Are you ready to shed pounds of fat and work toward a leaner physique? While there are hundreds of exercise routines out there, you really only need a core set of moves to work all your muscles and torch fat.
To lose weight the healthy way, consult with your physician before you begin any exercise regimen. If your physician determines it is OK to participate in exercise, start with a set of light dumbbells (3 to 5 pounds) and a place to work out. Once you build up strength and endurance, you can consider moving to a heavier weight, but begin light to avoid injury. Doing cardio is a surefire way to burn calories, but we’ve also got some combo moves to help speed up your progress. So grab your workout gear and get ready to do these five exercises to blast fat and build muscle.
Cardio helps blast fat throughout your body, and jumping jacks are a simple move you probably remember from your elementary school gym-class days. While it’s a great move to burn calories, don’t overdo the amount of repetitions — you could send yourself back to square one with injuries. Start with 10-minute sets, taking a break in between each set.
Squats sculpt your thighs, buttocks and hamstrings, so they are a great lower-body move. When you add in the press with your dumbbells, you engage your core and shoulders for a total-body fat blast and lean muscle move. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, bend your elbows and bring your weights to your shoulders. Bend into a squat as though you are about to sit in a chair. Come back to a standing position and press your weights above your head. Do about 10 reps at a time for optimal results. Want to make sure you’re doing it right? Here’s a tutorial.
Plank and Dumbbell Row
Planks are an excellent way to tone your core muscles and get the chiseled stomach we all dream of. Take this move up a notch by adding weights and a dumbbell row, so you strengthen your back, shoulders, biceps and triceps at the same time. Come into a plank on the floor. Lift your body by holding your dumbbells and straightening your arms. Keep your feet wider than hip-width apart. Tighten your abs while lifting one dumbbell in a rowing motion, then bring your weight back down and repeat on the other side. Keep your hips as centered as you can, so you don’t shift your body weight from side to side with each rep. Eight reps per side is recommended for beginners. Check out this video on how to perfect this move.
Lunges with Bicep Curls
This move tones your quadriceps and biceps in one swift motion. Combining these movements also improves stability. With your dumbbells in hand, step forward into a lunge, while simultaneously curling the weights upward. Keep your front knee above your ankle and keep your elbows close to your body. Alternate legs going forward, doing 10 reps for each leg.
High knees are simple and get your heart pumping in a matter of seconds. They are also great for strengthening your core. In a standing position, begin a sprint and lift your knees as high up as you can. Use your arms as you would when running to support the momentum. Try doing this for 20-second intervals.
These moves should give you a starting point to achieve a lean, yet muscular, physique. Remember to always warm up before getting into the key moves to avoid injury and stay hydrated before, during and after your workout. It’s also worth noting that a successful exercise regime is paired with a healthy diet and clean eating. Not only will a clean diet help you lose weight, it will give you the energy to continue with your fitness efforts.