Let's get real: "I never have a few extra pounds I'd like to lose" is not a comment made very often. As you age, it's pretty easy (and common) to gain some extra unwanted weight. It's not typically a quick fix getting your scale to move back down to a number that's not only healthy, but one you feel great rocking. To help get your weight in check, we've come up with the most productive floor exercises to jumpstart weight loss and get going in the right direction.
Research says an average individual gains 1 or 2 pounds each year, spanning from young adulthood through middle age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that a guy's average weight is approximately 185 pounds, compared to 200 pounds when he reaches his 30s (via The Washington Post). A woman's weight starts at 162 and hits 170 pounds at comparable ages. During menopause, women unfairly put on approximately 1.5 pounds each year—especially in their belly area, throughout their 50s and 60s. It's quite frustrating to hear, but the best way to deal with extra weight is to start an effective fitness routine as soon as possible. Read on to learn more about how you can jumpstart your weight loss, and next, check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Build some lean muscle with strength training and aerobic exercises
We reached out to Heather Perren, Senior Master Trainer for Lagree Fitness and co-founder of Lagreeing at Home to learn about effective floor exercises, and how they can help jumpstart weight loss. Perren advises, "You can become a 24-hour-a-day fat-burning machine simply by adding some lean muscle, and floor exercises can help you get there! One of the great benefits of strength training is the calories burned as a result of your workout, not the calories burned during the workout." She adds, "By effectively stimulating your muscles, you will add more muscle to your body, which causes the body to need more calories at rest." Perren also tells us that combining strength (resistance training) and aerobic exercises is the absolute best workout regimen for burning fat.
Schedule home workouts on your calendar to hold yourself accountable
Some helpful tips to jumpstart weight loss? Perren cautions that when doing your fitness routine at home, "I always recommend my clients schedule their home workouts in their calendar and then set a reminder on their phones." The habit will hold you accountable for maintaining a routine fitness plan. Another great bit of advice she shares with Eat This, Not That! is to "[get] your workouts done in the morning. The longer the day goes on, the more excuses you find to not work out. When you start your day with a workout, not only is it over and done with, but you energize yourself for the day."
Oh—and consistency is key. Perren stresses, "Stay consistent with your workouts." Even when you're not initially noticing changes when you step on the scale, you're still losing fat and building lean muscle, so don't get discouraged. "Muscle weighs more than fat," Perren explains, adding, "Sometimes you'll notice your clothes start to feel looser before the number on the scale drops. So stay consistent and remember to notice more than just weight loss, but also the increased energy you should feel in your everyday life."
Now that you have some solid tips, let's get to the best floor exercises to do.
This exercise is the ultimate way to get your heart rate up and really activate your leg muscles. It's essentially a combination of a lunge and a squat.
Perren instructs, "Start with the feet hip-width apart, with the right foot forward and the left foot placed back behind the body so that the left knee is under the hip." (Optionally, you can hold a dumbbell in each hand, on each side of your body throughout the exercise.) She continues, "Keep the shoulders stacked over the hips while lowering the left knee towards the floor and keeping the right knee stacked over the ankle. Lower down until the knee hovers just off the floor and then press the right heel into the floor and [raise] both legs back up to the starting position. Keep a soft bend in the right knee." Do this for 2 minutes, then repeat the movement for the opposite leg.
Sumo Squat with Side Bends
This movement will have you activating your thighs and keeping your heart rate up, ensuring you're right on track to achieving your weight loss goals.
"Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance, and turn your toes out at an almost 45-degree angle," Perren says. "Begin to lower your hips down and back keeping the knees pointing in the same direction as the toes at a slow four-second count. Try to get deep into the squat so that your legs are at a 90-degree angle. Pause at the bottom and place hands behind the ears. Tilt the body to one side reaching the elbow to the knee. Come back center and tilt to the opposite side. Bring the body center, and press into the heels equally to slowly rise back up at a slow four-second count. Maintain a soft bend in the knees at the top." Do this exercise for 2 minutes.
Straight Leg Bicycle Crunches (or Traditional Bicycle Crunches)
You'll activate your core and obliques, and keep your heart rate up while performing this exercise on the floor. Perren says if it feels too intense doing this movement with straight legs, feel free to bend your knees and do traditional bicycle crunches.
Begin the movement on your back, positioning your legs straight out at 90 degrees. "Bring your hands lightly behind your ears and keep your elbows out wide," Perren says. "Using your core, lift the shoulders off the floor and twist your elbow to the opposite knee as that leg floats to the ceiling (avoid pulling on your neck and look up towards the ceiling not down at your belly button). Keep the legs straight throughout the movement. Rotate towards the right leg, connecting your left elbow towards the right knee and alternating keeping the head and shoulders up for the entire duration of one minute." Doing this exercise slowly is the name of the game here, so you can make the most of it for at least 1 minute.
Side Plank with Knee Bend
This exercise will have you stabilizing your shoulders and obliques. For a modified version, you can remain on your knees rather than assuming the full plank position.
"Lay on your side with your forearm down and elbow stacked directly under your shoulder," Perren instructs. "Extend your legs out in a long line with feet stacked or one in front of the other for more support. Lift hips off the floor to engage the obliques and core. Extend your top arm up to the ceiling, but if you need more support for the shoulder, place the top hand on the floor in front of your body. While holding your side plank, lift your top leg and extend your top arm overhead away from your body. Begin to bend your knee in towards your waist at the same time you bring your elbow in towards that knee. Go slow in the movement to obtain control for the entire duration and keep the form of the side plank, not allowing hips to drop." Do this exercise for at least 1 minute, then repeat for the opposite side.