Almost everyone that starts working out has a single thing in mind – keeping those fats in check. Controlling your body’s fat levels, however, isn’t as easy as some online fitness instructors make it out to be. It requires consistency and dedication and there are a few exercises that can be easily incorporated in your weekly routines to a level that they become a healthy part of your life. Among the best fat-burning exercises are the ones that will keep your heart rate in the right zone and workout your body long enough for it to start burning its fat supplies.
Here is the list of all the exercises that specialize in torching your body’s fat stores:
- Jumping rope
- Agility ladder drills
Now, let’s take a look at each exercise and see its potential benefits and drawbacks compared to the rest!
Jump ropes have been around for ages now but there has been a growing trend of people using them in group-exercises that primarily focus on conditioning and fat-burning. Jumping rope is, in its essence, an aerobic exercise that specializes in keeping your heart rate in Zones 2 and 3, which helps your body reach deep into its fat stores and start burning them instead of the fast carbohydrates. Now, I am not saying that you cannot have a high-intensity workout with a jump rope, quite the contrary, but in most cases people have long jump rope sessions that are extremely good at engaging all of your muscles, strengthening your core, improving your balance, and ultimately help you burn more fats.
Many people even implement jump ropes in CrossFit workouts which helps with the full-body conditioning those people are after.
Cycling is yet another dynamic aerobic exercise that is known for its low impact on your joints and excellent fat-burning properties. Cycling also has the added benefit of being able to be done from home by using a stationary bike. Still, going outdoors with your bike is a feeling that a lot of people are familiar with and it is easy to understand why there are so many cyclists on our roads. The exercise itself is a low-impact, low-intensity one that often continues for more than an hour. These are perfect conditions for your body to tap into its fatty tissue energy reserves and start burning those.
The clear disadvantages of cycling are that you need to buy a bike (either road or stationary one) and will have to take to the roads alone or with your riding buddies. It is also a bit more time-intensive than most other workouts and requires a bit more dedication. Stationary bikes tend to get boring if you ride them 4-5 times a week and will be harder to keep you motivated to push through the first few months of your weight loss journey.
If you’re set on the idea of cycling from your home, I suggest checking out my guide on some of the best recumbent bikes on the market for this year!
It goes without saying that running is an excellent way to get in shape and stay in shape. It is free to do if you plan on running outside but can be met by certain limitations. For instance, it is much harder to plan a good running route if you’re living downtown and don’t have a park nearby. Also, running is hard on the joints and overweight people might experience joint and muscle issues at first. Getting a treadmill for your home will help as it will take some of the stress off your joints and will also eliminate the need for route-planning. Just as with stationary bikes, however, treadmills tend to get boring and the good ones aren’t very cheap, to begin with. Additionally, if you’re set on running in the winter, you will need additional gear like winter running tights and other insulating clothes.
Still, one of the best benefits of running is that you can control the pace and, therefore, control the effects of the workout. For fat-burning purposes, you can go on a moderately slow jog that will keep your heart rate in zones 2 or 3. For some muscle endurance, you can always push the pace and get into higher HR zones. Running is also good for high-intensity interval workouts which is something proven to work in regards to fat-burning.
Agility ladder drills
The importance of agility ladder workouts in modern fat-burning programs has increased greatly over the last few drills. While they are a bit more impact-heavy on your body, agility ladders are one of the best full-body exercises out of the ones on this list. The good thing about them is that they are cheap and can be used on any flat surface, even in your home if you want to do some more static ladder exercises. There also is a vast range of agility ladder drills that can train anything from speed, dexterity, flexibility, to strength and conditioning. They are a good aerobic exercise when done in slower paces and are also an incredibly good fast-paced high-intensity workout if you push the pace harder.
Browse some of the best agility ladders for 2020 by clicking here!
In the beginning of the 21st century, rowing was primarily done outdoors in a lake or swimming pool and required quite a lot of resources to do it on a frequent basis. That made it unpractical for a weight-loss exercise. Nowadays, however, there are plenty of home rowing machines that you can use to workout from the comforts of your living room. Just as with stationary bikes, rowing machines are easy on your joints and are an excellent aerobic exercise that will keep your heart rate up throughout the workout and will promote fat-burning.
The few issues associated with rowers are that they are often expensive and have a steep learning curve if you’ve never used one. Once you get the hang of it, though, they become an irreplaceable full-body workout machine that can help you achieve most of your fitness goals!
High-intensity intervals training (HIIT) has been gaining a ton of popularity lately mainly because it has some tremendous effects on your cardiovascular system and is excellent for people that are looking to shed a few pounds fast. It is primarily targeted at people looking to get in great shape and is quite strenuous even for athletes. That being said, it isn’t the best exercise for overweight people looking to start with something easy. It is also done mostly in groups with an instructor and takes quite a lot of time, including going to and from the gym. Still, if you plan on mixing things up, adding HIIT to your workout schedule mixed with running, cycling, or rowing, is going to help your body adapt to its new fitness needs much faster.
One last exercise that deserves an honorable mention is working out with a battle rope. If you want to check some of the best models for this year, head over to my full Buyer’s Guide!
Which One to Pick?
Depending on your lifestyle, there are a few elements that you will have to keep in mind before choosing the right workout for your own fat-loss program. Those are:
- How much free time you have
- Do you prefer working out from home
- Do you have a support group to do this with you
Among these three key factors, your free time is the one that will be the main one to determine the best exercise for you. Running and cycling are notoriously time-consuming. To get the most out of each of those exercises, you will need to run/ride at least 3 times per week and for at least 60-90 minutes. This is the bare minimum if you want to see some good results in just a few months. Cycling, in general, takes more time that running but is also a little less intense and hard on your body. Running, on the other hand, is harder if you live in a dense urban area. Both of these exercises can be done from your home, which brings us to my next point.
Working out from home has its benefits. For one, if severely cuts down the time needed to exercises as you don’t have to go to the gym or get your bike out and venture off. You can buy a recumbent bike or a treadmill and workout from the comfort of your living room. This, however, creates a monotonous environment that often lacks the motivation you need to get on with it. That’s why a healthy mix of running or riding outdoors combined with some home-workouts is always a good way to stay concentrated and motivated enough to keep pushing forward. Rowing is also doable from your home if you get a good home rowing machine. Jumping rope and training with an agility ladder cannot be done from home, though.
Having a group that trains together is the last thing you need to consider. It is much safer to run in groups and you often push and pull each other higher on the success ladder. The same goes for jumping rope and training with an agility ladder, hurdles, cones, and other items that make for a good outdoor workout. Cycling in groups is also safer but is generally harder, even though there are clubs that offer indoor stationary cycling classes for groups. Lastly, while rowing in sets of 2, 3, or 4 people is a great way to spend time with your friends outdoors, it is must harder logistically and doesn’t offer you the frequency you need to have a consistent fat-loss workout schedule.
Another important thing to remember before each workout is warm-up properly. Warming up might be one of the most overlooked elements of any modern workout routine and beginners tend to skip that part and go straight into the exercise. While cycling and running allow you to ease your way into a more intense workout, other sports aren’t as generous and you risk injuring yourself if you don’t get your body up to speed.
Finding out which the best fat-burning exercises are for you might be a trial-and-error process at first. Still, you can always rely on some safe bets like running, jumping rope, doing HIIT workouts, and more exercises that are focused at keeping your body at higher RPMs for prolonged periods of time – something that is at the core of burning fat.