Not all fat-burning exercises are created equal. With some, you may never see results. Others require expensive equipment not everyone has access to.
To help you meet your goals, I've put together seven fat-burning exercises that require little or no equipment and will show results quickly, so you'll be motivated to continue your program for the long haul.
1. Bulgarian Split-Squats
For most of the day, we are either sitting down or on both of our feet. It's more efficient for our bodies that way. However, the number 1 rule for fat loss involves improving your inefficiencies. In other words, if you're predominantly on two feet, performing exercises that only involve one leg will be much more difficult. You'll burn more calories and build more muscle in the same amount of time. And one of the best one-legged exercises is the Bulgarian Split-Squat.
Here's how to do it: Pick a box that's not too high or too low. If it's too low, your knee will hit the floor too soon. If it's too high, you'll risk overextending your back. This can be a problem if you've had lower-back pain in the past.
If it's your first time doing it, make sure to set up properly and do it slowly. The fact that it's new to you is more than enough stimulus to burn fat.
Another characteristic of a good fat-loss exercise is the number of muscles it engages at one time. Increasing the number of muscles activated at one time forces your body to work harder. As far as best fat-burning exercises go, the Pull-Up/Chin-Up is second to none. With just one pull, you actively work most of your back muscles as well as your core and arms. Because of this, it's sometimes called the Deadlift of upper-body exercises.
The best part of it is that all you need is a cheap pull-up rig you can buy in most stores. Heck, you can even"go primal" and do it outside on a tree branch. Wherever you are, you'll get an amazing workout.
For maximal results, I suggest you focus on reps. If you increase your rep count gradually, you'll see results. If you improve yourself in this area, your belly fat will melt off, and your back muscles will grow. There is no exercise I recommend more.
The world's most popular exercise is also one of my favorites. The Push-Up has so many variations, requiring zero equipment, that you'll never be bored.
When done correctly, Push-Ups work the chest and core simultaneously. Essentially, it's a "moving plank" that stimulates the pectorals. Because of that, it's an extremely important exercise for fat loss.
There are many ways you can use the Push-Up to burn fat.
- Increase total reps over time.
- Increase the difficulty of the exercise by using a more difficult variation.
- Perform it very slowly, allowing up to 5-10 seconds per rep.
- Perform it as fast as possible.
- Increase the density, which means trying to do as many Push-Ups as possible within a certain time limit or doing the same amount of Push-Ups in less time.
4. Jump Rope
Ask a boxer how to burn fat, and he'll tell you to go out for a road run and jump rope. Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao—they all had ripped bodies and they all jumped rope.
Jumping rope requires coordination. Most people have problems keeping up a regular jump rope tempo for 100 reps. Once you can do 100 straight, it's time to start experimenting. If you focus on become more agile by performing different jumping patterns and combine that with speed and time spent, you'll burn fat fast.
What most people don't realize about the jumping rope is that focusing on speed and number of jumps is not the only way to burn more fat. Because jumping rope is versatile and requires coordination, you can do different types of jumps. Try this: Warm up with 50 regular jumps, then do 25 one legged jumps (each side), criss-cross jumps and end it with in-place running jumps.
By doing this instead of regular jumps, you'll increase the difficulty of the exercise, which will increase the number of calories and amount of fat you burn.
The Burpee is the exercise everyone loves to hate, and for good reasons. It's extremely grueling, combining what are normally two separate exercises. By switching between a lower- and an upper-body exercise, you work hundreds of muscles in a very short time, including your chest, triceps, core and entire lower-body musculature. It's not uncommon to feel absolutely horrible when you're done.
To do it right and avoid injury, you must speed up and slow down at the right times.
- Always make sure to do a perfect Squat as you go down.
- Plant your arms on the floor before you throw your legs back.
- Perform a good Push-Up.
- Reverse the movement and land in a Squat.
- Jump up as high as you can.
Most people cheat throughout the movement. By cheating, you increase your risk of injury and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.
6. Jump Squats
Jump Squats are a staple in fat-burning workouts for a reason—they work! You can do them for both power and time. Power exercises stimulate the metabolic system more aggressively, but they do have a higher risk of injury.
Fortunately, Jump Squats are beginner-friendly. Even if you are in a fatigued state, they will rarely cause injury because they are self-correcting. If you're tired, you will simply not be able to jump as high, which will make the landings easier.
If you're nervous about doing Jump Squats, progress up to them by standing on a 12-inch box, jumping off, and landing with as little noise as possible. Once you feel ready, do a full vertical jump. Allow yourself to reset, then do another. Finally, you can try Jump Squats.
Jump Squats are a great finisher for any workout. Try doing 10, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat for 5 minutes straight.
The Lunge is similar to the Bulgarian Split-Squat except it requires movement. To do Lunges, you have to move in multiple directions. A Forward Lunge has a different effect on the body than a Reverse or Lateral Lunge. Unless you want to focus on one specific area, you should do them all.
The Lunge is one of my favorite fat-burning exercises. Because it engages the lower-body muscles, it's a movement that most pro athletes use.
To get started, pick one variation and do it for distance or time. If you're more advanced, try what I call "Around the World." First, stand up straight and do a Forward Lunge but don't walk forward. Instead, move your feet back to the starting position. Next, do a Lateral Lunge (to both sides) and come back. Finally, do a Reverse Lunge. The key is to do one after another without stopping. By combining three fat-burning exercises like the Forward, Lateral and Reverse Lunge, you'll get amazing results fast.
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