Aside from dieting, exercising is one of the most common strategies employed by those trying to shed extra pounds. It burns calories, and this plays a key role in weight loss. Recently, we have seen fitness science to experiment with various types of exercises for weight loss. The goal is to achieve the quickest loss of calories and reshape your body while you workout.
Exercise is essential for your overall health. Good health and weight loss are interrelated. If a person has a higher body mass index, then they are prone to several disorders like hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, and other cardiovascular problems. Exercise becomes very crucial if you are trying to lose weight and want to be fit and healthy.
We get it: when it comes to weight loss, it feels tough to even get started if you don’t have access to a gym, home workout equipment, or even a set of dumbbells. Of course, as you probably know by this point, weight loss has a lot to do with your life outside of exercise, too; aspects like sleep and nutrition play key roles in getting after this goal. No matter how hard you work out, it’s important to eat nutritious foods, like vegetables and protein-rich items, to see results. Exercise is only part of the equation.
If you’re trying to create your own weight loss workout but don’t know where to start, take a cue from these some best exercises for weight loss, demonstrated by Karolina Duncan, a New York City-based certified personal trainer and health coach. These good home exercises to lose weight doubgle as strength moves that’ll get your heart rate up and work on functional movement skills. Meaning, they’ll protect you from injury and help you perform tasks more efficiently in your everyday life — while burning calories and building lean muscle.
Ahead, check out eight bodyweight exercises that, when done consistently and paired with a healthy diet, can help you reach your weight loss goals. Some moves work just about every muscle in your body (like burpees) while others target two or three key muscle groups at once; both will typically help you burn more calories than isolated moves like bicep curls and sit-ups.
Best Exercises for Weight Loss
Walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss — and for good reason.
It’s convenient and an easy way for beginners to start exercising without feeling overwhelmed or needing to purchase equipment. Also, it’s a lower-impact exercise, meaning it doesn’t stress your joints.
According to Harvard Health, it’s estimated that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 167 calories per 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace of 4 mph (6.4 km/h) (5).
A 12-week study in 20 women with obesity found that walking for 50–70 minutes 3 times per week reduced body fat and waist circumference by an average of 1.5% and 1.1 inches (2.8 cm), respectively (6Trusted Source).
It’s easy to fit walking into your daily routine. To add more steps to your day, try walking during your lunch break, taking the stairs at work, or taking your dog for extra walks.
To get started, aim to walk for 30 minutes 3–4 times a week. You can gradually increase the duration or frequency of your walks as you become more fit.
A. Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Place hands on hips or hold weights by sides to start.
B. Take a controlled step forward with the right leg. Keeping spine tall, lower body until the front and back leg form a 90-degree angle.
C. Pause, then step right leg back to start. Step left leg forward to repeat on the other side.
Reps: 10 per side
Mistakes and Tips:
There are many variations to the lunge, but the classic forward lunge is still very effective for weight loss, as it works multiple muscles at once (think: glutes, quads, and hamstrings).
Walking is considered one of the best weight loss exercises. Walking at a fast pace is a great exercise for burning calories. An exercise program that puts minimal stress on your joints and can be incorporated into your day-to-day activities.
According to many studies, A 70-kg individual burns around 167 calories per 30 minutes of walking at a pace of 6.4 kph. It is also observed that an individual can reduce their body fat by an average of 1.5% and waist circumference by 2.8 cm by walking for 50-70 minutes 3 times per week.
Jogging and Running are considered to be the king of weight loss exercises. These exercises are total body integrated exercises. It will strengthen your legs and be very effective for belly fat. The major difference between running and jogging is the pace. Jogging is between 6 – 9 kph and running will be around 10 kph.
Running and Jogging will approximately help burn 372 calories per 30 minutes and 298 calories per 30 minutes respectively. The combination of these 3 exercises will certainly help improve your muscular strength and overall body weight to keep you fit and healthy.
Set aside 1 hour of your time and include these exercises in your routine.
- Start with walking exercise for 15 minutes.
- Increase your pace and start Jogging for the next 15 minutes.
- With a constant increase in pace, run for another 15 minutes.
- Reduce your pace and come back to jogging for 10 minutes.
- Relax your body and slow down your pace and walk for 5 minutes.
Planks Give You The Energy You Need
Planks are easy to exercise for all beginners. They can bring you close to fitness for all your body muscles. You are training the upper and lower part of your body at the same time. It means you burn more calories and fat than with any other exercise. Muscle development enhances your will and offers a huge help to training through the week.
- At home: Planks are easy to execute at home. You simply need a soft training mat and space. Make sure you wear the right shoes and some elbow covers to reduce stress and pressure on them.
- At the gym: There are special plank accessories where you can lay on and start moving to perform planks. You need to ensure that no other people are close to you when performing them, and stay away from the weight lifting area.
Plank Pose or Plank exercise is one of the most effective full-body workouts. The biggest advantage of Plank’s workout is it targets most of the major muscle groups in the body. It strengthens your muscles in the core, shoulder, arms, chest, back, and hips. Along with these benefits, Plank exercises help in quickly burning the excess fats and calories from the body.
A workout that seems to be a simple and easy one but it’s quite exhausting and intense. The plank exercise is a great example of the longer you workout the better will be your results. You need to focus on holding your plank position for a longer period to find quick and better results.
Plank exercise has different variations that target different muscle and body areas. Each variation is very helpful and keeps improving your core strength, body balance, endurance, and posture.
The number one training method the experts turn to again and again for weight loss: interval training. What’s that? “Any form of exercise where your heart rate spikes and then comes down repeatedly,” says Rilinger. This generally means going hard for a set interval of time (hence the name), followed by active rest, then going hard again. That active recovery portion is key. You need to take it down a notch—OK, several notches—before ramping back up to a higher intensity interval.
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is one of the many styles you can do. Another popular one is indoor cycling, though this workout leans heavily toward cardio over strength training, Rilinger explains. She also notes that cycling requires you to use various muscles in your body—quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core, for starters—which once again translates to 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,” she says. “And the more energy you use, the higher those calorie-burning numbers climb. It’s all a cycle.”
Try it: Here are 4 fat-burning stationary bike workouts that you might like. If you’re more of a treadmill person, this 20-minute treadmill interval workout will kick your butt in the best way. And if you want to skip the equipment altogether, this 10-minute lower body bodyweight interval workout is a good place to start.
Many perceive yoga as just the means to alleviate stress, relax, and do some gentle stretches. However, there’s so much more to yoga than just breathing, stretching, and meditating. If you have an experienced personal yoga instructor to help you maximize your efforts, there’s so much more yoga can achieve.
Even doing yoga at home, on your own, can help you lose weight. Yoga helps burn as much as 200 calories per half an hour, depending on the intensity of yoga you want to practice. Also, yoga offers many other health benefits that can promote weight loss, making it an excellent choice for an at-home weight loss routine.
Jogging or Running
Jogging and running are great exercises to help you lose weight.
Although they seem similar, the key difference is that a jogging pace is generally between 4–6 mph (6.4–9.7 km/h), while a running pace is faster than 6 mph (9.7 km/h).
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 298 calories per 30 minutes of jogging at a 5-mph (8-km/h) pace, or 372 calories per 30 minutes of running at a 6-mph (9.7-km/h) pace (5).
What’s more, studies have found that jogging and running can help burn harmful visceral fat, commonly known as belly fat. This type of fat wraps around your internal organs and has been linked to various chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
Both jogging and running are great exercises that can be done anywhere and are easy to incorporate into your weekly routine. To get started, aim to jog for 20–30 minutes 3–4 times per week.
If you find jogging or running outdoors to be hard on your joints, try running on softer surfaces like grass. Also, many treadmills have built-in cushioning, which may be easier on your joints.
A. Start with feet together, hands holding ends of the jump rope, elbows in toward ribs. Swing the jump rope and step or hop both feet over. Don’t jump in between, just jump with each swing of the rope.
Reps: Repeat for 1 minute
Mistakes and Tips:
Jumping rope is a great total-body tool made for weight loss. Challenge yourself to complete a full minute of jumping—it’s harder than you think.
Check the length of the jump rope by holding it in each hands and ensuring the handles line up with shoulders.
Skipping exercise offers a complete body workout and helps increase your muscle strength, metabolism, and burn many calories in a short time.
Skipping exercise done regularly will bring in calmness and help to ease depression and anxiety. The workout also increases your heart rate which results in faster pumping of blood across your body to keep your heart in a better and health condition. Along with your heart, this exercise takes care of your lungs by keeping them functioning and healthy.
Everybody has a distinctive body and which makes the process obtain different results. Losing weight is nothing but burning more calories than you intake and skipping will surely help you do that. This form of exercise approximately burns calories close to 1300 per hour.
- On a flat surface, stand with your back straight.
- Make sure your feet are together and pointing straight.
- Keep your hand straight pointing downwards close to your thighs.
- Jump off the ground and let your rope pass under your feet and bring it back.
- Repeat these steps and increase your jumping speed constantly.
Push-Ups and Pull-Ups
Push-ups are one of the most popular exercises and it is a workout that can be done at any time, anyplace, and by anyone. Push-ups exercise is very useful for weight loss as it pushes your body away from the ground and exerts energy which in turn burns calories.
Push-up exercises are good as it burns calories quickly and makes you focus on the larger muscles in your upper body. Push-up workout also focuses on your chest, shoulders, back, biceps, and triceps. Push up exercise will also strengthen your core muscles and make your body physically stable and healthy.
Push-ups help in building more lean muscles in our chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. If you keep practising push-ups for weeks or months or years, then you will build a great amount of muscle mass, and to maintain your muscle your body has to expend its calories.
- Look for anti-slippery and flat surfaces.
- Place your hands facing forward and slightly wider than your shoulder width.
- Set your feet together or slightly apart in a comfortable position. Initially, you can keep your feet further apart until you find a proper balance.
- Now bend your shoulders as low as possible towards the floor and push up back and straighten your arms.
- Repeat these steps for 15 reps and 3 sets.
Pull-ups focus on several muscle groups that burn more calories as multiple muscles like biceps, triceps, back and core are working together. This workout can aid you to get in shape, increasing your ability to burn fat and boost your metabolism. To complete a pull-up it nearly takes 15 muscles and the primary muscles are your lats and biceps.
According to the study, doing a pull-up workout will help you burn nearly 10 calories per minute. It is recommended that at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workout have to be done each week as cardio is one of the best ways to burn calories.
- Grip the pull-up bar with your arms fully stretched by standing straight.
- Now bend your knees and pull yourself until your chin clears the bar.
- Come back to your original position slowly.
- Repeat these steps for 15 reps and 4 sets.
Squats Are The Ultimate Fat Burners
If you need to improve the loss of calories by using your body as a weight tool, squats are the exercise for you. They assist you in training the major muscles of your abdomen and legs while giving a boost to your metabolism.
The first day may look hard for you, as you will be in pain after the workout. However, they can be the best help to lose bodyweight, and you can perform them multiple times throughout the week.
- At home: Approach your arms together as if you are praying. Then bend your pelvis like when you are trying to sit on a chair. If you do this many times, the loss of calories is a sure thing.
- At the gym: Perform the same actions as before, only that you can hold a free weight. It will make you feel a lot more balanced and enforce your will to reach the fitness levels you desire.
Consider weight training “the mother of all weight-loss techniques, the highest in the workout food chain, the top of the totem pole,” says Rilinger. Resistance training, whether it’s with your bodyweight alone or with added weights, is an effective method to help build muscle and burn fat. Lifting weights has been shown to increase your resting metabolic rate, which means your body burns more calories even when you’re not working out.
The effect isn’t enormous, but building muscle means more muscle mass to churn through calories as you go about your day. Plus, more muscle means you can go harder next time, increasing your weight, and getting even more out of each workout. Plus, if you’re lifting at a high intensity, you get the added bonus of the “afterburn effect,” which is when you’ve put down the weights but your body is still using up extra energy.
Rilinger suggests 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, she says to mix it up about every three weeks to keep your body guessing.
Try it: First, if you’ve never done it before, be sure to read these strength training tips for beginners before you get started. And check out this primer on how to choose the right weights for your workout.
Now here’s a quick 10-minute total-body dumbbell workout and another 10-minute living room dumbbell workout to get you started. Here’s a 20-minute strength workout for when you have a bit more time. Here’s some info about how to superset at the gym. And if you’re going to use kettlebells and barbells in your strength workout routine, be sure to work with a personal trainer to make sure you’re using proper form. You’ve got this!
Cycling is a popular exercise that improves your fitness and can help you lose weight.
Although cycling is traditionally done outdoors, many gyms and fitness centers have stationary bikes that allow you to cycle while staying indoors.
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 260 calories per 30 minutes of cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate pace, or 298 calories per 30 minutes on a bicycle at a moderate pace of 12–13.9 mph (19–22.4 km/h) (5).
Not only is cycling great for weight loss, but studies have found that people who cycle regularly have better overall fitness, increased insulin sensitivity, and a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and death, compared with those who don’t cycle regularly (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).
Cycling is great for people of all fitness levels, from beginners to athletes. Plus, it’s a non-weight-bearing and low-impact exercise, so it won’t place much stress on your joints.
A popular strength training workout that strengthens and tones your lower body and improves overall fitness and athletic performance. Lunges mainly focus on strengthening your back, hips, and legs.
Lunges help in building lean muscle and reduce body fat. It is important to push yourself and include lunges in a high-intensity workout routine with the help of heavyweights. The single-leg movements involved in this workout stabilizes muscles to develop balance, stability, and coordination.
- Stand straight with your back and abs upright.
- Bend your knee by keeping your right leg in the front.
- Now, bend your knee until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and left one perpendicular.
- Keep your front knee above your heel.
- Come back and bring your feet together.
- Repeat the above steps with your left leg.
- 30 reps of alternate lunges are very helpful.
Along with exercises that need to be done at your place for weight loss. There are other factors and methods that can be helpful for weight management. Click here to know more about weight management and weight loss.
Dancing Is The Ultimate Fat Demolisher
It can be a superb type of exercise for weight loss. It is good for your lower leg muscle group, and offer strength intensity for your feet compared to simple floor walking.
If you combine it with the right diet, the calories loss could make your day. Dancing includes running and balance and doesn’t require much time spent through the week for your workouts.
- At home: Try to get your body to move according to your favorite music. Legs and arms free move can offer you an effective fat burn.
- At the gym: With other members of the team you can organize a good burning calorie activity. Group dance involves high leg and shoulder movements that make you lose weight.
“At its essence, boxing is really another form of interval training,” explains Rosante. But it also makes you feel freaking badass. 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 (hey there, obliques).
Swimming is a fun way to lose weight and get in shape.
Harvard Health estimates that a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns approximately 233 calories per half hour of swimming.
How you swim appears to affect how many calories you burn. Per 30 minutes, a 155-pound (70-kg) person burns 298 calories doing backstroke, 372 calories doing breaststroke, 409 calories doing butterfly, and 372 calories treading water (5).
One 12-week study in 24 middle-aged women found that swimming for 60 minutes 3 times per week significantly reduced body fat, improved flexibility, and reduced several heart disease risk factors, including high total cholesterol and blood triglycerides (22Trusted Source).
Another advantage of swimming is its low-impact nature, meaning that it’s easier on your joints. This makes it a great option for people who have injuries or joint pain.
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 the box (CrossFit slang for “gym”) that fits you best: 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.
Pilates is a great beginner-friendly exercise that may help you lose weight.
According to a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, a person weighing around 140 pounds (64 kg) would burn 108 calories at a 30-minute beginner’s Pilates class, or 168 calories at an advanced class of the same duration (26).
Although Pilates may not burn as many calories as aerobic exercises like running, many people find it enjoyable, which makes it easier to stick to over time (27Trusted Source).
An 8-week study in 37 middle-aged women found that performing Pilates exercises for 90 minutes 3 times per week significantly reduced waist, stomach, and hip circumference, compared with a control group that did no exercise over the same period (28Trusted Source).
Other than weight loss, Pilates has been shown to reduce lower back pain and improve your strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and overall fitness level (27Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).
If you’d like to give Pilates a go, try incorporating it into your weekly routine. You can do Pilates at home or one of the many gyms that offer Pilates classes.
To further boost weight loss with Pilates, combine it with a healthy diet or other forms of exercise, such as weight training or cardio.
If your biggest excuse for skipping a workout is being crunched for time, Tabata is your dream come true. It’s designed to be four minutes of high-intensity interval training that consists of 20 seconds of all-out effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times, explains Shanon Squires, an exercise physiologist and human performance lab coordinator at Colorado University Anschutz Health and Wellness Center.
And you can use this protocol with any number of different exercises. You’ll spike your metabolism and heart rate in four minutes, but Squires warns against 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,” he says. To do that, Rosante suggests 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, of course), then recovering for 10 seconds and 10 seconds only. 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.