There are myriad methods to get your body’s metabolism rolling and burning fat more efficiently. It doesn’t matter so much what exercises you do, as much as how you perform those exercises. We are going to talk about some basic principles and exercises that will turn your body into a fat burning machine.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to put your body into fat-burn mode and an easy tactic to figure out and apply quickly. HIIT is simply alternating between short intense periods of training with less intense recovery periods. Using HIIT conditions a person’s body and improves fat burning and metabolism.
The benefit of HIIT is that you can use its principles to perform virtually any exercise but you will want to opt for an activity that you can sustain for 1-2 minutes or shorter exercises you can alternate between rapidly.
For instance, you can do as many pushups as possible for 30 seconds then switch to sit ups. Then rest for thirty seconds and do another exercise. Trying to bench press for 2 minutes is a dumb idea. This is why medicine ball workouts, body weight exercises, and utilizing machines are the ideal for this style of training. To get the best results try to make your workouts last approximately 30 minutes long. The first couple of times you may have to slow down and cheat a little but if you give it your best until the 30 minute mark you will see results.
Easy Medicine Ball Moves
With a medicine ball you can do a couple things:
Either standing or on your knees, lift the ball above your head and stretch your body out long. Hurl the ball at the floor, catch or pick up the ball and repeat.
With a heavier ball, stand in front of a wall, squat then launch the ball up as high as you can up the face of the wall, extending your body as long as you can. Catch, squat, and repeat.
On your butt, fold your legs in front of you and keep your heels elevated off the floor, rotate your torso and alternate tapping the ball on the floor on either side of your hips to work your abs.
Using Your Body Weight
You can incorporate the following body weight exercises in between or in succession:
- Dips (try not to come off the grips if you can’t push anymore)
- Pushups (use your knees if you have to)
- Sit ups (actually any abs routine here is great- flutter kicks, crunches, alternating crunches, etc…)
- Pull ups (You can try to incorporate pull ups but most mortals will require an assist machine)
Just remember to keep the intensity up. You want to remain between 70 and 90% effort during these exercises for about two minutes and then rest for about 30 seconds.
You can do the same thing with machine exercises as you would with medicine ball and body weight exercises. Remember, it’s more about how you are performing the exercise than the actual work itself. You want sustained effort for about two minutes and then a rest period.
You can alternate elliptical, rower, and exercise bike in the same fashion. Go balls to the wall for about two minutes and then rest for about 15-30 or so seconds and switch machines.
One of our favorite interval techniques that we recommend is the treadmill works like this: sprint at about 70-80% of your maximum effort for about a minute and a half and then slow down to a brisk walk for about 30 seconds.
On the elliptical: set the resistance to something challenging and attack it for two minutes. Then for one minute try and maintain a steady pace at a lesser resistance.
When doing something like that treadmill train for AT LEAST 15-20 minutes if you can’t last 30. If anything slow down the intensity and try to strive for all 30 minutes. When you can look down and see where the sweat has dripped and pooled beneath you, you know you’re doing it right.
Remember the principles of HIIT training:
• Short bursts of intense activity for approximately two minutes followed by rest periods of approximately 30 seconds
• Maintain between 70-90% of your maximum effort during high intensity periods
• Keep workouts around 30 minutes in duration
Stick to these principles and you can turn almost any routine into a fat incinerating HIIT workout.