Losing fat can seem pretty difficult. Everyone ripped, lean, and toned only seems to eat salads and chicken whilst exercising every day with confusing equipment and intricate workouts. In reality, all it takes is burning more calories than you’re taking in. That makes your workouts extremely important as you need to be burning as many calories as possible.
The best exercises for burning fat will be the ones that use the most muscles and can be done quickly. Isolation exercises such as bicep curls, calf raises, and leg extensions are all well and good for training, but they don’t burn a lot of calories. We want to engage as many muscles as we physically can in each exercise to get blood pumping throughout our entire body.
So, today, we’re going to look at seven exercises that get your whole body moving to get the fat melting from your frame. You can do these as part of a circuit, include them in your HIIT workout, or use them as finishers after your main workout to burn extra calories and hammer your muscles.
First off we have the go-to calorie-burning exercise: burpees. The burpee works every single muscle in your body from your calves to your shoulders. Starting with a squat hits the legs and glutes before you work the chest, arms, and abs with a push-up. You then enter back into the squat and jump into the air to add some power to your performance.
The best bit is that burpees are supposed to be completed as quickly as possible. This means that they can be a good marker of progress as you can test how many you can do in a given time, but also they can burn a ridiculous amount of calories. Not to mention, there’s no equipment required apart from your own body.
Burpees are perfect as a finishing movement for your full-body sessions or as part of your HIIT routine if you’re in a pinch for time and want to get the most out of your workout.
- Push Press
The push press strengthens the glutes, quads, shoulders, arms, and core as it combines the squat with the overhead press. All you need is a couple of dumbbells or kettlebells and you’re good to go.
The good thing about the push press is that you can use a little more weight than you’re used to with your normal overhead press. As you push through your feet you can use the momentum created to launch the weights overhead. However, at the start you might have to be a little conservative to get used to the motions if you push too hard, then you might end up throwing yourself off balance.
You can use the push press the same as any of the other calorie-burning exercises, but it’s also suitable as part of a strength-building routine. If you don’t have enough time to train your legs and upper body separately, then the push press hits both areas in one simple movement.
This Olympic movement not only looks impressive but packs a real punch when it comes to shedding fat. Similar to the push-press, the clean mixes the squat with some upper body training that hits the back, arms, shoulders, and core.
Feel free to move away from the restrictions of the barbell as the cleaning can also be done with a kettlebell and even a dumbbell (though the latter is a bit trickier).
The clean can be done as a pure strength movement in the lower rep ranges or for maximum fat-burning you can do it for reps.
- Walking Lunges
Lunges are a great way to feel a burn throughout your entire lower body but especially your glutes. Walking lunges simply means that continuously move forward as opposed to pushing yourself back up, meaning that you can do them faster and more efficiently, leaving little room for rest and burning the most amount of calories possible.
Walking lunges can be done with the barbell placed upon your back or by holding either dumbbells or kettlebells by your side. The added advantage to the latter option is that it works your grip and upper back. You can also hold just one weight to put you a little off balance and force your core to engage that little bit more.
- Kettlebell Swing
Think of the swing as an explosive standing version of the barbell hip thrust, building strength, and power in the hips which transfers over to a variety of other movements including both the squat and deadlift. It’s also a great movement for completing a high amount of reps as you can build up speed and momentum, hence why it’s so often included in HIIT routines.
If you haven’t already guessed, the only piece of equipment you need for this movement is a kettlebell. Due to the diversity of the kettlebell, you can easily switch between other movements such as the clean, snatch, overhead press, and squat, too. This makes it perfect for when you’re in a pinch for time but want to fit in a lot of exercises.
- Farmers Walks
Everyone knows that walking’s good for you and it’s only improved by adding a bit of weight.
Farmer’s walks are essentially training you to become better at carrying shopping from the supermarket to your car. All you need to do is grab two heavyweights (either dumbbells or kettlebells) and carry them by your side as you walk for a certain distance or amount of time. This helps to improve your core stability as well as the strength of your upper back, forearms, and legs.
Similar to the lunges, you can even just hold one weight to put you slightly off balance and train each side of your abdominal muscles. This is a good way to work through any imbalances and prevent injuries.
- Bicycle Crunches
There’s no better way to burn a high amount of calories whilst also setting your abs ablaze than with bicycle crunches. There are two key factors in developing an aesthetic midsection: removing fat and building the abs – and the bicycle crunch does both in one easy movement. Best of all, there’s no equipment required whatsoever, but if you want to add some weight, then you can swap these out for a Russian twist using a dumbbell, kettlebell, or medicine ball.
The bicycle crunch is a perfect finisher for your workout if you want to hit your abs hard and leave no area untouched.