Top 5 Moves for Major Fat Burning
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Turning your body into an effective fat-burning machine requires a few key ingredients: a clean diet, strength training, and some type of cardio component that gets your heart pumping. Of course there are other factors in play—sleep, stress levels, etc.—but to maximize the results from your workout, the best strategy is to combine weight lifting and cardio into one intense training session. [Tweet this tip!] This doesn't mean simply adding a 30-minute jog to the end of your strength workout, but instead try performing strength moves as a circuit, moving quickly between exercises so that your heart rate stays elevated (the cardio component).
What exercises should you do? There's a multitude of options within the top five movement patterns experts recommend, but this routine is a great place to start. With the following five moves, you'll challenge every major muscle to maximize your burn.
How it works: Do 6 reps of each exercise in order, moving at a quick pace. Repeat the entire circuit twice more.
You'll need: A set of dumbbells.
Photo: Getty Images
Squat to Press
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Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a set of dumbbells at shoulder height. Bend knees, shift hips back, and lower down so thighs come close to parallel with the floor.
Explosively drive up to standing, extending through hips, as you extend both arms straight overhead. Keep core engaged and chest up.
Reverse Lunge to Curl
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Reps: 6 per side
Stand with feet hip width, holding dumbbells by your sides. Take a big step back with left foot and lower into a lunge, with both knees bent about 90 degrees. Keep torso up as you lower.
Press back up to standing and immediately lift back foot off the ground. While balancing on one foot, curl weights toward shoulders. Return to starting position and repeat.
Plank with Row
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Place a set of dumbbells on the ground and come into a straight-arm plank with feet slightly wider than hip width, hands on the weight directly below shoulders. Without moving hips, bend right elbow directly toward ceiling, lifting dumbbell up to chest height. Lower down to starting position and repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
Always maintain a neutral spine and a strong core. Nothing should move except the arm performing a row.
Split Lunge with Arms Overhead
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Reps: 6 per side
Holding the ends of one dumbbell with both hands, straighten arms overhead and stand in a split lunge position. Draw shoulders down and back.
Bend both knees and lower body down until front thigh is parallel to the ground. Keeping the weight overhead, straighten both legs and repeat. Do 6 reps with right foot forward, and then repeat with left foot forward to complete the set.
Lateral Lunge to Chest Press
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Reps: 6 per side
Hold the ends of one dumbbell at chest height. Take a big step out to the side with right foot and lower into a lunge, shifting hips back, keeping knees and toes pointed forward.
Explosively push off right foot to stand up on one leg. While balancing on left leg, extend dumbbell directly out from chest. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do all reps on the right, and then repeat on the left leg to complete the set.