Pointless Movement

I must admit, I get a bit intrigued when I see articles with titles like "Ten Exercises That Are A Total Waste Of Your Time" because I wonder if I'm doing any of them. As it turns out, I am, and one of them is actually a favorite! A direct quote from this Prevention Magazine article:

The move: Using the seated thigh machine Why it's a waste: It seems like it will help you get rid of the fat on your inner and outer thighs, but it won't. "Spot reducing" exercises don't help you lose fat.

Okay, I call it the adductor/abductor machine but why fuss over particulars! Prevention also says that this exercise is not "functional", meaning it doesn't train your body for any activities performed in everyday life. Oh really? What if you are an equestrian? Not the type pictured above (though the horse is probably thinking "Way to pay it forward bro-even if it only took you several centuries!") but an actual rider. I think having strong adductor muscles (the 4 primary are gracilis, adductor longus, adductor brevis, and adductor magnus) would be of great importance. Having been an equestrian at one point in my life, I know this to be a fact:

Sometimes I'd do this jump without a saddle-so, no arms, no saddle-what else is supposed to keep you from falling off other than strong inner thighs, LOL? And those jars that are impossible to get the lids off of? Use your knees to lock those suckers in place and the lids will be begging for mercy! See? Functional!

And while this may not be an everyday occurrence, what if you needed your thighs to choke someone as a life-saving maneuver? I mean, you could face abduction by a stranger, have your hands bound behind your back but maybe your legs are left unencumbered. Your only shot at survival could be the stranglehold you put on creepazoid with your highly-trained "thigh machine" legs. It could happen...

I would also challenge the Prevention article by saying that Any muscle-specific exercise done for the sole purpose of shedding body fat is an attempt at spot reducing and therefore all exercises done for this reason are a waste of time! But if they're done for stress relief, like Duck Pressing (photo below), more power to ya!

So, there's no spot reducing and no fowl-follies that actually work to help us lose the dreaded corpulence garnered from poor lifestyle choices? What's a human to do! Try this move (move your hand away from your mouth...) that has nothing to do with exercise but is guaranteed to work: eliminate one sugary drink per day-yes, this includes most juices. When compared to going out for a 3 mile run, which will use about 300 calories, you could just not drink a 12 oz. serving of soda or juice and save almost the same amount of calories for a whopping deficit of 2,100 calories per week-see how easy that was?! The added bonus is that you won't feel the additional hunger from the exercise expenditure, which may cause you to take in more calories than you just used up during that run! While it may sound like I am advocating a No-Exercise approach to weight loss, I'm absolutely not doing that. Just poking fun, once again, at the reporting of so-called articles on fitness, diet and weight-loss and why it is so important to think beyond what is written while using a little common sense.

And common sense as it applies to the 'Thigh Machine'? It's not about using the machine (or any machine, dumbbells, barbells, etc.) to do 4 sets of 25 reps, as I see so many women do. That's the mind set of 'If some is good, more is better' but is it really? Do you think you're burning more calories this way? Then you are subscribing to spot reducing fallacies. Quality reps are what count. If you get on a machine and start pumping away as fast as you can with a weight that allows you to text, talk on your phone, read a magazine, or do something other than MEANINGFUL work, you may not understand how to get the most out of your time in the gym. Using the 'Thigh Machine' is definitely beneficial when done properly. Try using a weight that will only allow you to do 8-10 reps (not a single rep more!), let the positive movement start slowly and finish in no less than 8-10 seconds with a good squeeze-hold in the fully contracted position (knees together) of at least 2 seconds, then SLOWLY do the negative (return to starting position) in no less than 5 seconds. Kick it up a notch and don't unload the weight at the end of the rep but slowly begin another, repeating the same process as the one you just finished-for the entire set of 8-10 reps. This will be challenging when done PROPERLY and I'd love to see the author of the Prevention Magazine article do this and then write about the 'Thigh Machine' being a waste of time exercise. Oh and BTW-this is a killer kegle exercise, a muscle your man will definitely say is worth exercising!

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