One of the most common exercise people use to burn side fat, side bends. Are you also one of them? Do you also think that any exercise which will compress your side fat, will also burn it? Do you also think that side bends can burn your side fat? Trust me, this is totally nonsense.
What is the movement
Side bend is the movement of bending your torso to either side (left or right). This movement is primarily controlled by quadratus lumborum, Quadratus lumborum is a muscle of the posterior abdominal wall, and also the deepest abdominal muscle. It is commonly referred as a back muscle. It’s shape is irregular and quadrilateral and broader below than above.
So, by doing side bends or torso lateral flexion, you are targeting primarily quadratus lumborum muscle. And also some accessory and supporting muscles.
Side bends will not target your obliques
If you think that side bends will target your oblique muscles, well that’s also not the case. Your oblique muscles will help you bend side to side (angular, not straight), but the prime function of oblique muscle is twisting or rotating your torso. For example, you are sitting on a chair, there is a cup of coffee on your left side, your left hand is occupied, so you twisted your torso to reach the cup of coffee with your right hand, that’s where you used your oblique muscles.
Spot reduction of fat is not possible
Fat is a form of stored energy, and body will use it’s stored energy overall, not from any one place. So, whenever you are walking, maybe you are reducing fat from your sides, or tummy, or legs, or chest.
Fat starts getting stored around your tummy first
If you notice someone start getting fat, you will notice that He or She will start storing fat first around His or Her tummy. Then, it will start spreading towards upside (chest) and downside (legs).
So, when you will start reducing it, it will reduce it in the opposite manner. First from the limbs (arms and legs) and in the last from the tummy.
Side bends does not target your side fat. Yes, it can target to compress your side fat but not to reduce it. And it will also not strengthen your oblique muscles if you think. Prime movement for oblique muscle is to rotate your torso (like ball twisting). And also, body will reduce your fat overall, not from any specific spot. So, if you are thinking that you are doing side bends and it is compressing your sides, so it will be burning your side fat? stop thinking that. It does not work like that.