Any strength training is good for your body, but not all moves are created equal. If you're looking to drop pounds—quickly—look no further than this 6-step workout.
One of the latest performance trends is high-intensity training geared at improving how well your body can convert energy into the kind your working muscles can use (also known as mitochondrial density), says Kyle Dobbs, a National Academy of Sports Medicine-certified personal trainer and personal training manager at The Wright Fit in New York City.
"The more mitochondrial density you have, the longer you can train at higher intensities, which leads to more calorie burning overall," says Dobbs.
The dozen moves below work perfectly for ramping up your calorie-burning ablilities because you can use the same amount of resistance for each one, helping you quickly transition to the next exercise and keep your heart rate (and cal-torching potential) buzzing high.
Start a stopwatch and perform each exercise for 10 reps on the minute in order.
Repeat twice for three total rounds, resting for two minutes between each round.
MARCHING GLUTE BRIDGE
This lower-body blaster isolates both glutesindividually, while also stabilizing your core for increased activation throughout the exercise. And that's perfect for more efficient calorie burning.
How to do it: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor, palms up. Raise your hips so that your body forms a straight line from shoulders to knees
(A). Brace your abs and lift your right knee towards your chest. Hold for two seconds, then lower your right foot
(B). Repeat with the other leg. That's one rep.
This dynamic movement recruits core-stabilizing muscles, which integrates more muscle groups simultaneously for a higher calorie burn. You'll also work on shoulder and core mobility while training your abdominals and obliques. Woot!
How to do it: Start in a pushup position
(A). Keeping your arms straight and your core engaged, shift your weight onto your left arm, rotate your torso to the right, and raise your arm toward the ceiling so that your body forms a T.
Hold, then return to start and repeat on the other side.
LOW LATERAL LUNGE
You'll love the lunge for opening up your hips while working your glutes (big metabolism igniters) and obliques. And you'll love the lateral movement for working your body through an alternate plane of motion.
How to do it: Stand with your feet about twice shoulder-width apart. Shift your weight to your right leg as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your knees. Keep your right leg perpendicular to the floor and your left foot on the ground
(A). Without raising yourself back up to a standing position, reverse the movement to the left
(B). That's one rep.
The deadlift is everything, especially when you do it on one leg: You'll work your entire posterior chain (a.k.a. glutes and hamstrings) and challenge your core (it has to jump in to prevent you from tipping forward). The result: increased muscle integration creates high-caliber calorie burning.
How to do it: Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, and hold them at arm's length in front of you
(A). Keep your knees slightly lbend and bend at your hips. Lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Yourr right leg should stay in line with your body
(B). Return to the starting position.
· 2 tbsp. butter, divided
· 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
· 3 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
· Juice of 1 lemon
· 2 tbsp. dry white wine (or water)
· Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil. Add shrimp, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until shrimp is pink, 3 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and stir in remaining tablespoon butter, lemon juice, white wine, and parsley.
Don’t give all the attention to your abs and booty. Strong shoulders are super important, too. You need them for everything from opening heavy doors to carrying kids to holding your blow dryer up. Plus, keeping the muscles around your shoulders strong means decreasing the chance of possible injuries, during your workouts or just daily life.
For exercises that sculpt your shoulders, lateral raises and dumbbell alternating shoulder press are great options. But between the two, lateral raises are the best bet, says New York-based trainer Chris Ryan, C.S.C.S.“Time and tension are the two main factors we look to for muscle strengthening and toning,” he explains. “Lateral raises keep the shoulder under tension the whole time and, as physics tells us (as does that deep burn a few reps in), the further you keep an object away from you, the heavier it is.”
Alternating presses are a good exercise, too, he adds. But since you’re working one shoulder and then the other, each arm is getting a quick rest in between reps, which limits the tension. Still, it doesn't hurt to keep both in your arsenal for shoulder day!
Want to try these moves out for yourself? Here's how:
How to: Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in. Without changing the bend in your elbows, raise your arms straight out to your sides until they're at shoulder level. Pause, then slowly lower the weights. That's one rep.
DUMBBELL ALTERNATING SHOULDER PRESS
How to: Hold the dumbbells next to your shoulders with your elbows bent. Your palms should be facing each other. Lift right dumbbell straight up until arm is fully extended, then return to start position. Repeat with left dumbbell. That's one rep.
FOR THE ROLL UPS
· 1 tube crescent dough
· 3 tbsp. mustard
· 1 lb. deli roast beef
· 12 slices provolene cheese
· 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
· 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
· 1 large onion, thinly sliced
· 2 sprigs thyme
· 1 tsp. kosher salt
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
· 1 tbsp. Flaky sea salt
· 1 tbsp. finely choppped parsley
FOR THE AU JUS
· 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
· 1 Garlic clove, minced
· 1 1/2 c. beef stock
· 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
· 1/4 tsp. thyme leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350º and grease an 8"-x-8" baking pan with cooking spray.
2. On a lightly floured surface, unroll dough and separate sheet into rectangles, then pinch perforations to seal. Spread mustard onto rectangles and set aside.
3. Caramelize onions: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter, then stir in onions and thyme sprigs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften and turn slightly golden. Season with salt and pepper, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until onions are soft and caramelized.
4. Make roll-ups: Top rectangles with roast beef and cheese, then cover with caramelized onions. Starting with one short side, roll up each rectangle. Pinch edges to seal, then brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and parsley. Cut each roll into 5 to 6 slices and place cut side up on baking pan. Bake until dough is slightly golden and cheese is melty, 15 to 18 minutes.
5. Make au jus: In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme, then season with salt and pepper and simmer until reduced, about 10 minutes.
6. Garnish with parsley and serve with au jus sauce for dipping.
In the weight-loss game, not all fat is created equal. And if you're trying to lose that belly pooch you just know is hiding a six pack, stomach fat is a particularly stubborn beast.
But never fear: A recent study just found that one workout is particularly apt at burning off belly—a.k.a. visceral—fat.
Visceral fat is not only a pain in the butt, it’s also extra unhealthy, since it’s located in the abdominal cavity and surrounds several important organs. So, researchers looked into how certain types of training could slim this particular area.
In the study, which was published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, participants did four workouts a week, relying on various types of exercise. One group did four steady-state cardio and strength workouts, while another group did two steady-state workouts and two high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.
Turns out HIIT is queen: The HIIT group not only lost more weight overall, they also lost more inches along their waistline, showing a significant reduction in visceral fat compared to the group that stuck to the steady-state gym routine. As an added bonus, the HIIT group also saw an increase in cardio respiratory fitness, while the other group did not.
The researchers say the fact that HIIT workouts are short and intense—allowing you to push your bod to the limit—may be why HIIT does such a killer job at incinerating the most unshakable fat.
Should your fitness routine consist only of HIIT workouts? Probably not. But, incorporating high-intensity intervals into your training schedule a few times per week can help you see results faster, says CrossFit trainer Hannah Eden, creator of the 28-Day Fat Torch guide.
In fact, compared to steady cardio exercise, HIIT burns more fat. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity had participants exercise over a 15-week period of time. Researchers found that fat mass decreased much more for the people who performed just 20 minutes of cycling intervals, three times a week, compared to people who did 40 minutes of steady cycling the same number of times per week.
More fat burn in less time is just one of the many reasons why interval workouts rock. Eden also notes that HIIT workouts are super enjoyable and efficient. Here, inspired by her 28-Day Fat Torch guide, Eden gives us nine reasons why every training schedule should incorporate intervals.
And if you like the tips you read here, check out the 28-Day Fat Torch guide for even more fitness advice.
1THEY’RE TIME EFFICIENT
By combining strength training and intense cardio exercises into one timed workout, HIIT targets multiple muscle groups while increasing cardio fitness. “You’ll reap the most benefits in the least amount of time,” Eden says.
2THEY’RE ENGAGING AND FUN
“Since HIIT workouts don’t take much time, you won’t get bored and will definitely stay engaged,” Eden says. “They are a lot more enjoyable than long, low-intensity workouts.”
3YOU’LL BURN CALORIES FOR HOURS
HIIT burns more calories than continuous exercise due to the afterburn effect. “You will continue burning calories for about two hours after your workout is complete,” Eden says.
4HIIT BOOSTS ENDURANCE
HIIT can improve your endurance and overall health. “It improves your blood pressure, which in turn fuels your body and brain to allow you to keep going for longer,” Eden says.
5THERE'S SO MANY VARIATIONS TO TRY
Eden likes to incorporate some strength movements into her programming. She says the options are endless, and strength movements incorporated with intense cardio enhance your results. “HIIT does not limit you to sprinting it out for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off,” Eden says. “You can constantly switch up your training. The sky is the limit!”
After gaining nearly 100lbs while suffering from PCOS, my journey to lose weight has finally ended and my love and appreciation for healthy but delicious food has just begun. This my story on how I lost nearly 90lbs while still completely indulging in life.