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Obese people need to stop spending so much time on the floor; this will do next to zero for weight loss and improving physical fitness and stamina.

If you want to lose weight, even if you’re obese, then beware of personal trainers who have you doing a lot of floor exercises. I myself am a certified personal trainer, and I have my obese clients rarely on the floor.

Floor exercises rank at the bottom of the heap for weight loss, whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds. And what do I mean by “floor exercises”?

I mean anything that’s done while lying on your back, on your side or on your stomach.

What can you do in these positions? Common movements are lifting the legs up and down or some variation of a crunch.

Another base position is that of being on all fours. What can you do from here? Namely, extend a leg behind you or to the side, or try plank positions.

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While intense, fat-burning exercises can be done “off the floor” such as squat jumps, scissor jumps, burpee-pushup combos and martial arts, these types of movements are NOT included in my blacklist of floor exercises that are worthless for weight loss.

Strangely, some personal trainers like to have their obese clients spend a lot of time on the floor doing things while lying on their backs, sides or stomachs.

In order to incite significant fat-burning, an obese person (like anyone else) must do the following:

Engage in heavy or moderate weight lifting at an intense level. Obesity is not an obstacle to this.

Muscle burns more fat than any other tissue. The more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn at rest. More muscle does not mean you’ll “bulk up.”

An obese person will shrink as they build muscle; muscle gobbles up stored body fat for sustenance! More muscle means less fat = a smaller, firmer body.

Focus on exercises that move more than one joint at a time. Examples are the leg press (hip and knee joints), chest press (shoulder and elbow joints) and lat pull-down (shoulder and elbow joints).

Focus on working large muscles (legs, back, chest).

Which will burn more calories? An exercise that works one joint, small muscle, light resistance? Or an exercise that works two joints, large muscles, heavy resistance?

It’s a no-brainer.

The strongest women in the gym aren’t exactly a size 18. They may be a size 6! Do not fear getting bigger from lifting heavy if you’re obese.

Obese people who want to lose weight are not spending their money wisely if their personal trainer has them doing a lot of floor exercises.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.