Everybody is built differently, though our bodies have been given 3 generally accepted body types, endomorph (shorter/stockier), ectomorph (taller/thinner) and mesomorph (medium/athletic). Many of us have specific trouble areas that may include the belly, love handles, thighs, buttocks or other body parts.
As good as it sounds to target these areas for reducing or even muscle building, the results from such efforts are usually disappointing at best and often prove to be of little or no use. The only body part that shows any real potential for spot training are the ab muscles (see Question #3).
The reason is that the storage areas for your excessive weight are predetermined and genetically imprinted. These areas are the first to show gains and last to show losses. This is not to say you cannot lose fat in these areas, but changes require an approach that burns calories overall, which, in turn, affects these specific areas. Spot building by targeting a certain muscle or muscle group can have slight benefits, but the results are more often marginal due again to individual genetics.
This is not to say that you cannot fight the genetic prototype. Your general body type and muscle size & overall strength remain proportional to the surrounding muscles & your overall training techniques.
The Bottom Line:
Targeting a trouble spot will not work. Losing fat through following a full body workout to weight loss & body shaping through training with weights and also adding more cardio activities is the best approach. This will assist altering your trouble areas while helping improve your overall body shape. Specifically targeting your abs in addition to whole body workouts may prove more effective in actually showing changes, but for some people the abdominal muscles (See "How do I get Great Abs?") and the calf muscles are the only body parts where spot training shows any particular significance. Even this is not true for everybody.
Remember, YOU have the POWER!
Health & Fitness FAQs:
“How do I get more energy?” (0.9% of questions)
“How do I Tone and Firm?” (2.1% of questions)
“How do I Gain Muscle Mass?” (2.2% of questions)
“How do I Get Started & Begin Exercising?” (2.8% of questions)
“How can I Gain Weight?” (3.3% of questions)
“What about taking Supplements?” (5.1% of questions)
“How do I Lose Fat & Extra Weight?” (12.7% of questions)
“How do I get Great Abs?” (16.2% of questions)
“What about Spot Reducing or Spot Specific Training?” (25.4% of questions)
“How should I workout?” (29.3% of questions)
Read the summary wrap up of the report.