Not too long ago, if you wanted to lose weight, you jumped on the treadmill and started running. Times have definitely changed, and so have the ways we burn fat. More and more research has emerged suggesting that the most efficient way to burn fat is through short, intense intervals. This means there’s no longer the excuse of not having enough time.
A good fat burning exercise requires a combination of muscle strength and endurance, along with the use of multiple muscles. There are many exercises to try, so let’s take a look at the
5 best fat burning exercisesRELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
The kettlebell swing should be your favorite exercise; it’s definitely one of mine. Between the endurance-testing nature of the move and the fact that you’re forced to use your entire body, I rank it as my number one fat burning exercise. Whether it’s a 10 pound or 30 pound weight, the kettlebell swing will push you to the limit.
How it’s done: With your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent, grip the kettlebell firmly and let it hang between your legs. Using your entire body, thrust the weight up until your legs are straight and the kettlebell is about head-level.
Be sure to keep your back straight, head up, core tight, and arms locked as you drive up through your heels. Lower the weight in a controlled fashion back between your legs, almost as if you’re hiking a football, still keeping your back straight and head up.
Dumbbell Clean and Thrust
The dumbbell clean and thrust most certainly puts your endurance to the test. Combining two classic Olympic lifts, this move rivals the kettlebell swing as the best fat burning exercise. Make sure you start with a lighter set of dumbbells until you have the form down.
How it’s done: Just like the kettlebell swing, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs with a pronated (overhand) grip. Driving up through your heels, flick the dumbbells back, rotating over your wrists, while bending your elbows and straightening your legs. Let the weights rest just in front of your chest.
Next, let your knees bend back to the starting position and thrust up again through your heels raising the weights above your head while straightening out your legs. It’s imperative during the second part of this movement that you keep your core tight and stable.
The squat jack is a simple fat burning exercise that combines two of our favorite moves, the squat and the jumping jack. But don’t let its lack of complexity fool you, it catches up with you quickly. This move not only tests your cardiovascular endurance, but your lower body muscle endurance as well.
How it’s done: With your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Make sure you keep your heels on the ground and your knees from going in front of your toes.
Next, explode up through your heels, bringing your hands above your head like a regular jumping jack. Land softly and go straight back into a squat for the next repetition.
The lunge jump takes a common lower body move and adds explosiveness to make this a great fat burning exercise. Just like with the squat jack, don’t let its simplicity fool you.
How it’s done: From a regular stance, jump up and switch into a lunge position while in the air. You should land with your front leg at a 90 degree angle with your knee directly above your heel and your back leg straight out directly behind you.
From this position, jump again and switch the other leg to the front, landing in the same position but with your other leg in front. (If you find this to be too difficult, land back at a normal stance in between repetitions).
The mountain climber is hands down my favorite equipment-free fat burning exercise, which is why I saved it for last. This exercise becomes a true test of determination as it pits cardiovascular endurance with both upper and lower body muscle endurance.
How it’s done: Get into the “up” part of a pushup, meaning back straight, arms extended, and head in a neutral position. Drive one knee forward toward your chest without rotating your shoulders or back. Return your leg to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Make sure you keep your core locked and engaged with every movement.