Core Exercises and Spot Reduction

It’s another episode of out Fat Burn specials; And why are we tackling this again? Because we believe in holistic personal transformation thru awareness and change in lifestyle, and your body is a part of who you are. And we all know that we ought to know the most effective ways to trim unneeded fats and here we will go into one of the most misinterpreted ways of losing fat around the belly. It is a question whether one looses more fats on his or her midsection if he performs abdominal exercises. We will look into the Journal of Strength and conditioning with the research :


The Effect of Abdominal Exercise on Abdominal Fat. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:

September 2011 – Volume 25 – Issue 9 – pp 2559-2564

doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181fb4a46

Original Research

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of abdominal exercises on abdominal fat. Twenty-four healthy, sedentary participants (14 men and 10 women), between 18 and 40 years, were randomly assigned to 1 of the following 2 groups: control group (CG) or abdominal exercise group (AG). Anthropometrics, body composition, and abdominal muscular endurance were tested before and after training. The AG performed 7 abdominal exercises, for 2 sets of 10 repetitions, on 5 d·wk−1 for 6 weeks. The CG received no intervention, and all participants maintained an isocaloric diet throughout the study. Significance was set at p = 0.05 for all tests. There was no significant effect of abdominal exercises on body weight, body fat percentage, android fat percentage, android fat, abdominal circumference, abdominal skinfold and suprailiac skinfold measurements. The AG performed significantly greater amount of curl-up repetitions (47 ± 13) compared to the CG (32 ± 9) on the posttest. Six weeks of abdominal exercise training alone was not sufficient to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat and other measures of body composition. Nevertheless, abdominal exercise training significantly improved muscular endurance to a greater extent than the CG

There you go. .” There was no significant effect of abdominal exercises on body weight, body fat percentage, android fat percentage, android fat, abdominal circumference, abdominal skinfold and suprailiac skinfold measurements”.  That proves that the principle of spot-reduction when it comes to fat loss is completely false. Fat cells are distributed in the body in a very proportional manner, and thus burning them from subcutaeneous level is also done in that same proportion. Therefore you cannot simply decide “i want to lose fat around my neck so i’ll do neck push-ups!”. No it doesn’t work that way and the study above proves that point.
What is very important to note however is the importance of core exercises since at the end of the study they observed an increased muscle function and strength in the abdomen and core is  not called “core” for no reason. It is involved in almost every move you make therefore strengthening your core helps you/your:

1)athletic performance

2)your posture

3)decrease chances of injury related to stability gained , and most importantly

4)burn fat by means of allowing you to perform your routine exercises at greater intensity.

More intensity = More micro muscular damage

more micro muscular damage  = more calories needed to repair them

leading to: more muscular density repaired = more caloric liability as your body is forced to spend at least 50 cal / pound of muscle everyday just to keep them. Think of it as upkeep expenditures in real estate.

Recommendation: Perform the suggeted 30 min above medium intensity (60% effort) exrcise everyday and incorporate 3 sets of core strenghtening exercises aterwards.

p.s.: Don’t just do situps. The core consits of abdomen and lower back

work you abdomen by doing 1 minute consecutive crunches or 20 situps per set and work your lower back by doing some deadlifts or supine bridge for 2 minutes. 3 sets 2 minute each set. If possible do your core exercises at a separate time from your 30 workout.

This is how a supine bridge looks like:


A-Lifter- Don't forget to leave your comment/feedback below.  If this article was helpful, I am sure our book Real Talk Muscle will help you even more in your quest for muscle gain. Check it out you can read the first few chapters as well.
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3 thoughts on “Core Exercises and Spot Reduction

  1. Many thanks you for this blog which you have made by your patient and thinking power. You really know so much about this matter and covered so many bases. Great substance from this part of the internet.

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