Okay, so you aim to lose weight or simply want to stay fit and hit the gym everyday. An arm day here or a leg day there, either way you are working out, so kudos to you! Even though you are staying fit, be sure to alternate your workouts to avoid muscle specificity. Alternating fitness exercises is highly recommended to all weight loss seekers and not only to fitness addicts.
What’s that you ask?
Specificity means only the body parts and muscles you work out will experience the training and show improvements. It doesn’t matter if we talk about losing weight or about getting fit, if you only work your upper body, like arms and shoulders, you can’t expect improvements in your lower body strength and fat tissue.
In order to avoid muscle specificity you should mix up your workout routine! One option is to perform a full body workout everyday. If you incorporate a little abs, upper body, and lower body into one workout you will not only improve one aspect of your body. However, it can happen that you are in a hurry and simply don’t have time for all groups. In this case, simply hit the elliptical trainer and you will train all muscle groups and accomplish full body weight loss.
Another way to ensure that one muscle group isn’t over emphasized is to alternate which muscle group you target. If you choose to focus on arms on Monday, work on your legs on Tuesday. This will spread the improvements throughout the whole body, which is beneficial.
If muscle specificity does occur, don’t panic. Just figure out what muscle groups you have overlooked and try to incorporate more activities that highlight those muscle groups. While focusing more on the muscles you have neglected in the past, try to hold off on working the muscles you have bulked up. This way you will be able to find a happy meeting place in the middle so every muscle group can be perfect.
Of course, there are some exceptions to the idea of muscle specificity. Athletes will tend to target and strengthen the muscles they use the most to help them be successful. For example, a soccer player would target and look to strengthen their lower body more than their upper body since they use their legs more than anything else. On the other hand, a swimmer would work on improving their arm, shoulder, and back muscles to help them propel faster. The same principle applies to weight loss. If you accumulated fat on certain areas of your body, for examples the love handles you will have to focus more on your abs to shed the weight and have a perfect lean body.
While you are at the gym pumping iron, or running a thousand miles on the treadmill, be sure to mix up your workout! Mixed workouts have proved themselves more efficient in terms of weight loss, than a standalone routine. Your body won’t accommodate to a type of exercise and it will be demanded every time to burn calories in order to cope with the strains. With all this being said there is no reason for delay? Simply, hit the gym and stay healthy!
This post was written for Weightlossnote.com by Karen Danish, LAP. Karen is a licensed acupuncture physician and a valued staff member at http://tampaacupuncture.org/, a Tampa Acupuncture Clinic.