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The 6 Best Workouts to Do If You're Overweight, Trainer Says

These exercises increase your strength and aerobic base, as well as improve your progress.

If you're overweight and want to drop pounds, you need to have a well-rounded fitness program that includes both strength training and getting in regular aerobic activity.

However, a lot of people make the mistake of doing the wrong workouts and activities because of what's popular—such as running, plyometrics, and high-intensity circuit training—instead of what's best for your body right now.

When just starting out, you should only perform exercises that you can do safely with proper form. These movements should be able to be built upon consistently in order to increase your strength, aerobic base, and improve your progress. What's more, some exercises are going to be better for you than others due to the fact that excess weight can cause there to be more stress on your joints.

For these reasons, here are the best workouts you can start doing if you're overweight and want to drop pounds. Make sure you consult with a health physician first before starting any new fitness program. Next, don't miss the 5 Best Self-Care Tips to Feel Happy All Winter.

Goblet Squat

dumbbell goblet squat
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin by holding one dumbbell in a vertical fashion in front of your chest. Keeping your core tight, push your hips back and squat down until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Drive through your heels and hips to stand back up, flexing your quads and glutes to finish. Perform 3 sets of 10-15 reps.

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Bodyweight Rows

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

To perform the bodyweight row, grab the equipment that's available to you: rings (shown above), a TRX/suspension strap, or bar. If you're using a strap, make sure to use a neutral grip (palms facing you). If you have a bar, you can either use the pronated (palms overhand) or supinated (underhand) grip. Stick your feet forward and lean back slightly to at least 45 degrees.

Keeping your core tight and hips high, pull yourself in by driving with your elbows towards your hips. Squeeze your lats and upper back hard to finish, then straighten your arms fully until your shoulder blades stretch at the bottom before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps.

Related: These 6 Arm Moves Burn Fat Fast, Trainer Says

Step ups

step ups

Start by placing your foot on a low step, box, or bench. Keeping your chest tall and core tight, lean into the heel of the front leg and push off of it to step up.

Flex your quad and glute at the top of the movement, then lower yourself under control before performing another rep. Perform all reps on one leg before switching over to the other. You can perform this movement either with just your bodyweight or holding a pair of dumbbells. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.

Related: Exercise Tricks for Getting Rid of Belly Fat, Trainer Says

Dumbbell Arnold Press

how to do overhead dumbbell arnold press
Tim Liu

Grab your dumbbells and hold them up at shoulder-width with both hands facing you. Rotate your palms and elbows away from you as you press the weights up over your head in a smooth motion. Flex your shoulders at the top, then reverse it back to starting before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Related: Secret Effects of Lifting Weights Just Once Per Week, Science Says


Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Boxing is one of my favorite workouts because it's low impact, and you can get a great cardio workout. It helps you build endurance, strengthens your shoulders, teaches you coordination, and shows you how to throw proper punches. You can add a boxing session into your routine 1-2 times a week.

Related: This Workout Is Three Times Better for Your Health Than Walking, New Study Says

Exercise Bike

cycling exercise bike
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

If you're overweight and just starting off, it would be good to begin with a lower intensity pace when you're on an exercise bike. Hop on and peddle for 30 minutes. As your conditioning and endurance improve, you can increase your pace and transition to more interval-style training.

And that's it! For more, make sure to check out Doing This One Thing While Strength Training Burns Twice as Many Calories, New Study Says.

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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