Beginning your workout is half the battle and kudos should always be given for taking the time out to begin your exercise regime. But sometimes our efforts are not fully rewarded and it can be difficult to decide how best to spend out time exercising.
All forms of exercise will be helpful in your quest for weight loss, however, there are always way to fine-tune your workout and to get more from your exercises. With this in mind we decided to put together this list of some of the best exercises to do to enhance your weight loss.
The benefits of the squat are well advertised and you only need to give a cursory glance across instagram to witness a number of people hitting the gym and their squat regime. This full body exercise works on the thighs, hips, and buttocks, and is also good for strengthening your bones, ligaments, and tendons. Form is also key when squatting, so in order to check your form we recommend performing in front of a mirror. Squatting will also help to develop your core and will help increase your back strength. There are also many variants of the squat and many people implement the use of weights into their squat. We advise starting off by practicing without weights first though. A basic squat starts with you in the standing position and bending your knees while pushing your buttocks towards the floor (but not touching it). Repeat this movement until you can feel the burn and cannot continue.
Not to be confused with the online craze of planking, the plank is an isometric core strength exercise that can be seen in disciplines such as Pilates and yoga. It has been adopted into many other sports and regimes as well, and is a mainstay of many peoples workouts. To perform a basic plank put yourself into a push-up position but make sure you are on your tiptoes while bending your arms and placing your forearms on the ground. You need to then hold this position for as long as you can to get the biggest benefit. Once mastered, you can try other variations including the ‘reverse plank’ or ‘extended plank’.
3. Mountain climbers
We’re not asking you to get outdoors and up the nearest cliff face, unless that’s your thing. The mountain climbers we do can be carried out within the confides of your gym, or home. The technique required for a mountain climber is essentially the same as the plank, but with the addition of running on the spot. So get down on all fours and keep your hands still while you alternate kicks, while thrusting your knees towards your arms.
They must be one of the most daunting exercises and its no secret that they excerpt a high level of energy from you. Don’t be scared though as the burpee is definitely your weight-loss friend. To the uninitiated, the burpee is a multitude of exercises all rolled into one. The exercise itself has been around since the 1930’s and is named after American physiologist, Royal H. Burpee.
To carry out a burpee you need simply start in a standing position. Next, move into the squat position with both your hands on the ground, then, kick both your feet into the plank position, but keep your arms extended. Next, remove your feet into the squat position and then stand up again. Well done, you’ve done your first burpee, so just repeat this until you can’t do anymore!
5. Kettlebell swings
Weights are a great tool to use to enhance your weight loss and the kettlebell is the perfect accompaniment to your workout. Kettlebells can be intimidating at first so make yourself comfortable with them before you take it and swing it around. Also, pick a weight that you can do reps with and you can then build this up over time.
There are many exercises that can be done with the kettlebell and they’re a really flexible tool for your workout. However, the kettlebell swing exercise is seen as the most productive use of the weight. To carry out one rep you need to hold the kettlebell with two hands and your palms facing in, and with you legs shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and push the kettlebell backwards between your legs, then, with a powerful thrust, swing it forward as you stand fully up and extend your arms out with the kettlebell extended out at head height. As you repeat this technique use some of your momentum as you continue the reps.
6. Skipping rope
It’s hard to think of skipping without envisaging Rocky Balboa frantically training for his next fight. But the humble skipping rope is not just for boxing pros, they’re also great for weight loss. The skipping rope is an unlikely fat burning exercise, however there’s a reason so many professional athletes all swear by it! Start off slow to get your rhythm and technique down, before you build up to a quicker pace. There are many different exercises and routines to do but you can start with sets of 100 jumps to really get comfortable. Then just channel your inner fighter and get some serious swinging done on those skipping ropes.
If you’ve ever watched the Olympic games and seen the rowers you only need to take one look at their physique to realize that rowing is highly beneficial for your body. To really heighten your weight loss during this exercise row at your maximum pace for one minute and then take 30 second breaks in between. Your hard work on the rowing machine will be well rewarded and you will be burning anywhere between 450 and 700 calories an hour. If you end up really enjoying rowing then don’t hesitate to search out a local club and take to the water for a truly immersive experience.
Running is one of the best fat burning exercises because it can literally be done anywhere, as long as you have a pair of trainers (or maybe not if you’re into barefoot running). If you don’t like the outdoors then hitting the treadmill is fine, but getting outdoors is a good way to vary your workout and when the weather is good, is a great way to keep the mind stimulated. To maximize the benefits from your running then get heading for an incline. If you’re at the gym then tilt the treadmill, and if you’re outdoors then head for the hills! Inclines will really work your glutes and legs, and will really get those calories burning away. You’ll be competing in marathons in no time.
For an exercise that works the whole body, swimming really is an excellent option. It also has a lower impact on the body so is a good choice for those of you with joint problems. Start your swimming regime by doing lengths of your pool and alternating between a quick and average pace. This will also help build your stamina over time. Swimming is also a great weekend activity and outdoor swimming has grown in popularity in recent years. So don your best swimming outfit and get out and get swimming!
This will really bring the fight to your workout regime. Kickboxing is another exercise that gets a lot of different areas of the body working. If you prefer your exercises within a group then this is also a great option for you. Doing your exercises in a group are a great way to up your input and you cannot underestimate the camaraderie of working out with other people. Kick-start your exercises with some jabs and kicks, so you can get a feel for the correct techniques. Once you are comfortable, go ahead and work on some combinations on a punching bag, or better still, get a friend to hold up some pads. For some proper guidance though head to your nearest dojo to learn from the kickboxing pros.
We wish you the best of luck in your quest for weight loss! We believe that these exercises will help spur you on and keep you focused as you try and hit your weight loss goals, just remember to eat sensibly too (check out our guide on fat burning foods). Every exercise on this list will help you rapidly burn through calories and will give your metabolism a significant jumpstart!