Water, Dance, or Iron: Which Exercise Results in the Most Fat Loss for Women?
In just about every gym, there is a dance class going on with women doing dance sessions to lose weight. You see lots of info-commercial’s at night showing the before and after pictures of the women who used the “dance” DVD exercise program to get in the best shape of their life, but what does the research suggest is the best way to lose weight. Researchers examined the effects of 16 weeks of practicing different exercise programmes on body composition in women. They examined 89 women aged 25 to 55 years. The subjects were randomly divided into three experimental groups (EG): practitioners of strength training group, dance, hydrogymnastics or water exercise, and a control group (CG) with sedentary women. Here were the workouts for all the women performing the exercise protocol.
Strength training, the ladies trained three times per week under the supervision of a qualified trainer and did 3 sets of 8–12 repetitions (weights were progressively increased) with a 2–3 min rest period on each of the 50–60 workouts in which all the major muscle groups of the upper and lower limbs were exercised with the use of either machines with weights, free weights or resistance equipment.
Dance Group, the women trained three times per week at a moderate to vigorous intensity, which was defined as 60 to 85% of the maximum heart rate as identified by the calculation 220 – age for 50 to 60 minutes workouts involving activities activating all the major muscle groups in a continuous manner using basic steps and a minimum of three rhythmic variations of popular dance styles and aerobics per session with songs of a rhythmic cadence of 100 to 160 beats per minute, and
- Hydrogymnastics Group, the women trained with a frequency of three days per week at moderate to vigorous intensity, defined as 60 to 85% of the maximum heart rate using exercises that involved the major muscle groups of the upper and lower limbs with a focus on cardiorespiratory exercises, followed by muscular endurance exercises using equipment such as shin pads designed for hydrogymnastics, dumbbells, bars, plates, floating devices and pool edges with each exercise taking from 2 to 3 min to complete and the whole session lasting 45 to 55 min.
Measurements of body mass and height, circumferences of the chest, waist, abdomen, hips, thighs, calves, and skinfolds of the triceps, suprailiac and thigh were registered in three different moments: prior to the commencement of the training program, again after 8 weeks of training, and finally after 16 weeks of training. At the end of 16 weeks, all the groups made improvements in body composition but the water exercise and strength training group were more beneficial in reducing body fat. It just goes to show that not all the fads in exercise for women are truly legit for resulting in weight loss.
Soares Costa de Mendonça, Rosa Maria, et al. “The Effects of Different Exercise Programmes on Female Body Composition.” Journal of Human Kinetics 43.1 (2014): 67-78.