Looking for fat loss workouts that help you burn fat and build muscle – quickly and easily? Discover the best exercises to get rid of stubborn belly fat, boost your energy, improve your stamina and make you healthy.
Which fat loss workouts really work? Many of us have a strong desire to do something for our body and health, especially at the start of a new year.
- We look in the mirror and wish for a more toned and ripped physique or a less obvious belly bulge.
- We glare in distaste at the muffin top each time we slip on a favorite pair of jeans, wishing it would just disappear.
- Many want to lose fat around their middle. Folks dream of leaner thighs and a firmer butt.
- We want to get rid of the extra rolls of fat under our arms, those bat-like wings that seem to flap when we wave goodbye.
Well, it’s time to say goodbye to the excess fat with these smart fat loss workouts that really work.
So, which are today’s best fat loss workouts that will deliver results?
Let’s get one thing clear first, before we begin.
It is not easy to get rid of fat selectively from one part of the body, such as from the belly or thigh alone. This is known as spot reduction – and it just doesn’t work.
It is especially difficult to get rid of belly fat. You have to practice whole body fat loss workouts, and also specific exercises that target areas of concern, in order to achieve an overall reduction in body fat.
There is no guarantee that you will get a flat tummy just because you are doing hundreds of crunches.
Our bodies work differently from what we hope for. While it possible to lose fat all over the body, spot reduction is nearly impossible. Effective fat loss workouts for spot reduction of fat simply do not exist.
So let’s discuss fat loss workouts that actually work.
Build Core Strength with Fat Loss Workouts
Fat loss workouts that target your core muscles and build strength through core exercises are the key to torching extra fat.
You must pick exercises that activate your core muscles. When activated, these muscles keep on burning fat all through the day.
Core fat loss workouts are the fastest and easiest way to lose fat from your belly and other problem areas.
Also, when you build core strength you
- develop better posture,
- are less likely to put stress on your joints and
- can eliminate knee pain and back aches.
As you build muscle, you’ll also get rid of fat because muscles burn 3 times as many calories for energy than any other tissue in the body.
That’s the reason why it’s smart to concentrate on fat loss workouts to build core strength.
HIIT Fat Loss Workouts
High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT workouts are great fat loss workouts.
In this form of physical exercise, you work at high intensity in short bursts – and do normal training during the remaining period.
For instance, pick any set of activities like
- jumping jacks,
- high knees,
- mountain climbers and
Try to do as many of them as possible within 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Once more, for the next 30 seconds, perform a different exercise, followed by rest for 30 seconds.
Keep alternating this way, doing 30 seconds of an intense exercise and taking a break for 30 seconds of rest, for around 10 to 30 minutes depending on your fitness levels.
You can do variations with 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds rest, or one minute activity followed by 30 seconds rest.
With this form of HIIT weight loss workouts you’ll burn the calories at high intensity as your heart is forced to work hard. Long after the workout ends, your body keeps burning calories.
You can pick from several different HIIT routines developed by experts and fitness trainers. Start at the beginner level and build up your stamina.
Here’s a sample HIIT fat loss workout to try out:
- Do a 10-minute warm-up.
- For 30 seconds do as many reps as possible of squats. (or push-ups, kettlebell swings, or single-arm rows).
- Rest for 30 seconds and do a different exercise for the next 30 seconds.
- Continue this way for 10 rounds.
You may choose any of your favorite exercises, as long as you make sure they work different parts of your body. This will help one set of muscles recover while you exercise others.
Another routine devised by Jillians Michaels is the 7-minute HIIT workout.
This involves 20 seconds of intense activity and 10 seconds rest alternating for total of 7 minutes. Yes, it sounds easy… but by the time you are in the seventh minute you’ll be ready to drop!
HIIT is the ultimate fat loss workout, simply melting fat off your body.
Other Fat Loss Workouts
Next, let’s take a look at other fat loss workouts that build core strength and burn calories throughout the day.
1. Fat Loss Workouts with Burpees
It’s the ultimate core strengthening and fat burning exercise and works almost all the major muscle groups from chest to lats, shoulders to quads and triceps.
It involves explosive plyometric movements that get your heart pumping harder. Key to fat loss workouts is to get your heart rate up, and this works well at it.
How to do a burpee effectively?
- Stand with feet shoulder-distance apart.
- Go down in a low squat.
- Place your hands in front of you just a little inside of your feet.
- With weight on your hands kick your feet back so you are in a low plank position.
- Now push your body up to a high plank position or do a push up.
- Jump back into a crouch like a frog with your hands in front of you, returning to the starting position.
- Now stand tall with your hands above you jump explosively into the air.
You can do 3 sets of 20 reps each.
A person weighing 155 pounds doing 20 burpees a minute can burn 12.5 calories. In 20 minutes, you can lose 250 calories.
You can make this workout harder with this variation:
Medicine Ball Burpees
To make burpees more intense, add a medicine ball. It boosts your metabolism and helps you get sculpted abs faster.
- Hold a medicine ball while you stand with feet shoulder-distance apart.
- Extend it up towards the ceiling, then slam it as hard as possible on the ground.
- As you hinge over the ball, bend your knees.
- Jump back into a high plank position. Ensure your body is in a straight line.
- Now jump back with your feet just outside your hands into a squatting position.
- Pick the medicine ball back and press it overhead while extending your body and standing tall.
You can do 3 sets of 20 reps each.
There are even more variations to the basic burpees which you can try out over time, gradually adding to the intensity as you become comfortable with the basic version.
Make a slow transition, as correct form is more important than adding to the intensity.
Doing it the right way will prevent injuries and burn the most calories. This holds true for all fat loss workouts.
2. Mountain Climbers
Make this workout a key part of your weight loss plan and watch the rolls of fat just melt off your stomach area.
Here’s how to do mountain climbers:
- With your wrists directly under your shoulders move into a high plank position.
- Pull your stomach in and squeeze your butt.
- Now move your right knee towards your chest and then bring it back to the plank position.
- Do the same with your left knee. Drive it to your chest and then bring it back to plank.
- That is one mountain climber.
- Continue by alternating the legs.
To make it a little more difficult, you can include this variation:
- Drive your knee forwards toward your chest with a jump.
- And then jump back into a plank position.
- Do the same with the other leg.
- Continue this fat loss workout by alternating the legs.
You can do 3 sets of 20 reps each.
3. Fat Loss Workouts with Medicine Ball Slams – Two Types
A. Side-to-Side Medicine Ball Slams
Medicine ball slams are high energy exercises that target most major muscle groups.
In the side-to-side medicine ball slam, the obliques, hamstrings, quads, biceps and shoulder muscles are involved. But as you keep doing it for a longer time, almost every muscle in the body is recruited to compensate for other fatigued muscles.
This is a total fat busting exercise routine and can be considered more of an oblique abs workout, unlike the overhead medicine ball slam.
How to do a side-to-side medicine ball slam:
- Take the regular feet at shoulder-width apart stance.
- Hold the medicine ball to one side of your body.
- Rotate your body and slam the ball a few inches away from your feet.
- Go into the split squat while pivoting your feet to catch the ball on one bounce.
- Do it on alternate sides.
- Tighten your core as you bring the ball down from overhead for the bounce.
You can do 3 sets of 20 reps each.
B. Overhead Medicine Ball Slams
In the overhead slam you bring the ball from above your head to bounce in front of you. You’re working against gravity and it strengthens your core.
Use a heavy medicine ball for the highest benefit.
How to do overhead medicine ball slams:
- Pick up a medicine ball and stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
- Hold the medicine ball high above your head with your body fully extended.
- Now slam the ball downward while you hinge over the ball as you bend your knees.
- Squat to pick the ball up and stand up.
You can do 3 sets of 20 reps each.
4. Fat Loss Workout with Russian Twists
This is highly effective core exercise that strengthens the oblique abdominal muscles. You need a medicine ball or a dumbbell to perform this exercise.
How to do the Russian Twist:
- Sit with your spine straight on the floor with your knees bent.
- Lift your feet off the ground.
- While holding a medicine ball or dumbbell at chest height slightly lean back with your spine straight. Your body should be at 45 degree to your thighs.
- Now turn your upper body to the right, squeeze your oblique muscles on the right side
- Then turn to your left and squeeze the oblique muscles on left side. Move with your upper body not your arms.
You can do 3 sets of 20 reps each.
5. Fat Loss Workouts with Jogging/ Running/ Walking
A. Jogging Up an Incline:
If you live in a naturally hilly area, try jogging up and down inclines. The ideal slope is tall enough for a 5-10-minute jog.
If you don’t have access to an outdoor area, you can run on a treadmill set to a slight incline for 5-10 minutes. Then walk normally for 5-10 minutes.
Alternate this for a total of 30-45 minutes of jogging up an incline in a workout.
This routine will get your heart pumping and boost 50% more calories. That’s a simple and effective way to burn off more fat.
B. Jogging/Running on Flat Surfaces
Running up an incline can be hard on the joints. Regular jogging and running on a flat surface is easier and just as effective.
Jogging at between 4-6 mph or running faster than 6 mph are part of excellent fat loss workouts.
A person who weighs 150 pounds will burn off
- 280 calories with just 30 minutes of jogging, or
- 350+ calories with 30 minutes of running.
These fat loss workouts burn harmful visceral fat which wraps around internal organs and is linked to several harmful health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
Walking, jogging and running can be easily included in your daily routine.
- Wake up half hour early for a morning run around your block.
- Wear a good pair of running shoes and don’t pound too hard on the pavements.
- Run with a light step and use the correct technique to prevent injuries.
6. Fat Loss Workouts with Rowing or Cycling Machines
Fat loss workouts using rowing machines are ideal when you don’t have access to water recreational facilities.
You can get your heart rate up with some gut-busting rowing in the gym.
The rowing machine helps burn fat and works your legs, arms, shoulders, core and back muscles. It’s an underrated yet effective workout that most bodybuilders overlook in the gym.
If you have access to a water body, try rowing with friends. It can be a fun outing while giving your muscles a workout.
How to Do Fat Loss Workouts with Rowing Machine:
You can try this 4-minute circuit on the rowing machine.
- Row for 20 seconds and stop for 10 seconds,
- row a little faster for the next 20 seconds and again rest for 10 seconds.
- Now row faster than the previous time and again rest for 10 seconds.
- Repeat this circuit rowing for 4 minutes trying to beat your own rowing distance in from the previous 20 seconds.
- Once you are done with this 4-minute circuit rowing, row a fast 500 meters without breaks.
- Note your time.
- Try to beat this number in your next rowing session.
Cycling improves fitness and helps you lose weight. Use your gym’s stationary bike if you don’t like cycling outdoors.
A 155-pound person can burn 260 calories in half hour of cycling a stationary bike at a moderate pace.
Those who cycle have better health indicators like
- better fitness,
- increased levels of insulin sensitivity and
- lower heart disease risk.
- smaller risk of cancer and death.
It is a low impact exercise that’s gentle on the knees and suitable for all age groups and fitness levels.
You could try out the fat loss workouts on your stationary bike in the same way as with the rowing machine.
With each session try to increase your speed or increase the difficulty or the incline. Improve your numbers with each workout.
7. Fat Loss Workouts with Strength Training
Most folks don’t challenge themselves enough when it comes to strength training. They stick to moderate weights and don’t push their bodies to try any harder.
Fat loss workouts for strength training
- should target multiple-muscle groups,
- should be done in correct form and
- use progressively heavier weights.
Don’t be afraid of heavier weights. Just increase the weights in a gradual and sustained manner under the supervision of a trainer.
Maintain correct form all the time. Use the correct muscle groups. Lifting heavy weights help burn fat long after you leave the gym.
Weight training is a popular choice in fat loss workouts.
A 70-kg person will burn approximately 112 calories in 30 minutes of weight training. But more importantly it helps by making you stronger and promotes muscle growth. This automatically increases your resting BMR.
A person with more muscle mass has a higher resting BMR than those with less. That means even while doing nothing, you will still burn more calories every day than those with less muscle.
While aerobic exercises help burn more calories during workouts strength training, fat loss workouts help burn more calories for many hours after the training workout.
- Alternate between upper, lower and abs in the gym.
- Aim for at least 5 sessions of 45 minutes of strength training a week.
- Do 3 sets of each weight training exercise with 10 reps for medium weights and adequate rests periods in between.
It is important to rest to help the muscles recover and for correct form. Rests should be 30 seconds and slightly more if you are lifting heavy weights.
8. Fat Loss Workouts with Walking
Many people think walking is useless as a part of fat loss workouts.
Well, that’s not true.
- 45-60 minutes of brisk walking in the open not only enhances your mood, it also burns off calories.
- You can’t hurt yourself while walking. Injuries due to overtraining in the gym is a real danger. Walking is one of the best ways to bust the belly fat without damaging any part of the body.
- Walk with an easy gait wearing good pair of shoes.
- Walking is relaxing and stress-busting too. Stress leads to production of cortisol, a hormone which contributes to storing belly fat.
- Older folks and those with injuries can also walk as it is the least stressful of exercises in every sense.
So, once a week, go for a long and brisk walk instead of working out in the gym.
Rapid walking for one hour daily will burn one pound of fat in a week. Think about it. That’s quite a great result for a such simple exercise.
A 155-pound (70-kg) person burns around 167 calories per 30 minutes of walking at a moderate pace of 4 mph (6.4 km/h).
Twenty obese women were studied over a 12-week period. They walked for 50-70 minutes, 3 times per week. On average these women lost 1.5% body fat and around 1 inch of fat from around their waist.
Walking can be done anywhere and doesn’t need any special equipment. You could also do intense bursts of fast walking followed by a relaxed pace, and do this for 2 minutes every 10 minutes for better results.
9. Fat Loss Workouts with Yoga
Many people don’t really understand how or why yoga is so popular as part of fat loss workouts.
Yoga uses breathing control and body weight to
- improve endurance,
- build muscle and
- boost your metabolism.
Join a beginner level yoga class. Stick with it for a month or two.
You may not even notice any change in the beginning. But soon, the way you walk, your agility and your range of movements will ratchet up.
You will be walking faster. You can reach up higher, and bend without any aches or pains as your flexibility improves.
With the daily stretching and gradual loosening of even the tightest of your muscles you will find that you are more active. Being active the whole day burns more calories than any one hour or half hour gym session.
It also improves your mental health tremendously as the controlled breathing you practice in yoga classes helps calm your mind.
Yoga is not just a form of exercise it is also a way of life.
- Yoga teaches you mindfulness and self-control.
- It can help with resisting unhealthy food or stop you from overeating.
- It also helps you recognize your body’s hunger signals and practice mindful eating.
You can do yoga exercises anywhere – if you have a clean and well-ventilated room and a mat.
If you can’t join a class there are plenty of tutorials online and classes you can download or follow along with experts.
10. Fat Loss Workouts with Swimming
Those with injuries or joint problems can choose swimming as an alternative to other intensive forms of fat loss workouts.
Once you learn to swim – it is fun and great way to stay in shape.
Swimming helps tone the entire body and is easy to stay in shape with this fun activity. Just half hour of swimming can help burn off 230 calories in a 70 kg person. Like yoga, swimming also calms your mind.
Do a combination of freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly stroke swimming workouts for a complete body workout. Forty-five minute to one hour of continuous swimming burns nearly 700 calories.
You can do HIIT swim or ladder swim workouts to increase the calories you’ll burn.
11. Fat Loss Workouts with Pilates
One more relaxing and simple way to lose fat is through Pilates.
A 140-pound individual can burn 100 calories in a beginner’s Pilates class in half hour. It is also an enjoyable way to lose weight.
When you have fun doing something, you are likely to stick with it for a longer time.
Pilates wins hands down over most other fat loss workouts. If you don’t enjoy jogging, running or cycling, maybe Pilates will appeal to you.
- People who do this consistently and for at least 3 months have seen a significant reduction in waist size, stomach size and hip size.
- There are other benefits like reduced back pain and better core strength.
- Pilates contributes to your endurance, balance, strength, flexibility and overall fitness.
- You can do this at home or at gyms with special Pilates classes.
- Combine Pilates with other forms of fat loss workouts like weight training or cardio training to get maximum benefits.
Factors That Affect Weight Loss
If you are wondering how much you can expect to lose doing these weight loss workouts, you have to remember that several things can affect this.
1. Starting weight – Those who weigh more shed more weight initially compared to those who weigh less.
2. Age – Those who are older tend to lose weight more slowly than the younger folks. Older people carry more fat than muscle and this means their resting metabolic rate is lower compared to younger person who has more muscle.
3. Gender – Women have more fat as compared to men. So they tend to lose weight more slowly than men.
4. Calories consumed – Those who eat fewer calories than what their body needs for energy will lose weight faster.
5. Sleep/Rest – An often-ignored aspect of weight loss is sleep. Sleeping for 8 hours a day is the best way to regulate hormones, reduce stress and to keep you healthy. It also keeps your cravings for unhealthy food under control.
6. Health Conditions – Those with thyroid problems, depression and certain genetic conditions may be unable to lose weight at the same rate as their normal counterparts. Treat your health issues. If not, understand that you will have to work harder to lose weight. Also, your rate of fat loss will be slower.
How Much Weight Can I Lose Safely?
It is safest to lose about 2 pounds or maximum 3 pounds per week. More than that is not recommended.
If you lose weight too fast you might have to face other issues like fatigue, lethargy, headache, constipation, irritability, irregular periods, dehydration, gallstones and more.
Your immunity might be affected if you are not eating adequately or a proper healthy diet. There is also real danger of regaining the lost weight when you lose too quickly.
Dealing with Weight Loss Plateaus
Don’t feel disheartened if your weight loss tapers off after steady decline initially. This is natural.
It means you have to rework your diet and exercise regime to kickstart the weight loss process again. Increase the intensity of fat loss workouts or decrease the calorie intake.
Add variations to your exercise by choosing a different activity. Adjust proteins vs fats vs carbs ratio in your daily intake to factor in the new reality of your new weight.
Variety Is Key to Keeping Boredom Away
It is important to choose a variety of different ways to keep active.
Doing the same exercise everyday might lead to stress injuries as the same bones/joints and muscles are being worked on every day leading to stress fractures or joint pains.
Choose workouts that target different parts of the body. Choose activities that you enjoy doing as you will then stick to them for the long-term.
Pick Fat Loss Workouts That Maintain Muscle Mass
When on a weight loss journey most folks concentrate on eating less, exercising more and eating right but the important aspect of building or maintaining muscle mass is often overlooked.
It is important to maintain muscle even as you lose weight.
Muscles keep you strong, toned and in burning 3 times more calories than fat. So, when planning on your fat loss workouts make sure you include strength training exercises and eat right.
When you start exercising more and eating less the body quickly adapts to it and goes into a lower basal metabolic rate. This is undesirable and counterproductive. You need a high base metabolic rate to keep burning away those calories through the day and that is only possible when you have muscles.
The goal with your fat loss workouts to lose weight should be to lose fat, maintain muscle mass and slowly change your physique to be stronger and toned. With the new body should come increased fitness and strength.
Increase your protein intake. Protein keeps you satisfied, is tasty, helps build muscle and needs more calories to digest.
Eat 20-30% of your calories in the form of fat. This is a rich source of energy and keeps you from feeling hungry on a low-calorie diet.
Fill the rest of your calorie intake in the form of carbs and fresh produce. It is okay to eat up to 10% of your daily calorie intake in the form treats or desserts.Don’t exceed this limit though.
So, in a 1500 calorie diet you can have 150 calorie treats if you so desire per day. It is optional. This is to keep you from feeling deprived and developing a raging craving which sabotages all your efforts in a few hours/days of binge eating.
Our bodies are not machines. They are complex organisms.
There are hundreds of factors that influence how each of our bodies react to different fat loss workouts, diet and calorie deficit.
Tailoring the above to your body should help broadly in helping you reach your fat loss goals. But you will need to adjust and learn from the signals your body gives you.
A little flexibility goes a long way in achieving your fat loss workouts goals. That, and following a system like the ‘14 Day Rapid Fat Loss Plan‘ (learn more about it here: click)