The best fat burning workouts are those that use a lot of calories while you are doing them and then trigger the metabolism-boosting effect of Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) afterward to maximise results. In this series of workouts, Patrick Dale shares his favourite fat burning workouts.

Kettlebells and medicine balls are ideal tools for fat burning workouts. Assuming you get the weights right, they provide enough overload that they can be used to challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system but are light enough that you can do lots of reps at a brisk pace without having to worry too much about technique breakdown.

For this workout, I recommend a five to ten-kilo medicine ball and a 12 to 24-kilo kettlebell, but feel free to use lighter or heavier weights as required. This workout is a straight circuit. Circuit training is a very effective way to burn fat – especially if you order the exercises correctly so that you can move quickly from one exercise to the next and so that each exercise provides an active recovery from the one that preceded it.

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Many circuits mistakenly place similar exercises back-to-back and while this creates a lot of local muscular fatigue, that fatigue will ultimately reduce the amount of work you can do. For fat burning, a furious and sustained pace is a must.

“Circuit training is a very effective way to burn fat – especially if you order the exercises correctly so that you can move quickly from one exercise to the next and so that each exercise provides an active recovery from the one that preceded it.”

Perform three circuits of the flowing exercises while resting one to two minutes between laps. As you can see, the first circuit is relatively easy, the second is the hardest and the last is a short sprint to the finish.

Adjust the reps according to your current level of fitness. Move quickly from one exercise to the next to maximise fat burning.

1.Kettlebell swings

1st circuit 20 reps
2nd circuit 30 reps
3rd circuit 10 reps

How to perform: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold your kettlebell in front of your thighs. Bend your knees slightly and push your hips back. Try to keep your shins vertical.Lower the weight to around knee-height. Drive your hips forward as if you were performing a standing long jump. Use this momentum to swing the weight up and forward to shoulder-height. Keep your arms straight. Lower the weight and repeat. Do not round your lower back.

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2.Wall Ball Shots

1st circuit 20 reps
2nd circuit 30 reps
3rd circuit 10 reps

How to perform: Stand facing a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and a medicine ball held at your chest. Push your hips back, bend your knees and squat down. Stand up quickly and push-press the ball overhead. Release the ball so it hits the wall some two to three feet above your head. Catch it as it falls and immediately descend into another rep.

3.Waiter’s walk

1st circuit 40 seconds per side
2nd circuit 60 seconds per side
3rd circuit 30 seconds per side

How to perform: Lift and hold your kettlebell overhead. Keeping your arm vertical, walk around your training area for the designated time while keeping your core braced and torso upright. At the end of the time period, change hands and repeat.

Medicine Ball Slam
1st circuit 20 reps
2nd circuit 30 reps
3rd circuit 10 reps

How to perform: With your feet hip-width apart, hold and raise a medicine ball above your head. Hurl the ball down toward a spot 12-inches in front of your feet. Catch the ball as it bounces and repeat.

4.Under-the-leg kettlebell lunges

1st circuit 15 per leg
2nd circuit 20 per leg
3rd circuit 10 per leg

How to perform: Stand with your feet together and your kettlebell in your left hand. Lunge out with your right leg and pass the weight under your leg to your other hand. Stand back up and then lunge out with the opposite leg. Pass the weight under your leg again. Continue alternating leading legs for the duration of your set.

5.Sit-up to overhead press

1st circuit 15 reps
2nd circuit 20 reps
3rd circuit 10 reps

How to perform: Lie on the floor with your legs bent and your medicine ball held to your chest. Sit up and simultaneously press the medicine ball up and overhead so that, at the top of your sit up, your torso and arms are vertical. Lie back down and repeat.

6.Goblet squats

1st circuit 15 reps
2nd circuit 20 reps
3rd circuit 10 reps

How to perform: Hold your kettlebell in front of your chest by the vertical horns. The handle should be touching your chin. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly out. Push your hips back, bend your knees and squat down until your thighs are roughly parallel to the floor. Do not round your lower back. Stand back up and repeat.

7.Lateral jumps

1st circuit 20 reps
2nd circuit 30 reps
3rd circuit 15 reps

How to perform: Place your medicine ball on the floor and stand next to it. With your feet together, jump sideways and over the ball and then straight back again. Minimise ground contact by imagining the floor is red-hot! This constitutes one repetition. Continue jumping for the prescribed number of repetitions.

8.Farmer’s Walk

1st circuit 40 seconds per side
2nd circuit 60 seconds per side
3rd circuit 30 seconds per side

How to perform: Hold your kettlebell by your side. Keeping your arm straight, walk around your training area for the designated time while keeping your core braced and torso upright. At the end of the time period, change hands and repeat.

9.Press ups – hands on ball or two kettlebells

1st circuit 15 reps
2nd circuit 20 reps
3rd circuit 10 reps

How to perform: Place your hands on the kettlbells or top of ball and walk your feet back so your shoulders, hips and knees form a straight line. Brace your core. Bend your arms and lower your chest. Push back up and repeat. Bend your legs and rest your knees on the floor for a less demanding workout.

Fat burning workouts needn’t be complicated. With nothing more than a kettlebell and a medicine ball you can torch fat, build endurance and get fit. Do this workout two or three times a week for best results.

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