Full-body strength-training exercises are key for fat loss — which is why we’ve gathered these 12 trainer-recommended moves to choose from — but why are these exercises so critical? “A lot of people think that the best way to shed fat is by doing lots of steady cardio. You can lose fat that way, but it’s not the optimal type of training for fat loss,” said Julia Buckley, a REPs Level 3-certified trainer in the UK. “Intense fast-paced cardio, power moves, and weightlifting sessions are much better. By adding muscle to your body, you will burn more fat all of the time.”
That’s because muscle mass actually boosts your metabolism, which helps you burn calories even when you’re not working out. Targeting multiple muscle groups in one move, as you do with full-body exercises, burns more calories (and thus more fat) and does it efficiently, maximising your time at the gym, said Eric Bowling, an NASM-certified trainer at Ultimate Performance Los Angeles.
However, you won’t burn fat just by doing these exercises alone. For the best results, you need a consistent and effective workout routine that includes both cardio and strength training. Coupling those workouts with a healthy diet is also key. To lose body fat, you should avoid highly processed foods and products with lots of sugar and refined carbs while loading up on veggies, protein, and fibre. Once you have that foundation of healthy diet and consistent exercise in place, plug these 12 moves into your routine to optimise fat-burning potential. Grab some weights, and let’s get started. (Not sure how heavy to go? Here’s a guide on choosing the right weight.)