Find the best fat-burning exercises best for you.
If you’re reading this you have probably also searched “how to lose fat.” That said you have most likely heard of the fat-burning zone. If not, it’s basically that working out at 70% to 80% of your maximum heart rate leads to fat loss. The longer you are able to stay in that zone, the more fat you could burn. It requires a strong heart and lungs to burn fat for long spurts. To burn fat effectively your body needs a lot of oxygen because your heart’s pumpin’ and your lungs are breathin’.
Find Your Fat-Burning Exercise Zone
In order to effectively scorch fat with fat-burning exercises, you need to know your heart rate for fat burning. This is called the fat-burning zone. You can use The Chubby Runner’s helpful calculators to determine your target heart rate.
You can also do the calculation quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, determine your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220, this number will be your maximum heart rate. Then multiply that number by 70% – 80% to get your fat-burning heart rate zone.
Fat-Burning Exercise Zone Calculation
Even if you don’t have a fancy online calculator or app, you can always do the math to find your maximum heart rate and your fat-burning heart rate zone. Here’s a quick example for a 45-year-old male.
220 – 45 = 175 maximum heart rate
175 x .70 = 122.5 175 x .80 = 140, so the fat-burning zone is 122.5 – 140 (beats per minute)
3 Fat-Burning Exercises at Home
You thought you were only going to get 3 fat-burning exercises, but no, you’re getting at least 6. I’ve included 3 for at-home and 3 you can do at the gym.
Here are the step-by-step directions to do an effective jumping jack.
- Begin by standing with your arms at your sides.
- Jump so that your legs are out about shoulder-width apart.
- As you are jumping, thrust your arms out and over your head.
- Then return to the starting position.
- Repeat for 30 – 60 seconds of continuous motion.
Follow these steps for high knees.
- Stand up straight with both feet on the floor.
- Lift your left knee up and into your chest, then quickly return your left leg to the floor.
- Switch your legs so your right knee is up and into your chest. Then quickly return your right leg to the floor.
- Keep alternating your knees as quickly as possible and move your arms in a running motion.
- Repeat for 30 – 60 seconds of continuous motion.
Body Squat Jumps for Fat-Burning
This exercise is similar to one done in the gym but without weights. Body squat jumps just utilize your own body weight and add an explosive quick twitch muscle workout.
Here’s how to do body squat jumps at home.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body into a squat position like you’re sitting on a chair with your back and upper body erect and straight.
- Keep your core tight and as you reach the bottom of the squat, launch into an explosive jump. Land lightly on your feet and immediately drop back into a squat.
- Repeat for 20 – 30 repetitions.
If you really wanna push yourself, here’s an extra one.
Fat-Burning Exercises Extra: Burpees
Burpees are an advanced multimovement exercise. They are more difficult for beginners so that’s why it’s an extra exercise.
Here’s how to do burpees.
- Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- In one continuous motion, lower your body down into a squat position, put your hands on the ground in front of your feet, then push your feet back into a plank position.
- Next, reverse the previous motion, from the plank position, return your feet to near your hands, and jump straight up into the air.
- Repeat for 10 repetitions.
If you want to make it more challenging, add a push-up when you’re in the plank position.
If you’re a beginner and want to ease into a full burpee, try doing a squat thrust instead. Follow the same steps as a burpee, except at the end you simply stand up instead of jumping up.
3 Fat-Burning Exercises at the Gym
For gym exercises, getting into a class led by a trainer is ideal. You’ll get the biggest bang for your fat-burning buck. But you can also do these on your own without any class or personal trainer.
Burn Fat in Spinning Classes
If you want to burn a ton of calories, spinning classes are the blow torch for fat-burning. It takes some getting used to with the upbeat music, screaming-motivational instructors, and spandex-clad gym goers, spin is more than just a workout, it’s a whole lifestyle.
So, if you wanna burn 500 calories in 55 minutes—plus fat afterburn—spin class is your animal. Not only is spinning hugely effective for weight loss exercises, but it also has other potential physical and mental health benefits, too. Check out your gym schedule for the next class and get spinning.
Swimming is a great full-body, fat-burning workout. It’s low-impact so just about anyone can make it part of their workout routine. Depending on skill level, try swimming for 15 to 60 minutes.
Set a goal to swim 4 – 5 days a week. Start small with 5 – 10 min, then on to 15-20-minute swims every other day. Try to work your way up to 30-minute swims four to five days a week. Swimming is great cardiovascular exercise. It gets your heart pumping. For fat-burning, that’s exactly what you want.
Weight Training, the Ultimate Fat-Burning Exercises
You may be thinking, weights are not for me because I want to burn fat not put on more weight. Resistance training with weights is some of the best fat burning you can do. Some experts estimate that a pound of muscle burns almost 3x as many calories as a pound of fat.
The more you incorporate weights—as long as you are working towards lifting progressively heavier weights over time—you’ll boost your muscle mass. This means you’ll change your body into a more efficient fat-burning machine.
Set a goal of 2 – 5 weight training workouts per week. Alternate days between upper body and lower body. Shoot for 1 – 2 sets of 8 – 10 repetitions for each muscle group. Then make adjustments from there based on how you feel.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
For a great way to burn fat in less time, try a HIIT workout.
HIIT is an acronym for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a style of workout where you perform exercises at high intensity in short bursts, then rest for short recovery periods. Each session typically consists of several rounds of repeated exercise designed to boost your heart rate. HIIT workouts are a great way to mix it up if you’re tired of steady-state cardio like running on a treadmill or riding a bike.
You can turn just about any exercise into a HIIT workout simply by changing the intensity and duration. Try this workout to get started.
You’ve probably seen those ropes at the gym. Just moving “battle ropes” at an intense rate will boost your heart rate.
- Grab a pair of ropes and start doing slams or waves for 30 seconds.
- Rest for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Repeat for 10 rounds.
You can also try the interval treadmill workout, Simple HIIT Run Workout for Overweight Beginners.
Bottom Line on Fat-Burning Exercises
Like any other exercise, fat burning occurs with the intensity you exert. Start by finding your fat-burning heart rate and then commit yourself to doing the hard work. Your heart will pump, you’ll sweat a lot, and you’ll melt that fat away. Listen to your body. If you need to take a break, stop to catch your breath and then get back in there and finish. Increase your intensity and/or duration each time so that you improve your heart and lung strength. Good luck