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10 Strength Exercises To Lose Weight & Keep it Off

Drop those pesky pounds for good with these strength exercises a trainer swears by.

Losing pesky pounds is half the battle; maintaining your goal weight is the other half. When kickstarting your fitness journey with weight loss in mind, it's crucial to implement a healthy balance of cardio and strength training in your regimen. Strength training helps you sculpt lean muscle—and the greater amount of muscle you have, the more calories you'll torch. Research shows that resistance training, paired with restricting calories, is an ideal approach to decrease your body fat percentage and whole-body fat mass. Resistance training all by itself, along with when it's combined with aerobic exercise, is also incredibly effective. Science says so! That's why we chatted with a fitness pro who breaks down 10 of the best strength exercises to lose weight and keep it off.

"Strength training both contributes to fat loss and builds lean muscle. As you build lean muscle through strength training, your metabolic rate increases, allowing you to burn more calories while at rest," explains Ronny Garcia, CPT, Blink Fitness. "Strength training can increase your BMR (basal metabolic rate)—the number of calories your body needs at rest to maintain functions. A higher BMR can make it easier to maintain weight loss."

Keep reading to learn all about the most productive strength exercises to lose weight and keep it off. Garcia recommends combining the below exercises with a nutritious diet and regular cardio workouts to achieve the results you're looking for. When you're finished reading, be sure to check out the 5 Most Effective At-Home Workouts for Weight Loss.



Stand tall, and plant your feet shoulder-distance apart. Place your hands on your hips, or extend your arms in front of you. Press your hips back to lower into a squat until your thighs reach parallel to the floor. Keep a tall chest. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

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barbell deadlift

Stand tall with your feet planted hip-width apart. Bend at your hips while maintaining a straight back to lift the barbell or dumbbells off the floor. Press back up. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.



Begin in a high plank with your hands below your shoulders and your legs kicked out behind you. Keep your body in a straight line as you bend at the elbows to lower your chest toward the floor. Press yourself back up, all while maintaining a tight core. Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps.

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woman doing pull-ups

Hang onto a pull-up bar with your hands just outside shoulder-width. Pull yourself up to the bar until your chin clears it. Perform three sets of as many reps as you can.


front lunge exercise

Begin by taking a big step forward with one foot. Descend into a lunge until both knees are bent to 90-degree angles. Press up to the start position. Complete three sets of 12 reps on each leg.

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Bench Presses

Dumbbell Chest Press

Lie down on a bench, and hold the barbell or dumbbells at shoulder-width. Lower the weight to your chest before pressing it back up. Complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps.



Assume a forearm plank position, keeping your body straight from your head down to your feet. Hold the plank for 30 to 60 seconds. Complete three sets.

Russian Twists

illustration of how to do the russian twist core-strengthening exercise

Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Lean back just a bit, and lift your feet off the floor. Twist your torso from left to right, touching the ground on each side. Perform three sets of 20 twists (10 per side).

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Bent-Over Rows

illustration of dumbbell bent-over row

Hold a barbell or set of dumbbells as you hinge forward. Row the weight up to your chest before lowering it with control. Squeeze your shoulder blades at the top. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers exercise

Start in a high plank. Bring one knee to your chest, and quickly switch legs as if running in place. Complete three sets of 20 reps (10 per leg).

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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