Most of us have a problem area or two; spots that whenever we try to lean out, they hold onto fat the longest! Or even worse, that part of the body that no matter how much weight you've lost, there is still that patch of fat! We all have the same areas that give us trouble: lower stomach, back of arms, love handles, and inner thighs. And most of us attack this by doing tons of crunches, triceps exercises, and thigh-squeezing machines. "WE HAVE TO LOSE THE GUT, LET'S DO THOSE LEG LIFTS!"

This idea comes from the #2 Myth of the Gym: Spot Training...which basically says if we workout a certain area of our body, we will lose fat in that area. I hate to tell you guys this, but IT ISN'T TRUE! I wish it were that easy! The fact of the matter is: fat and muscle are completely different. So even if you are working on a muscle in a certain area of the body, that doesn't mean that your body is going to pull its energy source from the same area's fat storage. It is possible that you could be exercising your arms and pulling energy from your back fat storages, or working your inner thigh muscles (adductors) but losing fat from your chest.

So, what determines where we are going to lose fat???!!Genetics...I am sorry to say, but it's up to your body to determine where it is going to pull energy from first. This isn't to say that eventually if you keep losing fat, that your body won't grab fat from everywhere, but there are specific parts of your body that are going to be the last to go.

There are two options that can help you lose fat in your problem areas:

Option 1- Burn as many calories as you can, and simply focus on losing fat all over. Eventually, your body will pull from all of your fat storages. The top exercises that are going to cause you to burn the most calories (in order from greatest to least expenditure) are:

    1) Full Body (example: Burpees)- these are exercises that use many muscles throughout your entire body at takes a lot of energy!

    2) Knee Dominant (example: Squats, Lunges, and Step-ups)- these exercises work the largest muscle group in your body (the bigger, the more energy): your Quads, Glutes, and Hamstrings.

    3) Hip Dominant (example: Straight Leg Dead Lifts)- these exercises, again, work out your legs (the largest muscle group) but put an emphasis on your Glutes and Hamstrings.

    4) Pulling (example: Pull-ups, Rows)- these workout your next largest muscle group, your Back, Lats, Rhomboids, Mid/Lower Traps, Biceps, and more.

    5) Isometric Core (example: Plank Variations)- these exercises engage your entire body with an emphasis on your core.

    6)Horizontal Pushing (example: Push-ups)- these exercises work out your Pecs, Deltoids, Triceps, and more.

Option 2- Lypo!! If you don't have the time, or the patience, go for that vacuum...but know that if you don't make adjustments to your diet and exercise program, your body will fill up that problem area with new fat storages first (even Lypo doesn't stop your body's genetics).


Notice that the top 6 exercise choices are themed with the more muscles working, and the bigger they are the better! So therefore, the smaller and more isolated the exercise works the worst, correct? YEP! So, the top exercises THAT WILL WASTE YOUR TIME for fat loss are:

    1) Crunches/Leg Lifts- they are too isolated to your Rectus Abdominus and Hip Flexors, plus you get to lie down and be lazy while you do them (not very many calories).

    2) Adductor Squeezing- adductor machines and equipment that mimic them are HORRIBLE! They isolate an itsy bitsy muscle and burn next to no calories! It's equivalent to doing forearm curls...

    3) Triceps and Biceps- again, these muscles are way too small to make any kind of caloric expenditure impact for your day. Just stop it.


What are your favorite full body, leg, back, core, or chest exercises that you think might help others with burning more calories? Remember the more movement the better!!

by Madison Doubroff


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