When you’re taking time out of your day to work out, you want to burn the maximum number of calories with the time you have. If you’re looking for some exercise ideas to burn off some extra calories, you’ve came to the right place. AZ Foothills got the chance to chat with fitness guru Chance Pearson, district manager for Mountainside Fitness. Check out all her helpful exercise tips in order to burn all the maximal calories below. Take it away, Chance!
When selecting the most efficient exercises in terms of caloric burn we must take a look at a few important factors.
- The number of muscles being utilized in the exercise. When it comes to burning calories, more is more so we should gravitate towards full body exercises and away from single joint movements that isolate a select few muscles.
- Focus on the larger muscles for maximal energy expenditure. The muscles of the Legs, Back, and Chest will give us the biggest bang for our buck so we should embrace Squat movements, Pull movements, and Press movements.
- Intensity matters. If we want to burn maximal calories during and after exercise, we should incorporate some interval training which involves repeating a cycle of near maximal efforts followed by a period of rest. Make sure to consult your physician prior to engaging in any maximal effort exercises.
Sprints are an exercise that does a great job of accomplishing all 3 factors listed above. Most treadmills aren’t designed to safely accommodate sprints so I suggest doing them on a track, sports field, or even on a low traffic street. As with any maximal effort warming up will be imperative to avoid injury and allow the neuromuscular system a chance to prepare. I recommend running ten 40 yard sprints and at the conclusion of the sprint, walk back to the starting line then repeat. Walking back will allow your body time to recover.
2. Kettlebell Swings
This exercise when done correctly does a great job accomplishing all 3 factors as well. It’s important to use proper form with the eyes up and the hips down to ensure we are engaging the important muscles of the glutes, hamstrings, and spinal erectors. This exercise doesn’t only burn through tons of calories but also strengthens the muscles important for proper posture (posterior chain)
Image Courtesy of Womenshealthmag.com
This exercise uses only your own body for resistance but don’t be fooled as this is definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This exercise takes the body from a standing position to crouched. From crouched to a push-up position. From here you complete a push-up and jump the feet back to under you to the crouched position. From crouched you explode upward into a vertical jump with the hands extended overhead. Once your feet hit the ground you repeat.
4. Squat to overhead press
Essentially we are taking two traditional exercises and combining them into one movement to turn this into an efficient calorie burner. Start standing with two dumbbells in your hands or one preloaded barbell. Hold the weight close to your sternum in front of the body at shoulder height. Squat down until the knees are at 90 degrees. From this position return to standing while simultaneously pressing the weight up over the head until the arms are at full extension. Lower the weight back to the sternum then repeat.
If you are unable to perform a pull-up use an assisted pull-up machine when possible or a lat-pull down cable machine. The large muscles of the back deliver a big bang for our buck in terms of energy expenditure or calories burned. The pull-up is the best movement to engage those important calorie burning machines.
The exercises listed will also help you to increase/replace lean tissue or muscle onto the body. Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue we have so if we want to burn more calories, shed more fat, and lose more inches we need to embrace strength training. Cardio burns calories while you’re engaged in the activity but muscle burns calories 24/7 even while you sleep. If you want to lose the fat and keep it off make certain strength training is the cornerstone of your exercise routine. If you are unfamiliar on how to incorporate strength training safely and effectively, I highly encourage you to speak with a personal trainer to see what your options are.
For additional information and personal training advice, visit Mountainside Fitness.