The “Spot Reduction” Myth
Targeting one area in particular and doing lots of repetitions is known as spot reduction. Unfortunately it’s a myth – we cannot choose the area we want to lose fat from, it comes off all over.
Spot reduction exercises promote working a particular body part of muscle to burn fat from the worked area. Unfortunately this theory goes against every scientific principle of exercise physiology. We cannot choose where we want to lose fat – when you move more, eat well and lift weights, fat will come off from all over your body. Where from and how quickly is different for everyone depending on your genetics and your general body shape.
If fat did come off in the areas that we worked or moved the most, we would not have fat on our faces – we move our facial muscles all the time or we could we chew gum to burn fat off our face!? We would not have fat on our bottoms, hips and thighs. We use all of these muscles for our daily, regular transportation – walking, running, biking and swimming.
To use fat as a source of fuel, it can only be oxidised (burnt off) aerobically. This simply means while you are alive, breathing, sleeping, moving or exercising your body uses fat as a fuel source to survive. Move more, for longer and faster and you will burn fat from all over your body faster. Exercises that work one body-part at a time, such as crunches and side leg raises, create a burning sensation in the muscle which people commonly misinterpret as exploding fat cells, and making their stomache ‘flatter’ or their thighs leaner. This burning sensation is only a build-up of lactic acid. You are certainly strengthening your ab and leg muscles, but this ‘burn’ is not fat ‘melting off’.
We drop fat slowly from all over, so combining a healthy, balanced, low-fat diet with regular strength training and cardio exercise to burn the excess fat is the only way to achieve fat loss from any area.
Move more, eat well, drink lots of H2O and your body will thank you!!
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