The primary reason my clients come to me is because they’re looking to lose weight. As somebody who has struggled with my weight several times throughout my life.

I know what a struggle it is to get your act together, both in the kitchen and in the gym. I believe it’s that mutual understanding of what challenges lie ahead that makes me a very sought after health coach and weight loss specialist by individuals looking to lose weight in my area.

To them, I’m not just a former jock who decided to get certified as a trainer because I had no direction in life: This is my passion, and the more people I can help, the better.

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Now, if you’re overweight, you’ve probably tried several different fitness-related outlets to try and lose those extra pounds: exercise classes, personal trainers, home fitness DVDs, etc. Unfortunately, while many of these options can be effective, the vast majority of these aren’t designed to help make you more functional. Instead, they assume you’re capable of performing all of the moves in the class, or on the screen.

This can make some of these effective but misguided exercise endeavors seem daunting, if not impossible to somebody starting from scratch. Fortunately, I can offer you the 5 best exercises that any overweight individual can perform to begin to trim down and improve their fitness.

And here’s the best part: If you can’t perform each exercise 100%, that’s ok! I’ll offer you modifications you can make to build up to full range-of-motion and proper form. Now, without further adieu, let’s get started.

1. The squat

The squat is one of, if not the best exercises for overweight individuals to perform. It is a total-body movement that helps to improve your posture, as well as to insure proper motor recruitment patterns. This is an important movement because you perform it dozens of times per day: getting up and down from your desk, from the couch, on the toilet, etc.

Begin by standing up tall, feet shoulder-width apart. Now, push your butt back as if you’re about to plop onto the couch, and begin bending at the knee, keeping your chest up and heels on the ground at all times. The preferred depth for each squat is to get below parallel, or below 90 degrees. Then, driving through your heels and squeezing your glutes (butt muscles), stand back up tall. That’s one rep. Complete for reps.

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Note:

If you can’t get below 90 degrees in your squat, this means that your hips are tight. A great way to master a movement is to practice it, so don’t worry if you’re not there yet! Take out a chair, and practice squatting down into the chair, then standing back up.

Then, when you feel comfortable performing a full range-of-motion squat on your own, take the chair away and see how you do. You can find a whole video series on How to Fix Your Squat on my YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/fitnessretriever

2. The deadlift

The deadlift is another one of the best exercises for overweight individuals to perform. This is another total body movement that incorporates all of your leg and core musculature to complete.

Begin with a load of some kind; a pair of dumbbells or a barbell is the most common to use. Start with both hands on the load in the ‘Angry Gorilla’ position, keeping your chest up and your heels on the ground (kind of like the way you’d be at the bottom of a squat). Next, drive through your heels, squeeze your glutes and stand up tall, keeping your arms straight the entire way.

Then, come back down the way you came, finishing in the ‘Angry Gorilla’ position with weights on the floor. That’s one rep. Complete for reps.

Note:

If you can’t hold the ‘Angry Gorilla’ position on the bottom, you can always incorporate practicing it in your warm-up. Like with the squat, practice makes perfect, so in time your body will enable you to keep proper form and posture throughout the movement.

3. The pushup

The pushup is among one of the best exercises for overweight individuals to perform. This exercise focuses on functional strength and core stability. Begin in the pushup plank position, keeping your body straight by making your core tight and squeezing your glutes.

Next, lower your body to the floor, touching your chest to the ground. Then, drive through your hands and fullu straighten your arms to return back to the start position. That’s one rep. Complete for reps.

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Note:

If you find your hips sagging or rising, you’re not squeezing your belly and butt hard enough. Should you not be able to keep a full range-of-motion down and up, perform a modified pushup. You can see how to perform this on my YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/fitnessretriever

4. The spider lunge

This is a relatively unknown total body movement that helps to build functional strength, to improve core stability and to open up your hips. If you’re typically very sedentary, this is up there with being one of the best exercises for overweight individuals.

Begin in a pushup plank position, keeping your tummy and your butt tight. Next, bring one leg around on the side outside of your elbow. Then, return to the start position, and perform the same movement with the other leg. Complete for reps.

Note:

If you’re not able to maintain a proper pushup plank position, you can modify this move by starting on all fours. This still gives you nearly all the benefits as the original movement, and is a great starting point to build yourself up to it!

5. The push press

A move revered in the CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting communities, this power move helps build explosive strength, as well as enhances your mind-body connection. Begin in the ‘press’ position with a load by your shoulders (this can be a pair of dumbbells or a barbell).

Next, dip your knees into about a quarter-squat, and then drive through your heels, pressing the weight overhead. Be sure to bring your head forward so you really activate your shoulders. Return to the start position and perform for reps.

Note:

Generally speaking, you can use a slightly heavier weight with this movement since you’re using your legs to help generate momentum. If you think about it, you’re engaging every major muscle group in your body; your legs on the dip, and your core and upper body on the drive.

Try the below circuit of exercises for overweight individuals today to begin burning fat, building lean muscle mass and enhancing your functionality:

As many reps as possible in 10 minutes of:

– 10 Pushups
– 10 Squats
– 10 Deadlifts
– 10 Push Press
– 10 Spider Lunges (5 on each side)

For more information on fitness and nutrition, please visit my website at www.fitnessretriever.com. Have a great Holiday season!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
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