You want results. We get that. Here are the top bodyweight exercises you need to perform to start seeing more lean muscle, less flab and a better body in less time.
There’s no time like the present to take your conditioning to a new level. Step off the treadmill for today and try these 10 body weight exercises to ramp up your fat burning.
These exercises are fantastic because they keep you moving. Also, they can be altered for beginner weight training or advanced. Remember, using more muscle groups will burn a greater amount of calories. These 10 exercises are your ticket to being bigger, stronger and leaner than you’ve ever dreamed.
This exercise is one of the best overall fat burning exercises you’ll ever attempt. If you want to improve your muscular endurance or simply jack up your heart rate, perform a dozen or more of these exercises. This exercise will work your chest, legs, and abdominals.
This Is How To Do A Burpee
Start in a standing position and then jump down to the floor, kick your feet back and perform a push-up. Then, jump back up with your knees coming up towards your chest. Jump up by performing a squat jump with your arms up overhead.
What Do I Need To Know About Burpees?
These are a full body weight exercises, but you’ll feel it mostly in your legs, back, core, chest and arms. Kick up the intensity by doing them quicker. No added weight required.
Also, remember to include this move at the end of a workout and perform as many reps as possible in a given amount of time. If you are a beginner at working out, aim for performing 10 burpees as fast as possible. Make sure you are not flopping down to the floor and performing sloppy push-ups.
One of the hardest but most rewarding exercises for most people in the gym is how to do a pull-up. Being able to perform just one rep can be a challenge for most. Just keep working at the pull-up and you can earn a wider, more defined back and burn fat at the same time.
This Is How To Do A Pull-up
While hanging from a straight bar or set of handles, engage your shoulder blade muscles. Keep your shoulder blades tight, tilt your chin up and puff your chest out. With your back muscles, pull up as high as possible. When your scapula is fully retracted, use your biceps to pull yourself the rest of the way up.
What Do I Need To Know About Pull-Ups?
The primary muscles in this exercise are the lats and biceps. Most won’t expect it, but the abdominals will also get pumped well during this movement.
To make this exercise harder, you can wear a pull-up belt and attach a plate for more weight. To make it easier, most commercial gyms have an assisted pull-up machine to take some of your body weight off the lift.
When beginning, if you can’t do a real pull up, just keep practicing—even if you’re only doing a partial rep. That is the only way to get proficient at this exercise. Pull-ups should be done at the beginning of a workout. The reason is that they challenge your target muscles, but also fatigue your hands, which will ensure you aren’t using grip strength or the power of your arms to get through a solid back workout.
Lunges are a fantastic exercise for making you body a fat burning furnace. If you really want to get the most out of this move, do it to exhaustion. Being able to do stationary or walking lunges in your workout will help with your fat burning efforts by harnessing more muscles and raising your heart rate.
This Is How To Do A Lunge
Take an exaggerated step forward or backward. Once your foot is placed out in front, keep your weight distributed evenly between both legs. While keeping your balance, descend without letting your back knee hit the ground. Drive up through your front heel and explode backwards to the standing position.
What Do I Need To Know About Lunges?
Your legs are the primary muscle targets for this exercise with a focus on the quads and glutes. You can kick up the intensity holding a dumbbell in each hand or by jumping instead of walking. If you are a beginner working out, really focus on the form. Don’t allow yourself to get sloppy on this exercise.
#4 Lunge With Rows
As if lunges couldn’t be any harder, doing lunges with rows is a brutal exercise that pushes the strongest of all people. Lunging with rows is a very deceiving exercise that will give you the most bang for your buck when building a stronger, leaner body.
This Is How To Do A Lunge With Rows
Take an embellished step backward or forward as you would for a regular lunge. With your foot in that position, keep your weight distributed evenly between both legs. While keeping balance, descend without letting your back knee hit the floor. When down in the lunge position, extend your arms forward by reaching out in front of you and act like you are rowing a boat.
What Do I Need To Know About Doing A Lunge With A Row?
Like with the typical lunge, you’re primarily working your legs with this move. Beyond the legs, you’ll also be hitting your lats and building overall strength and stability. This is a great workout finisher.
#5 Jumping Jacks
Everyone remembers doing this exercise as a kid. It hasn’t changed, but your seriousness level for fitness better have! Even though gym teachers use this exercise for a great warm-up, it can also be an outstanding addition to any workout.
This Is How To Do A Jumping Jack
Standing nice and tall, jump up in the air about 4 inches off the ground. While in the air, raise both your arms above your head and slightly part your legs. Your body should briefly create an X shape. Then, return your arms and legs to the starting position. This will put your body in an I shape.
What Do I Need To Know About Jumping Jacks?
Just like it did in grade school, jumping jacks will get your body primed for fat burning. They are great for getting your heart rate up. This full body move will be good for any beginner looking to take his or her fitness to the next level.
Don’t do this exercise if you have any ankle issues. Also, be aware of poor arch support in your shoes. Bad arch support will make this move very uncomfortable.
#6 Jump Rope
Rocky Balboa didn’t perform this exercise just for the fun of it. The jump rope is a killer exercise for conditioning and overall fat burning. Add this exercise anywhere in a workout and you will reap the benefits immediately. This is an often forgotten exercise that people soon learn to love.
This Is How To Jump Rope
This exercise is all about timing. Start with the jump rope behind you. As you bring the jump rope over top of you, jump once you see the rope line up even with your eyeballs. Repeat until you can’t do anymore.
What Do I Need To Know About Jumping Rope?
This exercise will target the calf muscles(great calf workout), hamstrings, and glutes. To make this exercise harder, you can jump with one foot only. As a beginner who might not have this exercise mastered quite yet, just keep practicing!
Don’t land flat footed when performing this exercise. Once you hit the ground, you need to spring back up. This is a great finisher because it helps build your conditioning.
#7 Mountain Climbers
With this fat burning exercise, you will literally burn out your legs and glutes. Mountain climbers are arguably the most intense fat burning bodyweight exercises out there.
Are you ready to hit your whole body in one move?
This Is How To Do A Mountain Climber
Begin in your push-up position by holding yourself up off the floor. One at a time, bring one leg in towards your chest and then work up to alternating quickly. Quick switches with your legs should be the focus. It’s kind of like doing high knee kicks from a push-up position.
What Do I Need To Know About Mountain Climbers?
This exercise will focus on the glutes, hamstrings, and shoulders. If you want to get more out of this move, alternate your legs as quickly as possible. For beginners, slow the pace down.
Make sure you are keeping your spine in a neutral position and don’t arch your back or stick your hips up too high. Include this move near the end of your routine to ramp up some fat burning and overall body conditioning.
#8 Squat Jumps
This exercise is one of the primary movements in the burpee. However, you should be able to do more reps of this one since it’s only a part of the burpee.
While using your legs for power, you will also work your abs when you jump up and down. The isometric stress from this exercise will really work your core. This exercise is great for leg power while also trimming up the midsection.
This Is How To Do A Squat Jump
Start this exercise just as you would a normal bodyweight squat. When you squat down, bring your arms backwards like you would start any other jump. Once you hit the bottom of your squat, drive the hips all the way forward and jump. Land firmly and repeat.
What Do I Need To Know About Squat Jumps?
This is another great move that mostly works your legs and hips, but your abs also taking a beating. You can make this exercise more intense by holding a set of dumbbells or simply jumping higher.
Being able to do 20 repetitions of this exercise will be a great start for someone looking for a new lower body fat burning exercise. Make sure you are not landing sloppy on this exercise. This move is great for warm-ups, after heavy back squats or at the end of your workout.
Here is one exercise that will really work the chest and triceps muscle groups. When you want to build a bigger and more defined chest, people will often just stick with flat bench presses or dumbbell flyes. But, the truth is that push-ups should be the exercise to add to a workout for a bigger more defined chest. Look at brad pitt in troy, all of the push-ups in the military served him well and if your really trying to step it up you can attempt 100 push ups challenge.
This Is How To Do A Push-Up
While down on the floor, place your hands just past shoulder width apart. Position yourself up on your toes and keep your legs, hips, torso, neck and head in a straight line. Keep your abdominals and glutes braced throughout the exercise. On the descent, keep your elbows close to your body. Once your nose or chin almost touches the floor, drive back up through the base of your hands.
What Do I Need To Know About Push-Ups?
This fat burning exercise will primarily target the chest, triceps, and deltoids. You’ll also hit your abs, glutes and back muscles. If you need to make this exercise easier, perform your push-ups on a bench or incline. As a beginner, make sure you keep your elbows tight and don’t allow them to flare out.
Push-ups are great for any part of your workout. If you need to warm up the chest and triceps, push ups will really get the muscles firing on all cylinders. Try performing two sets at the end of your next chest workout. Push yourself to failure on those two sets and try to set a new personal record.
#10 Air Squats
Back to some squat movement patterns! This lower body, fat burning exercise can really ramp up some fat burning conditioning for you. Whether you want to perform 10 or 100 repetitions on this exercise, you will gain great benefits.
This Is How To Do Air Squats
Start this exercise with your feet just wider than shoulder width apart. While maintaining a neutral spine position, keep your hips back with your weight shifted to your heels. Your chest should stay upright and face straight ahead. When you squat down, keep your arms out in front of you. Once you hit the bottom of your squat, pause briefly and then drive the hips all the way up to the starting position.
What Do I Need To Know About Air Squats?
You are hitting your quads, hamstrings and glutes most with this move. The abs and back muscles act as active stabilizers. To make this exercise more intense, perform the squats faster or deeper.
Remember, as a beginner, you don’t need to go super low on this exercise. If going below parallel is something you struggle to do with proper form, don’t. Also, do not let your weight shift to your toes, keep the weight back and drive the glutes back.
This exercise can be done during warm-ups or as an exhaustion exercise at the end of a workout. After your next lower body workout, try to do 100 reps in a row and feel your quads burn like never before.
Burning fat is the main goal of a lot of people who decide to start going to the gym. Unfortunately, far too many people place too much emphasis on cardiovascular exercises and neglect bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight exercises really work to ramp up your fat loss. They do so because the more muscles you call into action, the more calories you will burn. Along the way, you’ll find that you not only burn fat, but also gain muscle. Sounds like a winning combination!
By Patrick Thompson, NSCA-CPT