This is a great question because everyone has something about their body that they wish to change. Fat deposition varies individually and is influenced by genetics, age, and certainly gender. One of the most common fitness misconceptions has to do with exercise and spot reduction. People want to know if they focus their exercise efforts on certain trouble spots, if they will lose fat or inches from those respective areas. Unfortunately, the type of exercise you do doesn’t affect the number of fat cells in a specific area. There is no such thing as spot reduction. When we lose fat, we do so systemically-throughout the body at the same time. In other words, if you are someone who is seeking a flatter stomach, doing 100 crunches a day isn’t necessarily going to get you there. It will however help develop your muscles in that respective area, but this doesn’t equate to less fat taking up volume just beneath the skin.
However, the good news is that by participating in regular exercise, you can exert great influence on your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories) by improving your body composition. The leaner the individual, the higher their metabolic rate. As a starting point, it may be helpful to consider consulting with a certified fitness professional to calculate your current body composition. Healthy body fat percentages can range between 21-31% (women) and 14-24% (men) (ACE, 2013).
ACE has an extensive exercise library to get you started. Whether you are new to exercise, or just need to fire up an existing routine, the ACE exercise library is a great place to visit for inspiration. You can search for exercises based on a specific body part, available equipment, or individual exercise level. You can also choose to stream a video to your computer or device to help you see a particular move in action.
Together with your fitness professional, you can work towards developing an individualized plan for toning and tightening your muscles, losing the fat and consequently maximizing your metabolism while getting leaner and stronger.