How to practice shadow boxing training

This is how individual muscles are trained properly

Stomach, legs, buttocks: it is only possible to control individual muscle groups during a workout. But there are limits. And sometimes individual training is also counterproductive - or even harmful.

Five exercises for the six pack, a new workout for toned lower legs. If you train individual muscles in isolation, you will quickly see great success. At least such an image is generated by fitness advertising. But is that even true?

It is definitely possible to selectively control individual muscle groups through exercises. This even works very well on the abdomen, chest and extremities, among other things. "The smaller the muscle and the more complex the movement, the more difficult it is to train the muscles in isolation," explains Lars Donath, Professor of Interventional Research in Training at the German Sport University in Cologne.

Whether it makes sense to train individual muscle groups depends on the individual goals and motives of each athlete. Because while a cross-country skier has to strengthen large muscles in very different areas of the body for his sport, for a dart player, for example, training individual muscles in the arm can be quite interesting, says Donath.

Also train the opposing muscle

But there are limits: Because athletes should try to avoid severe imbalances during training. For this it is important to train the opponent's muscle to the same extent. “For example, the lower back should always be trained with the stomach and the upper back with the chest,” explains personal trainer Nina Kersting.

The danger: Any imbalances that arise could trigger tension or shortening of certain muscles, possibly damaging joints and causing long-term injuries.

If you train muscles individually, you should definitely control the load sensibly. In the case of the stomach, for example, you can set very different focuses in training through various exercises. The type of load is also important: the exercises should be carried out consciously and cleanly. This is more important than many and fast repetitions, especially in health and popular sports.

Hollow back and other defects

The classic example of this is the hollow back on the bench press or deep squats. "You often see a very counterproductive execution," says personal trainer Felix Binsker.

Therefore, if you don't have to train individual muscles, you should rather do exercises that activate several muscles on the body. "Especially when you have little time, you can achieve a lot with just a few exercises," says Nina Kersting.

In addition, the more muscles that are activated at the same time, the more calories you burn. So if you want to have a six-pack, you should still do more than just train your stomach. Because in order to do that, the body fat percentage has to be reduced. The easiest way to do this is to burn as many calories as possible.

Change routine over and over again

No matter how you train - it always makes sense to always change the load a little. Because the body gets used to an exercise very quickly, so the desired effect is weaker. How much the body reacts to the stimuli is completely different from one individual to the next.

In any case, it can take a while for the muscles to visually enlarge - even with consistent individual training for the arm or stomach. “In the first four to six weeks, neuronal adaptations take place in the body. Serious successes can usually only be seen after six weeks, ”explains Lars Donath. The expert therefore recommends doing a training plan for at least 24 units and documenting the workload and results.

Full combustion instead of a back burner: How to heat up your metabolism
Full combustion instead of a back burner: this is how you heat up your metabolism

The excuse: "My metabolism is just too slow" no longer counts if you put the following foods on your menu and incorporate some activities into your everyday life. You can find out what these are in the gallery.


Yes, you can't hear it anymore, but it's true and it's so simple: drink plenty of water. Why? 1. If you replace other drinks with water, you save 100 percent calories, because water is calorie-free. 2. Studies have shown: 0.5 liters of water accelerate the resting metabolism by 10 to 30 percent in one hour.


3. Cold water has to be warmed up by the body and burns energy in the process. 4. If drunk half an hour before a meal, water ensures that we eat less food. But also ...

Image: Paul Kane / Getty Images

... drunk warm, water gives the metabolism a boost. Especially when you drink it in the morning on an empty stomach and add ginger and lemon, the body gets going. For breakfast or before exercising, you can ...


... a fruit smoothie. Berries in particular boost the metabolism and also provide us with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and minerals. They are best mixed with plant milk made from soy, coconut or almonds.


Our body needs protein to keep muscle building and body processes going. This can come from beans, eggs or lean organic meat. The latter ...


... best served with hot spices. Because turmeric, chilli and Co heat up the metabolism.


The great thing about a pineapple is that it contains enzymes that support our digestion. Important: It is best to consume pure and in the morning so that the effect is achieved and the metabolism runs at full speed.


Anyone who previously thought that almonds were far too fatty to be nibbled on regularly should be happy: Even the star diet coach, David Kirsch, recommends ten pieces in the afternoon. They even help you lose weight and provide healthy plant energy, valuable fats and vitamins.


Coffee has a serious impact on our metabolism - provided it is drunk black. Because sugar or milk nullify the stimulating effect. Don't like coffee? Then drink ...


... green tea. It also wakes you up and stops the cravings for sweets. As a cold drink, on the other hand, is suitable as a metabolic stimulation ...


... coconut water. A real all-rounder! The super healthy ingredients help you lose weight, kick the metabolism and prevent over-acidification of the body. This is especially important after ...


... Sports. Sorry, but without exercise it is just very difficult to get your metabolism up to speed. You don't have to run a marathon or visit a gym, but a 30-minute brisk walk every day or training with your own body weight will help to get going.


Like I said, you don't have to be a bodybuilder, but the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will run. After a workout, you will sleep better - and the physical recovery phase is just as important, because ...


... If you sleep too little over a longer period of time, studies show that you gain weight faster, slow your metabolism and eat less healthily. Apart from the fact that you are more lazy and less able to get excited about sports.


In order to get a healthy night's sleep, you should ensure enough darkness in the bedroom, have a comfortable mattress, ban all electronic devices and snoring partners and stop consuming caffeine or other stimulating substances as early as possible. Then it's better to drink a soothing sleep tea, have sex and fall asleep peacefully.

Image: dpa / Christin Klose

Instead of using butter, use coconut oil as a fat in the kitchen. The mineral bomb not only accelerates the metabolism, but also makes the inside and outside beautiful, for example as a cellulite-reducing body lotion or a shine-giving hair treatment.


Many diets advise eating five to twelve small meals a day - among other things, on the grounds that this helps the metabolism work best. However, studies have shown that at the end of the day it all depends on the total calorie intake, the ingredients of the food and the individual basal metabolic rate. Two or three meals are just as possible as temporary periods of fasting.