Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spot Reduction, Is It Possible?

by Kris Pitcher

Is it possible to spot reduce? Spot reduction is decreasing fat in one particular place on your body. There are wraps and "treatments" which would like you to believe it can be done. But, I bet with all the sit-ups you've done during your life...and the condition of your tummy (I'm just guessing here) you'd know deep down the answer is, no.

Won't my sit-ups do it?!
Let's take the abdominals for instance. Sit-ups do what? They strengthen the abdominals. The rectus abdominus runs vertically from your breast bone to your pubic bone. Think about the muscle tissue between two sheets of plastic wrap. It's the most visible of this muscle group on the guy with the "6 pack". The transverse abdominus runs like a cumber bun, horizontally beneath the rectus abdominus. Our obliques run cris-cross, making an X along our sides. So, there's the basics of our "abs" and we do all kinds of sit-ups in different configurations to strengthen this group of muscles.

But remember that resistance exercises strengthen muscles...all those sit-ups aren't going to do anything to the layer of fat that is concealing those muscles. I call that the 12 pack. Sit-ups will not spot reduce the fat. They will not turn the fat into muscle (go back to "apples and oranges"). 

What to do? We do our cardio to burn fat. This happens in an overall manner dictated by our genetics. We also eat clean. "Abs & *sses are made in the kitchen!" That's the saying amongst competitors. It's true.

Spot reduction is possible though if you don't want to do all that work. Liposuction. It's pretty costly. And you can undo it pretty fast as soon as you're back to your martinis and dinners out. Wraps and treatments change the appearance of the skin for a short time by adding hydration, but if you don't empty the fat cells...well the fats still there! No foolin' me!

Save your money and do the work. Don't be fooled by product claims that aren't backed by an ounce of truth. Knowing a little basic science helps us make solid decisions. Strengthen your core muscles, but know why you're doing ab work. You'll create those abs you want in the kitchen!   

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