Speed Up Fat Loss With These Ultra-Toning Exercises, Trainer Says
When you're trying to lose weight and speed up fat loss, it's such an accomplished feeling to see results after counting calories and working out hard for a good stretch of time. But it's kind of a downer if you haven't reached your goal and feel like you're stuck in neutral. If your scale is no longer moving downwards, you've hit the dreaded weight loss plateau. It's not uncommon for weight loss to slow down and even stop a bit, but we have some ways to kick up your routine with these ultra-toning exercises.
According to Mayo Clinic, when you first start a weight loss journey and drop calories, your body gets energy from glycogen. As your weight loss continues, you lose fat and muscle. Your metabolism decreases, and you burn fewer calories than you did when you kicked off your journey. It's really not fair—you're doing exactly what you were, so why isn't it working? Well, when whatever calories you torch equals the same amount of calories you're consuming, you've plateaued.
In order to get back on track to losing weight again, it's important to exercise more or lessen the number of calories you consume. We spoke with Victoria Brady, a personal trainer on Fyt, the nation's largest personal training service that makes fitness under the expert guidance of an in-person or virtual, certified fitness professional convenient and accessible for everyone. Brady gave us the following exercises that will help you speed up fat loss and achieve your fitness goal. Read on, and next up, be sure to check out The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Plyometric (or Jump) Squats
Brady explains, "Because your largest muscle groups are in your back and the lower body (glutes, quadriceps), doing exercises that work in this area can speed up fat loss." She continues, "Essentially, the larger the muscle group you work with, the more calories you will burn. With the addition of a jump, you take the traditional squat to a new level of intensity."
Adding a plyometric squat to your leg day regimen is an awesome way to sculpt lean muscle in your glutes and quads while shrinking fat. Here's how to do it.
Assume a wide stance. Bend at your knees while keeping them in line with your toes, and go down into a squat. According to Brady, make sure your core is strong and your back is solid as you lengthen through your legs by jumping up in the air a few inches off the floor and landing gracefully back down on the balls of your feet. This counts as 1 rep. Complete 3 sets of 15 reps.
Plyometric (or Jump) Lunges
"Like squats, lunges require multiple joints and engage the larger muscle groups in your lower body, allowing for more significant calorie burn while building lean muscle (toning)," Brady tells us. "And like the plyometric version of the squat, jump lunges also increase the intensity of your standard lunge, boosting fat burn," she adds.
How do you do plyometric (or jump) lunges? Well, you'll begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Jump while moving your left leg forward and your right leg back to assume a lunge. Both knees should be kept at a 90-degree angle. Brady continues to instruct, "Jump up a few inches off the floor, and switch your legs midair to land in a lunge with your right leg in front. Continue jumping back and forth with little to no pauses between jumps." Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.
Walking Lunges with Weights
If you're already a fan of going on daily strolls, incorporating walking lunges with weights into your routine makes the workout more challenging and really helps speed up fat loss. Brady says you will also enjoy the benefit of enhanced core stability, balance, and coordination.
She instructs, "With dumbbells at the side of your hips, keep your arms straight and your shoulders back to maintain an upright position. You will begin by stepping forward with your right foot, ensuring your knee doesn't go over your toes. Kneeling tall over the back leg, move your left foot forward in front of your right foot into a lunge position." This counts as 1 rep. Complete 4 sets of 10 reps.
Sure, you may glance at the stair climber and think it's yet another "cardio" machine, but don't underestimate the power of this piece of gym equipment. Brady says it helps accelerate fat loss while putting less pressure on your joints and gives your lower body a great tone-up. "Compared to other cardio equipment in the gym, you burn more calories on the stair climber than you would walking on the treadmill in the same amount of time, and you reap the benefits of toning your quads, sculpting your calves, and lifting your glutes," she stresses.
Brady explains the best workouts you can do on the stair climber include fat burner modalities or interval training. If you're game for a challenge, she put together a workout that will torch those calories quickly, which she calls the Fat-Blasting Stair Climber Workout.
"Perform 30 seconds of jogging up the stairs at a high intensity (9—10 RPE or at least 70% of your maximum effort); 30 seconds of kickbacks (as you're walking up the stairs, kick your legs backward) at a lower intensity (3—5 RPE or 30% to 40% of your maximum effort)," Brady instructs. Perform 10 intervals of this regimen.
This exercise strengthens your hip, glute, leg, abdominal, chest, arm, and shoulder muscles. It targets the whole body, which makes it such a great calorie burner.
You'll begin with your feet positioned hip-width distance apart and your arms over your head. Lower down into a squat with your hands on the ground. "Extend your feet back to form a plank position in one quick motion. Bend your arms until your chest almost touches the floor, then push back up to full extension. In another quick movement, return to the squat position, and jump up to land back at the starting position," Brady explains. This counts as 1 rep. Complete 3 sets of 8 reps.