Exercises geared towards explosive strength increases your resting metabolic rate 18% the day after the workout, according to study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. Which means you keep burning fat from your belly long after the last rep. Get ready to tighten your belt with a dynamic strength exercise to lose weight on top of your newfound muscle gains. Bargain.
The 14 best weightloss exercises
How: Stand behind a grounded barbell. Bend your knees slightly to grab it, keeping your shins, back and hips straight. Without bending your back, push your hips forwards to lift the bar. From upright, push your hips back to lower the bar, bending your knees only slightly.
Why: It’s a sure-fire way to stoke your body into a fat-burning furnace. Just make sure you start the move with the weight to manage 10 reps before gradually levelling up to the full heart-pumping calorie-vaporising zone of your one rep max.
How: Lie back on a flat bench holding a barbell in the rack above you with a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Lift the bar off the rack and position it above your chest with arms fully extended. From the starting position, breathe in and lower the bar slowly until it skims the middle of your chest. Push the bar back to the starting position explosively as you breathe out. That’s one rep.
Why: This move sends your testosterone levels into blubber-burning overdrive by engaging your arms, chest and shoulders simultaneously. And the more you push, the more calories you burn with this move, according research published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, making this move a great exercise to lose weight.
How: Choose an appropriate weight and place the barbell across your back. Step forward with your right foot and sink into a lunge, so both legs are bent with your back knee as close to the floor as possible. Drive yourself back up and repeat on the other side.
Why: One of the key elements of purging your fat stores is taking your body to the limit and 12-15 lunges on each leg will push your quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings to the absolute edge. It’ll hurt, but your super-charged metabolism will thank you later.
How: Holding a dumbbell in each hand bend your knees slightly and hinge at the hip so your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your core tight and your back straight as you row the weights up to your chest. Lower and repeat.
Why: Ever seen an obese rower (who’s not about to capsize)? Thought not. That’s because rowing actions activates muscles throughout the body – from your back’s Latissimus dorsi to your biceps brachii, spreading your fat-burning power across the board. Any kind of compound lift, working multiple muscle groups at the same time, will be a better exercsie to lose weight than isolation moves like bicep curls.
How: Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and, if possible, hook your feet under something that will prevent them from moving. Place your hands behind your head and tense your core as you lift your torso up so your upper body forms a V-shape with your thighs. Lower under control back to the start position.
Why: Keeping it simple and fighting your bodyweight is the ideal challenge to burn fat. You don’t lose any time heading to the weights rack, meaning you’ll keep your heart rate up and your body burning.
How: Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. From the bottom of the squat, place your hands on the floor and kick your legs out behind you into a press-up position. Push up until your arms straight and then tuck in your legs at the bottom of the squat position. Drive upwards through your heels until you are 6 inches off the floor and then repeat.
Why: It hasn’t earned its name for nothing. Yes, burpees might leave you in a sweaty mess on the gym floor, but this brutal full-body exercise stresses every major muscle group to further spike the hormonal response you’re after. A few burpees will prime your body for fat burning by working your abs, arms, chest, legs and shoulders all at once.
How: Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart – this wide stance will allow a deeper squat, getting your glutes and hamstrings involved. Hold a barbell across your upper back with an overhand grip – avoid resting it on your neck. Hug the bar into your traps to engage your upper back muscles. Take the weight of the bar and slowly squat down – head up, back straight, buns out. Lower yourself until your hips are aligned with your knees, with legs at 90 degrees – a deeper squat will be more beneficial but get the strength and flexibility first. Drive your heels into the floor to push yourself explosively back up. Keep form until you’re stood up straight: that’s one.
Why: Squats are big, powerful movements than require a lot of energy and use a wide range of muscles. Plus, a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found the squat is far superior at burning calories when compared to its machine-based rival, the leg press.
How: Squat down with a straight back and grab the barbell with an overhand grip. In one swift movement, lift the barbell to your shoulders and sink back down into a squat. Push up through your heels and extend your arms to press the barbell above your head. Lower safely to your shoulders and drop back to the floor while maintaining a straight back.
Why: Not hitting your goals? Need to exercise to lose weight fast before a wedding? The clean and press is your best friend. It works your entire body, it’s intense and – here’s the best bit –it optimise your hormones to detonate body fat. It’ll also push your lactic acid levels through the roof, reducing your oestrogen and better regulate your insulin.
How: Set up with your weight supported on your toes and hands beneath your shoulders, body straight. Take care to keep you core locked so a straight line forms between your head, glutes and heels. Lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms.
Why: With no gym or equipment required, this classic compound move needs nothing but raw determination to activate your lats, chest, shoulder and arms at once. And remember, the more muscles you activate, the more calories your body can burn, making this classic a great exercise to lose weight.
10. Barbell Rollouts
How: Load a barbell with 5kg plates and grab the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Position your shoulders directly over the barbell and slowly roll the bar forwards. Pause, then reverse the move.
Why: It’s brutal, but just a few reps of this core killer requires enough energy to keep your fat melting. And, according to a study at the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education, this move will burn fat faster than traditional cardio.
11. Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat
How: Stand facing away from the bench, holding a barbell across your upper back. Have one leg resting on the bench behind you, laces down. Squat with your standing leg until the knee of your trailing leg almost touches the floor. Push up through your front foot to return to the start position.
Why: Training one leg at a time ropes in more stabiliser muscles, maximising your fat-burning potential. Plus, forcing blood to the huge muscles in your lower body will hotwire your metabolism, meaning it’s one of the fastest ways to strip away pudgy pegs.
How: Grab the pull-up bar with your palms facing towards you and a grip that is narrower than shoulder width. Pull yourself up until your head is above the bar. Slowly lower back to the start position.
Why: This bodyweight exercise works a vast rang of muscle groups in ways that are near impossible to replicate on regular gym equipment. Hanging freely means than every move engages your core in order to stabilise your body. In short, there’s almost nothing it can’t do.
How: Sit at a rowing machine with your feet fastened and grab the handle with an overhand grip. Straighten your legs to push the seat back – when your hands pass your knees, pull them up to your chest. Reverse the movement and repeat.
Why: An average chap weighing 185lb (that’s roughly 13st or 83kg) can torch a red-hot 377 calories by rowing for 30 minutes, according to Harvard University. Yes, you heard us, 30 minutes. The rower’s reputation as an upper-body isolation unit is totally false. Rowing recruits huge amounts of muscle as well as improving flexibility and mobility.
14. Battle ropes
How: Anchor the rope at its centre 15-20 feet away. Take an end in each hand with your arms extended at your side. Initiate the movement by rapidly raising one arm to shoulder level as quickly as you can. As you let that arm drop to the starting position, raise the opposite side. Continue alternating your left and right arms, whipping the ropes up and down as fast as you can.
Why: The battling ropes may have been labelled as another fitness fad, but there’s method to the noisy twine-slamming in the corner of most well-equipped gyms. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that ten 15-second bursts of battle ropes upped participant’s heart rate to 180 BPM – the same as cycling or an all-out full-body sprint.