Let’s face it: losing weight is hard. There are far too many things we’ve all tried that don’t seem to crack through that last little layer of fat. So when it comes to making real change, you need something to shock your system. All too often we get into a set workout routine that includes the things we are familiar and comfortable with.
Here’s the problem: the more familiar your body is with an exercise, the less effective that exercise becomes. So what’s the best way to shake up your routine and jumpstart your weight loss? Multi-tasking. These amazing total-body exercises work multiple areas at the same time in order to burn more fat.
Why Total Body Exercises Burn More Fat
The simple science is that the more muscles you involve in any particular exercise, the more oxygen needed to fuel those muscles and the more energy that gets burned doing so—i.e. calories.
Take a simple bicep curl, for instance. It’s a small move that gives concentrated results. A bicep curl with a forward lunge, however, is going to recruit more muscle groups. You use the bicep plus the muscles in the lower body; this burns more calories and fat, which gives you better results in less time. If you wanted to go one step further with that move, you’d add a plyometric (jumping) element for a massive cardio push.
That’s why the 7 total-body moves below are so darn effective: they recruit multiple muscle groups to multi-task your workout so you burn more fat in less time. Don’t be intimidated! These moves are highly effective but they’re also easy to master.
The good news is that you can KEEP your current workout routine if you like it. Just take what you have and sprinkle some of these moves into the mix. If you’re a runner, run for a few minutes and then stop and throw in 10 split jumps and keep on jogging for a bit before you do some burpees. If you are an indoor cyclist, start your ride and 10 minutes later hop off the bike for 10 push-up jacks. Love the elliptical? Keep hand weights nearby and get off the machine every so often for some of the exercises below.
7 Total-Body Exercises That Burn Fat Fast
If you’re looking to incorporate the exercises below into a workout, be sure to check out our 45-minute total body workout video.
Go through these moves in order, doing 10-15 repetitions for each exercise, resting 30 seconds before going to the next move. Repeat the sequence a second time through and you’ve just done a killer workout in 15-minutes!
The split jump is an amazing lower body move that will sculpt all your leg and butt muscles. In addition, this move is a plyometric, which adds a big cardio element to torch more calories!
Be sure to bend BOTH knees as you land and keep your core pulled in tight. You’ll be feeling the burn on this one!
A squat with a shoulder press is an excellent move, but a Squat Thruster is better! This move takes it to the next level. By adding a little power, or a small hop, as you press the weights up, the move suddenly leaves you breathless and fully aware that your entire body is working! You sculpt your rear and create beautiful shoulders while burning tons of calories.
As you press upward from the squat, but sure to use your heels to keep weight IN YOUR BUTT and out of your knees.
Related: How To Do A Proper Squat
Lunges are one of the best moves you can do when you want to lift your butt and tone your thighs. Forward lunges give you a bit more of a heart rate push, which is created by the movement. Then by throwing in a bicep curl, not only do your legs and heart work harder, but your arms get sculpted too. Bonus!
Ah, the burpee. How has this move survived for so many years? It works. No, I mean really, think about it—you jump into a plank for strong, sculpted abs and arms, you move quickly back to standing and then jump in the air and send your heart rate flying! They truly work every muscle in your body, so even if they aren’t your favorite, know you’re getting the most bang for your buck (or your burpee!) when you perform them.
Push-ups are the ultimate upper body exercise. You should do them a couple times a week to not only get stronger but sculpt lean, toned arm muscles. Adding a jumping jack move with your feet takes the push-up to an entirely new level.
Besides your arms and shoulders, your core now also gets an amazing workout and the cardio element adds to the calorie burn.
The surrender is a tried and true exercise. It works the entire body and will get your heart rate bookin’.
Start kneeling and then simply stand up one foot at a time and press weights over your head. Not complicated at all! Just a huge move with huge results that utilizes the entire body.
Last but not least, here’s a move to work on your six-pack and burn calories to boot.
Hopping your lower body up and over so that your feet jump from one side to another stems from great core control. You’ll know you need to use more core if your feet make too much noise when they land. This should be a fairly quiet exercise.
Once you’ve done each exercise, go back to the first one and try doing the whole routine one more time, creating a 15-minute routine that will blast fat and leaving you feeling fit!