Do Skinny Fat Workouts Exist?

by Belinda on June 23, 2012

You’ve heard all about the dangers of becoming skinny fat. This is where you may appear skinny – at least with your clothes on. But upon closer inspection, you lack muscle tone. So even though your body may be smallish, it’s flabby. It jiggles. And you have unsightly fat deposits.

There are a few reasons why this happens. Namely:

  • If you starve yourself, your body will cling to fat and burn muscle in order to survive. End result, your body is smaller, but you still jiggle.
  • As you age, you may start to lose some muscle if you’re not doing much exercise. Same end result – even though you may look skinny, your body is flabby since it has very little muscle.
  • If you do too much steady-state cardio, your body adapts by clinging to fat while burning muscle tissue. This is why distance runners (like marathon runners) may look slim, but if you look closely you’ll often see that their body is skinny fat.

As you can see by the above examples, exercise does play a role in whether you’ll be skinny fat. And in just a moment I’ll go over the guidelines of how to exercise in a way that helps prevent skinny fat syndrome.

But first, let me toss in this caveat: you need to pair your exercise routine with a clean diet. That is, you can’t do all the right exercises while eating a diet of processed or sugary foods and expect to see results. So clean up your diet first. And then start incorporating these exercise tips…

Do Resistance Training

At least two or three times per week you should lift weights or do bodyweight resistance training, paying particular attention to your major muscle groups. This includes dong exercises for your:

  • Legs, such as squats.
  • Butt, such as step-ups.
  • Back, such as standing rows.
  • Chest, such as a bench press.
  • Shoulders, such as shoulder presses.
  • Arms, such as bicep curls and triceps dips.

These sorts of big compound exercises require a lot of calories, so the workout itself will rev up your metabolism.  And as you build these muscles, your body will take on a sleek, sexy, feminine look (and the skinny fat look will disappear).

Limit Your Steady-State Cardio

There’s nothing wrong with getting a little steady-state cardio exercise, such as going for a walk in the evening. But if you’re looking to exercise in order to shed fat, then you need to limit your steady-state cardio in favor of doing high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is where you do 7-12 cycles of high intensity cardio followed by low-to-medium intensity cardio.

For example:

  • Sprint for 15 seconds, walk for 30 seconds.
  • Bike up hill (fast) for 30 seconds, bike at a slower pace for 60 seconds.
  • Row hard for 30 seconds, row more slowly for 60 seconds.

If you do this right, you’ll be exhausted following your workout.  But the good news is that your metabolism will be elevated for up to 36 hours after the workout – meaning you’ll keep burning calories, even while you’re sleeping.

In sum…

Yes, your workout really does impact whether you’ll end up looking skinny fat.  The two keys are to:

  • Incorporate resistance training or bodyweight workouts.
  • Do HIIT instead of steady state cardio.

Then pair these keys with a clean diet, and I think you’ll like your results!

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