Before we get into the best workouts for weight loss and how to use exercise as a tool in your weight loss journey, let’s make two things clear. First, there are a huge number of reasons to work out that have absolutely nothing to do with losing weight. From mental health benefits to better sleep to boosted immunity, regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise doesn’t have to be about losing weight, and for a huge number of people, it isn’t.
And that brings us to the second thing: If your goal is to lose weight, you should know that working out isn’t enough on its own to actually make that happen. There’s so much else that goes into weight loss and body fat loss; in fact, exercise isn’t even technically necessary to lose weight for most people. l would never recommend a weight loss regimen that doesn’t include exercise, though, because exercise is good for you and it’s a healthy way to live.
Certain exercises and workouts that can be particularly useful in helping you lose weight or burn fat or change your body composition. The best workouts for weight loss all have certain elements in common: They’re generally high-intensity and they burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
1) Interval Training
The number one training method the experts turn to again and again for weight loss: interval training. This type of training keeps your heart rate elevated, which in turn keeps your metabolism working more effeicently. When that’s happening, you burn more calories.
One of the many styles of interval training is indoor cycling, though this workout leans heavily toward cardio over strength training. Cycling requires you to use various muscles in your body—quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, which once again translates enhance your weight loss. “The more muscles you have to incorporate, the more calories you’re going to burn because those muscles all require energy in order to work. Also the more energy you use, the higher those calorie-burning numbers climb. It’s all a cycle.”
2) Weight training
Weight training really improves weight loss, whether it’s with your bodyweight alone or with added weights, is an effective method to help you drop pounds, if that’s your goal. Lifting weights has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate, which means you’ll continue to burn calories even after you finish working out. It’s called the “afterburn effect,” and you can read all about it here. Try adding weight training to your routine at least three times a week. And since your body adjusts to workouts after being exposed to the same moves at the same intensity, becoming less effective over time, mix it up about every four weeks to keep your body guessing.
3) Boot Camp
For a workout that’s going to keep your metabolism elevated all day, turn to boot camp, as these classes combine two of the most effective styles of training: interval and resistance. “You’ll perform exercises, some more cardio-focused and others strength-focused, full-out for short bursts of time, coupled with short periods of rest. But if it’s your first time giving it a go, speak up. He says a good instructor will help you determine when you need to crank up the weight or intensity (tip: if you can cruise through 10 reps without any trouble, it’s too easy), keep your form on par, and can always provide a modification for any move that might be too tough or irritates an injury.
Boxing is really another form of interval training. Here’s the trick to remember: it’s a common mistake for beginners to punch using only their arm strength, but the majority of your power is going to come from your core and you’ll use muscles that are typically ignored in other workouts like your obliques.
It’s best to log this type of workout in a class, it’s crucial for beginners to learn proper form from an instructor who can help keep your intensity level high.
All you need is a pair of trainers before you head out the door. But if weight loss is the name of your game, the head-out-for-a-light-jog style of running isn’t the way to go. Instead, find a hill you can sprint up, or crank the incline on that treadmill. “Running up hills forces you to work your glutes and legs—two of your body’s biggest muscle groups—even more, which requires smaller muscle recruitment and more energy expenditure As mentioned earlier more energy you’re using, the brighter that calorie-burning fire burns. But proper form here is key. “Lean into the hill, and drive your knees as high as you can, striking the ball of each foot down directly under your body
“Keep your hands open and arms bent at 90 degrees, and drive your arms straight forward up to face level, then backward to the top of your back pocket.” And try not to let your arms cross over your body—that’ll just waste the precious energy your muscles need.
There’s a reason CrossFit has become such a booming part of the workout industry—it works, so long as you don’t overdo it. Workouts are varied—you may be doing anything from kettlebell swings to rope climbs and box jumps to front squats—and the routines are designed to be short and intense. The most important thing to find when looking for a crossfit class is: a well informed coach who can explain and modify the moves, and make sure that you don’t push yourself to the point of injury.
If your biggest excuse for skipping a workout is being crunched for time, Tabata might be for you. It’s designed to be four minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that consists of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. You can use this protocol with different exercises, including the battle rope slams above. You’ll spike your metabolism and heart rate in four minutes, making this time frame a habit if you’re trying to lose weight. Your body will quickly adapt to that interval, and you’ll need to increase the volume or intensity to continue getting a benefit from it. To do that, try extending your session to 20 minutes and following the same format. Simply pick four exercises—think jump rope, squats, mountain climbers, and squat jumps—then do each for 20 seconds as hard and fast as you can while maintaining proper form, then recover for 10 seconds. Repeat for eight rounds on that one move (so, four minutes of work) before resting for one minute and moving on to the next exercise.
Yoga alone isn’t a great workout for weight loss but it can be a secret weapon in your weight loss arsenal because it keeps you flexible and healthy for your other, more intense workouts (like that boot camp class). But that’s not all as yoga requires balance and stability, which promotes functional strength, and it helps our mental health. Aim to squeeze it in at least once a week. And if you can’t make it to the studio, there are plenty of routines you can do at home.
If you can’t stand the thought of running, or just want to work out without a ton of pounding on your joints, do a few laps in the pool. You can burn up to 750 calories in an hour of swimming and you’ll work all of your major muscle groups. As with most workouts, it helps to go in with a plan. Try this out for starters, tread water for as long as possible by standing upright in the deep end and using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Then rest for two minutes. Now swim 10 sets of 100 meters , resting for one minute in between sets. By the time you climb out of the pool, your muscles will be pleasantly worn out.
10) skipping Rope
Back to the days of your P.E class, when you first learned how to swing a skipping rope. This tool is cheap, portable (it’ll fit in the tiny parts of your suitcase!), and can be used just about anywhere. After just a few minutes you will feel your heart rate racing!
For any other information on training sessions and to enter our 10 day fitness challenge click on this link below