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The Most Effective Exercises To Burn Subcutaneous Fat, Trainer Says

Check out these super productive movements that'll help you shed fat.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

A majority of my clients share the same goal of losing fat, particularly subcutaneous fat, which is situated right below the skin. It's important to note that subcutaneous fat is a critical part of the human body, but we all know too much of anything is never a good thing. If your body is holding on to too much of this kind of fat, you can be at risk for various health issues such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, certain kinds of cancer, and kidney disease. Subcutaneous fat can be quite stubborn to get rid of due to insulin resistance and inflammation. So when it comes to productive ways to burn subcutaneous fat, you should be eating at a calorie deficit, performing low and high-intensity cardio, and doing strength training.

If you work these habits into a consistent routine, you will burn subcutaneous fat and get into shape. However, you need to choose just the right exercises that will be the most effective in shedding fat. Prioritizing strength training—aka compound movements—is key. They incorporate more than one muscle group simultaneously, which burns more calories. And in regards to cardio, I recommend activities where you can push yourself at a higher intensity and perform intervals. This will drive blood flow through your entire body and help release fat cells from stubborn areas.

Need help figuring out which exercises to perform? I have you covered. Incorporate the following movements into your workout regimen to burn subcutaneous fat. And next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Kettlebell Deadlift

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Stand in front of the kettlebell with your feet positioned outside the weight. Push your hips back, and squat down low enough to grab the weight. Make sure your shoulders are in line with the handle and your torso is straight. Keep your core tight and shoulders down, and pick up the kettlebell by pushing through your heels and hips. Stand tall, and flex your glutes at the top. Reverse the motion to put the weight down before performing another rep. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps.

Related: Shrink Belly Fat Faster With These 5 Exercises, Trainer Says


neutral grip chinup
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start this movement by grabbing the parallel bars with your palms facing each other. Lean slightly back, and pull yourself up to the bar by driving with your elbows. As you come up, reach with your chest (not your chin), and squeeze your back, biceps, and forearms hard at the top. Resist on the way down until you're back into the starting position before performing another rep. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps.

Related: Jumpstart Weight Loss With This 10-Minute Workout, Trainer Says

Dumbbell Walking Lunges

how to do a dumbbell walking lunge
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin this exercise with a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one leg, and firmly plant your foot. Then, lower yourself under control until your back knee gently touches the floor. Walk forward with the other leg, and repeat. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps for each leg.

Dumbbell Front Squats

Dumbbell Front Squat
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Hold a pair of dumbbells up to your shoulders. Keep your core tight, push your hips back, and squat down until your quads are parallel to the ground. Then, drive through your heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

Air Bike Intervals

air bike sprints
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Hop on an air bike at your gym, and grab the handles. You can start with a simple interval workout by sprinting for 10 to 15 seconds, then cruising at a lower intensity for 30 to 40 seconds, and repeating for a total of 10 to 15 minutes.

Rower Intervals

rowing row machine
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Hop on a rower, and warm up for a minute or two. Once you're all warmed up, sprint hard for 60 seconds, and see how many meters you can row in that timeframe. Rest for 3 to 5 minutes afterward, then do another 60-second round, trying to match the same distance as your first sprint. Rinse and repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S., CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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