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Exercises for Losing weight

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Incinerate Body Fat & Drop Pounds Ultra-Easily with These Super-Charged Weight Loss Exercises

Exercises for Losing Weight

Consider that your exercise selection can range from terrible, to bad to decent to inefficient to good, to great to optimal. Exercises for losing weight can include pretty much all exercises! Does this mean all exercises are good exercises for losing weight? That is another story.

Losing weight is about creating a caloric deficit which causes your body to use its own body fat calories as energy hence losing weight. You can create a caloric deficit with diet alone, exercise alone, and preferably a combination of exercise and diet.

The best exercises for losing weight are those which work your large muscle groups. Whether you are performing cardio or resistance training, the most efficient exercises to lose weight are exercises which target large muscle groups.

You do not have to follow this philosophy which will optimally help you create a sustained caloric deficit to burn fat and lose weight over time but consider this…

Weight Loss Travel Analogy

Easy way Hard way Weight LossIf you asked for driving directions to go from San Francisco to Los Angeles and you were told to drive to east to New York City then west until you get to LA and you did so would you be happy? You would probably say you received bad directions.

You asked another person and they told you to head east to Las Vegas and then back southwest until you get to LA. You would arrive in LA but it would take longer than if you went straight there, therefore the directions you received were Inefficient.

The final person told you go get on I-5 and head south. The closest distance between two points is a straight line. These directions would be Optimal.

Consider Los Angeles as your weight loss goal. All 3 sets of driving directions got you to your goal but the optimal route got you there spending less money, driving less distance and took far less time than the other routes.

There are many ways to lose weight using many different exercises. You can choose to use whichever method you like and whichever method suits you best. This page is about the exercises for losing weight.


Cardiovascular Training


What are the Best Cardio Exercises for Losing Weight ?

Exercise selection invariantly boils down to your very specific fitness and/or weight loss goals. You are obviously looking to lose weight but that is not specific enough to determine the best exercise selection.

Weight loss can be achieved with any forms of exercise as long as the diet is kept in check to where a sustained caloric deficit exists. The question is: Would you rather spend the minimum amount of time it takes to lose your desired weight, or lose it slowly over the next couple years?

Challenge your Body

RPE Chart Download Chart in PDF

You are most likely looking for the most efficient exercises for losing weight and those are the exercises which allow you to challenge your body.

Your body likes to remain in homeostasis. The more intense the exercise is, the more calories it burns and the more your body is forced to adapt by losing weight and become more fit.

You can find the term ‘vigorous exercise” in every medical handbook and website in the world. The reason is, vigorous exercise is most effective for maintaining and improving our physical health and being able to perform vigorous exercise may be the ultimate sign of good cardiovascular health.

A good way to quantify your exercise intensity is the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) chart. It is a good idea to download and print to keep in view while you exercise to make sure you are pushing yourself sufficiently.

Important Cardio Training Factors to Consider

1. Is it Safe for Your Body?
Safety is always the #1 priority. There is no point in performing an exercise if there is a high chance it will injure you hence taking away your ability to exercise. If a certain exercise begins to cause any pain whatsoever try something else and/or seek advice from a specialist.

2. Are you Physically & Mentally Ready for the Activity?
This goes along with number 1 but it deserves its own number because of its importance. If you are a beginner mountain climber, Mt. Everest should not be your first climb. Start off slow and take baby steps if you have been sedentary for an extended period of time. When you first start out, don’t be afraid to take a break or 2 to stay mentally focused.

3. Does it Allow you to Achieve the Necessary Intensity?
Watching TV is a cardio activity! Unfortunately, even if you’re watching the latest thriller, it does not allow you to achieve the necessary intensities needed to optimally change your body. Depending on your fitness levels, certain cardio activities and machines may be better than others.

4. Do you Have the Time?
If you are exercising to lose weight and you only have 20 minutes certain activities such as walking, hiking, bicycling and rowing will be ineffective. Some exercises are more effective for duration and somewhat ineffective for short duration because the intensity just isn’t there or the set-up is impractical. This factor is especially important to note if your modes of cardio are limited.

5. Do you Enjoy Doing it?
If you absolutely hate a certain exercise the chances you will stop before you meet your goal for that workout or your ultimate goal is high. Cardio exercise is great because it includes every activity under the sun. Finding something you enjoy exponentially improves the chances achieving your weight loss goals because you will less likely to quit and more likely to spend extra time doing what you love.


Outdoor Cardio Exercises to Lose Weight
Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss
Indoor Cardio Exercises to Lose Weight
** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **

The Choices for Cardio Exercise are Endless

If you consider a 15 minute swim and 15 min run on the treadmill a single workout, all the above activities allow you to perform 272 different 30 minute workouts! Performing three 15 minute sessions of 3 allows you to perform 4913 different 45 minute workouts.

As long as they enable you to enable you to raise your heart rate for a sustained period of time any cardio machines could be your best exercises for losing weight. You don’t have to limit each cardio session to a single machine or activity.

Cardio Exercises for Losing Weight Tips

vertical cardioVertical Component
What is more difficult, running fast on a flat surface or walking up a super steep hill? The answer to the question is purely based on your perceived exertion which is the point. Cardio exercises for losing weight with a vertical component typically allow you to move slower while still elevating your heart rate significantly. Exercises with a vertical component (i.e. treadmill at incline, stairmaster, hiking) have potential for the most intense exercise intensities.

RPE Chart Download Chart in PDF

Upper & Lower Body
Exercises which have an upper and lower body component can elevate your heart rate quicker than just lower body exercises since your upper body/arms are closer to your heart. When you perform upper/lower body cardio exercises for losing weight try to focus on using your upper body equally with your lower body.

Range of Motion
The more distance your joints move, the more work your muscles must do, and the more fat calories your body needs to burn to help you lose weight. This is important to know if you curl up in a ball and perform tiny steps while on the stairmaster.

Cross Training
Allow yourself to experiment with different combinations of cardio exercises. Cross training is beneficial to any weight loss program because it allows you to not only work a wider variety of muscles, but helps you avoid overuse injury.

Challenge Yourself
It is worth it to mention again. If you want your body to change, whether it be losing weight, gaining muscle, or getting better at any physical activity, you must challenge yourself. Print out the RPE chart and try to maintain your exercise sessions in the ‘vigorous activity’ range to maximize the time you spend doing cardio exercises for losing weight.

Limit Your Workout Time
This goes right along with challenging yourself. If you set a time limit for each cardio workout, you are more likely to push yourself fully because there is an ending in site. If you have no time limit, your workout intensity will probably suffer as you linger around the gym or get distracted and start performing low intensity exercise. Remember, the intensity is what makes exercises for losing weight work.

Listen to Your Body
If you feel tired and run down it is probably time for a rest. If you have been performing high intensity cardio exercises for losing weight consistently along with a moderate or low amount of calories your body is going to need a rest. Plan to exercise every day but listen to your body as it is better to take a day off than have workout session with less than the desired intensity.


Resistance Training


Twiddling Thumbs is NOT good CardioVs..Running

What are the Best Resistance Exercises for Losing Weight ?

Best Weight Training Exercises for Losing Weight: 1 Simple Analogy

You now know all about the best cardio exercises for losing weight so you wouldn’t twiddle your thumbs for a cardio workout would you? Why not?

Twiddling your thumbs requires very little energy because your thumb muscles are small. Moving small muscles short distances has very little effect on your heart rate.

Running on the other hand, involves the huge muscles of your hips and legs and is very sufficient for elevating your heart rate and burning calories. Why would this be any different for weight training exercises for losing weight? It really isn’t.

The Optimal Exercises for Losing Weight are those which Work Large Muscle Groups

It is worth mentioning over and over again because contrary to fitness myths which may suggest crunches to burn stomach fat, or triceps extensions to burn arm flab, leg exercises and other large muscle group exercises are the best exercises for losing weight. Don’t twiddle your thumbs!

Weight Training Exercises for Losing Weight: Dos and Don’ts

What Not to Do

Focus on Small Muscle Groups / Isolation Exercises
You probably have always heard about ‘toning exercises’ but when you’re trying to lose weight, they are a complete waste of time. Exercises which isolate single muscles are not necessary when you are trying to lose weight as you would be better off spending that time doing your cardio.

Exercises with Small / Partial Range of Motions
Like isolation exercises, using exercises using small or partial range of motion cost less energy as you work less which is not making the most of your time.

Workout Too Long
Working out too long can cause your body to catabolize (break down & use for fuel) your muscle and lower your resting metabolic rate especially during a caloric deficit for weight loss. Your resting metabolic rate is your best friend when it comes to weight loss and slowing it down slows down your body’s weight loss by reducing the caloric deficit necessary to lose weight. Working out too long is also evidence that your exercise intensity is too low.

Lift Extremely Light Weights / High Reps
Along with the myth of spot reduction, the myth that high reps burn fat is completely false. If you can lift any weight more than 20 times the weight is too light. Performing exercises with more than 20 reps does not give the full benefits of weight training.

What to Do

Use Compound Movements
Compound movements use full muscle groups, not isolated muscles. You can think of compound movements as any exercise in which there is movement at 2 joints, such as a push-up (shoulders/elbows). Isolation movements such as biceps curls, calf raises, inner/outer thigh, ab crunches, hamstring curls, etc. are supplementary and often unnecessary in a weight loss exercise program.

Minimize Rest in Between Sets / Circuit Train
Rest in between sets is necessary and important for strength building but for weight loss it is not necessary. Using super-sets which are performing exercises opposing muscle groups back-to-back is a good way to minimize your rest in between sets without getting too tired to continue. Circuit training allows you to get both aerobic and anaerobic benefits out of your weight training sessions which can lead to increased caloric expenditure.

Take Periodic Active Rest Periods
If you have a lot of weight to lose, it may take weeks or even months to achieve your goal. To keep the results coming and prevent plateau and over training it is necessary to take full week off from structured exercise every so often if your training is frequent. Active rest is a period of about a week in which you refrain from doing any structured exercise sessions but are encouraged to stay active with less intense physical activity.

Focus on Combination Exercises
Combination exercises combine exercises for multiple body parts together effectively “killing two birds with one stone.” Combination exercises allow you to perform isolation movements while you perform compound movements or simultaneous compound movements. Combination exercises give you an extra circuit training effect because they use so much muscle mass.

Performing combination exercises minimize your time weight training which allows you to better maintain your muscle mass on your hypo caloric diet and spend the time you need to burn the extra calories doing cardio.

NOTE: Combination exercises are very difficult and should not be performed by people with injuries, or beginners.

Cable Exercises to Lose Weight

Sqats with Rows Cable Squat and Rows

Cable Squat Shoulder PressCable Squat Shoulder Press

cable-push-pull Cable Push Pull

cable-multi-push-pulls Cable Multi Push Pull

BOSU Exercises to Lose Weight

Dual BOSU Squat Shoulder PressDual BOSU Squat Shoulder Press

BOSU Twisting Lunges BOSU Twisting Lunges

BOSU Squat Row BOSU Squat Row

Dual BOSU Squat Row Dual BOSU Squat Row

BOSU Plank Lat PullsBOSU Plank Lat Pull

Resistance Band Exercises to Lose Weight

Tube Squat and RowTube Squat and Row

Lunge Tube Reverse Wood Chops Lunge Tube Reverse Wood Chops

Medicine Ball Exercises to Lose Weight

Medicine Ball Twisting LungesMedicine Ball Twisting Lunges

Medicine Ball Step-up w/ Twist Medicine Ball Step-up w/ Twist

Stability Ball Squat Med Ball Front Raise Swiss Ball Squat Med Ball Front Raise

Split Squat Medicine Ball Extension Split Squat Medicine Ball Extension

Medicine ball Push-ups Swiss CrunchesMedicine PushUps Swiss Crunches

Total Gym Exercises to Lose Weight

Total Gym Knee Tuck Pushups Total Gym Knee Tuck Pushups

 Total Gym Hamstring Curl Crunches Total Gym Hamstring Curl Crunches

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE **Find Hundreds More Weight Training Exercisesin the Exercise Video Library

Dumbbell Exercises to Lose Weight

Elevated Split Squat w/ Front RaiseElevated Split Squat w/ Front Raise

Dumbbell Squat w/ Shoulder Press Dumbbell Squat w/ Shoulder Press

Stability Ball Squat w/ Lateral Front Raise Swiss Ball Squat w/ Lateral Front Raise

tability Ball Squat Dumbbell Front Raise Swiss Ball Squat Dumbbell Front Raise

Lunge w/ Lateral Raise Lunge w/ Lateral Raise

Walking Lunge w/ Front Raise Walking Lunge w/ Front Raise

Step-up w/ Shoulder Press Step-up w/ Shoulder Press

Lateral Step-up w/ Biceps Curls Lateral Step-up w/ Biceps Curls

Lateral Step-up Shoulder Press Lateral Step-up Shoulder Press

Elevated Split Squat w/ Lateral Raise Elevated Split Squat w/ Lateral Raise

Stability Ball Squat Biceps Curls Swiss Ball Squat Biceps Curls

Walking Lunge Biceps Curls Walking Lunge Biceps Curls

Walking Lunges Shoulder press Walking Lunges Shoulder Press

Walking Lunges Curls Shoulder PressWalking Lunges Curls Shoulder Press

Dumbbell PushUp Rows Dumbbell PushUp Rows

Swiss Ball Exercises to Lose Weight

Stability Ball Squat w/ Lateral Front RaiseSwiss Ball Squat w/ Lateral Front Raise

tability Ball Squat Dumbbell Front Raise Swiss Ball Squat Dumbbell Front Raise

Stability Ball Squat Biceps Curls Swiss Ball Squat Biceps Curls

stability ball crunch push-ups Swiss Crunch Push Ups

** PLEASE DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE ** Medicine PushUps Swiss Crunches

Staggered Dumbbell Row Pushups Stagereed Dumbbell Row Pushpus


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Author Profile: Mike Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.

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