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Old 03-19-2004, 03:45 PM
WarlokElf WarlokElf is offline
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Best exercise to get rid of a gut

I would like to trim some fat off of my stomach and my "love handles." What is the most effective physical exercise to do so?

Running, crunches, sit-ups, leg lifts, ??

TIA
  #2  
Old 03-19-2004, 03:50 PM
Metacom Metacom is offline
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You can't selectively remove fat from one part of your body but not the rest with diet or excercise, so with that in mind I'd say running is the best choice among what you've listed. Be sure to also incorporate some diet changes!

As for what the most effective excercise is, period, the answer is: Whatever excercise you enjoy enough to consistently do for meaningful periods of time. Try out the different aerobic excercises (running, cycling, rowing, etc.) until you find one you enjoy.
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Old 03-19-2004, 05:04 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
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You need to do some form of exercise, but it doesn't really matter what. The important thing to do is to clean your diet up. If you don't do that, no exercise program out there will help you.
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Old 03-19-2004, 05:27 PM
Thaumaturge Thaumaturge is offline
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Well, to answer the OP specifically, the most calorie burning excercise both during the workout and after is probably squats. They work the most powerfull muscles in the body, and take alot of effort to do. And the muscle mass gained will burn calories after the workout as well.
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:21 PM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaumaturge
Well, to answer the OP specifically, the most calorie burning excercise both during the workout and after is probably squats. They work the most powerfull muscles in the body, and take alot of effort to do. And the muscle mass gained will burn calories after the workout as well.
That may be true, but how many can you do before you either get bored or exhausted?

I think for weight loss, a longer workout is probably best. Running or cycling also utilize large muscle groups, and can easily be done for an hour or more per workout. The same with swimming. Squats would work too, but of course I think you would do that as part of a complete weight lifting program.

Any of the above will work, but only if you have the dedication to stick with it.

And although you can't target where you will lose the fat, you can target where you will gain the muscle. So doing abdominal exersize alone may not get rid of the belly, it can make it look better when the fat is finally gone.
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:22 PM
WarlokElf WarlokElf is offline
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Yeah, my diet is getting a makeover (so long spumoni).

Exercises can't target certain areas? Certainly crunches don't do anything for your forearms. Crunches will make your stomach leaner, won't they?
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:26 PM
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x-ray vision x-ray vision is offline
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Exercises can target certain areas WarlokElf, as far as muscles go, but as Metacom pointed out, you can't spot reduce fat. You'll most likely lose fat the last place you put it on, regardless of what kind of exercise you do.
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:28 PM
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Oh yeah, that means you're more likely to lose a belly by running than doing crunches, because you should be able to run alot longer than you can crunch.
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:29 PM
epepke epepke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarlokElf
I would like to trim some fat off of my stomach and my "love handles." What is the most effective physical exercise to do so?

Running, crunches, sit-ups, leg lifts, ??

TIA
As has been pointed out, there is no such thing as an exercize that burns fat on a particular part of the body.

Fat is metabolized in muscles, which use fat when there is little or no sugar available.

Aerobic exercize causes muscles to use fat directly. However, muscle-building exercize causes muscles to burn calories just by being there and also in the process of repairing themselves.

Calories will first come from blood glucose, then from glucose from the glycogen stored in the liver, then from fats. So you need to keep the glycogen level and blood glucose low to make sure that fats will be burned.
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:31 PM
Patr100 Patr100 is offline
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It won't matter how hard or well exercised your abdominal muscles are if they are covered up and obscured by a layer of fat. You need to look at overall exercise and diet.
  #11  
Old 03-19-2004, 06:32 PM
outside artist outside artist is offline
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Crunch Yourself.

In direct reply to the OP, After much careful scientific research, (i.e. spending many hours at the gym over the last 20 yrs.,) the most effective stomach exercise is most likely, crunches. These are as ecffective as sit-ups, but they do not strain the back as sits do, and they really target the tummy area. It is true, however, that target exercises do little to confine weight loss to a particular area, but they will build up tissue (muscle) in that area.
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Old 03-19-2004, 06:50 PM
trudi fermelli trudi fermelli is offline
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My preferences: Swimming, for its combined benefits of anerobic and muscle toning without stress to the joints. ummm, Sex...to deal with the boredom issue. maybe sex and swimming combined
  #13  
Old 03-19-2004, 07:47 PM
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StarvingButStrong StarvingButStrong is offline
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I think this is closely enough related not to be a hijack --

I was told by a trainer at a gym that the muscles exercised during crunches (and situps, too) were actually NOT the ones that make for having a nice flat tummy. As proof, she suggested doing enough crunches to make that set of muscles sore, then immediately standup and do the lift/suck in your gut thing -- it won't hurt because it uses a different muscle(s).

I don't know that this is absolutely true, although I *did* do the experiment and she was right in my case. In fact, I think I can feel the difference just holding my palms on my stomach while switching between doing crunches and 'suck ins.'

Which leads into my question: So, what exercise CAN you do that addresses the 'suck in' muscle?

And how about those 'twisting' crunches? I've been told they're a) great for whittling in your waist and b) positively too dangerous to your lower back to risk.
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Old 03-19-2004, 08:03 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag Otto
And although you can't target where you will lose the fat, you can target where you will gain the muscle. So doing abdominal exersize alone may not get rid of the belly, it can make it look better when the fat is finally gone.
But you have to be careful with that, especially if you're self conscious about your gut. While what Dag Otto is saying may be true, in the mean time, building up your abs will push the fat out making your gut looking even bigger.
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Old 03-19-2004, 08:21 PM
Iteki Iteki is offline
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Was going to post almost the same question, mrsIteki been complaining about having a flabby belly, but if we were to diet and train her she would dissapear, the rest of her is plain skinny. A dilemma.
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Old 03-19-2004, 08:56 PM
Chotii Chotii is offline
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I think the best exercise is said to be the push-back: you eat a reasonable small meal, and you push back from the table, and walk away.

Hey, I'm only repeating what I heard.
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Old 03-19-2004, 10:24 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarvingButStrong
I think this is closely enough related not to be a hijack --

I was told by a trainer at a gym that the muscles exercised during crunches (and situps, too) were actually NOT the ones that make for having a nice flat tummy. As proof, she suggested doing enough crunches to make that set of muscles sore, then immediately standup and do the lift/suck in your gut thing -- it won't hurt because it uses a different muscle(s).

I don't know that this is absolutely true, although I *did* do the experiment and she was right in my case. In fact, I think I can feel the difference just holding my palms on my stomach while switching between doing crunches and 'suck ins.'

Which leads into my question: So, what exercise CAN you do that addresses the 'suck in' muscle?

And how about those 'twisting' crunches? I've been told they're a) great for whittling in your waist and b) positively too dangerous to your lower back to risk.
This trainer is worth her weight in gold just for knowing that. Pay her whatever she wants to train you.

Anyway, the muscle used in crunches is the rectus abdominis, which is the six-pack that everyone wants so badly. The muscle used to suck your gut in is the transversus abdominis, which is generally only visible during autopsies. It gets a decent workout during heavy standing lifts (squats, deadlifts, etc.), but if that's not your thing, suck your gut in and start walking. That'll get you good.
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Old 03-20-2004, 04:23 AM
Cardinal Cardinal is offline
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A trainer once told me one of those brilliantly obvious things that makes you smack your forehead:

Everyone's muscles look like that (fabulously fit person) under the fat. They're all attached in the same places.


Fat is mostly burned by something that makes you breathe heavily. Need for more oxygen means you're burning calories and need more oxygen to do that. That's why it's called "aerobics". Your legs are the biggest muscles on your body, so do something that involves them a lot to make quicker progress.

It sure wouldn't hurt to build some more muscle either, as it will burn more calories just resting, and your overall bodyfat percentage will go down as your muscle weight goes up.
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:34 AM
vasyachkin vasyachkin is offline
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the most effective exercise to get rid of the gut far and away is CALORIE RESTRICTED DIET.

doing ab-exercises is the LEAST effective thing for getting rid of the gut. a typical couch potato probably does more ab exercises than a professional bodybuilder, but looks like sh1t because he doesn't do anything else and eats crap all day.

if you do insist on exercising to lose fat ( and exercising is a good thing ) then you need to focus on exercises that burn most calories, jack up your metabolism the most and build most muscle mass ( thus increasing your metabolism ).

that basically means you need to work out your LEGS because those are the biggest muscles in your body. either doing cardio or doing heavy lifts like squats will be good, as long as you end up breathing hard and your legs are sore.

so if you dont have a membership in a gym you should be running. that will do much much more for your gut that crunches.
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:38 AM
vasyachkin vasyachkin is offline
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as for sucking it in - practice practice practice. just try to keep it sucked in all the time, and eventually it will get easier and easier and finally trivial. UNLESS your gut grows

sucking in your gut is a useful skill even if you dont have any gut, because when your gut goes up in your chest it makes your chest look bigger.
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Old 03-20-2004, 07:51 AM
gouda gouda is offline
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Sucking it in puts a lot of stress on your lower back... i wouldn't advise doing that.
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Old 03-20-2004, 08:09 AM
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No it doesn't gouda. "Sucking it in" is a good exercise.
  #23  
Old 03-20-2004, 09:06 AM
Arturius Arturius is offline
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Running will work your cardio.


Walking is by far the best way to burn body fat, as body builders have known for years (a bodybuilder that goes to my gym, 6 weeks before a big contest he gets out and walks for 2 hours a day, drinking a shitload of water and downing protein shakes).

Although you dont need the protein shakes, walk, walk, and walk some more, while keeping a good diet will definitly shed those kilos very quickly.
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Old 03-20-2004, 02:10 PM
Hunter Hawk Hunter Hawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrafilter
This trainer is worth her weight in gold just for knowing that. Pay her whatever she wants to train you.

Anyway, the muscle used in crunches is the rectus abdominis, which is the six-pack that everyone wants so badly. The muscle used to suck your gut in is the transversus abdominis, which is generally only visible during autopsies. It gets a decent workout during heavy standing lifts (squats, deadlifts, etc.), but if that's not your thing, suck your gut in and start walking. That'll get you good.
And FYI, Pilates has any number of exercises that focus specifically on the deep abdominals. Since I started Pilates, I don't think I've lost any weight, but I look a bit thinner since my deep abdominals are in better shape and are holding my trunk in a better position.
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Old 03-20-2004, 02:19 PM
Hunter Hawk Hunter Hawk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gouda
Sucking it in puts a lot of stress on your lower back... i wouldn't advise doing that.
Whoops, missed this point when I was writing my earlier post. IANA Pilates instructor, but IME there are a couple of potential causes for this pain:
  • One of the deep abs (I forget which one) anchors in your lower back. If this muscle is weak, it can hurt (like any weak muscle can) when you work it.
  • Sucking it in can stretch your lower back if it's used to having an excess inward curve. This stretch can hurt a lot.

In any case, using proper form and keeping at it should alleviate the problems. Since I started doing Pilates, my back actually hurts a lot less than it used to.

(Insert standard disclaimer about seeing a doctor before beginning an exercise regimen, etc.)
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