Will You Get A Perfect Behind with Toning Pants?

by Suzanne Hiscock

Toning pants are workout pants made with compression panels that make it harder to move your legs. The idea being if you’re working harder to move your legs while walking or working out, you’ll “tone” your leg muscles much more quickly. In fact, Fila USA (TM) says their toning line “dramatically improves workout efficiency.”

But do toning pants really work?

Please. Are double fudge brownies really calorie free?

Earlier this year, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) got together with exercise scientists from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to test a pair of Fila Toning Resistance Tight Capris. They had 16 females walk on a treadmill at different speeds, putting them through their paces once while wearing the toning capris and then another time while wearing regular athletic shorts. They tracked each subject’s V02 (oxygen consumption), heart rate and rate of perceived exertion (RPE). They also measured each subject’s muscle activity after walking on the treadmill.

And then it came time to compare the data.

The results were not surprising. While the subjects felt like they were working harder, there was no significant increase in heart rate or muscle activation. Calorie expenditure increased a tiny bit (0.09 more kcal/min). “Calorie-wise, it’s like burning off the equivalent of half a single Peanut M&M,” says John Porcari, Ph.D. “You would be better off walking an extra 50 yards than wearing these capris to achieve that benefit.”

Since the pants compress your legs and butt, one thing they can do is make you look a bit slimmer. Psychologically, that can give you a boost. You might be more likely to head for the gym, if you’re in a positive mood.

Bottom line, there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss — and there are no shortcuts when it comes to exercise. Toning pants will not tone your muscles.

If it sounds too good to be true, you can be darn sure somebody’s trying to sell you something.

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About the Author

Suzanne Hiscock is a PN1 Nutrition Coach, ACE-certified Health Coach, as well as an ACE-certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist. For over 16 years, she has been helping people lose weight and get fit through her website, FitWatch.com. Whether it's with one-on-one nutrition coaching, nutrition programs or courses, and tools or calculators, she can help you to eat better, move more and believe in yourself.