Friday, July 20, 2012

Spot-reducing Ab Flab!

Personal trainers have known for years that specific muscle exercises won’t “spot-reduce”, or eliminate fat in specific areas. But recently, the department of kinesiology and health education at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, set out to prove it. This 6-week study measured the body weight, body composition (percent fat) and abdominal circumference of each participant. When the study was over, the researchers found “Six weeks of abdominal training alone was not sufficient to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat and other measures of body composition.” So, the participants had not eliminated any fat, with just the ab exercises. But they did find a significant increase in abdominal strength. So keep up those ab exercises! They may not help you lose weight, but they will get your core stronger. One of my favorite ab strengthening yoga poses is “boat”, or navasana, since it engages the entire core.

The old adage holds true, if you want to lose weight around your middle, you have to lose it everywhere. So eat right, drink plenty of water & get in that daily exercise…maybe a HOT Yoga class?

Source: Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2011; 25 (9), 2559-64

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