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May 7, 2007

Splurge vs. Steal: Fat Busters

When it comes to shrinking trouble spots, most plastic surgeons say it's hard to top liposuction. But for a less invasive (and less expensive) option, try these five fat-melting moves. Top trainers swear by their results rival surgery.


Fat Busters

Photo Credit: Greg Delves

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Trouble spot #1: Lower stomach
Splurge: $2,500-$5,500
Steal: Cardio/reverse crunches
Because you need to lose the layer of fat over your belly in addition to tightening the muscles in your lower abdomen to see results, crunches alone will not do the trick, says Sydney Foster, a personal trainer and nutritionist at The Sports Club/LA in New York City. Her favorite fat-burning exercises? Running outdoors or stepping on the "gauntlet" machine for 30 minutes, three times a week. (Foster prefers the gauntlet's rolling steps to a traditional stepper's lever-style ones because they're more challenging ‑- and cheat-proof.) Then, for the reverse crunches, lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides and feet in the air. Lift your butt off the floor; slowly lower. Repeat 25 times. Do four sets, resting for 30 seconds in between. Aim to do the crunches every time you do the cardio.

Trouble spot #2: Backs of arms
Splurge: $2,000-$5,500
Steal: Tricep dips
Start by sitting on a chair with your arms by your sides, palms on the seat, fingers facing forward, says Foster. Now, slide your butt forward off the chair, bend your elbows and lower your body until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Push back up. Repeat the move 15 times, then do two more sets, resting for 30 seconds in between. For best results, do the dips at least three times a week.
Tip: To make the move more challenging, keep your legs board-straight while lowering and lifting your body, and go as slowly as possible.

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