What are the Best Exercises for Losing Weight?

by Jason Brennan | January 15th, 2014 | Fitness Expert

mfIQJje (480x480)Any exercise can help you lose weight.  However, there are some things to consider when designing your weight loss program.

Every weight loss plan should include cardio and resistance training.  Most people emphasize  cardio but resistance training is just as important. Cardiovascular training can keep your metabolism elevated for hours after you leave the gym, resistance training can keep it elevated for days (that means you’re burning more calories while you’re sleeping than if you had only done cardio).  When you do resistance training you break down your muscles, in turn your body rebuilds them stronger.  It takes a lot of calories to repair those muscles. In addition you’re getting stronger and building bone density.

Now that everybody is doing cardio and weights lets talk about the exercises.
The two most important things about your cardio training is intensity and variety.  I see so many people doing the same machines at the same slow to medium pace every time they workout.  You need to change it up regularly, confuse your muscles.  People generally work at what ever level is comfortable, you have to keep pushing a little harder then last time, up the level or time regularly, get sweaty!

Resistance training gives you many more calorie burning options.
There are a million different exercises you can do, meaning the ones that burn the most calories help you lose weight fastest. Exercises that work the larger muscles or multiple muscle groups will obviously burn more energy(calories).  Machines vs free weights-  FREE WEIGHTS!

Almost every strength training machine has a seat and isolates one muscle group at a time.  First of all, you’re siting down (just like on the couch) for your whole workout, you’re also only working a few muscles at a time.  It would take forever to work the hundreds of muscles in your body.  In addition to these machines also dictate your bodies path of motion, which may or may not be natural for you (forcing an uncomfortable motion on your joints could lead to problems).  Free weights or body weighted exercises offer a more natural way to resistance train.  Using these tools forces you to engage your core and other stabilizer muscles and allow you to move more naturally.  Everything you encounter in the real world is a “free weight”, very rarely do you lift up something fixed to a machine in day to day life. (Also remember the more muscles you’re using the more calories you burning).  For example, you could do a seated chest press machine and work basically the chest, shoulders, and triceps OR do push ups and work almost every muscle in your body.  People tend to do things that are easy or they are good at, your workout should never be easy.

In order to get the most out of your weight loss plan try to burn as many calories (energy) as you can during you workouts. Do this by working harder each time and changing your routine often.  Use exercises that incorporate multiple large muscle groups at once. Some of my favorites are push ups, pull ups (or rows), squats, lunges, air bike crunches, and plank position (although there are literally thousands of good exercises these are some of the good old fashion basics that never get old).

Hands down the number one exercise you can do to lose weight is; Push yourself away from the dinner table.  With out a nutrition plan weight loss is difficult.  Try to spend some of the time you dedicate to your fitness program planing healthy meals and new options.  If you’re eating too much it doesn’t matter how much you work out. Calories in vs Calories out!


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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.