Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Use your legs for maximum weight loss results!

One of the biggest factors to losing weight, most of which we want to be from fat mass, is to be in caloric deficit; or in other words use more energy than you consume. Think of it like this… Your car is completely out of gas, and all you have is enough money for 1 more gallon; also let’s just say your car gets 5 miles per gallon. So you put the gallon of gas in it and you drive more than 5 miles your car is going to run out of gas and stop working. Our bodies on the other hand, when they run out of energy or ‘gas’ it starts to break itself down for energy; mostly body-fat as long as your training and your diet especially are on track!

One way to get the most bang for your buck, meaning to burn the most calories in this situation, is to start incorporating a lot of leg work into your routines; and I’m not just talking about treadmill, elliptical, and bike etc. I’m talking about squats, lunges, steppers, box jumps and so on! So as you may of noticed that I love using automobile analogies here’s another one; you have to think of your legs as if they were Hummers (big trucks typically used in the Army), and all of the other parts on the body as like a Toyota Prius. What’s the difference? Well like the Hummer your legs are huge, they’re the biggest muscle group in the body, and so just like the hummer as well they take up a lot energy when used. Now if we were to use your arms or abs, they’re a lot smaller and they don’t take up as much energy or calories to use, they’re energy efficient you could say, just like the Prius. So please tell me why I see so many overweight people at the gym always using ab machines and always training arms instead of legs which would give them results almost twice as fast.

Here’s a couple of things you can do to start yourself on the right path if you’re new to the gym… Overhead bodyweight squats, lunges, and box step ups just for starters; eventually as you progress you can start throwing in additional movements to burn more calories and work on other areas of the body at the same time. Examples would be, Squat to dumbbell shoulder press, lunge with medicine ball twist, lunge with bicep curl, and box step up to balance to dumbbell shoulder press and so on. Just be sure that you’re doing your squats and lunges correctly, as it is VERY common that many do them the wrong way. The rule of thumb is always keep your back straight, neutral, stick your hips back, and as you go down you do NOT want your knees to go over your toes. Also you want to try and keep most of the weight shifted over your heels as this ensures that you’re using your glutes and hammys not just your quads, as most are who do squats the wrong way. So please don’t be afraid to ask a trainer at your gym for help on this!

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