The Best of the Best!
Anyone familiar with me knows that I’m not a big fan of “best of” lists. I’m a big proponent of everything works, just not forever. If you were to compile a list of “weight loss exercises,” the list would be endless. Results depend on the execution of the entire plan.
With that being said, one can argue that there are several best exercises for weight loss – for instance, squats will always win over leg extensions. Amongst this list, you’ll notice some common trends: all of the exercises are compound movements (meaning that they use more than one joint to do the move), all are classic exercises with no gimmicks needed, and each exercise is quite simply hard to do.
Furthermore, those who often read my material know that I like to back things up with peer reviewed research and citing my sources. However, I’ll keep things short and sweet here and give you a more practical, hands on approach. After all, results speak for themselves.
Without further ado, the best exercises for weight loss:
- The Olympic Lifts
The Olympic lifts – the Clean and Jerk along with the Snatch – are phenomenal for enhancing power development and sports performance. They’re also have a huge metabolic factor to them because they literally recruit the whole body to execute. Outside of the super heavyweight classes, Olympic lifters have some pretty impressive body fat measurements. Some may knock the lifts, but that’s because most have not learn how to execute the lifts properly. If you know how to use them, then you can incorporate them into your program for some serious fat loss. If not, please make sure to learn how to perform the Olympic lifts from a qualified professional.
- The Back Squat
Similar to the Olympic Lifts, the back squat is a total body exercise. It goes far beyond just training your lower body – the squat requires focus, attention, and the coordination of nearly every muscle in your body. Squatting reasonable loads will also increase your growth hormone output – a hormone that will help you lose body fat and preserve muscle mass. In order for this to happen though, you need to lift a moderately heavy weight along with short rest periods. But that’s just one benefit, as squatting improves lower body function as well as increasing the level of testosterone in your body. If you had to pick one best exercise to lose weight, it should probably be the squat.
- Sled Pushes
Sleds are possibly the best conditioning tool out there. This requires you to load up a sled with some weight and push it a certain distance – for instance, 50 meters. Similar to squatting, a sled workout can increase your growth hormone output. The best benefit to sled pushes is that they are a concentric only exercise – which means that you can load up on the exercise without getting too sore and hampering your recovery.
Sprints have been talked about extensively here (just browse the blog), but once again, it’s an exercise that helps increase the “good” hormones in your body. Best of all, sprints require much less time than jogging and aerobic training. Studies done where subjects perform sprint workouts 3 times a week for 20 minutes a workout have had much more fat loss than traditional jogging programs.
Does this mean you should only do these exercises? No, of course not. However, some version of them should be mainstays in your program to ensure the best gains. For example, you can squat heavy one day and light another so that you’re still getting the gains from the move without overtraining yourself. The possibilities are endless. So what are you waiting for – go get started on your training!