I have read in many articles that the key for flat abs is weight training. Such as squats and other stuffs and the nutrition too. But I have been doing the weight training for a while (approximately 6 months). I wouldn't expect a 6 pack, because this might be a short time period and my diet wasn't that clean enough. But there should be a noticable change. That didn't happen for me. It says pretty much same.

So my question is does Yoga has an effect on abs? I mean i beleive that we dont sweat much or reaches faling point in doing Yoga like weight training (Am I wrong ?).

Does Yoga burns fat as much as weight training do ?

  • Many studies reveal long-term yoga practice can reduce cortisol which, in turn, can reduce your overall body fat percentage which reveals more ab definition after going under 20%. One of the studies here: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768222 Aug 24, 2018 at 16:57

3 Answers 3


Answering the question directly:

Generally speaking effective weight training increases your metabolic rate and yoga will decrease it.

Yoga is primarily an aerobic activity and can be strenuous or easy, and it can be for short or long intervals. Weight training can target multiple large muscles several times a week, or it can be a hodge-podge of random exercises in a gym (which is unfortunately very common).

A large advantage in weight training (resistance training) is that your basal metabolic rate will increase, you can read up on it in this 1998 study.

In summary, the findings of this study show that 10 wk of concurrent resistance and endurance training have beneficial effects on energy expenditure and weight loss.

Interestingly enough, and this has been found in two different peer-reviewed studies (2006 and 2008), yoga decreases metabolic rate.

The BMR of the yoga practitioners was significantly lower than that of the non-yoga group, and was lower by about 13 % when adjusted for body weight (P < 0.001). This difference persisted when the groups were stratified by gender; however, the difference in BMR adjusted for body weight was greater in women than men (about 8 and 18% respectively).

This doesn't mean that weight training will make you ripped and yoga will make you fat.

Yoga is a terrific activity, and additional research will probably show reduced appetite and other factors that come into play from yoga (although I'm being entirely speculative).

More than demonizing yoga, these studies to me show the effectiveness in strength training. By increasing the amount of calories that your body needs to just "keep the lights on", and shifting your diet towards protein and fat and away from carbohydrates, you will be on a great path towards reducing total body fat.

Spot reduction (removing fat from some particular area of your body) is a myth.

For flat/4-pack/6-pack/toned abs you need low body fat, and secondarily well developed ab muscles. Put your primary focus on reducing body fat, and as the evidence shows strength training is a great way to get there.


To get visible abs, you need a combination of strong abs and low bodyfat.

Saying that weight lifting or diet affects burns fat is like saying a high salary or low costs leads to wealth accumulation. If your calorie balance is below 0, you are burning fat, it's that simple, it applies to all diets. So if you want to know if you're making steps forward, use a scale. Fat loss almost always come with weight loss. If you're not losing weight, you're probably not losing fat either.

Regarding ab size, it works exactly like other muscles, do ab exercises you can barely do for 10-12 reps, 3 sets. If you only want visible abs, isolation exercises are the most effective, if you want other qualities as well, do other exercises. Squats and deadlifts will hit your core, but not as intensely as pure ab exercises.

Yoga might work, if it's hard and you are pushing your ab muscles toward their limit strength-wise. If not, it will not be very efficient.

  • 2
    A minor clarification - if your calorie balance is below 0, you're losing weight. But that doesn't have to be fat, it could be muscle, depending on your protein intake, exercise, etc.
    – dsolimano
    Sep 24, 2014 at 16:07

There are yogasanas(exercises) for toning the belly. Jathara Parivartanasana (Revolved Abdomen Pose) is one such exercise. Yoga is more useful for general body fitness and it will take long time to achieve flat abs using yoga.

If done properly yoga can burn as much fat as a gym workout but a gym workout is much better for burning fat.

  • Yoga poses do develop the core stability muscles but will not burn fat in that area. Fat is not connected into muscle.
    – John
    Jul 28, 2016 at 13:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.