Your Core & The Enduring Myth Of Spot Reduction
It’s a pretty common occurrence for a new client to ask me what the best exercise to get rid of “this”, while pointing at their belly, grabbing their love handles or jiggling their bingo wings.
While many fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts are (hopefully) aware that research indicates abdominal exercises do not preferentially reduce adipose cell size or subcutaneous fat thickness in the abdominal region, the enduring myth of spot reduction rages on and continues to distort our understanding of the most effective and efficient ways to reach our goals.
The theory that training one specific muscle will result in fat loss in that one area of the body. Basically…localised fat loss through specific exercise.
Science sends its sincerest apologies…but it just doesn’t work that way.
The spot reduction myth isn’t a new concept, but despite this, mainstream magazines and social media is still awash with ways to “tone up your abs” or “burn that belly fat”. It’s simply click bait and unfortunately, not only will the fat simply not melt away…the misconception won’t either. Frustratingly, training with a view to targeting these “trouble areas” through isolation exercises seems to be as popular as ever, but for your average gym goer, this approach is all but guaranteed to leave you unsuccessful in your endeavors.
There is no magical exercise that will result in the elusive six pack…in order to have a lean midsection, your overall body fat must be reduced to respectable levels.
How does one go about this?
By prioritising a comprehensive strength and cardio training program and adhering to sound and sensible nutrition protocols.
I take no issue with incorporating accessory or isolation exercises into your training…if you have the time and energy and enjoy them, but perhaps it’s worth questioning if that time and energy would be better spent doing a few more deadlifts, getting out and walking more or prepping a few extra veggies!