The crunch machine may be effective for sculpting a six-pack, but it doesn't rank high on the list for calorie burning. That said, crunches and other strength-training exercises are important for a well-rounded workout routine, and can help boost your metabolism so you burn more calories over time. If you're new to exercise, consult a physician before embarking on an exercise regimen.
Calories Burned While Crunching
The number of calories you'll burn depends on the type of crunch machine you use. With weighted equipment such as a seated crunch machine, you use high resistance but perform limited repetitions. The average 155-pound person burns about 110 calories in 30 minutes with such weight training. Using non-weighted equipment such as a standard lying crunch machine, your activity is more similar to situps or other body-weight exercises. Resistance may be low, but you'll be able to perform more crunches in a row without resting; therefore, the average 155-pound person burns 165 calories in 30 minutes at a moderate pace, or nearly 300 calories in 30 minutes at a vigorous pace. Of course, your session will probably only last a few minutes, burning a fraction of that.
One of the perks of crunches and other strength-training exercises is that they help you develop new muscle tissue. Muscles use energy, even at rest, which translates to a higher daily calorie burn. Although the muscle gains from crunches alone may not be enough for a significant difference, an allover strength routine can eventually increase your metabolism by up to 15 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Along with your stomach, use machines or perform body-weight exercises to target your legs, arms, buttocks, back and chest.
Calories and Weight
To put the crunch machine in perspective, 1 pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories. You can lose that pound by reducing the number of calories you eat, by increasing physical activity or with a combination of both tactics -- the most effective option. For example, if you consume 500 fewer calories than normal each day while also burning an extra 500 calories through exercise, you'll have a daily calorie deficit of 1,000. This equals a 2-pound weight loss per week.
Effective Calorie Burning
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends performing strength-training exercises for all major muscles at least twice per week. You also need cardiovascular activity for significant calorie burning as well as a healthy heart. Vigorous activities such as running at 6 mph or treading water burn about 370 calories in 30 minutes for a 155-pound person; perform these or similar activities 75 to 150 minutes per week. Alternatively, perform moderate activities such as brisk walking or gentle cycling 150 to 300 minutes per week; these burn fewer calories, but are better suited for beginning exercisers.
- Photo Credit IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images