Weight Loss

The Best Weight Loss Exercises in the World

Not all exercise is created equal.

And not all exercises are good for every weight loss goal. To make your workout time really count, choose the exercise that matches what you want to accomplish, whether you're doing your sweat session at the gym, at home, or on the road.

TO TORCH THE MOST CALORIES...

Sweat This!
20 minutes on the rowing machine

Not That!
20 minutes on any other cardio machine. Rowing burns the most calories and works the most muscles, including muscles in your back, and also improves posture. (Bump it up a notch: In a Brazilian study, outdoor rowers burned 26 percent more calories during a race than those on indoor rowing ergometers did.)

TO BUILD ABS THAT SHOW…

Sweat This!
The plank for 1 minute

Not That!
Roman chair situps for 1 minute. The crunching motion of a Roman chair situp puts stress on the lower back. (In general, avoid machines and added weights when doing ab exercises, and focus on form.) The plank is a body-weight exercise that works the abs and hip flexors, the glutes and lats. To do it, get into a pushup position, but with your hands together and your weight resting on your forearms, not your palms. Keeping your back straight, tighten your abs as though you are about to be punched in the belly. Hold this position for 1 minute.

TO LOSE WEIGHT ON A RUN

Sweat This!
Run outdoors

Not That!
Run on a treadmill. Propelling yourself on land is more challenging than on an indoor treadmill, and it trains you better. In a Utah State study, habitual outdoor runners completed a 5K run 4 minutes faster than treadmill runners.

TO MAXIMIZE YOUR GAINS…

Sweat This!
Find a workout buddy

Not That!
Go solo. People exercise for an average of 34 minutes longer with a friend than they do alone, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.

TO LOSE WEIGHT IN THE WATER...

Sweat This!
Swim freestyle

Not That!
Do the butterfly, backstroke, or breaststroke. Butterfly is harder, but freestyle is the stroke recreational swimmers can execute for the longest with the most intensity, according to Emmett Hines, head coach of H2Ouston Swims. “Unless you’re a really adept and efficient swimmer, you’ll lack the skills to swim the other strokes at a high enough level to get a good workout.” Freestyle also works the largest amount of muscle mass while improving aerobic fitness.

TO BURN FAT IN THE BEDROOM…

Sweat This!
Have sex

Not That!
Fool around. Intercourse burns three times as many calories as foreplay.

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