These Are the Best Fat-Burning Exercises of All Time
The Best Fat-Burning Exercises
Whether you’re looking to build lean muscle, lose fat, or both, a combo of strength training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the secret to speedy (yes, speedy) success. Sure, it’s not revolutionary, but this fat-loss workout has been proven time and time again to be the best training method to reach your goals in the least amount of time. With these fat-burning exercises, you’ll crush calories, build fat-burning muscle (more on this below), and boost your overall health—that is, of course, when coupled with A+ diet and lifestyle habits.
One big part of this fat-burning workout? Strength training. FYI, lifting weights doesn't make you "bulky." Muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest. The more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn. Just remember that muscle is denser than fat, so don't rely on the scale to track your progress. You will see the amazing results in the mirror and, more importantly, feel them. Focusing on how you feel (or other non-scale victories) tends to be far more effective for reaching your goals.
A combination of strength training and HIIT, these fat-burning exercises target every body part to give you a rock-solid core and strong legs and arms.
You'll need: A pair of dumbbells (10-20 lbs), a jump rope.
How it works: Do 1 set of each fat-burning exercise without resting between moves. Repeat the entire circuit 3 times. If you're short on time, you'll still get a great workout by doing 1 full circuit. For best results, do this fat-loss workout 3 days per week. To make it more challenging, increase the weight for each fat-burning exercise. (Related: How to Build Your Own Workout Routine for Weight Loss)
This fat-burning exercise targets the glutes and hamstrings, strengthening your posterior chain (aka the whole backside of your body).
A. Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip and hold them at arm's length in front of thighs. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Shift weight into one leg.
B. Keeping knees slightly bent, bend at hips and lower torso until it's almost parallel to the floor (keep the weight as close to the body as possible).
C. Pause, then return to standing. (Back should stay naturally arched during the entire movement.)
Do 8 reps on each side.
Split Squat Jumps
These powerful jumps are considered one of the best fat-burning exercises, as they engage every muscle in your body. (Psst...if you're a fan of this fat-burning exercise, check out this plyometric power workout.)
A. Start in a lunge position with both knees bent at 90 degrees. Make sure the front knee is directly above the ankle. Clasp hands together in front of the chest.
B. Explosively, jump off the ground and switch feet in the air. Land softly in a lunge position with other foot forward.
C. Keep switching at a quick pace. Make sure to keep chest lifted.
Do 5 jumps on each side.
Squat to Press
Squats are one of the best ways to strengthen your glutes, thighs, and core in just one smooth move. Simply put: They’re an essential part of any fat-loss workout, and this one is no exception. Plus, by adding the press in this squat, the core and shoulders are engaged the entire time. (Before dropping it ~low~ with this fat-burning exercise, make sure you know the proper squat form.)
A. Grab a set of dumbbells and stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend elbows and hold the weights at shoulder height.
B. Lower into a squat by shifting hips back, as if sitting in a chair.
C. Press through mid-foot to stand and press weights directly overhead.
D. Lower the weights back to shoulder height while immediately lowering into your next squat.
Continue the movement at a quick pace for 10 reps.
Similar to other jumps, this fat-burning exercise burns calories quickly, keeps your heart rate up, and engages every muscle. Broad jumps will also improve overall athletic performance.
A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
B. Quickly swing arms backward while bending knees even more.
C. Explosively jump forward (as far as possible) while swinging arms forward.
D. Land softly (wit bent knees) in an athletic position. Try not to bounce or wobble and use core to stay solid.
Do 8 reps.
Plank with Dumbbell Row
Nothing beats planks when it comes to strengthening your deepest abdominal muscles. Plus, the row in this fat-burning workout move builds strength and definition in the upper back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps. (See also: 6 Plank Exercises for a Strong Stomach)
A. Grab a set of dumbbells and start in a plank position with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
B. Engage core while lifting one dumbbell off the ground, rowing it up toward ribs, elbow pointing toward the ceiling.
C. Lower the weight to the ground and repeat on the opposite side.
D. Continue alternating at a quick pace. Make sure to keep hips as still as possible and legs engaged the entire time.
Do 8 reps on each side.
Jumping rope is a quick way to get the benefits of cardio (aka a fat-loss workout) without spending a lot of time on it. (Case in point? This quick jump rope workout that'll leave you sweaty and feeling the burn in no time.)
A. Staying light on feet and keeping chest lift, use wrists more than arms to swing the rope. Try to keep elbows fixed in place.
Jump rope for 1 minute.
Walking Lunge with Bicep Curl
This fat-burning exercise builds strength in the quadriceps, core, glutes, and upper body. Doing single-leg exercises like this can improve balance and stability, as well as dynamic flexibility in the knee, ankle, and hip joints. (See also: The 100-Lunge Workout Challenge That'll Turn Your Legs to Mush)
A. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand tall, holding the weights by sides.
B. Take a big step forward into a lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees, keeping front knee directly above the ankle.
C. Push off the back foot to step forward and return to standing. Curl the dumbells up toward shoulders, keeping elbows fixed in place.
E. Continue by stepping the back foot forward into a lunge on the other side.
Do 10 reps on each leg.
Sprints are a very efficient way to improve athletic performance and keep the entire body lean and strong. One of the best fat-burning exercises, sprints can also boost your muscle power and, in turn, help take your sweat sesh up a notch. (Here's more on how to optimize your sprint interval workouts.)
A. Start in a lunge position with back at a 45-degree angle, weight shifted forward.
B. Drive through the big toe to take bounding steps forward.
C. Sprint for 10 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds before starting next sprint.
D. Quickly shift hips forward to repeat the forward movement again.
Do 5 sprints.