Abs Under Belly Fat? Here’s What You Can Do

Having the ability to show off a six-pack when walking on the beach is a goal for a large number of men. While many experts advise that focusing more on core strength than the appearance of a six-pack should be prioritized, men are still aiming for this particular chiseled look. As you continue to work toward the goal, you may find yourself with abs under belly fat in the process.

Having a better understanding of abs under belly fat can help you address the issue. In this post, we look at what you can do. We also help you identify a strong set of abs, even if you have a layer of fat that covers these muscles. The post also considers the adverse effects that belly fat can have, which gives you more reason to work on the appearance of toned abdominal muscles.

Abs Underneath Belly Fat

When you start a new workout program with the goal of achieving six-pack abs, then you need to understand the fact that a layer of fat can hide the results. To better understand why this happens, we need to look at the distribution of fat in the abdomen.

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There are two types of fats that can be found in the abdomen. Both of these can affect your ability to achieve the goals you are striving toward. The two types of fat we should focus on here include:

When you build up a strong core, but cannot see your abs, then subcutaneous fat is the reason. This is the layer of fat that sits underneath your skin and covers the abdominal muscles. Visceral fat, on the other hand, is found deeper in the cavity of the abdomen. This is the type of fat that usually fills the area underneath your ab muscles.

It is important to note that various factors affect the accumulation of subcutaneous and visceral fat. Diet and physical activity are the major factors that affect how much fat accumulates in the area. It is, however, important to note that both genetics and lifestyle also play a role.

I Feel Abs Under My Belly Fat

A program that focuses on your core will help to strengthen and tone your abs. This can happen even if there is still a layer of fat between your skin and this group of muscles. When you work out particularly for strong abs, then you will likely keep an eye on your body fat percentage.

It is important to note that even as your body fat content declines, a layer of fat may still remain in the belly. People generally find it much harder to target subcutaneous fat.

As the layer of fat starts to become thinner, you may be able to feel your abs underneath. At this point, you might not see your abs at all – but pressing gently into the fat will allow you to feel the progress you have made.

Does Everyone Have Abs Under Belly Fat?

It is important to understand the fact that every person has specific muscles throughout the body. Even those individuals who are obese or extremely skinny still have muscles – they are usually just not worked out. Thus, the simple answer to this question is yes.

You do have muscles underneath your belly fat. How strong and defined those muscles depend on whether you are performing core-focused exercises.

If you frequently engage in exercises that work on your core, then you may achieve a defined set of abdominal muscles before reaching your preferred body fat percentage. This means you’ll be able to see the definition of your muscles as the layer of subcutaneous fat thins out.

Working on Abs Underneath Belly Fat

The fact that you have excess fat in your belly does not mean you cannot focus on your abs. When you plan your workout program, you should not only focus on exercises and protocols that will help to reduce the layer of subcutaneous fat in your abdomen. Even at an early stage, implementing exercises that strengthen your core can help.

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This also ensures you do not lose muscle mass while you are focusing on weight loss. Additionally, this particular strategy allows you to already have a strong set of abdominal muscles by the time you reach an ideal body fat percentage.

There are several exercises that you can use to target your core muscles. The most popular exercises that people use to target their abs include planks, bridges, and crunches. These are all exercises that engage your core. You can also add different variations of each exercise, as this is helpful when it comes to tone your abs.

While you are working on your abs, it is important to consider muscle balance as well. This means taking other muscle groups throughout your body into consideration while you are exercising. You should not only target your core – as this can result in an imbalance.

Instead, use a program that will also help to strengthen your back, shoulders, chest, and arms. By improving these muscles, you will also find it easier to perform core-specific workouts.

For general exercises that engage your core and other muscles, you can try the following:

  • Tall kneeling banded rotation
  • Banded cat camel
  • Prone scorpion
  • Dumbbell articulations
  • Pull ups and chin ups

By adding a greater variety of exercises to your program, your body will gain better support. This also helps to prevent injuries caused by muscle imbalances.

Benefits of Ab Workouts And Strong Core Muscles

Workouts that focus on your core muscle groups can provide you with a number of benefits. The benefits of doing abs everyday extends to more than just the core region of your body. While the primary benefit is the fact that you will experience enhanced strength and tone in your abs, these workouts yield more than just a six pack. Some of the most important benefits you should take into consideration include:

  • Posture: A combination of core exercises can help to improve your posture. The stability and overall effectiveness of your posture plays a large role in your day-to-day life. With improved posture, you will also notice an enhancement in your overall exercise performance.
  • Balance: The ability to keep a balance while you are commuting throughout the day is important. Problems with balance can lead to falls and sometimes result in serious injury. By improving your balance, these risks are reduced in the process. When working out due to a question like I have abs but lower belly fat, take note of this benefit too. The balance comes in handy not only through your daily life, but also when you decide to participate in certain exercises, such as Pilates.
  • Back pain: Another benefit is a reduced risk of back pain. A weak core can result in problems with the back. By training your core, the exercises you perform will also help to improve stability and strength in the muscles located in your back. If you experience back pain on a regular basis, then this can be an effective solution. Even in scenarios where you do not have back problems, you’ll still reduce your risk of experiencing such symptoms in the future.

When looking at questions like how to tell if you have abs under fat, there is another benefit that comes into play here. With abs but lower belly fat, the implementation of strength training workouts in your program helps to increase lean mass. Research shows that there is a connection between metabolism and the amount of lean mass in the human body.

Thus, when exercising abs to lose belly fat, you’ll experience a boost in your metabolism as you start to accumulate more muscle mass. This can be useful even if your abs workout for lower belly fat does not focus on bulking up.

The Risks Associated With Abdominal Fat

When it comes to questions like should I workout my abs if I have belly fat, there are many factors to consider. In particular, the goal here should not solely be to reveal your six-pack. You should have a thorough understanding of the risks associated with fat accumulation in the abdomen. In fact, some experts suggest that abdominal fat is the most dangerous type of fat in the human body.

To help you understand why it is so important to target abdominal fat, we will take a closer look at a few related studies:

  • In one study, researchers found that abdominal fat may have a relation to dementia. This was a large study, with 6,583 individuals monitored over a span of three decades. At the start of the study, the average age of the individuals was 36 years. The researchers report a three-time increase in the risk for dementia among those individuals who have excessive amounts of fat in the abdomen.
  • There also seems to be a link between abdominal fat and asthma. In one study, researchers showed that abdominal fat causes an increase in the risk for developing asthma.
  • A European study also concluded that abdominal fat poses a risk for premature death. The study reports that adiposity in the abdomen makes a person more likely to develop a significant number of chronic diseases. In turn, these diseases can result in the individual dying at a premature age.

These are only some of the risks associated with belly fat. If you accumulate too much fat in the area, you run a risk of heart disease, diabetes, and several other conditions that can adversely impact your life. In these cases, serious complications can develop.

With a significant amount of fat, infections can cause an abscess under belly fat. This case can be difficult to treat if you develop diabetes as a complication as well.

Targeting Belly Fat To Reveal Abs

There are several factors that you should look at when it comes to abs workout to lose belly fat, as well as general programs that help with fat in the abdomen. Three of the most important factors that we recommend you start with include diet, exercise, and sleep. When faced with a situation like abs but fat under the belly button, all three of these factors matter. We will take a look at each of these factors below.

Exercise & Diet

An abs workout burns belly fat, but there are limitations when only focusing on this type of workout. Thus, when looking at a question like “should I workout my abs if I have belly fat”, the answer remains yes – but you should also target other areas of your body. The goal here is also to create an energy deficit in your daily life. This means you need to expend more energy compared to how much you obtain through your diet.

When asking “does everyone have abs under fat”, it is important to note that the answer is both yes and no. You do have abdominal muscles, but they might not be toned according to your preferences.

diet

A good idea here is to start with diet. You will need to consider how much weight you need to lose for effective results. For example, a person stating “I have abs but not a flat stomach” may only have a few inches of fat to lose.

In this case, you’ll be looking at information on how to lose the layer of fat over your abs. Some people may be obese, however. This means a larger calorie deficit will be required, along with a longer program.

Here are a few tips to consider when developing a diet to help you lose fat:

  • Include soluble fiber in your diet. This type of fiber helps to reduce belly fat and also makes you feel full. 
  • Protein can be an excellent source of energy, while also contributing to improved satiety.
  • Avoid eating out, as restaurant and takeout foods often contain large amounts of trans fats. If you do prefer to eat out, carefully consider the menu and look at low-calorie meal options.
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and avoid carbonated beverages. You also need to go slow on juices. Even though it is more natural, juices still contain a lot of sugar.

In terms of exercise, a good choice is to focus on high intensity programs. This can be helpful in scenarios where you ask “I have abs but my stomach sticks out”. The high intensity protocols used in these programs help you burn a larger amount of calories, while also improving your endurance. This will also make it easier in cases where you are trying to learn how to know if you have abs under your belly fat.

I Can Feel My Abs Under My Fat

While exercising to reduce fat content in your body, you’ll eventually be able to feel your abs. At this point, you have built up strength in your core and reduced the amount of subcutaneous fat between these muscles and the skin on your abdomen. You will still need to continue with your workout program while remaining in a calorie deficit.

Sleep

Apart from your diet and exercise routine, you need to take a look at your lifestyle too. When asking can you have abs under belly fat, and particularly when trying to reduce that layer of fat, you need to sleep well. The CDC states that healthy adults need to sleep for at least seven hours every night. In some states, over 40% of people fail to meet this minimum requirement. Several studies have looked at the long-term adverse effects of sleep deficiency.

healthy-sleep

According to one study, people who fail to sleep enough have a significantly higher chance of gaining excess weight and becoming obese. You also fail to give your body a chance to recover effectively from the previous day’s workout. This can result in soreness and delayed recovery, while also increasing your risk of injury.

FAQs

How do I lose fat under my abs?

It is generally hard to target belly fat in particular. Many people find that a program that focuses on fat distribution throughout the entire body yields the best results. There are, however, a few strategies that may help speed up the process of burning belly fat in particular. Start by focusing more on soluble fiber in your diet. Research shows that soluble fiber is an important element in a diet that focuses on addressing belly fat. You should also aim to avoid foods that are high in trans fats.

This particular type of fat can interfere with your ability to burn belly fat and keep it off. Avoid sugary foods too, and focus on incorporating high-quality proteins in your diet. In addition to diet, focus on your exercise routine as well. The combined effort will help you address belly fat more effectively.

What causes lower abdomen belly fat?

There are three primary factors shown to contribute to the accumulation of belly fat. These include poor sleep, diet, and exercise. If you do not exercise enough, excess calories from your diet get stored as fat in your body. Eating too many sugary foods, as well as trans fats, also causes more fat to go toward your abdomen. Additionally, research shows that poor sleep habits also contribute to an increased risk for obesity. In this case, your body distributes fat to various areas – including the belly.

How can you tell if you have abs under belly fat?

It is generally difficult to determine whether you have a “six pack” underneath a thick layer of fat. The layer of fat over abs is subcutaneous fat. Underneath the abs, you have visceral fat. For people who say I have abs under my belly fat, this is usually determined by the strength of the core. It is usually easier to tell if you have abs when there is only a thin layer of fat.

In this case, you find yourself with a thought like “I can feel my abs under a little bit of belly fat”. In a scenario where you have more fat covering the abdominal muscles, you need to consider core strength. This can be a good indication of whether you have built up tone and strength in the abdominal muscles.

Why can I feel my abs but not see them?

Abs with belly fat is very common. As the amount of fat in the abdomen declines, you may start to feel the toning of your abs. Even though you can feel it, the abs may not be visible when you stand in front of a mirror. This is due to a layer of subcutaneous fat, which sits just underneath your skin.

This particular layer can sometimes span several inches in thickness. When there is too much subcutaneous fat beneath your skin, it can mask the appearance of your six-pack. Thus, you need to consider a question like I have abs, but lower belly fat. This will help you address the subcutaneous fat in particular.

Dr Ahmed Zayed

Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, Dr. Ahmed spends his time outside the hospital, either reading or at the gym.

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