best exercises to lose weight

14 Best Exercises to Lose Weight

If you are looking for rapid weight loss then here are the 14 best exercises to lose weight. These are my personal favorites when it comes to getting fit. I’ll incorporate some of these exercises to provide detailed workouts, which will include the appropriate amount of repetitions (“reps”) and sets.

Best Exercises To Lose Weight

Look at the pictures as you read the instructions. The words and images together should help you master the motions.

Push-Ups with One Hand on Medicine Ball

I’m a big believer in keeping things simple. That’s why push-ups will always be a staple in my exercises. I love feeling athletic, being able to do push-ups without feeling like I’m going to die after doing only 10! Push-ups on a medicine ball add a different dimension to boring old push-ups, and they allow you to get a deeper stretch in the pectoral muscles as well as strengthen the small stabilizer muscles in the shoulders. Adding a pulse at the bottom of the push-ups adds a degree of difficulty as well. Doing push-ups according to these instructions will definitely build strength, tone those chest muscles, and build endurance.

Best Exercises to Lose Weight

STEP 1

With your body prone, place your hands on the floor so that they’re about shoulder width apart, one hand on a medicine ball.

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STEP 2

Rise up onto your toes so that all of your body weight is on your hands and feet.

STEP 3

Bring your body into a straight line and keep it that way throughout the exercise.

STEP 4

Bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor.

STEP 5

Once your elbows bend slightly beyond 90 degrees, push off the floor slightly and return immediately to the bottom again (a so-called pulse); then extend your arms all the way so that you return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Bench Presses on Stability Ball (One Arm at a Time)

I like to focus on a lot of unilateral movements when it comes to my best exercises to lose weight. This helps with muscle imbalances, which are very common, and also helps to strengthen the small stabilizer muscles, which don’t get worked out as often as the larger muscles. This  exercise is another great chest workout; it allows you to isolate each chest muscle individually, and when you strengthen each component, you become stronger as a whole.

STEP 1

Lie on your back on a medium- to large-size (55 to 75 cm) stability ball with knees bent so that your body is parallel to the floor. (Your upper back should be resting on the stability ball while your hips and butt will be off the medicine ball.)

STEP 2

With arms perpendicular to your body and bent upward at the elbow, hold the dumbbells out to the side.

STEP 3

Press both dumbbells up until arms are fully extended.

STEP 4

Lower one of the weights toward the side of your upper chest (keeping your other arm extended) until a slight stretch is felt
in the chest or shoulder.

STEP 5

Finally, extend the arms fully to the step 3 position. Now switch arms!

Pull-Ups

Pull-ups are a must-do in my best exercises to lose weight. Even if I’m trying to build more muscle mass, I still include this excellent exercise in whatever routine I’m doing. This is definitely a good measuring tool for me as far as my athleticism is concerned, and I’m always striving to be able to perform more repetitions of this exercise. Pull-ups work multiple muscles in the back, as well as the biceps, forearms, and even core. That’s why this exercise is a must, especially for those who desire to achieve the upper-body V shape that many fitness buffs strive for.

STEP 1

Grip the pull-up bar with palms facing away from you.

STEP 2

Extend your arms all the way and hang from the bar.

STEP 3

Pull your body up (without a swinging motion) until your chin reaches above the bar.

STEP 4

Return to the starting position and repeat.

Dumbbell Dead-lifts

Dead-lifts are an often-forgotten (or -neglected) exercise in the gym. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to perform these, because they’re exhausting when done properly. However, dumbbell dead-lifts are one of the best exercises to lose weight and ideal for the lower back, middle back, upper back, core, legs, forearms, and grip strength. I generally perform these on those weight-training days that focus on my back.

STEP 1

Stand straight up, feet shoulder width apart, with dumbbells resting just in front of you, your arms fully extended downward.

STEP 2

Slowly lower the dumbbells while keeping your back straight (though angled forward), chest out, and butt back until the
dumbbells go below the kneecaps.

STEP 3

Return to a fully standing position while keeping the dumbbells close to your body.

Jumping Squats

Squats are another of the best exercises to lose weight, that many people avoid, because their legs quickly feel like Jell-O after only the first set when squats are done properly. Like deadlifts, they benefit many muscle groups: lower back, quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and even abs. Some will argue that no other exercise works as many muscles as squats do. Jumping squats add a degree of difficulty, but in different ways than traditional barbell squats.

This variation works the fast-twitch muscle fibers, and you won’t want to be using nearly as much weight as in traditional squats. This is one of the best exercises to lose weight that you can do without a gym membership and without equipment. You’ll be sweating and breathing hard after doing these no matter what your level of fitness!

STEP 1

Stand with feet shoulder width apart.

STEP 2

Lower your body while keeping your chest out, back straight, and butt back.

STEP 3

Go down until your thighs are parallel to the ground; then explode and jump up as high as you can.

STEP 4

Instead of landing with your legs locked straight, land with bent knees. Don’t stop your motion, though; slowly lower yourself again and repeat the squat without pause (that is, no rest between).

Jumping Lunges

Lunges are another of the best exercises to lose weight and to help strengthen the legs and glutes. Most men think lunges are for “girls,” mostly because these exercises help to shape the glutes, but my opinion is that no one should have a saggy rear end. That’s why leg days, for me, will always include some form of lunges. Jumping lunges, like jumping squats, add a slight degree of difficulty. They’re very effective at burning calories during your workout and will definitely get your heart rate up, which is good for your cardiovascular system.

STEP 1

Stand with one foot way out in front of you and the other back behind you, with the back foot up on your toes.

STEP 2

Go straight down, with back straight, until your front leg is parallel to the floor, making sure that your front knee doesn’t go in
front of your front toes.

STEP 3

From that lowest position, explode and jump up as high as you can.

STEP 4

Instead of landing with your legs locked straight, land with bent knees, switching legs each time you land (so that if your right leg was in back before the jump, it’s now in front). Don’t stop your motion, though; slowly lower yourself again and repeat without pausing.

Side to Front to Side Dumbbell Raises

The title of this best exercise to lose weight might seem confusing, but it’s actually two exercises—side dumbbell raises and front dumbbell raises—rolled into three simple motions. This is a solid endurance exercise as well as a great toning exercise for your side and front Altoids. I like to mix this one into my workouts to get a great burn.

STEP 1

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, with dumbbells hanging at your sides.

STEP 2

With elbows slightly bent raise both dumbbells to your sides, away fromyour body, until your arms are parallel to the floor.

STEP 3

Keeping your arms parallel to the floor, bring dumbbells in front of you until they touch (turning them so that they become
perpendicular to the floor).

STEP 4

Still keeping arms parallel to the floor, bring dumbbells back out to the sides, and then lower down to your waist/hips.

Hand Step-Ups with Plank

This is one of the best exercises to lose weight. It’s another multi muscle exercise, but I tend to do it on my shoulder days. It covers a wide variety of muscles, including shoulders, triceps, and core, and it’s also great for cardiovascular endurance. The word “plank” refers to the straight line your body maintains.

STEP 1

Place a low step against a wall for stability, or use your stairs at home.

STEP 2

Now get in push-up position on the floor, facing the step in front of you. (If you’re a beginner, you can do this exercise on your knees until you build up the strength to do it without the added assistance.)

STEP 3

Put one hand flat on the top of the step, followed by the other hand (keeping your body in a straight line—hence the word “plank”).

STEP 4

Return hands down off the step/stair one at a time until you’re back in the starting push-up position.

STEP 5

Repeat these movements at a fast pace for approximately 30 to 45 seconds, depending on your fitness level.

Chin-Ups

This is another best exercise to lose weight and strengthen your upper body and improve your flexibility and athleticism. Chin-ups, which are different from pull-ups due to the way the palms are facing (pull-ups = palms facing away from you; chin-ups = palms facing toward you), allow you to focus more on the biceps muscles. This is why I always perform chin-ups on my biceps day instead of doing just a bunch of standard curls. This exercise strengthens so much more than just biceps, but it’s a great way to get those “guns” for us men—or, for you ladies, it’ll create some nice definition.

STEP 1

Grip the pull-up bar with palms facing you.

STEP 2

Extend your arms all the way and hang from the bar.

STEP 3

Pull your body up (without a swinging motion), using primarily your biceps, until your chin reaches above the bar.

STEP 4

Return to the starting position and repeat.

Dumbbell Curls

“Curls for the girls”—that’s what my wrestling coach used to call these back in high school. Curls aren’t that difficult to do, and they make your arms look defined. I like to add a few twists to traditional dumbbell curls, though. Adding a quick 1-count on the way up (positives) followed by a slow 3-count on the way down (negatives) is great for improved strength and explosiveness.

STEP 1

Stand with feet shoulder width apart while holding dumbbells. Let the weights hang in front of you with your palms facing forward.

STEP 2

While keeping your back straight, bring dumbbells up in the curve of a D-shaped motion, using your biceps. At the top, squeeze/flex the biceps. (Do the lifting motion as you count to 1; it should be a fast motion.)

STEP 3

Return back down in the same D-shaped arc—this time counting to 3 to get a slow motion—until your arms are fully extended and back in the starting position.

Dips with a Pulse

Dips are another of the best exercise to lose weight I work into my routine no matter what phase I’m in (strength building vs. toning). There are many variations and degrees of difficulty for this exercise. I like to include a pulse at the bottom to add an extra degree of difficulty—and you’ll feel better after even one set!

STEP 1

Sit on a chair with your hands on the edges a bit out fromyour hips.

STEP 2

Walk your body away from the chair so that you’re holding yourself up with your arms, and your feet are about shoulder
width apart, giving you extra support.

STEP 3

Go straight down until your arms forma 90-degree angle (keeping your elbows in and your back straight).

STEP 4

Come back up slightly (about ¼ of the way), then return all the way back down again.

STEP 5

Return up to the starting position.

Triceps “Skull Crushers”

Another great and effective triceps workout is “skull crushers,” which sound intimidating but are pretty simple to do, even at home. This best exercise to lose weight really helps to isolate just the triceps muscles. Having stronger triceps will help with a lot of other upper-body exercises. They help prevent those flabby arms that many women struggle with.

Best Exercises to Lose Weight

STEP 1

Lie down with your back on a stability ball, knees bent as needed, so that your body is parallel to the floor.

STEP 2

Bring dumbbells straight up above your head with arms extended and palms facing each other.

STEP 3

Bend your arms to 90 degrees so that the dumbbells reach your forehead on both sides. (Don’t actually hit your head; just get close!)

STEP 4

At the bottom do a pulse by bringing the dumbbells back up a quarter of the way, then back down all the way; then straighten your arms so that the dumbbells are again above you, keeping your elbows in the same position throughout the entire step.

Planks with a Hip Rotation

Strengthening your core is one of the most important things when it comes to physical fitness, yet it’s overlooked by many, including professional athletes. Your core is your foundation, and if it is strong, that strength will benefit the rest of your body. So many people focus only on abs, and they think the key to a six-pack is to do as many sit-ups as possible. I love the plank, even though it’s a yoga pose, because it’s one of the most basic
core exercises and is very effective. A lot of dudes think yoga is for “girls,” but it has many benefits for everyone (yes, even if you’re a bodybuilder). The extra hip rotation adds a degree of difficulty and helps widen the area of muscles worked during this best exercise to lose weight.

Best Exercises to Lose Weight

STEP 1

Lie face down on a floor mat, resting on your forearms.

STEP 2

Push off the floor, raising yourself up onto your toes and resting on your elbows.

STEP 3

Concentrate on keeping your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Tilt your pelvis and contract your abdominal to prevent your rear end from sticking up in the air and your middle from sagging.

STEP 4

Rotate to one side by bringing one of your hips to touch the floor.

STEP 5

Return to the center position.

STEP 6

Rotate to the other side by bringing the other hip to the floor. Repeat.

Side Planks with “Thread the Needle”

The side plank is another essential core exercise to lose belly fat, reaching different muscles than a traditional plank. This best exercise to lose weight focuses on the obliques, hips, lower back, and “love handle” area. Being a guy, I get a lot of stares doing this one, since most guys in the gym are working some kind of ab-cruncher machine. The “thread the needle” motion adds an extra degree of difficulty to traditional side planks. This supplemental motion has many benefits, such as widening the area worked during the exercise—specifically, the motion helps to strengthen the small stabilizer muscles and improve balance.

Best Exercises to Lose Weight

STEP 1

Lie on your left side with your body straight, one foot on top of the other, but angled up from the hip to the shoulder. Support yourself with your left arm, bent 90 degrees at the elbow (your hand and forearm, flat on the floor, pointing directly in front of you). Rest your right arm on your right leg.

STEP 2

Push your midsection up so that only your left foot, hand, and forearm are in contact with the floor.

STEP 3

When you’re in the correct position, the space left between you and the floor should form a triangle. Try not to let your hip sag and touch the floor.

STEP 4

Extend your right arm straight up (perpendicular to your body); then use that same arm to push through the triangular hole created by this position. Bring that arm back until it’s completely extended away from your body. Repeat.

STEP 5

Switch sides and repeat.

So there you have it! The 14 best exercises to lose weight and get in shape. Do leave your comments and suggestions. Thank you for reading!

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