, and hamstrings, improving your endurance and reflex speed. If you already run to burn calories, mountain climbers have a synergistic effect with running that increases the fat-burning rate; the same principle goes for crunches.

To perform mountain climbers, start plank-like, with your weight evenly distributed between your hands and toes. Pull your left knee into your chest as far as you can, and then continue altering your legs at a steady yet swift rate; as you bring your left knee back, pull your right knee into your chest.

If your goal is to get your heart rate up, switch legs at a faster speed. If you prefer to focus on strengthening the abdominals, slow down your pace and move with intention.

Precautions While Exercising

It is important to stay safe and maintain proper form when exercising, especially when doing something that could injure the neck. Be sure to do light warmups before starting your workout routine and light cold-down exercises to allow your muscles to recuperate. 

Don’t overwork your body, as not allowing your body enough time to rest can minimize your progress. When doing crunches specifically, trying to do too many at once may lead to abdominal crunch syndrome,[4] in which you habitually grip your abdomen to the point of causing stomach pain. Although this is uncommon, it is better to eliminate the possibility altogether by doing a moderate number of crunches.

While not necessarily a safety tip, eating enough to gain the energy to exercise is still important, but the foods you choose must be healthy and conducive to reducing body fat. Various fruits have been known to help detox your body and reduce belly fat thanks to the fiber within them, so be sure to include fruits for weight loss into your daily diet. Lean protein sources and vegetables are also helpful.


As tempting as it sounds to do 100 crunches daily to lose belly fat, it’s not that healthy. Stick to a smaller number per day. With persistence and patience, you’ll eventually get the body you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will 100 crunches a day do anything?

Performing 100 crunches a day can help strengthen your abdominals. However, if you are a beginner, it is not recommended to start with this number, as you may strain your back or neck.

Can I do 100 crunches a day to lose belly fat?

Crunches do not target belly fat, so conducting them will focus more on strengthening the abdominal muscles.

Can you lose belly fat with crunches?

It can help contribute to overall fat loss, but you must also do other exercises and eat healthy to see a substantial difference.

Will 50 crunches a day lose belly fat?

For some people, it will, but that depends on their body composition and their endurance. If you are a beginner, start with 20 to 30 crunches daily and work your way up.

How can I get a flat stomach fast?

Sadly, you can’t get a flat stomach fast. Even if you both exercise properly and eat healthy enough to burn calories, it could realistically take months before you see any substantial loss of belly fat.

How many crunches per day to lose belly fat?

It is recommended to start with 20 to 30 crunches daily. Over time, you can gradually increase the number to burn more calories that may contribute to fat loss.


  1. Ramin Kordi, Dehghani, S., Pardis Noormohammadpour, Rostami, M. and Mohammad Ali Mansournia (2015). Effect of Abdominal Resistance Exercise on Abdominal Subcutaneous Fat of Obese Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial Using Ultrasound Imaging Assessments. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, [online] 38(3), pp.203–209. doi:
  2. Hazell, T.J., Hamilton, C.B., T. Dylan Olver and Peter W.R. Lemon (2014). Running sprint interval training induces fat loss in women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, [online] 39(8), pp.944–950. doi:
  3. Ratamess, N.A., Rosenberg, J.G., Klei, S., Dougherty, B.M., Kang, J., Smith, C.R., Ross, R.E. and Faigenbaum, A.D. (2015). Comparison of the Acute Metabolic Responses to Traditional Resistance, Body-Weight, and Battling Rope Exercises. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, [online] 29(1), pp.47–57. doi:
  4. Kumar, A. and Sumesh Kaistha (2023). Abdominal Crunch Syndrome Creates a ­Diagnostic Challenge in Treating a Pilot with Acute Upper ­Abdominal Pain. Aerospace medicine and human performance, [online] 94(2), pp.86–89. doi:

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