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Shorts are one of the best ways to tolerate the summer heat, but when you have flabby knees, you may be more likely to sweat away the summer in the safety of full-length pants. Unfortunately, it's not possible to get rid of only the flab on your knees, or spot reduce; instead you must embark in a full-body weight-loss program. You can accomplish this by combining a healthy diet with regular exercise.
A healthy diet is the best first step when trying to lose flab from any part of your body. Choose fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Add lean sources of protein such as eggs, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy and lean cuts of beef to boost your metabolism and lose flab. Avoid foods high in fat, sugar and sodium. High levels of dietary sodium can cause you to retain water, actually making your knees appear even flabbier than they really are.
Cardio and Strength Training
Cardiovascular exercise is an effective way to create a caloric deficit, which can lead to flab loss. Types of cardio that require large muscle movements such as walking, running, swimming, cycling and rowing are the most efficient ways to burn calories. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that overweight adults get at least 45 minutes of exercise per day to facilitate weight loss and prevent weight regain.
Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, meaning it requires energy, or calories, to maintain itself. Strength training is the best way to build muscle and create a lean physique. Like cardio, strength exercises that require large muscle movements are the most efficient. Deadlifts, squats, lunges, thrusters and Olympic lifts are a few examples. Perform two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise on three nonconsecutive days per week.
Squats, particularly front squats, are a great exercise for flabby knees. While they will not directly get rid of your knee flab, they will strengthen and tighten your quadriceps muscles, which can help give your knees a sleeker appearance. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with your elbows bent. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width, pull your belly button into your spine and straighten your back. Maintaining this position, flex your knees and hips to lower into a squat. Continue down until your thighs reach horizontal, inhaling as you lower. Exhale and press through your heels to return to the standing position. Be aware of the position of your knees -- they should not pass in front of your toes.
Lunges target not only the quadriceps but also your inner thigh and gluteal muscles. Stand with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet slightly apart. Contract your abdominal muscles, stiffen your back and take a large step forward with your right leg. Bend your right knee as you lower your hips to the floor until your right thigh becomes parallel and your left knee nears the floor. Exhale as you press through your right heel to return to the standing position. Repeat the movement with your left leg. Continue to alternate legs until you have completed the desired number of repetitions.