The 5 Best Exercises to Lose Weight
No more mindless half-hour elliptical excursions in an effort to avenge those brownies you just inhaled. Consider this: purposeful resistance training kicks the shit out of steady-state cardio in the fat burning department.
While negotiating the treadmill, elliptical or recumbent bike at a moderate intensity makes sense for beginners and during active recovery, its fat blasting and strength gaining properties pale in comparison to resistance exercise. Here’s why.
When you workout at a steady, comfortable, unvaried state for a longer duration, your body is going to primarily use oxygen as an energy source, and you are essentially only reaping the benefits from time actually served. Sure, your heart rate will increase a bit, you will likely break a sweat, and you will certainly burn some calories, however, this form of cardio yields a low metabolic return for the long time duration spent doing it.
Conversely, resistance training done with varied intensity is going to burn primarily muscle glycogen (along with ATP/CP and oxygen depending upon the specific activity) as an energy source, and your metabolic rate and muscle growth are going to drastically increase whereas fat mass will decrease over time. Thus, not only will you gain some much needed total body strength from said resistance work, but your body composition will become leaner and more compact.
One of the main reasons why is that the metabolic effects from both resistance training and something we call HIIT (high intensity interval training) continue long after exercise has ceased…sometimes up to 72 hours post workout (depending upon some genetic factors and also the level of exertion). Thus, your body will continue burning fat and sugar at an accelerated rate even at rest. In essence, resistance training and HIIT both yield a very high metabolic return for the time spent training (which is also oftentimes far less than steady-state cardio altogether).
Keep in mind that no strength training program of any kind is going to elicit optimal results if proper form and progressions are not followed. You must walk before you run, hip lift before you deadlift, and become an expert in bodyweight squats, pushups and TRX rows before going anywhere near a barbell. That said, below are 5 Exercises for Weight Loss – several that many can try immediately, and a few that are considerably more advanced. All 5 are compound movements, all 5 are super challenging, and all 5 will help you build strength and muscle while torching your body fat.
1. DEADLIFT – Often called the king of strength exercises, the barbell deadlift incorporates the entire human movement system. While butt, hamstring, and upper back intensive, proper form requires an intense abdominal squeeze, a proficient display of the hip hinge, and proper lumbar spine position throughout for safety.
2. BURPEE- One of the most popular metabolic bodyweight movements in existence, the Burpee challenges by quickly transferring the body from a horizontal pushing motion into a vertical jumping motion by way of a ground pushup, squat thrust, squat jump, and reverse squat thrust. Each of the four movements contained should be performed at maximal effort for optimal effectiveness.
3. THRUSTER – A combination of a barbell front squat to a barbell overhead press, there are few movements in existence that are more metabolically taxing than the thruster (ask any avid Crossfitter!). This movement can also be performed with dumbbells or a medicine ball, and the upward propulsion of the front squat should accelerate the bar overhead. Thus, the overhead press should not be a strict press, but a “thrust” of the bar to the end position by way of the hips.
4. ATOMIC PUSHUP – Best performed with a TRX Suspension Trainer or a stability ball, the atomic pushup combines a feet suspended pushup with an abdominal draw in-draw out motion. The participant should master both movements separately before trying this variation, as the pushup itself, as well as shoulder stability is challenged tremendously due to your constantly moving body position.
5. BENT OVER ROW – While perhaps the least metabolic of the group, the bent over barbell row requires a tremendous level of glute and ab squeeze to be performed properly. To achieve the proper “bent over” position, a well demonstrated hip hinge must exist and remain once the loaded barbell begins the rowing motion. Failure to maintain the hip hinge will lead to an upright bar path that will look more like a shrug than a row. When done properly, this movement is very demanding on the lower body, and requires a great deal of core contraction and scapular retraction. Not to mention, rows are essential for all around shoulder health. Master the TRX and single arm dumbbell row before trying this one.