We all know that exercise and weight loss go hand in hand. However, not all exercises are created equal when it comes to shedding extra pounds. With countless exercise routines and trends swirling online, figuring out which activities are truly effective for weight loss can be challenging. Fortunately, that’s where we come in. We talked to Rachel MacPherson, CPTACE Certified Personal Trainer with Garage Gym Reviews, sharing the top 10 weight loss exercises to help you melt away stubborn body fat forever.
You are ahead of the game if you already exercise regularly. According to center for disease control and prevention (CDC), 60% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of physical activity, and one quarter of Americans do not exercise at all.
Regardless of your fitness level, these exercises will burn calories, boost your metabolism, improve endurance, build strength, and improve your overall health. The best part is that you’ll find a combination of strength training and endurance-building exercises, along with high-intensity workouts and low-load options. This variety allows you to choose exercises that are in line with your fitness level and preferences.
Keep reading for MacPherson’s top 10 weight loss exercises and detailed instructions for each one. Next, don’t miss it Daily training no. 1 for women to melt fat in the saddlebag.
First on this list of the best trainer-approved exercises for weight loss is the barbell squat. Barbell squats are a classic strength exercise for a reason. “Barbell squats are compound strength movements that use multiple muscle groups, burn a lot of calories, and build muscle, which helps increase metabolism,” explains MacPherson. “Research shows that resistance training is better than cardio for weight loss, especially over time.”
Stand under a raised barbell with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outwards or forwards, depending on your anatomy. The weight should be on your traps (upper back) over your shoulders, using an overhand grip. Keep your back straight and your chest high as you lean into your hips, bending your knees toward your toes, not allowing them to buckle. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor or below it, depending on your anatomy and range of motion. Imagine lifting your chest first, not your hips, pushing through your entire feet to lift yourself up to the starting position. Repeat eight to ten repetitions in three sets twice a week.
Sprinting is a high-intensity cardio exercise that increases heart rate, burns calories and promotes weight loss. Plus, they can be performed anywhere, making them accessible to all fitness levels.
“Sprinting is a fast way to burn calories and improve your fitness. Research shows that short bursts of sprinting can be an effective way to lose weight, especially abdominal fat in women, even in less time than traditional HIIT exercises. Additionally, sprint training can lead to fat loss and muscle gain, which can boost metabolism,” says MacPherson.
Try sprinting for 30 seconds four to six times with four minutes of rest between each sprint. Do this exercise two or three times a week.
Swimming is gentle on the joints, and the resistance of the water provides a workout for the whole body. Swimming also burns calories while toning your muscles.
“Swimming can improve cardiovascular health, cholesterol levels, flexibility, endurance, blood pressure and resting heart rate,” says MacPherson. “It burns a lot of calories, makes it easier to lose weight, and still has a small effect.”
Boxing workouts combine cardiovascular exercises and strength training, which makes them incredibly effective for weight loss.
“Boxing, even at a recreational level, can burn about 500 calories an hour, while more intense boxing blasts through about 900 calories in the same amount of time. Plus, it helps build power and strength while being a motivating and fun activity,” explains MacPherson.
Join a local boxing club and aim for two or three weeks of circuit boxing training.
Whether it’s zumba, hip-hop or ballroom, dancing makes the heart beat faster, and you won’t even feel like exercising. MacPherson tells us, “Dancing is a fun activity that burns a lot of calories to help with weight loss. It’s an affordable cardiovascular exercise that you can do with others, increasing the likelihood of maintaining motivation and consistency, which are key to successful weight loss.”
If you like this, join a dance class where you can get an hour of dancing two or three times a week.
The deadlift is a strength exercise that is particularly useful for weight loss. They work multiple muscle groups, increasing overall calorie burn and building lean muscle. Lean muscles boost your metabolism, which makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight. “The deadlift is a compound, full-body movement that uses a lot of energy to complete and help build muscle, which boosts the metabolism,” says MacPherson.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend at the hips, bending your knees until your shins touch the bar. Keep your back straight and your chest high. Take a deep breath and strengthen your core. Lift the bar off the ground thinking about pushing through the floor. Keep the bar close to your body at all times. At the top, extend your hips and pause for a count, exhaling before slowly lowering the bar back to the ground as you inhale. Perform five to ten repetitions in three sets twice a week.
Next on this list of the best exercises for weight loss is jumping rope. Jumping rope is a simple but very effective exercise for weight loss. It’s a full-body workout that you can do almost anywhere Research shown to burn calories while improving cardiovascular health. “Skipping burns huge amounts of calories and is a fun skill-building activity to stay motivated. It’s easy to implement in between other exercises to create HIIT or circuit training,” says MacPherson.
If you enjoy skipping, make it part of your morning routine and do it for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
Rock climbing or indoor climbing builds strength and burns calories while providing mental exercise as you plan your climbs. Climbing stairs is another effective form of climbing if you want to lose weight.
“Rock climbers and vertical climbers like the VersaClimber are great for losing weight and building fitness,” says MacPherson. “They engage your entire body, build strength and muscle, and provide a challenging, motivating cardio workout. Vertical climbers are also light weight, so you can use them even if you have joint problems.”
Aim for three 30- to 45-minute climbing sessions each week.
Walking is low-impact, suitable for all fitness levels and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine. Getting into the habit of walking regularly can help you lose weight and improve your overall health.
“Walking is so accessible, it’s easy to recover from, you can do it for years and not get tired. It has so many other benefits that support your overall health and weight loss, including reducing stress, improving sleep, improving mood and more,” he explains. MacPherson.
Work on a brisk daily walk of 25 to 30 minutes.
Proper breathing techniques can help reduce stress and improve relaxation, indirectly supporting weight loss by reducing emotional eating and cravings. MacPherson says: “Breathing is a fantastic activity for weight loss when combined with resistance exercises such as squats and deadlifts and cardio activities such as walking. It relieves stress, improves sleep and digestion and helps you feel more positive about your life, which is always beneficial when you’re trying to lose weight.”