If indulging in festive treats and beverages this recent holiday season didn't do your waistline any favors, no sweat. Eat This, Not That! has you covered on your triumphant return to your pre-holiday weight. We chatted with Mike Masi, CPT, a certified personal trainer at Garage Gym Reviews, who reveals his top exercises to lose 10 pounds this year and kick any post-holiday blues to the curb.
The beginning of a new year is a natural time to reconsider your health and fitness goals. And the most common goal Americans decide to tackle at the dawn of each year is weight loss. According to a recent survey of over 500 U.S. adults conducted by Innerbody, more than 90% of responders say they pack on extra pounds over the holiday season. This statistic comes as no surprise, considering the abundance of holiday snacks, hot cocoa, and festive cheer that are all too easy to enjoy in excess.
Fortunately, there's no reason to feel guilty if you packed on a few pounds over the holidays. By adhering to the following exercises laid out by Masi, you can melt away unwanted weight and feel like a million bucks in no time. Keep reading for detailed breakdowns of the 10 best exercises to lose 10 pounds. And when you're done, check out these 10 Little Things You Can Do Every Day To Lose a Lot of Weight.
This list of exercises to lose 10 pounds after the holidays kicks off with burpees. This explosive exercise is a calorie-torcher that will elevate your heart rate while engaging multiple muscle groups and boosting your metabolism.
"Burpees get a bad rap, but they're an excellent full-body workout," says Masi. "This exercise emulates functional transfers (e.g., getting on and off the floor) and is easy to scale if needed. Furthermore, you can modify the speed and explosiveness in which these are performed, making them great movements for various levels of fitness."
Aim for three sets of 10 to 20 reps with one minute of rest between sets.
Squats are a foundational exercise that targets the lower body, activating muscles in the thighs, hips, and glutes.
"Squats target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making them a great exercise for burning calories," Masi explains. "Also, the ability to add weight for scaling purposes makes sure squats can stand the test of time no matter how fit you get."
Start with three sets of 15 reps and aim for 90 seconds of rest between sets.
This compound movement boosts functional fitness and recruits muscles in the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, promoting strength and fat-burning.
"Deadlifts are fantastic for working the entire posterior chain (backside), plus your lats and grip to boot, making them a fairly holistic exercise selection with a great stimulus for burning calories," says Masi.
Start with lighter weights to perfect your form, and do three sets of eight to 12 reps with 90 seconds of rest between sets.
Adding lunges to your workout routine improves your balance and stability, while the varied forms—forward, reverse, or walking lunges—can keep your routine interesting.
"Lunges challenge the quadriceps and the glutes. Start by stepping back, then returning to the start position, but you can progress this by walking forward with each lunge, then adding weight in your hands to scale this exercise up," explains Masi.
Do three sets of 10 to 20 reps per leg with 60 seconds of rest between sets.
Whether performed traditionally or modified, pushups are a classic and versatile addition to your weight loss routine that works your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
"Pushups target the chest, shoulders, and triceps but are also a sneaky core exercise," says Masi. "Try to imagine the starting position being much like a plank, and don't let the spine move while pressing with the upper body. If this is too difficult, you can always scale down by placing your hands on an elevated surface."
Shoot for three sets of 10 to 15 reps, and try to make sure you're bringing your chest to the ground with each rep. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.
This low-impact cardio exercise incinerates calories and boosts cardiovascular health. Plus, it's a fun and efficient way to elevate your heart rate, making it an excellent choice for shedding those extra pounds accumulated during the holiday season.
"Jumping rope may sound like a child's activity, but it can quickly turn into a tough bout of exercise that challenges the shoulders, lower legs, and cardiovascular system," states Masi.
Perform this movement uninterrupted for one to three minutes, depending on your fitness level. Repeat this three times, and rest for two minutes between rounds.
Russian Kettlebell Swings
This dynamic exercise targets your entire posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, while enhancing functional strength.
"Russian kettlebell swings engage your glutes, legs, and core while improving cardiovascular fitness," Masi explains. "I like this one specifically because it works on the rate of force development (aka power). Think about snapping your hips forward and using that momentum to move the weight versus lifting with your shoulders. Once the weight is at shoulder height, you can change direction in preparation for the next rep."
Perform three sets of 15 to 25 reps, and rest for 90 seconds between sets.
Box jumps are an explosive exercise that improves cardiovascular fitness while targeting muscles throughout your lower body, making them a killer movement for post-holiday weight loss.
Masi says, "Another power exercise great for building leg and core strength and improving explosiveness, box jumps also work your upper body, considering you'll have to swing the arms as you jump."
Use a sturdy box or platform, and complete three to six sets of 10 to 20 reps, depending on the height of the box. Rest for 60 seconds between rounds.
Whether on a stationary bike, road, or trail, this low-impact cardio exercise promotes fat-burning and can seriously boost your cardiovascular fitness.
"Cycling is a great way to establish good cardiovascular fitness, similar to walking. The best exercise parameters for weight loss would involve intervals at higher intensities," says Masi.
Perform eight to 12 rounds of 30 to 60 seconds of hard cycling against a moderate resistance, then either fully stop or lighten the resistance for another 30 to 60 seconds. Rest for one minute between rounds.
This list of Masi's top 10 exercises to lose 10 pounds after the holidays is running. Running is a no-brainer exercise to add to your weight loss fitness routine. This classic cardio workout engages several major muscle groups and boosts your cardiovascular endurance, helping you melt away extra pounds fast.
"Running is a simple way to exercise with minimal equipment that can be utilized for weight loss," says Masi. "Intervals are ideal so you can allow for higher intensities, and therefore more calories burned, in a shorter period."
Instead of going for a jog, try running at 80 to 90% intensity for about 200 meters, followed by a 200-meter walk. Repeat this circuit 10 times.