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This whole weight loss process is a confusing situation.  Is it possible that exercise can be bad for weight loss?  The answer is no, exercise cannot be bad for weight loss, but that is not the whole story.

Exercising is generally a series of exercise choices that we make.  All exercises burn calories for energy and help with weight loss, but not all exercises burn that same amount of calories or impact the endocrine system in the same way.  The logic is pretty simple here, big muscles burn lots of calories and small muscles burn fewer calories.  So what we are focused on here is improving your choices. 

Here are the little muscles that don't burn very many calories.  These muscles/exercises are like the frosting on a cake.  If you don't exercise the big muscles first then it is like skipping the cake and putting frosting on the plate.
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Deltoids
  • Traps
  • Calves
Here are the muscles that burn a fair amount of calories.  Not a bad choice to incorporate these exercises, but not the BEST.
  • Pecs
  • Lats
  • Glutes
  • Abs
  • Back Extensors
And here are the calorie kings/queens!  These muscles are the cake folks.  Get these into every exercise
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
Obviously, if you have ample time then it is a great strategy to hit all of your muscle groups and get into some isolation.  Since that is not always possible now you have a strategy to help you make the best choices for the time that you have available.  So when you are choosing which exercises to do there are some keys to getting the most out of your workout.  Here you go.
  1. Know your schedule.  If you only have 20 minutes, for example, know how many exercises that you can do within the allotted time frame.
  2. Always hit your big muscles.  Try to get your legs involved in every exercise possible.  The more calories that you burn the easier weight loss happens.
  3. Try to balance.  The more stability required for each exercise the more muscles that will have to be involved to complete the movement.  For example, if you are going to do curls then do them standing on 1 foot!
  4. Cut the fat.  If you are on a time crunch then ignore the small muscles and focus on the big ones.  You will do much more for your arms by doing lots of leg incorporation than all of the curls in the world.
  5. Multi-joint exercises.  Instead of a chest press machine try a push-up.  This ties right back into #4.  More big muscles involved means more calories burned.
  6. Get going.  If you aren't doing this TODAY then change your schedule and get to it.  If you don't know what to do then get some help.  Don't let ignorance be an excuse EVER!
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