The Best Weight Loss Exercises To Accelerate Your Progress

When I was dieting and working out to lose weight I was constantly experimenting to learn the best exercises to help me achieve my goal. I learned that key quality the best weight loss exercises share is that they train more than one large muscle group (i.e. back, chest, legs, shoulders) at a time. They’re also the best exercises for building muscle which will help you burn more calories and look your best.

The reason these exercises are superior is that when done properly you’ll have to work very hard to get through each set. The harder you work, the more calories you’ll burn. The more calories you burn, the more weight you’ll lose.

This article contains a list of what I think are the 8 best exercises for weight loss. These exercises were selected from dozens of exercises I tried on myself and others. Including them in my workouts is what helped me lose 70 lbs. in 6 months last year.

I also show you the best ways to perform these exercises to help you lose fat fast. You even get a free workout that incorporates the best exercises from the list.

The 8 Best Weight Loss Exercises

1. Front Squats
Muscles Trained: hamstrings, quadriceps, abs and lower back.

While any type of squat exercise is awesome for fat loss, building muscle, and getting stronger I prefer front squats. I feel they are safer to perform than back squats where you rest a barbell across your shoulders and easier to learn. You can perform front squats with a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell.

Below is a video which demonstrates how to perform this exercise with a kettlebell.

2. Standing Shoulder Press
Muscles Trained: shoulders, triceps, upper back, abs, and lower back.

This is a simple exercise that will really crank up your metabolism. You can do them with barbells, dumbells, or kettlebells. Press the weight from the front of your shoulders overhead instead of from behind since that is safer for your shoulders.

Here’s a video which shows you how to perform this exercise with dumbbells.

3. Kettlebell Swings
Muscles Trained: hamstrings, glutes (your butt), quadriceps, abs, lower back, upper back, shoulders.

Here’s an exercise that works almost every muscle group at once. It’s easy to learn too. All that’s required is the ability to swing the weight from between your legs to shoulder height. You can do them with a dumbbell or kettlebell. I prefer kettlebells since they make the movement easier to perform.

See the video below to learn how to perform kettlebell swings. You should also check out my articles on alternating kettlebell swings and kettlebell throws.

4. Farmer’s Walk
Muscles Trained: hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, abs, lower back, shoulders, upper back.

No exercise is easier to perform than the Farmer’s Walk. All you have to do is pick up a heavy weight and walk. Like kettlebell swings they train practically every muscle in your body. I like to do them at the end of each workout and on my days off for a conditioning and calorie burning boost. You don’t even need proper weights to perform this exercise. Just pick up something heavy and start walking.

5. Burpees
Muscles Trained: hamstrings, quadriceps, abs, lower back, shoulders and triceps.

Burpees are a great weight loss exercise which doesn’t require any fitness equipment. Done properly, this body weight only exercises will make your lungs and muscles burn and help you lose weight.

The burpee is a combines 2 exercises: squats and hip thrusts. You can also do a push up between the squat and hip thrust portions of the exercise to make it even harder and burn more calories.

Read my article How Burpees Can Make You Fitter, Leaner, and Stronger to learn how to add them to your workout.

You can also watch this video to learn how to properly perform burpees.

6. Dumbbell Or Kettlebell Snatch
Muscles Trained: hamstrings, glutes (your butt), quadriceps, abs, lower back, upper back, shoulders.

Once you’ve mastered swings it’s time to learn how to perform the kettlebell snatch. Doing them will help you build muscle and transform your entire body. While they can be done with dumbbells I prefer kettlebells since they make it easier to use proper technique.

Kettlebell Snatch Video

7. Inverted Rows
Muscles Trained: upper back, shoulders, biceps, and your abs.

Even though this exercise only requires your body weight and a horizontal bar to perform inerted rows are a great exercise to add to your workouts when weight loss is your goal. They’re easier to learn than chin ups but still challenging for everyone.

Check out my guide to performing inverted rows for step by step tips and videos that teach you how to master this awesome exercise.

The video below also shows you how to perform them with the right technique.

8. Dips
Muscles Trained: chest, shoulders, triceps, upper back, and abs.

Just like chin ups, this is a tough exercise to master but one that pays big dividends. Learning to do them properly trains your chest and shoulders two big, calorie burning muscle groups. I also find they give my abs a workout too, which is nice.

The video below shows you how to do dips.

Tips For Adding The Best Weight Loss Exercises To Your Workouts

1. Choose one exercise for each body part (i.e. back, chest, legs, shoulders) per workout. This ensures all of the large muscles in your body are trained and you burn as many calories as possible.

2. Perform the exercises as complexes. This style of workout has you doing each exercise with the same weight, one after another with no rest between movements. I do complexes at least once a week and they are my go to workout for fast fat loss. You can learn more about complex style workouts in this article.

3. Use the heaviest weight that you can perform 5-8 reps using proper technique. The heavier weight you use, the harder you’ll work and more calories you will burn. Studies also show that using heavy weights generates the largest increases in growth hormone and testosterone.

4. Rest as little as possible between sets. Studies show that doing so helps you burn more calories before and after your workout than rating for several minutes between sets. Rest no more than 60 seconds between each set for the most benefit.

Sample Weight Loss Workout

Here’s a sample workout using 4 of the best exercises for weight loss from my list. Perform one exercise after another with no rest between sets. Rest after you have completed the last exercise on the list. Start with 3 sets of 5 repetitions for exercise. Add another set each week until you are able to perform 8 sets of 5 reps at every workout. You can then make the workouts more difficult and burning calories by increasing the weight you use, decreasing your rest periods, or adding additional exercises.

1. Kettlebell Swings – 8 reps
2. Front Squats – 8 reps
3. Standing Shoulder Press – 8 reps
4. Farmers Walk – 8 reps

Now you know the best exercises for weight loss. Combine them with a low carbohydrate diet and you’ll lose weight and achieve your fitness goals in record time. You should also get our free Fat Loss Toolkit and Kettlebell Training Tips eBooks. Each provides additional exercises and workouts to help you lose fat fast.

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