Most of us have been there at one point or another: trying to burn off belly fat by doing hundreds of crunches and/or situps. That is, until we wised up and realized that burning fat from a single part of our body (otherwise known as spot reduction) was not possible.
As such, this article is for anyone who’s not up to speed with basic fitness principles. And if this describes you, pay close attention to what you’re about to learn.
First of all, your body fat distribution is largely determined by genetics and hormones. With that said, women typically tend to store more fat around the hips and thighs whereas men do so in the belly. Now, while you can’t spot reduce these areas by doing crunches or say, the thigh master, that’s not to say these exercises don’t serve an important purpose.
Sure, they won’t burn off fat exclusively from certain areas but they will do so to some degree. In fact, the best way to get rid of belly, thigh, hip, or any other kind of fat is to get on a sensible weight loss program. This will decrease your body fat overall, which in turn translates to a slimmer waist and lower body.
Now for the bad news: these gender-specific trouble spots (again, the midline for men and hips/thighs for women) are usually the last areas to see significant improvement on a slimming plan. For example, that’s why you don’t see many people sporting a six-pack. The body tends to burn off fat from everywhere else first, and only then works on the areas you’d like it to most.
Ain’t life grand?
But in all seriousness, not much you can do about this but eat right and exercise sensibly. And as far as the latter is concerned: cardio is not it. Sure, most people will tell you that in order to shed the pounds you have to hit the treadmill but nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, all the latest research points to resistance training for optimal fat loss.
I’m talking about things like free weights, kettle bells, and even body weight exercises. These will develop your muscles, which in turn will boost your metabolism. And as you probably know, a faster metabolism will result in faster fat loss, and tighter thighs, butt, and abs.
And if you’re a woman, do not worry about getting “jacked”. It is very hard for women to pack on muscle (largely due to lower levels of testosterone). So don’t let even more myths deter you from doing what’s right for your body. Hit the weights and hit them hard. And combined with a good diet, those trouble spots will be gone in no time.