Posted on: August 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm
Last updated: October 15, 2020 at 4:43 pm

So you want to up your fitness game and maybe lose a few pounds?


What exercises should you do to get the most bang for your buck?

Thankfully word is out that plodding along on a treadmill or doing endless hours of ‘cardio’ is NOT the most effective way to achieve your dream body. In fact, if you want to be just a smaller version of your former fat self, ‘cardio’ is your answer. But, if improved strength and endurance and looking better naked is your goal, then resistance training is where it’s at.


Squats And Pushups Increase Muscle Mass

This study evaluated the effects of resistance exercise on the metabolic constraints of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in 53 patients. These patients were assigned to either a group that performed pushups and squats 3 times per week for 12 weeks or a group that did not do any resistance exercise (control group). The effects of the exercise were compared between the 2 groups after 12 weeks.

Fat-free mass and muscle mass significantly increased in the exercise group. Whereas insulin, iron, and fatty liver levels all significantly decreased in the exercise group. These findings show that resistance exercises comprising of squats and pushups help to improve characteristics of metabolic syndrome in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

So what are the best exercises to lose weight?

With the mountain of fitness information out there, it’s difficult to sift through it all to separate the real gems from the fool’s gold where exercise is concerned.  So let me make this easy for you!

In this article, you’ll find the very BEST, tried and true exercises that never go out of style. You can do them anywhere and they don’t require that you to throw your money away on useless gadgets.  The beauty of these exercises is that they build sexy lean muscle tone – this is the key to anti-aging, looking and feeling your best and fitting into your skinny jeans in no time.


Don’t be fooled into thinking that you need to empty your wallet on exercise toys. Sadly, like many other things, some marketers play on your fat belly pain to lighten your wallet but do nothing to decrease your belly girth.

Just take a look below at the TOP TEN exercises that will tighten and tone your body like no ‘cardio’ exercise can to build shapely muscle and get your ‘sexy back’.

These exercises are in no particular order. You should notice that they are what’s called ‘compound movements’ so they work multiple muscles at once. This helps you burn the most fat in the least amount of time when you incorporate them into your workout plan.

Are you ready? Here we go….

Top 10 Exercises to Lose Weight

1. The Squat

In reality, you do this movement every day when you hit the loo or sit in a chair, whether you think you’re capable of squatting or not. It’s a basic functional movement that shapes your entire leg and butt. When your lower body is shapely, your body screams of athleticism and fitness.

You’d be surprised at how challenging even bodyweight squats can be, and for an added challenge, you can add some weight with a barbell or dumb bells.  Take a look at how it’s done here:

2. The Lunge

It’s all about the butt! The lunge will tighten and tone the butt and hamstrings, (which are located on the back of your legs). You can see how to do the lunge properly here:

If you experience any knee pain, you can easily swap out a lunge for the glute bridge to target the butt and hamstrings:

3. The Push Up

The lowly push-up isn’t glamorous, but it gets the job done! You’ll strengthen your triceps, tone your upper chest and did you know that sexy arms start with beautifully sculpted shoulders? All hail the push-up! It can be done anywhere and modified to any fitness level and also will strengthen your core…talk about quadruple duty!

4. The Pull Up

If you can do this powerhouse of an exercise you can be assured of a strong and sexy back. Unfortunately, many people are unable to do this movement (at first), but I have some alternatives for you here so that with a little practice you’ll be able to impress others with your pull up strength and your beautiful back.

5. The Plank

Forget sit-ups, crunches, and side bends, the plank is where it’s at to strengthen the entire core, including the shy and ‘oh so important’ transverse abdominous. This is the muscle that will help prevent or reduce back pain once it’s engaged. A worthy goal is to be able to do a plank for one minute straight.

6. The Spider Crawl

This might not look like a waist whittler, but ‘Holy Obliques Batman!’ this will light your core up while also increasing hip mobility. Exercises that do double duty are the bomb.

7. The Get Up

Everyone wants ‘six pack abs’ but most folks don’t realize that you can achieve a flat and toned tummy while blasting other muscles. Get rid of flying bat wing triceps with this triceps move that will also engage your core like never before!

8. The Burpee

This one move is the reason you can put your treadmill up for sale. It hits ALL your major muscle groups and also gets your heart pumping. You’ll burn MORE belly fat by incorporating this simple move than doing hours of slow cardio on any cardio machine. Oh, and the beauty of the beautiful burpee is that it can be modified to ANY fitness level.

9. The Skater

Here’s a lateral movement that will also get your heart pumping. Moving in a lateral plane is great for developing knee and ankle stability. And if impact is an issue, this move can easily be modified to get maximum calorie burn with minimum jumping or jolting to your joints.

10. Jumping Rope

Take a trip down memory lane to grade school and bust out a jump rope. Skipping can be done pretty much anywhere and is a wonderful alternative to running. You’ll be toning your arms and legs while you burn a ton of calories. If you’re frustrated with your lack of skills, you can still benefit from the movement by doing a ‘phantom’ skip where you toss your rope to the side and just pretend to jump rope by going through the motions.

Here are some more great jump rope tips:

Now I could go on and on about simple and effective body weight and resistance moves that will get you to your fitness and fat loss goals faster than ANY cardio or machine would be able to, but I’ll limit myself to just these 10 exercises.

And no need to run up the clock with your workout; you can have an effective fat burning, strength building workout in as little as 15 minutes when using these moves.

If you do these exercises in the right combinations, you’ll have stunning results like Colleen, who says:

Shawna Kaminski
Personal Trainer
"Shawna has been a fitness professional in the industry for over 30 years. She has a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Bachelor of Education and too many certifications to count. She is a teacher at heart, having taught school for 20 years. She’s owned a small group training studio and multiple fitness boot camps.

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