If the reason you’re reading this is because you want a magical formula that’s going to help you burn fat, you might as well save yourself the time and stop reading now.
If however, what you want is to ensure you are doing the correct exercises in order to burn fat efficiently, then you’ve come to the right place. Effective fat burning isn’t something you can achieve with one exercise. It’s a combination of a number of things.
Diet is obviously a huge factor, you can follow all these suggestions religiously, but if you have a poor diet then your results are going to reflect that. Anyway, back to what you came here for, fat burning exercises.
A common question is, ‘what are the best exercises for fat loss?’. This question is almost impossible to answer in just a sentence or two. Firstly, let’s divide it into to categories – interval training and resistance training.
- Interval Training
This is essentially working for short periods, that are broken down by rest or relief. The general aim with interval training is to improve cardiovascular fitness. Which explains why the most popular forms of interval training include running, cycling and rowing – cardio-intense sports.
- Resistance Training
Resistance training on the other hand, uses your muscles in order to increase strength. This form of exercise is more associated with building muscle mass and improving things such as joint function and bone density. That doesn’t mean it can’t assist with fat burning. Resistance training also helps improve both metabolism and cardiac function.
Earlier I referred to effective fat burning as ‘a combination of a number of things’. With interval and resistance training we have our first combination. Quite simply, there is nothing better for fat loss than interval training. It’s important to stay away from ‘quick-fix’ ideas, but there is no doubt interval training is the exercise that will help you lose fat the fastest.
If you really want to lose fat quickly, particularly visceral/abdominal fat, then there is nothing better than doing sprints. Whether that be out on the road, on a treadmill, or wherever. Sprinting raises the heart rate and burns calories quickly. If you prefer, high-intensity cycling or rowing can have similar effects.
So what’s the point in doing resistance training if what you want is to burn fat? Well, obviously any sort of exercise will increase your heart rate, and therefore burn calories. There’s more to it than that though.
Some resistance training will use very few muscles and not really impact your fat burning. However, there are resistance exercises that require you to use a lot of muscle mass, and this is what you want. The more muscle mass that you are using in an exercise, the more calories you will burn.
It’s easy to think that, conversely to interval training, resistance training has to be disjointed and relatively low intensity. This is a misconception. Using an exercise like kettle ball swings allows you to perform continuous exercise at a slightly faster pace than other total body workouts, e.g. dumbbell squats.
This type of resistance training allows you then to increase strength, whilst at the same time, you are simulating the type of movement you would do during interval training.
There’s no definitive answer, and there isn’t a ‘best exercise’ that will burn fat at a rate way beyond the next best. What we do have though is an understanding of the exercises that will aid fat burning.
If burning fat is your main goal then the important thing to remember is that you aren’t looking for one magic exercise, you are trying to develop a system – a fat burning system.
This system needs to incorporate 3 main areas:
- High-intensity resistance training
- Consistent interval training
- High-quality diet
In supplement to this, you want to be focusing on total body workouts and pulling exercises. Total body workouts such as squats, or pulling exercises such as chin ups will help to sculpt and define your muscles, and aid fat burning at the same time.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect what you’re already doing. But if you add these aspects to your exercise you will find burning fat to be easier than you thought.
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