The Truth about Spot Reducing Equipment
You've seen them at the gym, doing countless twists and crunches in an effort to slenderize their waists. Or maybe you've watched them do endless tricep curls to chisel away at their upper arms. You might even be one yourself.
They are the spot reducers, people who focus their exercises on one troublesome spot of their body in an effort to whittle it down.
Whether it's the thighs, upper back, abdomen, or butt, these folks use every trick in the book to target fat where it accumulates.
The problem is that "trouble spots" are usually the result of a high body fat percentage.
Sadly, that means no amount of spot-reduction exercise is going to give you a sculpted stomach if the rest of your body has too much fat on it. To reduce one spot, you need to reduce them all.
But what about spot reducing equipment? There are gym machines, at-home devices, and even special work-out garments that promise to reduce your problem areas.
These devices are ineffective as spot-reducers. While any exercise can help you burn calories and lose body fat, no exercise can reduce fat in one specific area of your body without benefiting the rest of your body as well.
Waist-whittling belts and body wraps work by increasing your output of sweat. When you're dehydrated, your waist (and other wrapped-up areas) will shrink a bit.
However, as soon as you start eating and drinking normally, the inches will return. This is how some athletes cut weight for special events, but it is not an effective weight loss solution.
There are even pills and supplements which promise to reduce belly fat. If these products work at all, it's because they are used as part of a total diet and exercise program. You could get similar effects from the diet and exercise alone.
The quickest way to lose body fat and gain lean muscle mass is to give yourself a diet and exercise makeover. Both elements are crucial for achieving the body you want.
An hour of cardio exercise each day is sufficient for fat loss. Make sure the exercise really gets your heart pumping. You should be able to talk during the exercise, but not without some difficulty.
Once the excess fat is gone, you can tone and sculpt the underlying muscles for a tighter appearance. This is where targeted exercises come in handy.
Isolation exercises and machines can target the muscle group you want to strengthen, giving you toned muscles worthy of showing off.
Some examples of isolation exercises are push-ups, which target the chest and arms; squats and wall-sits, which target the butt and thighs; and sit-ups, which strengthen the back and abdominal muscles.
Nutrition is also important for decreasing your body fat percentage. Stay away from sugar and sweets, and focus on fibrous carbohydrates, lean protein, fresh produce, and low-fat dairy products.
Avoid salty foods and drink plenty of water to ease bloating.
In conclusion, while it's not possible to remove fat only from a specific area of the body, it's definitely possible to lose body fat all over, and then tone the muscles in that area to make them look their best.
Rather than focusing your energy (and money) on services, programs, and devices that claim to reduce trouble areas, find a balanced diet and fitness program that will help you achieve a higher muscle-to-fat ratio.
And don't fall for any product that claims it can turn muscle into fat; those are two different tissues, and one cannot turn into the other.