What’s stopping you from turning your home into a fat-burning, calorie-busting zone? Many people assume that they can only get in great shape if they can get to a gym. However, that’s not necessarily true. That’s because many of the best fat-burning workouts don’t necessarily involve ultra-fancy gym equipment. Just a few simple pieces of equipment can give you a gym advantage when it comes to burning fat and feeling pumped! Today, I’m going to be talking about my favorite at home workouts for weight loss.
An Indoor Bike
Nothing gets me feeling quite as pumped and energized as cycling. That’s no coincidence. Here’s a look at the core benefits of cycling according to Harvard Medical School:
- It’s easy on the joints.
- It provides an aerobic workout.
- It builds muscles.
- Its benefits carry over to performance in everyday activities.
- It builds bone density.
What you might find when you get into cycling at home is that this is one of the activities that will really allow you to “get into a zone” like few other at home workouts for weight loss can. The reason for this has a lot to do with the posture that cycling requires. I also really like the fact that cycling doesn’t just help you get fit and burn fat today. This form of exercise actually has long-term benefits that may help you to feel and be stronger and healthier well into your golden years. Specifically, the way that peddling encourages bone density by pulling on your muscles could help to fight against things like osteoporosis.
Another thing that makes cycling so amazing is the way it simultaneously benefits your entire body while providing targeted benefits to specific areas. The aerobic aspect of peddling is amazing for your heart, brain and blood vessels. In addition, you’re really working and strengthening the part of your body that includes the quadriceps in your thighs, your calf muscles and your gluteus muscles (buttocks). My favorite part? The nearly unmatched endorphin rush that comes from cycling!
I have some quick tips for getting the most out of every cycling session. Ramp up to a “power phase” that’s comprised of down stroke pedaling. When you’re ready, move to a recovery phase that includes backstroke, upstroke and over stroke. This is a great way to alternate muscle groups! Generally, you’ll burn between 210 and 733 calories during a 30-minute cycling session. Your specific burn rate will be determined by personal biology and speed.
A Rowing Machine
Get ready to row, row, row your boat all the way to a leaner body without ever leaving your house! A rowing workout is an absolute powerhouse for muscle usage. One study out of Britain found that 86 percent of the muscles in your body are worked when you do a rowing workout! That means you’re not just working your legs when you row. In fact, rowing is so effective that astronauts looking to optimize their workout sessions have discovered that rowing for just 30 minutes produces the same heart benefits as biking for 90 minutes. What you’ll find when you get into rowing is that it is a surprisingly low-impact workout option for all the benefits it provides. In fact, research shows that it can be great for improving joint and muscle function.
There are a few ways to use rowing to burn fat. One option is to simply use it as a “warm-up activity.” Five to 10 minutes of rowing should help to get your heart rate up to a great place for burning calories. Of course, there’s no reason why rowing can’t be your complete workout. Challenge yourself to see how many strokes per minute you can get in while still keeping good form. Lastly, you can actually add rowing at the end of your workout. It can be used as a recovery tool if you do more casual strokes with less intensity. That’s not necessarily everyone’s favorite option when they want to maximize the benefits of vigorous rowing for burning calories. However, it is an option.
Exercises With Dumbbells
It’s essential to get familiar with ways to use dumbbells at home if you’re the type to get bored with the same workout. I consider these very easy, portable tools variety makers! Dumbbells offer strength-training benefits that help with building muscle, burning fat and supporting bone density. Did you know that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services actually recommends that adults perform muscle-strengthening activities at least twice weekly? That means that everyone should have some simple tools for getting that done in their homes!
Let’s start with how to burn fat with dumbbells. The focus is on repetition and vigor when the goal is to burn calories during a dumbbell workout. However, using dumbbells in your workout is going to put you in a supercharged position for burning fat because strengthening your muscles simply helps you burn more fat via lean muscle mass. Dumbbells aren’t just for working out your upper body. They can and should be used for various positions that allow you to work out your upper body, lower body and core. There are thousands of combinations you can do with dumbbells to burn calories and build muscle. However, I’m going to share a very “beginner” step-by-step guide that will help you to become familiar with how to move your body with dumbbells in hand. Here’s your guide to ultra-simple bicep curls:
- Begin by standing with your knees bent slightly.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Get your arms resting down at your sides.
- Next, hang your elbows into your sides.
- Your shoulders should be back at this point.
- You’re ready to curl the weights up toward your shoulders.
- You’ve just formed a bicep curl!
- Lower your hands down a little more slowly than you raised them.
- Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Keeping working on this move during workout sessions until you feel fully comfortable. This is really the baseline for mastering side extensions, triceps extensions, overhead rows and tons of “combos.” Next, let’s look at calorie-crunching kettlebells.
Exercises With Kettlebells
Some athletes have discovered ways to use kettlebells in workouts to burn more calories than sprinting! A study done by the American Council on Exercise found that people using kettlebells weighing between 26 pounds and 44 pounds were able to burn an average of 272 calories in a span of just 20 minutes. You may not get quite that intense when crafting your own at home workouts for weight loss. However, you can still use kettlebells to burn fat like never before! One way to use your whole body with a kettlebell is a lunge. Here’s a quick step-by-step breakdown for a reverse kettlebell lunge:
- Stand with your feet together.
- Make sure your core is strong and engaged.
- Next, hold your kettlebell up at about your shoulder using your right hand.
- Make sure your palm is facing inward with the ball resting on your forearm.
- The next move is to step back using your right foot.
- You should be bending both knees at 90 degrees to create that drop into a lunge.
- You’re going to need to press the kettlebell straight up toward the sky as you drop down into lunge position.
- It may be necessary to extend your left arm just slightly now to keep your balance. This is an optional move!
- Lastly, push off your right foot in order to continue with the circuit back in starting position.
You’ll want to do about eight to 10 reps on one side. You’ll then continue with the same number of reps on the other side. I just want to say a quick word about positioning with kettlebells. You should always have your kettlebell in what is referred to as a “racking” position. In this position, you should be comfortable with a very minimal amount of stress felt on your muscles. Do not continue with a rep if the positioning of your kettlebell is causing you pain or discomfort.
It’s the Perfect Time to Begin Some Home Workouts for Weight Loss
These calorie-burning workouts that you can do at home could not be simpler! Of course, it’s important to make sure you’re checking with your doctor before you begin a fitness regiment. In addition, make sure you’re doing your research to become wholly familiar with form and technique before attempting any reps to ensure that you don’t injure or strain any part of your body! Happy sweating!