What are the Best Exercises for Weight Loss?
Obesity is a problem plaguing the world today. This is not a small problem, and it exists regardless of age, gender, or even species. Animals too can become overweight, and this can be seen by simply looking at the house cats that eat a ton and get no exercise! In order for them to be in healthy shape, they must do exercise as well (one of the reasons people walk their dogs). One of the causes of obesity is nothing more than a lack of knowledge. Most people do not want to be overweight, but many of them do not even know where to begin when addressing the problem. One thing needs to be mentioned first: when people say “I want to lose weight,” they usually really mean “I want to lose fat.” These tips are to help you lose fat.
First, we want to choose the exercises that burn the most amount of energy. Since you lose fat by burning more calories than you consume, high-energy workouts are the most effective.
Next, we want to use the types of workouts that do not overly stress the body or cause it to lose vital muscle mass. Doing hours of cardio every day is not the best way to lose fat. Not only is this not as effective as other methods, it can also lead to loss of muscle if done alone.
The Best Types of Exercises
High Intensity Interval Training is the most effective type of cardio. HIIT is a form of cardio in which you alternate between extreme effort and low effort. An example of it would be running a 60 second sprint, then walking for two minutes before launching back into another 60 second sprint. A study done in 2011 has shown that this type of training is more effective for fat loss than Steady State cardio such as a 45 minute steady run.
Lifting weights is an extremely beneficial form of resistance training. Aside from the fact that resistance training burns a lot of calories itself, it is also key to avoid muscle loss. If someone loses large amounts of fat but has very little muscle, then they typically do not attain the look or level of health that they desire. They look smaller, but their bodies still have little to no definition to them. This is the main reason to incorporate some form of resistance training into your workout routine.
Structuring more natural exercise into your days is the final type of exercise to concentrate on. Simple things such as going for a walk with a spouse in the evening, parking farther from the building, and taking the stairs add up over time. Remember, the key is to burn more calories than you take in. The more things that you contribute to that, the bigger the payoff. Simply adjusting your daily life and reducing the amount of time that you are stationary or sedentary is incredibly beneficial.
Some of the Actual Workouts
An example of High Intensity Interval Training is sprints. Like mentioned above, you can do a 60 second all out sprint followed by 2 minutes of walking, then repeat the cycle 5 or 6 times. If running or being outside in public isn’t your thing right now, there are still plenty of options for you. You can get a treadmill and do HIIT, or even do bodyweight exercise circuits in the style of HIIT. Remember, you can make almost anything into a HIIT style workout with a little creativity. The key is having bursts of intensity followed by brief tests and repeating the cycle.
There are endless debates and contradictions about the best way to go about weightlifting. Like many things in life, however, keeping it relatively simple is best.
There are two types of weightlifting motions, compound movements and isolation movements. Compound movements recruit a large group of muscles, whereas isolation movements focus only on one muscle or a small group of muscles. Compound exercises are where you should focus both because they work more muscles at once and because they burn large amounts of energy.
While there are many workouts that can be considered compound, the ones that most everyone agrees should play a part in your workout plan are the Barbell Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press, and Overhead Press.
The Barbell Squat is a leg exercise in which you place the bar behind your shoulder blades and descend until your legs reach at least a ninety degree angle. Then, place your feet flat on the ground and push though your legs to ascend back to the starting position.
The Barbell Deadlift is primarily a back exercise, but it works many muscle groups. It is simply a movement in which you squat down with a flat back, grip the bar, and stand up with it. Push through your legs until you are standing and the pull through your back to finish the ascent. On Deadlifts, place the bar on the ground and lift it between each repetition.
The Bench Press is a chest exercise in which you lay on a weight bench and move the barbell down to your chest and back up again. Ensure that you pinch your shoulder blades, keep your butt on the bench, and push through your chest.
The Overhead Press is a shoulder workout. You start the workout by holding the barbell in front of you at chest level. From there, keep your core tight and lift the barbell straight above your head until you lock your arms out. Descend back to your chest and repeat.
For arms, the best bicep exercise is probably the curl. This can be done with dumbbells or a barbell, but we will stick with the barbell for the instructions. To do a Barbell Curl, simply start the movement with the barbell in your hands with your arms fully extended out in front of you. Lift the barbell using your biceps; your forearms should be the only part of the arms that is going through the range of motion. Pull to the top of your range of motion and descend. This is not a compound movement, but it is a great biceps exercise.
Your arm has two main muscle groups, and the triceps are the second one. To work these muscles, use a Close Grip Bench Press. Follow the same instructions for the Barbell Bench Press, but move your hands a little closer than shoulder width apart to focus on the triceps.
Although these six are the foundation of a good weightlifting program, other workouts can be incorporated. A great way to do this is to set up a “body part split” workout, where you train one part of your body per day (chest, legs, arms, back, shoulders). You can set up a “Back Day”, for example, that begins with Deadlifts but then also includes Barbell Rows and Pull-ups.
One suggestion to put it all together is to do some HIIT cardio in the morning since you can get a lot done in a small amount of time, and to have your resistance training sessions in the afternoon.
Listening to all of the advice on weight loss can be mind-numbing. If you focus on tracking your food and ensuring that your workouts assist you in burning more calories than you consume each day, then you will lose weight. In addition, if you create a workout plan that incorporates High Intensity Interval Training and some resistance workouts, you will see results that you are happy with more quickly.