Exercise Tricks That Will Help You Slim Down Faster, Says Trainer
Here's your basic checklist if you want to slim down and get lean: You need to eat at a calorie deficit with a healthy diet, you need to do both strength training and cardio exercises, and, when you're not at the gym, you need to move around as much as possible and get in plenty of walks, which will help you burn even more fat and aid in your recovery. Also, get good sleep.
Now, as it pertains to your strength training, it's important that you force your muscles to work harder while they're under tension. That means either performing more reps while you're exercising, lifting heavier weights as you go along, resting less in between your reps, or doing all of the above. However, besides those basic rules for strength training, there are other ways you can encourage your muscles work harder that may help you slim down quickly.
The two weight-room "tricks" I personally love are "dumbbell combo movements" and the "drop set method."
With the combo movements, you'll combine either a lower body movement with an upper—or two lower body movements together in one shot. Doing this forces the body to exert more effort, recruiting more muscle fibers and burning more calories.
Meanwhile, performing the drop set method requires you to do a certain amount of reps on the very last set of an exercise where you reach failure in your rep range. Once your set is done, you'll immediately lower the weight about 10-20% and continue with the exercise again until failure. Then, you'll drop the weight another 10-20%, and go to failure one more time. This is an intense method which pushes your body and muscles to the limit. It's great for burning fat and building muscle and strength endurance.
One caveat: If you're new to strength training, I'd advise you to tread carefully—or avoid these tactics altogether.
That said, if you want to give it ago, perform 3-4 sets of the following combo movements and 1 drop set. And for more great exercise advice, don't miss The One Major Side Effect of Walking Every Day, According to Science.
Combo 1: Reverse Lunge + Single Leg RDL (8 reps each leg)
Begin this exercise by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and stepping back with one leg. Firmly plant the ball of your foot on the ground and lower your leg (under control) until the knee touches the floor. Push through with the heel of your front leg afterwards to return to starting position.
Once you've returned to starting position, slightly bend the knee of the same working leg and push your hips back along with the other leg. Make sure the back leg is straight and you get a hamstring stretch in the working leg.
Maintain a tight core, then drive through with the heel and the hips back to starting position, squeezing your glute hard to finish. Perform all of the prescribed reps before switching legs. And for more amazing workout advice, don't miss The Secret Exercise Tricks for a Better Body After 40, Say Experts.
Combo 2: Bulgarian Split Squat + Row (6-8 reps each leg)
Position your back foot up on a bench with either the top of your foot or on the ball of your foot and step out about 2-3 feet. Once in position, lower yourself down under control while keeping the back knee bent as you descend.
Drive through with your front heel back up to where your body is about 45 degrees. Row the weights towards you by driving your elbows to your hips, then straighten your arms and stand back up fully, squeezing your glutes. Perform all prescribed reps before switching legs.
Combo 3: Reverse Lunge + Press (6 reps each leg)
Begin the exercise by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and stepping back with one leg. Firmly plant the ball of your foot on the ground and lower your leg (under control) until the knee touches the floor. Once you're at the bottom, curl the weight up, then press both dumbbells overhead, flexing your shoulders and triceps at the top.
Lower the weight back down, and then push through with the heel of your front leg afterwards to return to starting position. Perform all of the reps on one leg before switching to the other.
Drop Set Example: Dumbbell Row
Position yourself parallel to a bench so your hand and knee are firmly pressed. Grip the dumbbell with the opposite arm and begin the motion by pulling the dumbbell towards your hip, squeezing your lats and upper back at the very end of the movement. Straighten your arm afterward and get a nice stretch at the bottom before performing the next rep. Finish at 8-10 reps, then drop the weight by 10-20%, perform another 6-8 reps, then lower the weight again by 10-20%, and rep out another 6-8.
If you want to slim down faster, force the muscles to work harder with these two methods. Incorporate them into your routine and you'll be seeing results soon. And for more exercise news, make sure you're aware of The #1 Sign You Don't Exercise Enough, Says Science.