Confession: I kinda tricked you with that title 🙂
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that “you can’t out exercise a bad diet” and that’s very true. Fat loss is like 90% what you’re diet looks like. So while the four exercises I’m going to give you today will not be the end all be all to your fat loss success, they will certainly help in a pretty big way.
As a bonus I’m giving you four free workouts at the end of this article to try out, too! Get ready to get that booty in gear 😉
Workouts must be short, intense and efficient.
First, when your goal is fat loss, plugging away on the elliptical for up to an hour and lifting light weights for high reps is out. Quick n’ dirty workouts that involve lifting heavy is in and there are two major reasons why:
- HIT workouts create post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC
High Intensity Training (HIT) workouts trigger something known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. After a short, intense, heavy workout, your body will continue to burn calories long after you have completed your workout. If you were to do some steady state cardio instead or HIT or heavy lifting your body will stop burning calories once you’re done exercising.
- Lifting heavy = Building lean muscle mass
When you include HIT training into your exercise programming you’ll more than likely start to see your body become tighter and get that toned look that we all want so badly. When we combine a tailored diet and heavy lifting, HIT-style, we create a perfect scenario for fat loss because you’re now also building muscle and burning calories instead of just the latter. The more muscle you have on your body the more calories your body will burn at rest and throughout the day because your body has to work harder to maintain that muscle, which is ideal for fat loss!
Remember that ‘heavy’ is a relative term. If you’re just starting out, you might want to start with body weight exercises and work your way up. If you’re more experienced, you can start loading up the bar with some plates. In my experience, we’re always much stronger than we believe we are but just be cautious you’re using good form. You’ll know you’re lifting heavy enough if the last couple reps of your set are a bit of a struggle but still doable.
The Four BEST Exercises for Fat Loss
Ok, so let’s get to the top four exercises you can start incorporating into your exercise regimen if you have a goal of fat loss -or if you just want to be a bad ass in the gym 😉
The good news: sprints are the ultimate HIT cardio exercise so you can say goodbye to long sessions on the treadmill or elliptical! You can get a killer workout in 15 minutes or less. The not so good news: sprints are effing hard. I guess that’s not bad news, but just something to be aware of 🙂
Sprints can be done anywhere: outside, on a track, on your street, in your yard, on a treadmill, on an elliptical, on a bike or on an ARC trainer…wherever! When you sprint, you should go as hard as you can for 20-45 seconds allowing yourself to recover after each. Bonus if you do your sprints on a hill 😉
Ladies, listen up! There is not one single exercise out there that will make you feel as bad ass, strong and confident as a deadlift. There’s something about pulling a ton of weight off the floor that just feels so freaking good. The deadlift predominately works your posterior chain (aka your entire back, glutes and hamstrings) which is super important because of all the sitting most of us do all day long, but also works pretty much every other muscle in your body aside from your chest, so it’s a a really awesome exercise when you’re looking to get a ton of muscle activation in very little time.
To perform a deadlift you can use a barbell, a kettlebell or dumbbell. We’re going to use a barbell for this example.
- Hinge down – push your bum back, keep your back flat and feel a little tension in your hamstrings (Picture 1)
- Grab the bar and pull it into your shins
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep your chest tall
- Imagine pushing your feet through the floor while standing up tall with the barbell squeezing your butt and upper back at the top of the deadlift (Picture 2)
- Lower the barbell back down to the ground using the same hinge pattern as you used to get up.
The kettlebell (KB) swing is one of my favorite moves to teach because it’s super effective, takes up very little space and you get a whole lot of muscle activation all in one move. The KB swing will shoot your heart rate through the roof and you’ll LOVE the way your butt looks once you work these into your routine regularly 😉
- Hinge down to the floor just like you do for your deadlift and begin with the KB out in front of your feet (Picture 1)
- Hike the kb back between your legs keeping your arms really tight to your inner thighs then using your hips, thrust forward bringing the KB back through you legs and up to shoulder height.
- Squeeze your abs and glutes tight at the top of the movement then let the KB swing back through your legs and repeat for the desired number of swings.
I love squats, all squats, but Goblet Squats are one of my faves because not only do they hit your entire lower body but they also put a big emphasis on your core and they’ll rock your shoulders and upper back, too.
- Grab a dumbbell and hold it tight to your chest (Picture 1)
- With your elbows pointing towards the floor, lower down into a squat. Your elbows will be on the inside of your knees at the bottom of the squat (Picture 2)
- To come back up, push through your heels and come to standing, squeezing your glutes at the top.
And there you have it! The four BEST exercises to help you shed fat. While they won’t be the sole reason you drop inches and tighten up (remember, that’s your diet) these four exercises will certainly help build some muscle, burn some extra calories and create a leaner, tighter look.
But wait…what about the upper body?
First, if you do the above exercises and then tell me you’re not feeling your upper back, triceps, shoulders and biceps, we’ll have to look at the weight you’re using and your intensity 😉 However, I didn’t forget about the upper half of your body. For the sake of this article I wanted to give you the best of the best in terms of efficiency and what will give you the most bang for your buck and I think I’ve done that. That being said, you can always add in bench presses, chest flies, push-ups, pull-ups, lat pull downs, and seated rows. Go ahead and add in some bicep curls and triceps extensions for good measure a couple times a week as well.
Ok, now the stuff you’ve been waiting for! I have FOUR free workouts for you. Click here to get ’em and let me know how they go!
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