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Top 5 exercises for weight loss

Some exercises are more effective in burning calories than others. Here are 5 of the best exercises for weight loss to get you started.

Lunge

  • Offering maximum calorie burn by working multiple muscles (i.e. glutes, hamstring and quads) at once, the plain old lunge is an extremely effective exercise to include in your weight loss exercise routine. Stand tall with your feet apart (hip-width)
  • Hold weights or place your hands onto your hips
  • Take a controlled forward step with the right leg
  • Lower your body (keeping your spine straight and tall) until your front and back legs form an angle of 90 degrees
  • Pause, then return to the starting position
  • Now step forward with the left leg to do the other side
  • Repeat 10 times per side
  • Do 3 sets in total

Explosive Lunge

Want to really torch those calories? Try the explosive lunge, a high-intensity workout that will really get you sweating.

  • Stand tall with hands on hips and feet together
  • Take a forward step with the right leg
  • Bend until right leg is at an angle of 90 degrees
  • Jump up, switching legs mid-air (ending with your left leg forward)
  • Repeat for 1 minute (switching sides, i.e. right leg/left leg forward to begin with)
  • Complete 3 sets

Burpee

Simultaneously (and effectively) targeting your chest, core and legs, this exercise builds plenty of lean muscle and really has you ‘feel the burn’.

 

  • Start by standing with your arms by your sides and your feet apart (shoulder-width)
  • Push back your hips and lower, with your knees bent, into a squat
  • Position your hands on the floor (immediately in front of your body)
  • Shift your weight onto your hands
  • Softly jump back, landing (in the plank position) on your feet
  • Jump forward with your feet so they land next to (outside) your hands
  • Reach up with your hands and explosively jump up into the air
  • Lower immediately back into the squat to repeat
  • Complete 3 sets of 8 to 12 repeats

Squat

Done correctly, the squat engages both your core and your whole lower body to make it one of the best weight loss exercises around.

  • Stand tall with your feet apart (hip-width)
  • Hold weights or keep arms by your sides
  • Lower your legs (keeping your weight on your heels, your knees lined up with your toes and your back straight) until your thighs reach a parallel position to the floor, raising your arms up in front of your body at the same time
  • Rise back (maintaining an even pace) to the starting position
  • Complete 3 sets of 12 to 15 repeats each.

 

Double Jump

Incorporating a lunge and a jump, the double jump increases your heart rate and lets you feel the burn in your legs, butt and abs.

  • Lower yourself into a deep squat
  • Rise up as if to jump, but land (with the right leg to the back) in a lunge-like position
  • Use the momentum to jump back into a squat from this lunge position
  • Continue, alternating legs, for 45 seconds
  • Complete 2 sets

Mountain Climber

This quick leg motion will target your hamstrings, but and obliques and, with or without resistance bands, is excellent for burning stacks of calories.

  • Start in a plank position (if using a resistance band, loop the centre of your band around a solid, stable post – like the leg of your couch, for instance – and, placing your feet into the band’s handles like stirrups, position yourself facing away from said post)
  • Bring your left and right knees alternately in towards your chest, making sure not to allow the toes of the bent leg to touch the floor
  • Repeat for 60 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds
  • Complete 3 sets

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