A multi-faceted approach is the most effective way to lose fat. Don’t focus on losing weight in your tummy and thighs -- spot training isn't an effective way to transform your body. A diet rich in whole grains, lean sources of protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats, will help you reach your goal weight. Doing two or three strength training sessions and about 150 minutes of moderately intense cardio each week will help burn fat and build muscle. Including compound exercises for your thighs and abs is an effective way to burn calories and tone muscles that will become more visible after overall weight loss occurs.
Roll Off the Inches
Lie on your back and place your feet on top of a stability ball. Dig your heels into the ball, tighten your stomach muscles and lift your hips off the floor.
Align your ankles, knees, lower back, hips and shoulders. Pull the ball toward the back of your legs without lowering your hips.
Straighten your legs and complete 12 to 20 repetitions, stopping when your midsection and thighs fatigue. If 20 reps is easy, try lifting one foot off the ball and doing single-legged curls.
Squeeze Off the Fat
Lie on your back. Bend your legs and position your feet under your knees. Place the medicine ball between your thighs and press your legs firmly against it.
Tighten your stomach muscles, then lift your hips into a straight line with your knees and shoulders. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, stopping when your core and thighs fatigue.
Externally rotate your toes 45 degrees to vary how the bridge challenges your thighs.
Stand Up to Your Fat
Sit on top of an inflatable balance trainer, bend your legs and rest your feet on the floor in front of you. Place your hands behind your head, straighten your back and tighten your abdominal muscles.
Lean back 45 degrees, pause, then lift your torso to straight. Immediately press through your heels and stand up.
Stick your hips out behind you and slowly lower them onto the ball to complete the first repetition. Complete 12 to 20 reps, stopping when your muscles fatigue.
Squat Low to Get Results that Show
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, stand up straight and hang your arms by your sides. Position your feet hip-width apart, bend your knees slightly and relax your shoulders. Align your knees and ankles throughout the exercise to protect your knees.
Stick your hips out behind you and slowly lower them toward the floor. Stop when the back of your legs are parallel to the floor, push through your heels and stand up.
Pull your left shoulder back slightly. Lower your right hand toward your right knee, bending your torso as the weight descends.
Lift the weight slowly, straighten your torso, then do the same with your left hand. Complete 12 to 20 repetitions, stopping when your obliques and lower body fatigue.
- ACE Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Issues New Recommendations on Quantity and Quality of Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?