“Fat-Gaining” Exercises: Are You Doing These?
Dr.Samhouri says …
Let’s set the record straight – all exercises have tremendous benefit, but for different reasons. Getting your body moving is a great thing, but burning fat at lightening speed, well, that’s a whole different ball game.
When you want to burn fat at your maximum capacity, you have to choose exercises that aren’t wasting your time. In my mind, if an exercise is wasting your time (i.e. not producing the desired result), then you’re unlikely to see your goals through. Hence, if your goal is ‘fat loss,’ then any of the following 7 exercises are actually making you fat by discouraging you from exercise:
- Seated Knee Squeezes (Adduction) on a machine
- Seated Leg Spreads (Abduction) on a machine
- Seated Biceps Preacher Curls
- Leg Curls
- Machine Hip Extensions
- Recumbent Bike
Let’s go one-by-one and show you why these exercise choices are lousy.
Seated Knee Squeezes (Adduction) on a machine – this is when you’re seated on a machine and the machine resists you as your squeeze your legs together and work your “inner thighs.” Unfortunately, you’re not working in a functional way, and your body views this as entirely unnatural.
Your ‘aDductors’ are your groin and inner thigh muscles that help you bring your legs toward midline in walking and other activities. They also function to flex your hip and knee, and help with movements such as: walking, hiking, climbing, standing from a seated position, running, moving side to side, and other movements that require stability in standing.
Notice one thing, in common, amongst these activities. They are all standing, and they all require the use of more muscles at once. If you don’t train the body in the way it works, it doesn’t respond by getting leaner. Getting leaner is a sign of your body understanding that it can do more with its day.
Seated Leg Spreads (Abduction) on a machine – this is the same as above, except the machine resists you spreading your knees apart. Again, this is not very functional. Think about it… when do you ever have to forcefully spread your legs in a seated position during real life?
Plus, again, you’re working one joint at a time, instead of many at once, so your body sees this movement as foreign. It adds compression to your hip joints, pulls on your groin, and causes your body to guard itself and withdraw its own forceful contraction. In my opinion, that’s why people hit a more sudden “weak spot” with these 2 exercises. Your body thinks it’s in pain and giving birth. It turns off your muscles to relax things and let the baby out 🙂
The message to your brain from your shoulder joint: “Stop it. Whatever you do, don’t dislocate me.”
So, your brain responds and turns the muscle signal intensity down. You lose some of your strength, but the set goes on. Meanwhile, you’re bent over, straining your low back and not using your core to lift a heavy weight with your hand.
That would never happen. If you had to pick up a heavy grocery bag and place it on the counter, you’d feel your abs contract. When you press your abs against a surface and curl, you’re isolating just your biceps, and training it in a completely non-functional way.
It’s possible to see visible results with this exercise… if you want to do it for 30 minutes/workout, instead of hitting your whole body.
Leg Curls on a machine – these are terrible for fat loss, and arguably dangerous, depending upon your position. By laying on your stomach and placing a heavy weight on your ankle, you naturally produce a tremendous amount of torque in your lower spine.
Think about this, for example: Picking a pencil up off the ground by bending at the waist produces about 220 pounds of pressure in the bottom segments of your spine.
It’s your core’s job to protect your spine, but it’s very hard to contract a muscle you’re laying on 🙂
Plus, that’s another unnatural movement. When do we ever lay on our bellies and try to kick ourselves in the butt? Man, that exercise is really silly looking…
Shrugs – Barbell or Dumbbell – Ok, I’m going to get myself in trouble here. People love to do shrugs. Agree to disagree…
I just don’t see the point, at least for fat loss. You’re working one joint at a time, and most of the time people aren’t even doing the entire range of motion. Plus, if you’re like a lot of people I meet, you carry tension in your shoulders. Doing shrugs creates more tension in your shoulders, not less. Tension = pain; pain = less signal to your muscles.
Instead, there are other ways to perform the muscle balancing aspects of shrugs, such as a 3 position shoulder stabilization exercise that works multiple aspects of your delts, traps, and rotator cuff in sequence. This works out to be a better choice, as it simulates the need to “reach and grab,” which is when these muscles are supposed to do their magic.
Machine Hip Extensions – this is the exercise where you’re in a standing frame of a machine or have one knee bent. You straighten your leg and raise it up in the air behind you.
Bad news: Unless you’re a donkey, you’re out of luck.
I just can’t imagine why you’d try to extend your hip that far back unless you’re one of the following:
- A professional donkey
- A professional gymnast
- A professional ballerina
- A professional figure skater
- A professional dancer
It’s not made to do that for most people, and certainly not while under strain. Whenever you don’t have enough strength or capacity to contract a muscle, all the strain gets redirected to your core.
Try standing on your right leg, and keeping your left leg straight, extend it behind you. Did you arch your back?
…and that’s without weight. If you hurt your spine, you crush fat loss.
Finally, is the recumbent bike. While I actually use this with clients of mine to teach them how to interval train harder with each muscle they use, I do it because the recumbent bike is very inefficient. You can’t get a lot of muscle involved, so you have to spike your heart rate to full capacity by going faster and increasing the resistance.
The only fat loss benefit here is learning how to ask more of your legs, or taking care of your knees if other forms of movement cause pain. However, in the case of pain, it’s a sure bet that you could find a group of “resistance-type” exercises that you could rotate through and get an even better effect.
You can choose more wisely and see a much faster result. I’m going to teach you exactly what to do. All you have to do is click the link at the bottom of this post and then fill in your BEST email , and I’ll instantly send you FREE 5 Day Fat Loss Accelerator program.
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