If your goal is to lose weight and increase muscle tone you need to ensure that your time in the gym or exercising is productive. I drove past a group of women last week that were out on a Saturday morning pounding pavement together. You may ask "Whats wrong with that?" well if your goal is to run a marathon or do a triathlon then of course this would be the best way to train for those types of events and would be the most appropriate exercise to be doing towards your goal. These ladies however were quite overweight which means there knees, ankles, hips and lower back are probably already under pressure due to the excess 20-30 kilos of weight being carried. Add on top of that the hard pounding of joints from running on a hard surface like cement. This is a classic example of the wrong type of exercise prescribed to burn fat for those ladies in particular.
So when looking at exercises to increase fat burn you need to look for the ones that increase your heart rate, encourage continued fat burn post workout, are high calorific burners and increase muscle mass. The best thing you can do if weight loss is your goal is to do circuits which include resistance training and HIIT. The best exercises to include in those circuits are ones that use multiple joints which are also know as compound exercises. For example a Dumbell squat press is a compound exercise where as a Barbell bicep curl is an isolated exercise. You can still include isolated exercises in your training program but its a matter of timing and where you are at in regards to your goal. If you are just starting out and you have 20 kilos to lose you could definitely be doing exercises more beneficial than just your bicep curl.
Compound exercises include things like your squats, deadlifts, lunges, standing rows, chin-ups and push-ups. All of these exercises require you to use multiple joints and muscles to perform the exercise. They also require stability and core activation. Adding multiple movements to your basic squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, rows, pull-downs and twists is another great way to really increase fat burn and muscle activation. For example add a shoulder press or row to your basic squat this is sure to increase your heart rate. Put it into a circuit with other similar exercises and by the end of the workout you will be sure to be pooped. Try out an example of one of my workouts below.
1. Dumbell shoulder press x12
2. Weighted walking lunge twist x12
3. Weighted deadlift with upright row x12
4. Push-up with twist x12
5. Burpees with no push-up x12
For more information on exercise programs that are designed to maximize results and get you to your goal head to www.littlefitmiss.com