When it comes to choosing the best weight loss exercises, there are many things you want to consider. It might be nice if you could just have one box you need to check and you know that exercise will help you reach your weight loss goals but this is rarely the case.
Usually instead you need to factor in multiple things into the equation and look at which exercises satisfies at least one, if not all of those requirements.
So what are you looking for?
Here are some of the key things:
- Multi-muscle movement. The more muscles you work, the more calories you burn in any given instant.
- Increased heart rate. It’s no secret that getting your heart rate helps increase your calorie and fat burn – it is, after all, why many of us do our cardio.
- Resistance component. Working against any form of resistance is beneficial for fat loss not just because this helps ensure that you are focusing on maintaining strength, but also to help prevent the loss of lean muscle mass tissue.
So all of this said, which exercises can you count on? Let’s go over the top 10 weight loss exercises you should consider adding to your workout routine to boost your fat loss success.
Squat to Press
The squat to press is an exercise that’ll earn you top marks for boosting your strength while getting your heart rate up. The nice thing about this exercise is that the squat is a compound movement and the press is a compound movement. Stack them both together one after another and you have a killer combo that will get you metabolism fired up in no time.
What you’ll want to do is get a pre-weighted barbell and place it across your back. Note that you will go lighter with this weight than you normally would on a heavy squat exercise alone because you also have to press it overhead. This is fine though – you-re going to focus on higher rep ranges anyway.
Squat down and as you ascend back to the standing position, drive that barbell overhead doing a barbell press.
Lower the barbell and as it touches the shoulders again, you’ll begin moving down into the squat again. Aim for 10-20 reps per set of this exercise.
Next on the list is kettlebell swings. This exercise is fantastic for helping elevate your heart rate as well and will really call into play the entire upper body, while also getting the glutes, quads, and hamstrings involved.
You can either try using it between sets as a cardio booster or do it at the end of the workout as a finisher if you prefer. Don’t be afraid to use a decently heavy kettlebell for this one. You’ll have plenty of lower body power behind you moving that kettlebell into the air so your arms will get that added boost.
For pure cardio, no exercise is going to get the job done like uphill springs. Uphill sprints are fantastic for getting your heart rate up and since the hill means added resistance for your lower body, this is also satisfying the requirements above.
Flat ground sprints are already very intense but when you add a hill to it, it’s a whole new level of difficulty.
When doing these, you can either find a hill somewhere outside to climb, run up it and then walk back down, or use your treadmill. If using your treadmill, I recommend using two treadmills if you can and set one to incline and a fast pace. Hop on, do your sprint and then hop off and walk on the treadmill next to it (if you don’t have two treadmills, just do some marching on the spot during your active rest? phase).
This saves you from having to incline and speed up the treadmill every sprint, which can take a good 10-15 seconds to do in itself.
The battle ropes are a fun exercise to consider for anyone who’s interested in building strength and power with their upper body. Because this exercise primarily calls upon the upper body muscles, you’ll get a totally different workout than you would from traditional cardio training.
This said, don’t think that your lower body and core get off easy. They don’t as you’ll still need to be contracting these muscles hard in order to keep the body fully stabilized.
Finally, the weight of the battle ropes will ad some extra resistance for you to work against, so in no way are you getting off easy there. Avoid doing battlerope training before you have any weight training coming up as this form of training is very taxing and exhausting. You won’t perform as well on any heavy lifting you have once it’s completed.
The classic burpee is a weight loss exercise you simply can’t go wrong with. It utilizes just about every muscle group in the body, will definitely get your heart rate up, and you’ll be working against the resistance of your own body weight every step of the way.
Burpees can be done on their own as a full exercise, doing three or four sets of 10 for instance or you can just do them between other exercises to help keep your heart rate up and add a cardio interval.
If that’s the case, try doing five or so between sets and repeat this for a few exercises throughout your workout program.
The higher you rebound when doing the burpees, the more effective this exercise becomes, so really do focus on exploding off the ground as much as possible.
Next up we have walking lunges. If you don’t think these are challenging, grab a barbell and do walking lunges all the way across the room. You’ll soon see just how much these can get your heart rate up and get you feeling like you just want to pass out.
When doing walking lunges, be sure to think of pressing up through the heel of the foot rather than the toes. This helps prevent you from leaning forward too much, which could place more strain on the lower back and instead, keeps you focusing on working those glutes as you push through the movement pattern.
The renegade row is an often forgotten about exercise but one you’ll certainly want to get into your program plan if you’re going to boost your results and step up your game.
Renegade rows are ideal for anyone who’s looking to build core strength because your entire core is going to have to remain contracted while you execute the exercise.
Get into a plank position with a set of dumbbells down by your sides. While balancing on the hands, hold one dumbbell and now row it up into the body.
Pause when you’re in the highest position and then lower back down. Once all reps are complete on one side, switch sides and repeat.
Remember to keep the core tight at all times. If at any point it begins lifting up or falling down, stop the exercise and start again. This means you’ve now moved out of good form.
Step ups are similar to walking lunges – they’re great for boosting your heart rate and having you work against resistance. Plus, they’ll target your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, along with your core to some degree, so are the perfect compound exercise to add as well.
Do step-ups either with your own body weight or if you prefer, with a barbell placed across your back.
Side-to-side shuffles are the next must-do exercise to have in your workout routine. These can be done at varying levels of intensity depending on how much you bend the knees down while you do them. Getting into a true ‘ready position’ and then shuffling across the floor will put more stress on the body as now you have to engage all those lower body muscles to the max.
Want to step it up even further? Use some resistance bands around the knees as you do it.
Shuffle from one side of the room to the next so you work both sides equally and you can be sure you’re torching some serious calories.
Finally, last but not least, consider jump squats. Jump squats are a great exercise for anyone who’s hoping to boost their explosive power because they’ll work primarily the fast twitch muscle fibers. As you rebound up off the floor, you?ll develop speed and power while also building good muscle strength.
Do 10-20 in a row and watch your heart rate climb as well, illustrating the fat burning nature this exercise takes on.
As you do this exercise, do watch that you maintain proper form. If fatigue sets in and you stop ensuring your knees are tracking over your toes properly, it could lead to unwanted knee pain so this must be avoided at all costs.
I’m Troy and I’m the creator of SuperHuman You and Co-Founder of Alpha Lion.
I created SuperHuman You to give you access to the most cutting edge information so you can reach your body goals as fast as humanly possible.
I’ve been obsessed with training since 2005 when I attended IMG Academy and got to train alongside NBA, NFL and Olympic Gold Medal winning athletes.
Now I’m on a mission to transform as many lives as possible and I’m so excited you found us!
I’ve been fortunate enough to train alongside and pick the brain of some of the best pro athletes, bodybuilders and trainers in the world – and this site represents over 15+ years of insights from the world’s best.
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