Weight loss exercises are all about short bursts of activity. Rest, then repeat.
When you’re working hard to get fit and lose weight, you want a regular routine that provides strong results. Good news: You don’t even need to become a gym rat; studies show that shorter periods of exercise are more effective for fat loss. But what kind of exercise burns the most calories? These exercises for weight loss will guide you in the right direction.
Cardio exercises, of course, will crush cals. Running on a treadmill will burn 25-39% more calories than doing kettlebell exercises at the same level of exertion, according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. But your best bet for weight loss is a routine that combines cardio and strength.
If you’re walking or running like mad without the results you're looking for, building muscle may be key to moving the scale. Why? Because muscles are metabolically active, so they burn calories even when you’re not exercising. To fit cardio workouts and strength training into your workout, consider interval training, which experts say is one of the best ways to burn fat.
The benefits of interval training
Working out in intervals is one way to reap the benefits of cardio and strength, while maximizing your calorie burn in a short amount of time. Interval workouts involve alternating between short bursts of intense effort and periods of lower intensity or rest. The intensity resets your metabolism to a higher rate during your workout, so it takes hours for your body to cool down again. This is what’s known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). That means you burn calories long after you’ve finished your workout compared to doing a workout at a continuous moderate pace (a.k.a. LISS), according to a 2017 study from the European Journal of Applied Physiology.
“Intervals are a great way to promote weight loss beyond just the EPOC effect. A lot of weight loss comes from the mental side of the spectrum too,” says Chris Ryan, one of MIRROR's founding trainers. “Intervals offer a great way to harness individual victories after each rep or round of exercise—and not simply looking at the workout as a whole.”
To help you find the a calorie-burning workout that fits your lifestyle and goals, we rounded up the best exercises for weight loss here. If you’re working out in intervals, do the exercise for 30 seconds every minute and rest for the remaining 30 seconds. As you progress, you can increase your time to 45 seconds of activity and 15 seconds of rest. Remember, you want to be working at your maximum—leaving you out of breath by the end of that interval.
So if you want to implement interval training into your fitness routine to rev up your metabolism, here are the best exercises for weight loss.