I often tell you in sessions that squatting burns belly fat, because it can indirectly help when done correctly and oh boy such talk certainly takes your mind off the pain! ️
Using squats to tackle our belly fat is not far off the truth, as this exercise is a key component in our ability to burn fat anywhere on our body. But, and here's the rub, the kind of exercise that really does the trick is cardiovascular rather than strength training. Cardio exercise burns calories far faster than strength-training exercises such as squats; it helps put our bodies in a caloric deficit that can result in fat loss.
Spot reduction is frankly a bit of a myth. Although we contract our core muscles to correctly do squats the use of our abs doesn't tie into the burning of belly fat. It's a misconception that it's possible to work a specific muscle group and burn the fat directly around that muscle, or choose the region of our body from where we lose fat. The caloric deficit necessary for fat loss has us losing fat from lots of different parts of our body, and a lot depends on that tricky beggar, genetics!
Squats target our quads (thigh muscles) and each repetition we perform also strengthens our glutes, calves and hamstrings. While it's true that performing squats won't yield a significant caloric burn, strength-training exercises can indirectly help us lose our belly fat and fat in other regions. Gaining muscle requires our body to increase the rate at which it consistently burns calories, as muscle requires more energy than fat. While squats alone won't help us build a slimmer body, they play a supporting role as we work toward this goal.
We must mix up our workout to get real benefit though. So squats are great because of their multiple variations. If we reach a point at which body-weight squats feel too easy, we can boost the resistance of the exercise with dumbbells. This can contribute to faster muscle growth, which can only help us in our bid to lose belly fat. So basically we need rounded, balanced workouts. Forget spots and go for the whole darn nine yards!