One of the most common excuses people make for not exercising is a lack of time. We’re busier today than ever before thanks to our occupational, our familial and our social obligations. Unfortunately, we’re also more inactive than ever before. Advances in technology over the last two decades enable us to call, research and collaborate with anyone in the world all from the same desk.
Cities and neighborhoods are designed for convenience, with walking or biking taking a backseat to taking taxis, riding trains and using other methods of public transportation.
Fortunately, there are recent studies that suggest that quicker, more intense workouts (like High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT) can have the same, if not better results than longer, less taxing workouts. This is great news for those of us that don’t usually have hours to spend at a gym every day.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
In this article, I’m going to review five fast weight loss exercises than you can perform in short bursts to continue burning fat throughout your busy days. Before I get into my top five fast weight loss exercises, though, I’d like to review what types of exercise stimulate the most fat loss.
As I mentioned above, training methodologies like HIIT are so effective because of the intensity. Your heart rate stays elevated for a longer duration than it would in a more traditional workout because you don’t stop moving; you’re merely substituting an intense exercise with a light-to-moderate exercise during your active rest period.
There’s quite a bit of research that suggests that weight and other forms of resistance training burn more fat and help promote weight loss more effectively than mere plyometric bodyweight exercises. To insure variance, my top five fast weight loss exercises will be a combination of plyometric bodyweight exercises, as well as resistance exercises. Now, let’s get into my top five fast weight loss exercises for your busiest times:
1. The deadlift
The deadlift is a compound lift that incorporates the use of nearly every major muscle group in your body. We start by approaching a load on the floor in the ‘Angry Gorilla’ position. This means that you will grab the load with both hands and straight arms, keeping your heels on the ground with your chest and head up.
Drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes (AKA your butt) to lift the load off the floor, keeping your arms straight the entire time. Once you’re standing fully upright, you’ve completed your first rep. Return the load to the floor following the same movement pattern as when you came up; head and chest up, arms straight and heels flat on the ground.
The load can be anything: a barbell, dumbbells, your briefcase, heck, even a book! If there’s resistance, you’ll reap the benefits no matter what the source of the load is. Not only will you burn tons of fat, but you’re engaging your legs and core throughout the entire movement. Pretty good when it comes to fast weight loss exercises!
2. Squat clean
The squat clean is an Olympic lift that requires a combination of coordination, strength and speed. Approach your load in the ‘Angry Gorilla’ position as you would the Deadlift. Drive through your heels, and shrug your shoulders as if you’re telling someone you have no clue what’s going on. Then, drop under the load and land in a squat, keeping your heels on the ground, hips at or below 90 degrees and your chest and head up.
Your arms should land in a ‘catch’ position right below your collarbone. If you’re using a barbell, make sure your elbows are up high to relieve tension on your wrists. Return to the start position by dropping your elbows and guiding the load back to the floor. Reassume the ‘Angry Gorilla’ position and complete for reps.
3. Push jerk
The push jerk is also an Olympic lift. Like the squat clean, it requires a combination of coordination, strength and speed. Begin with the load in a front rack position, keeping your elbows at about 90 degrees. You may either get the load to the front rack by using a squat rack (if it’s a barbell), or by squat cleaning (see what I did there with the order?) the bar into the proper position.
Begin the movement by dipping your knees into about a quarter-squat, and drive forcefully through your heels, lifting your feet off the ground. As your feet leave the ground, use the momentum from your legs to help shoulder press the bar from the front rack position directly overhead. Keep in mind that as you shoulder press, you want to keep your head back until the load is overhead to avoid injury.
Once the load is overhead, bring your head forward to activate your shoulders. When the load is directly overhead with arms and legs straight, return the load back to the front rack position and bend your knees into a quarter squat. Complete the third of these fast weight loss exercises for reps.
The burpee is one of the most dreaded fast weight loss exercises on the planet. You’ve probably seen them on TV at the CrossFit Games or in your local kickboxing class. There is a lot of confusion as to how to do this fast weight loss exercise correctly, so I’ll explain it very succinctly: Begin by lying flat on your stomach as if at the bottom of a pushup.
Driving through your hands and toes, hop up into a squat. Then, driving through your heels, jump while extending your arms overhead. This is one rep. Sprawl back into the starting position and repeat for reps.
5. Squat jump
Squat jumps are nearly as dreaded a fast weight loss exercise as the burpee. Begin by performing a squat: keeping your head and your chest up and heels flat on the ground, squat as if sitting into a chair until you get at or below 90 degrees.
Once you’re at the bottom of the squat, move your arms back, drive through your heels and jump as high as you can with arms fully extended overhead. Land back in a squat, and continue for reps. This exercise can be performed with a load to add resistance and boost intensity.
Regardless of your schedule, one can always find time to perform these fast weight loss exercises. Whether it’s in the office, at home or in the gym, never make the excuse of ‘lack of time’ ever again. Take these fast weight loss exercises and apply them to your workouts today!
To you taking back your life through fitness,