The top 3 things that weight loss workouts that work do is #1 they focus on complexes that work multiple muscle groups or hybrid exercises that work multiple movement patterns, #2 they release stored fat and boost fat burning for 48 hours, #3 they NEVER involve silly isolation exercises that hardly burn any calories.
In addition to this a total body weight loss workout should feel challenging. Your heart rate should be fairly high, you will sweat, some of your muscles will be on fire. That's part of the weight loss process so learn to love it but as always be safe! Push yourself without hurting yourself.
Finally your weight loss workouts should be versatile. That means you can adapt them to all types of equipment, time and space limitations, and fitness level.
I actually created the total body weight loss workout for my friend Dianne the career editor over at Bellaonline. She wanted to know how to get a great workout in a small space so notice how I never get off the mat. Doesn't get much smaller than that D : )
You can use a dumbbell a body bar even a resistance band or small hand held medicine ball for this workout. Just think outside the box and adapt these exercises to your needs.
Warm-up: start with 2-3 mintues of jumping jacks, jogging in place, step ups, jump rope or a combination of all those.
Workout: 30-45 seconds of the first 6 exercises. Be sure to do 30-45 sec. on each on lunges. Move from one exercise to the next without rest taking only 5 seconds to transition between exercises. After one round rest for 1 minute then repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 circuits.
Tips: If you're very out of shape try the circuit 2 times and take 10 seconds to transition between exercises. Work up to 3 sets then 4 over a 4 week period. Short on time? Cut it down to 3 circuits and forget the cool down cardio.
1. Alternating lateral lunges - start with feet wider than hip width and holding weight close to the body at waist level. Bend one knee and shift the weight over to that side making sure to keep heel down. Advanced try from standing with feet together and stepping out and back into alternating lunges.
2. Downward dog pushups - start in downward dog stance and bend the elbows out to the sides taking the crown of the head to the floor. Keep abs tight and shoulders away from ears. Beginners try incline pushups on step or bench or with stability ball.
3. Overhead presses with lunges - start in a stationary lunge stance holding a weight at shoulder level. Press the weight up towards the sky then lower it and lower into a lunge. Advanced try a reverse lunge instead. Stating from regular standing position press lower then reverse lunge and step back up.
4. Bent over alternating rows - start in bent over position with back flat, abs tight, and sitting into those heels. You should be feeling this more on the butt and not on the thighs or low back. If using a dumbbell set it all the way down on the floor before picking it up with other side. Do not transfer the weight while bent over. Advanced try adding the good morning featured at the end of the video.
5. 3 count star jumps - start with feet together and take 3 counts to lower into a squat making sure not to lean the upper body forward. Keep hands in front of face to prevent this from happening. Jump up and land with feet wider than shoulder width and hands overhead (shape of a star).
6. Reverse plank - sit with legs bent, heels directly under knees, holding a weight between the knees and hands about 5-6 inches away from your butt with fingers pointing towards your body. Squeeze the shoulder blades, inner thighs and butt as you raise the lower body of the floor as high as you can.
Cool down: finish up with 2-3 minutes of jumping jacks, jogging in place, step ups, jump rope or a combination of all those. You can also add an additional 10 minutes of cardio to your cool down routine for increased fatloss.
Get free stuff: tell me what movie that spirit fingers quote is from and I'll send you a cool fitness eboook. Got questions about this workout? Ask me below.