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List of Exercises to Lose Weight at Home

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When you’re thinking of going on a weight cut or shredding a few pounds for a special occasion you know you need to tighten up your lifestyle.

Not only do you need to watch the calories and make good food choices, you need to set up a good fitness program too.

That way you’re leaving nothing to chance.

But as much as you want to hit the gym each day it just might not be possible for you at the minute. You might be busy at work or have a hectic family life. Maybe you lack the confidence to train in public or the gym just isn’t for you.

Either way, a solid home workout can be just as effective for weight loss… if you choose the right exercises.

And that’s what we’re covering in this article – maximum results in minimal time.

Here are the best exercises to lose weight at home…


Don’t Forget; Calories Matter

Before we get deep into the list of exercises it’s worth pointing out the importance of calorie management for weight loss.

You could perform the toughest, most intricately-planned session in the history of workouts – but it won’t help you shift some fat unless you’re handling your energy intake properly.

When you want to lose weight you need to achieve what’s known as negative energy balance, or calorie deficit. This is when you take in less calories from food each day than you burn off through day-to-day activities and exercise.

When you enter a deficit, you signal your body to release stored fatty acids from your adipose cells. Over time these cells shrink and you’re left with a more toned, athletic physique.

But if you don’t achieve a deficit you just don’t trigger that response.

Instead you’ll get fitter if you do exercise, but if you’re using your workouts as an excuse to eat more food then you just won’t drop any fat.

Working out your calorie allowance is quite simple. We’ve added a calorie calculator at the bottom of this article to help you set your intakes.

Where does exercise fit into weight loss?

In the equation between calories in and calories out, the more energy you burn each day the more likely you are to fall into a deficit.

Ans whilst it’s much harder to exercise off 500 kcal than it is to just avoid eating 500 kcal, exercise still contributes a respectable amount of energy expenditure.

Not only that, exercise of course helps to keep you fit. It boosts your health and the more lean muscle you have from body weight exercise, the higher your metabolism.

On your weight loss journey, exercise forms a formidable opportunity to burn more calories and build some respectable muscle.


Here are the top exercises for weight loss at home…

#1. Squats

As lower body exercises go, the squat is the master.

Not only does it give your thighs and glutes a great workout, it’s a great calorie burner too. It takes up practically no space either so fits into your home weight loss workout seamlessly.

A squat requires skill, stability, muscular work and good muscle endurance. It helps you build shape throughout your lower body and you’ll soon find that your overall strength goes up too.

  • Stand with your feet around shoulder-width apart
  • Place your hands out in front of your body or for more of a challenge you can place them behind your head in the ‘prisoner’ position
  • Bend your knees and hips and begin to squat down as though you were sitting back on an imaginary chair
  • Keep your back straight and your chest up throughout
  • Go as low as feels comfortable but aim to get your thighs at least parallel with the floor. Go lower if you can

Aim for 3-4 sets of 15-20 reps to begin with. And once you can do this with ease, progress the difficulty.

Young woman does body weight squats in her own home using a yoga mat and a pair of dumbbells

Progression:

  • Pause squats
  • Squat jumps
  • Single leg squats
  • Goblet squat

#2. Lunges

If the squat is the master, the lunge is the magician.

It has the ability to target your legs, but pays special attention to your butt and hamstrings too. Practice this challenging move and you’ll transform your body into a tones and shapely silhouette.

You’ll get a great core workout too as your ab muscles work hard to help co-ordinate your lower body movements.

  • Take a long stride out and place your feet at around hip-width apart. Go to narrow and you’ll struggle to hold your balance
  • Keep you eyes facing forward and your back straight throughout. Placing your hands on your hips or your by your sides will help with stability
  • Bend both knees simultaneously until your back knee is just above the ground and your front knee is bent around 90 degrees. If you knee goes in front of your toes on that front leg you haven’t taken a long enough stride out at the beginning
  • Imagine your upper body is stuck between two panes of glass throughout the exercise as you move upwards to the start position. Don’t lean forwards and backwards or you”ll ‘break the glass’

Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps per side to begin with. 

Dark-haired female athlete doing lunges in front of a brick wall

Progression:

  • Dynamic lunges
  • Bulgarian split squat
  • Jumping lunges
  • Dumbbell lunges

#3. Mountain climbers

This one will definitely get your heart rate up. And as abdominal exercises go, this one is definitely up there with the most effective ones you could ever wish for.

You’ll target everything from your calf muscles to your chest and arms, and because of the sheer volume of muscles working together you’ll get a metabolic boost from the cardio effect too.

  • Get into a push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and a straight line running from your head right down to your ankles. This in itself will engage your core muscles.
  • With your feet placed just less than hip-width apart, lift your right knee up towards your chest whilst keeping the rest of your body rigid. If your hips lift a little as you drive the knee through that’s fine
  • Return back to the start position and then do the same with your left knee

The idea is to go at a comfortable pace to begin with until you’ve mastered the technique. Once you’ve done that you can increase the speed (so that you are almost running on the spot) or use a harder progression.

Aim for 5 sets of 10 reps per side. Increase speed or difficulty as it gets easier.

Dark-haired woman workouts out doing mountain climbers in her front room at home

Progression:

  • Hands on floor mountain climbers
  • Mountain climber to push up
  • Mountain climber to side plank

#4. Press-ups

There’s no better body weight exercise for weight loss, arm shape and overall calorie burn than the good old push-up.

You’ll target your chest muscles, core, shoulders and backs of your arms as you perform this challenging, yet rewarding body weight exercise.

Can’t quite do full push-ups yet?

Well you can forget box push-ups, because they don’t hit your core like a full push-up. Instead you’ll use a box or chair to place your hands on – anything in your home that’ll take your body weight is fine. This allows you to activate your core, without the need to get into a full press-up position.

The higher the box, the easier the exercise – but over time the idea would be to get those hands as near to the floor as possible to really ramp up the calorie burn.

  • Place your hands about one-and-a-half times shoulder-width and your feet at hip-width apart
  • Brace your core and form a solid line from your head through to your ankles
  • Lower your face down towards the box or floor until your upper arm is bent at around 90 degrees
  • Push upwards until your arms are straight but not locked out

Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps. When this becomes easier try making your box lower to make it harder.

Teenage girl doing push upse warming up working at home fitness, sport, training, diet and lifestyle

Progression:

  • Hands on floor push-ups
  • Single leg push-ups
  • Narrow push-ups

#5. Glute Bridge

If your goal is to sculpt a rounded, toned rear then the glute bridge needs to be at the top of your priorities.

It’s a great core and hamstring exercise but it’s glute activation is unparalleled. It’s your number one glute builder.

There are loads of variations as well meaning you can keep swapping, progressing and playing around with different ways to perform it to keep it fresh and challenging.

  • Lie face-up with your head, shoulder and lower back on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees and your feet flat. Place your hands by your side for stability
  • Keeping your hips, knees and feet in line with each other, begin to lift your hips upwards toward the ceiling until your glutes are fully contracted and your hips are extended. Be careful not to over-arch your back
  • There should be a straight line from your head to your knees
  • Slowly lower yourself down until your butt is just above the floor

Aim for 3-4 sets of 20 reps. Progress as each variations gets easier.

Lady dressed in white does a glute bridge in her home yoga

Progression:

  • Elevated shoulders bridge
  • Alternate leg bridges
  • Pause bridges
  • Weighted bridge


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