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The Best Bodyweight Exercises To Lose Weight, Expert Says

Head to the gym, because 'tis almost the season!

The holidays are right around the corner. Whether you're a fan of sugar cookie martinis, homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce, or pumpkin pie, now is the best time to try to lose a few pounds. Not only will you look and feel better for new outfits, family gatherings, and holiday events, but it's also a great idea to head into the busy season of holiday dinners and cocktail events in great shape so that you can enjoy every single delight you desire. To get in the holiday spirit, we're here with the best bodyweight exercises to lose weight. Head to the gym, because 'tis almost the season!

We spoke with Dr. Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and a certified personal trainer, who provides some excellent information about bodyweight exercises for weight loss. Also referred to as closed-chain exercises, these are movements that are performed when the power generated by your body is exerted against an object that's stationary. A good example of this type of exercise is pull-ups, which are done against a bar that's fixed in place. Another type is push-ups, which are done against the floor.

Open-chain exercises, however, are when the object you are resisting has movement. An example of this would be performing a bicep curl using a dumbbell. Dr. Bohl tells us the benefit of bodyweight (aka closed-chain) exercises, saying, "[Closed-chain exercises] typically recruit a large number of muscles at the same time and require moving more than one joint at the same time. This works out more muscles at the same time and burns more calories, since the body needs more energy to do them."

What are the best bodyweight exercises to lose weight?

fit man performing outdoor beach workout bodyweight exercises to lose weight

If you add some bodyweight exercises to your routine to shed excess pounds, consider pull-ups, push-ups, lunges, squats, dips, chin-ups, and planks. When it comes to losing weight for the holidays—or any time of year—Dr. Bohl says, "Closed-chain exercises may recruit more muscles and burn more calories than open-chain exercises, but weight loss is actually more about diet than it is about exercise."

Dr. Bohl also recommends doing bodyweight exercises for an hour every day, but advises lowering your calorie intake—aka following a calorie deficit—if you're hoping to see significant weight loss. Depending on the exercise regimen you perform and the diet you follow, the time will vary before you see results. Generally, Dr. Bohl says it's necessary to torch 3,500 calories in order to burn a pound of fat.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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