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best exercises to lose weight

Exercise is often advised alongside a healthy diet for weight loss.

This is because to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in.

And exercise increases the number of calories your body uses or burns off. 

But there are 3 things needed to make a weight loss exercise effective:

  • Target large muscle group
  • Challenge your cardio fitness
  • Intensity

Any exercise that combines those 3 can help you lose weight.

With that in mind, here are the 10 most effective exercises to lose weight and burn fat quickly. 

Related: (5 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat Fast)

10 Best Exercises for Weight loss

These are the best calorie-burning exercises to lose weight 

1. Jumping rope

Jumping rope is the perfect calorie burning exercise to lose weight. You can burn 10 calories per minute jumping rope at a moderate pace. Continue for 20 minutes, you burn 200 calories in less than half an hour.

You do this for 5 days per week, that equates to 1,000 calories burned in a week.

Jump rope also has other added benefits. 

It engages your arms, shoulders, legs, abs, and butt. It's a full-body workout. 

It's great for strengthening and toning these muscles. 

The best part is you can jump rope at home or outside in the park, all you need is a jump rope. 

2. Stairs Sprint

Another easy weight loss exercise is walking up and down the stairs.  A 160 pounds person can burn more than 100 calories just by walking up and down the stairs for 10 minutes. 

If you take it up a notch and run up the stairs, you will increase that to 190. 

Stair workouts are also great to tone the legs and butt muscles. You do this for 1 hour a day, you'll burn a total of 4,200 calories in a week. 

Walking the stairs will definitely help you burn fat and lose weight. 

3. Running 

Running is everyone's go-to workout for weight loss. And that's for a good reason. You can burn 600-700 calories per hour, running a 10-minute mile. 

Per the American Council on Exercise, a 120-pound person burns about 11.4 calories per minute running. 

For a 20 minute run, that's 228 calories. Do that for 7 days, you burn 1,596 calories by going for a 20-minute.

4. HIIT Workout

You can burn 600-820 calories per hour doing HIIT workout. The best part is HIIT workout will have you keep the afterburn going for up to 48 hours post workout. 

With HIIT workout, you don't need a gym or exercise equipment. All you need is a few exercises and a little space to get a great workout. 

The following 10 exercises are great for HIIT workout.  

5. Burpees

A burpee is as complete of a full-body exercise as can be. This exercise combines a squat, plank, push-up, and jump forward, exploding up and down. When a burpee is done right, it improves all aspect of your fitness: cardio, strength, and speed.

It conditions the heart and lungs by getting the heart rate up and pumping. It also tones your arms, core, and legs.

Burpees also burn tons of calories, helping you lose weight and burn fat. (Here's how to do a burpee in six easy steps).

6. Jumping Jacks

A jumping jack a calisthenic exercise that starts from a standing position with legs together and arms at your sides and jumps up, bringing the hands overhead and legs spread wide in the air. 

You return to the starting position on the ground repeat the jumps for the prescribed number of repetitions.

The primary of benefits of jumping jacks is it elevates your heart rate, so it conditions the cardiovascular system and strengthens the legs, arms and core. Jumping jacks makes a fantastic exercise to do at home or anywhere for all fitness levels. Here's how to it correctly with proper form (how to do to a perfect jumping jack).

7. High Knees

High knees exercise demonstrations

High knees or run-in-place is one of the best bodyweight cardio exercises you can do at home. It doesn't take up much space to perform -living room, bedroom, or even garage would be suitable for this convenient exercise. 

High knees combine the typical running motion with exaggerated knee lifts. Similar to the jumping jacks, high knees condition the entire body including the hearts, legs, and core. 

To perform this exercise, simply go through the running motions in place by lifting your knees high to your waist level. To maintain the posture, be sure to engage your abs throughout the move. 

You can also pump your arms to warm up your upper body and aid the running motion. 

8. Squats

A squat is a lower-body exercise staple that works the hips, glutes (butt), quads (thighs), and hamstrings. It may also strengthen your core. 

In addition to strengthening your legs, squats can help improve balance and coordination. It can also improve your bone density.

Squats are also considered a functional exercise helping you complete daily activities with ease. (Learn here how to do a squat with proper form).

9. Lunges

Lunges demonstrations

Lunges are a good exercise for strengthening, sculpting and building several muscles/muscle groups, including the quadriceps (or thighs), the gluteus maximus (or buttocks), and hamstrings. 

There several ways to do a lunge. 

The most basic lunge is performed by:

Standing up straight, feet are hip-width apart. Position your hands at the waist.

Take a big step forward with your right leg. You should now be standing with one foot in front of you. Bend your front (right) knee so that it is at a 90-degree angle with the floor. Your back (left) knee should be almost touching the floor.

Keep your weight on your front (right) heel. Contract your front (right) quad, hamstrings, and glutes to push yourself back up to the starting position. Switch the legs and repeat on your left side. Alternate sides with each rep.

10. Push-ups

Push-ups Exercise Demonstration

A push-up is an exercise in which a person lies facing the floor and with their back straight and raises their body by pressing down on their hands. This exercise looks simple enough, but it's one of the most challenging and effective exercises around.

In fact, if you can only have to time to do one exercise a day, let it be a push-up. It's that effective. 

Push-up literally works every muscle in your body—all at once. According to a study, certain variations of the pushups use about 76 percent of your total body weight. 

This all-in-one move exercise will strengthen the core, tone up your upper body and all lower body including the legs and butt. 

Even your quads will feel sore the nex day just from doing a few reps.

It's challenging enough that if you can do 10 push-ups, consider yourself in good physical shape. (learn how to do a perfect push-up).

11. Triceps Dips

Tricep dips demonstrations

The dip is an exercise used in strength training to target the upper body, primarily the triceps, chest, triceps, and front shoulders. 

To perform the triceps dips:

Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair. Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you.

Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension off your elbow joints and on your triceps. Pull your shoulders back and down. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body towards the floor until your elbows form about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.

Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench with your hands to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep, continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Keep your shoulders down as you lower and raise your body for the entire exercise.

12. Plank

A plank is a simple static exercise that involves maintaining your body in one position. It's similar to a push-up except you hold the top position for the duration of the time. 

The exercise primarily develops strength in your core —the muscles that connect the upper and lower body—Your shoulders, arms, and glutes are also engaged during the exercise.

There are many variations to the plank, but the most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body's weight supported on your forearms, elbows, and toes.

Other variations are the side plank and the reverse plank. (Here's how to perform the perfect plank).

13. Crunches

Crunch exercise

To do a crunch, simply begin by lying face up on the floor with knees bent. 

The movement begins by curling the shoulders towards the pelvis. Your hands can be behind or beside the neck or crossed over the chest. Injury can be caused by pushing against or pulling the head or neck with hands.

Overall this exercise is great for strengthening and toning the abs. And once you learn the basic crunches, you can also try other crunch variations such as reverse crunches, bicycle crunches, twist crunches, and side crunches. The are tons of other crunch variations you can try.

14. Pull-ups

Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip, palms facing forward about shoulder-width apart. Hanging from the bar with your arms straight. Raise your feet off the floor by bending your knees. 

Pull yourself up by pulling your body up towards the bar until your chin passes the bar. Lower yourself all the way down until your arms are fully straight. Repeat 1-4 for the prescribed number of repetitions.

 

Exercise Table

Reps Sets Level Location
10 2-3 Easy Gym or Home

The Takeaway

To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you eat and drink. That's the basis of any weight loss plan.

These exercises will help you burn the number of calories you need to lose weight. 

Pair them with a healthy diet, you should be able to lose weight really fast.



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