Some exercises are more effective than others if your goal is to burn fat, especially if you want to burn it fast.
Want to shred off a few pounds before the holiday season is officially upon us? Brush up on these incredibly effective. full-body exercises and get ready to sweat!
Studies have shown that full-body exercises are remarkably beneficial for our overall health, and they also encourage your body to torch away fat. These compound exercises force your body to "dig deep" for energy and can help you lose both subcutaneous AND visceral fat over time.
PRO TIP: FitTrack helps you monitor both of the types of fat your body stores, so you can easily keep track of how your diet and exercise affect your composition. To learn more about these two types of fat, click here.
BEFORE YOU START...
Not all of these exercises are beginner-friendly. Be sure to consult with a professional if you've never attempted these particular movements before. Always remember that it's more effective to perform an exercise with proper form and lighter weight than it is to lift heavy weight improperly.
FAT-TORCHING FULL-BODY EXERCISES: THE BIG THREE
There are three full-body, compound exercises that still reign supreme as the most effective. These are the squat, the deadlift, and the bench press. All three of these exercises, when done correctly, are fat-blasting compound moves that can get you closer to your goals.
THE BENCH PRESS
To properly perform the bench press:
- Lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor. Position yourself so that the bar is resting directly above your eyes. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and let your chest rise.
- Line up the ring marks on the bar with your pinky finger. Exert a slight pressure on the bar to make sure it's cradled in your palms, then grip the bar firmly. Keep your wrists straight.
- Take a deep breath and unrack the bar by straightening your arms. Keep your arms straight as you position the bar over your shoulders (instead of your eyes).
- Lower the bar to your mid-chest while keeping your forearms vertical and allowing your elbows to tuck in slightly (about 75°). Hold your breath as the bar reaches your chest.
- Here's where you press! Breathe steadily as you extend your arms and keep your butt glued to the bench.
Done properly, the bench press activates every major muscle group in your body. You should even feel it in your legs, though your upper-body is going to get the majority of the burn. This is a great exercise to build upper-body strength while increasing muscle mass and lowering your body fat %.
Want to strengthen your back, torch your core, and increase overall muscle mass? The deadlift is the secret weapon your gym routine's been looking for. Here's how to perform this move properly:
- Begin with the weighted bar on the ground. Keep your heels hip-width apart, and position them so that the middle of your foot is underneath the bar, but no part of your legs are making contact with it. Angle your toes outwards slightly (about 15°).
- Bend at the waist (not the knee) until you can grip the bar while keeping your arms vertical to the ground. Your grip should be shoulder-width apart.
- Bend at your knees as you lower down towards the bar until your shins make contact. The bar should still be over the middle of your foot.
- Straighten your back as you lift your chest until you're looking forward instead of downward.
- Take a deep breath and stand up with the weight. Drive your heels into the ground as you lift, but don't rock backward or forwards. Aim to complete the movement in as controlled a manner as possible.
Over time, the deadlift will become easier to perform but start with a weight that's light enough for you to progress comfortably. This exercise will annihilate belly fat as you build strength.
Here's how to perform the squat properly:
- Start by having the bar racked just underneath your shoulder-height. Grip it tightly at about shoulder-width, dip underneath it, and let it rest across your shoulders. Lift up your chest so that you're facing forward.
- Lift the bar by straightening your legs, keep them straight as you step back and away from the bar.
- Take a deep breath and hold it, keeping your core tight. Squat down by bending your knees as you push your hips back, keeping your spine neutral. Lower down until your hips are behind your knees.
- Breathe steadily as you push with your legs and lift yourself up and out of the squat. For the entire movement, the bar should rise down and up in a straight line, 90° to the ground.
The number of reps and sets you perform is entirely up to you and your comfort zone, but fewer reps, with heavier weights, performed correctly, will generally yield the greatest results.
Honorable Mention: The Overhead Press
There's one more full-body exercise we love to include in our workout routines: the overhead press. Like the other three moves we've already looked at, you'll need a barbell and some weights to do this one.
Here's how to perform the overhead press properly:
- Begin with the bar at your front shoulders. With a narrow grip, keep your forearms vertical to the ground and your wrists straight.
- Without letting your knees bend or your hips sway, take a deep breath and press the bar straight up towards the ceiling. You should finish this part of the movement with the bar directly over your head, not in front of or behind it.
- Hold the bar overhead and shrug your shoulders towards the ceiling. Lower the bar back to the starting position in a controlled manner.
Like the bench press, the overhead press will mostly target your upper-body but will also fire up everything else, right down to your toes.
You don't have to be a bodybuilder to tackle these moves. Make sure you start with a weight that you're comfortable with and can handle performing the exercise without faltering. These full-body exercises will torch fat fast while simultaneously increasing your muscle mass, so you'll notice the changes that you're monitoring in your FitTrack Pro reports quickly!
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