Spot Reduction Exercises Don't Work

Many people believe that if they do enough sit-ups they will get rid of belly fat, but your body does not work that way. Exercising a specific muscle does not get rid of more fat over that muscle in comparison to the rest of your body. If it did, tennis players would have less fat in their tennis arms, and this does not happen. Strength training strengthens weak muscles, but it cannot remove fat specifically over the strengthened muscle.

A recent study from the University of Connecticut showed that men who exercised one arm against heavy resistance for 12 weeks appeared to lose more fat in their exercised arm than their inactive one when fat was measured by a caliper that calculated skin thickness (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, July 2007). However, when the same authors used an MRI machine to measure fat underneath the skin, there was no difference between the exercised and non- exercised arms.

When you take in more calories than your body burns, you store the extra calories as fat. More than half of the fat in your body is stored underneath your skin and over your muscles. Your stomach will look better when your belly muscles are strong, but sit-ups or crunches will not remove extra fat from your belly. The only way to lose fat from a specific part of your body is to lose weight overall. More on belly fat


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