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Burning calories is crucial when it comes to losing chest fat.
Marili Forastieri/Digital Vision/Getty Images
The American Council on Exercise reports that when it comes to exercise, cutting body fat is a common goal. And while some individuals aim to lose fat over their entire body, others prefer to focus on specific areas, such as their chest. However, the American College of Sports Medicine reports that it can be difficult to pinpoint fat loss -- instead, most people will notice a small amount of fat loss over their entire body. Understanding which exercises to include in a gym workout is crucial for those who want to decrease body fat percentage.
Understand Fat Loss
Burning calories is the key element when it comes to losing fat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, participating in a regular exercise routine that incorporates aerobic activity is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and promote fat loss. Unfortunately, Yale Scientific reports that attempting to lose fat in a certain body part isn't possible; you will lose a small amount of fat over your entire body as you burn calories. As weight loss continues, fat stores on your chest will also decrease.
Walk the Pounds Away
ACE suggests that walking, jogging, or running on a treadmill is one of the most effective gym exercise workouts when it comes to burning calories and promoting fat loss. Incorporating high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, on a treadmill -- in which the exerciser alternates between high and moderate level activity -- can also be useful when it comes to fat loss. For optimal fat burn, attempt to keep your heart rate between 60 and 85 percent of maximal rates during this activity, notes ACE. Making changes to both speed and incline while using a treadmill can be useful when it comes to incorporating HIIT into an exercise routine.
Burn Fat with an Elliptical
An elliptical is a common piece of gym equipment that relies on low-impact movement to simulate different forms of aerobic exercise. It should come as no surprise, then, that using an elliptical can be an effective gym exercise workout for those who want to burn calories and lose fat on their chest. In addition to the immediate calorie burn associated with aerobic exercise, ACE states that ellipticals can provide some resistance training for the upper body -- thus promoting muscle fiber activation and hypertrophy. As described previously, added muscle mass can stimulate long-term calorie burn, an important perk for those who are interested in fat loss.
Include Water Aerobics
Incorporating various forms of water exercise can also be useful for those who are interested in fat burn, notes ACE. Water exercise -- such as swimming, water aerobics, and even walking laps in a swimming pool -- can also aid in calorie expenditure and fat loss. Consider switching back and forth between different types of swimming strokes to promote "muscle confusion" and extended calorie expenditure. Relying primarily on the arms to propel the body through the water on one lap, and the legs on the next, can also be effective when it comes to maximizing fat burn.
Unlike aerobic exercise, resistance training produces only limited immediate calorie expenditure. However, added muscle mass results in an increase in long-term calorie burn, which occurs even when the body is not engaged in exercise, according to ACE. As with aerobic exercise, focusing on resistance training exercises that target the chest muscles will not necessarily increase calorie burn in this location. Instead, individuals should focus on a full-body weight routine to produce the greatest amount of calorie burn. Exercisers may want to incorporate combination exercises that target several muscle groups -- such as squats or lunges with dumbbell bicep curls or pushups with dumbbell upright rows -- to burn the largest amount of calories.