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Best Home Exercises For Weight Loss

Updated on February 1, 2014

I know why you’re here. You’ve spent the winter hiding your waistline beneath giant sweaters while pigging out on cookies and brandy smoothies. Now you’re planning a summer vacation to the beach but you are horrified when you see yourself naked in the mirror.

You desperately search the internet for things like: weight loss pills or 24 hour miracle diets. “Maybe,” you think, “I’ll just quit eating!”

Then your logical side kicks in. Diets never seem to last and starving is not a healthy option. And those diet pills are dangerous and never work. You’d invest in a treadmill, but you’re smart enough to know that those machines only end up collecting dust in the shadows of basements across America.

Well I’m here to tell you that there is hope!

You can reach your fitness goals in time for summer, and you can do it for free: no gym membership, equipment, or personal trainer necessary. All it takes is a little commitment, determination, and some good old fashion sweat and you’ll be beach-ready before you know it.

I slack on my diet and exercise in the winter

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10 great exercises for weight loss

The best workouts for blasting calories are ones that engage multiple large muscle groups at once. That is the key. What you need to create is a dynamic exercise routine using the “multiple muscle groups” principle. Then stick with it and perform it a couple times a week. This will be a routine that is efficient at significantly increasing caloric burn and toning muscle.

1. The Push Up: What’s this you say? The simple push up is a fat burning exercise? Hey, this classic exercise trains the chest, shoulders, triceps, abdominals, lower back, and buns. Working all those muscle groups together is what makes this an effective calorie killer. Tips: Keep your body rigid and lower yourself until your chest touches the floor. Then push up until your arms are fully extended. Experiment with how far apart you space your hands and how that works different muscles. You can also try elevating your feet.

2. Bodyweight squats: This leg exercise targets huge calorie blasting muscle groups like your quadriceps, hamstrings, and buns. This could possibly be the most effective muscle builder and fat burner of all. Tips: Don’t lean too far forward from the hip. And don’t let your knees jet out too far past your toes.

3. Burpees: This one is a true ass-kicker! If you do a couple of these, you’ll know you blasted some calories. It is the ultimate full-body exercise. And because of its intensity, it is a fat burning king.

4. Pilates leg pulls facing down: This exercise engages every part of the body with a huge emphasis on your buns and thighs. Engage your core by focusing on the muscles of your legs, butt, and center mass.

5. Plank: Think this looks easy? Trust me, stabilizing your body in this position will build you a rock solid core (including your abs) and also leave you shaking like a dying cockroach. Tips: Modify this position by sinking to your knees or coming to rest on your elbows rather than your hands and wrists.

6. Jumping jacks: Elevate your heart rate with this simple classic. Use it between rounds to increase oxygen to your bloodstream and muscles. Breathe deeply to engage your core, and feel those calories fade away. Never mind feeling like a kid on the playground, this high-intensity move burns around 100 calories for every 10 minutes of motion.

7. Mountain climbers: Another tough, full-body, S.O.B., with focus on the arms, shoulders, core, and legs. This exercise, like jumping jacks, is perfect to use between rounds because it will keep your heart rate in the right zone. Tips: For beginners experiencing difficulty, try elevating your hands on a bench or step.

8. Pull ups: Ahh pull ups, the granddaddy of all exercises (besides the push up, of course). The major muscle group worked here is your Latissimus Dorsi, otherwise known as your “lats”. Everybody should be able to pull-up their body weight at least once. The difficulty involved here will definitely increase your heart rate as well as your upper-body muscles. Do as many as you can!

9. Jackknife crunches: This variation on the standard crunch targets your lower abdominals more than traditional sit-ups. The movements involved here make this a great way to get your heart rate up and burn calories while also strengthening your legs and lower back.

10. Lunge with rear leg raise: The lunge is a simple, tried-and-true exercise that targets your butt as well as the front and back of your legs. And as we said earlier, engaging multiple, large muscle groups is the key to burning more calories. This advanced variation with the rear leg raise gives your buns an added toning benefit.

Conclusion

I would like to talk briefly about mindset. Chances are if you’re reading articles with titles like this one, then you are out of shape and looking for ways to get back on track. I think most of us can relate to waking up one morning and realizing that we’re twenty pounds over-weight with a physique that resembles chewed bubble gum.

One of the first steps in succeeding in your fitness goals is to realize that your body did not go to hell overnight. The reflection you see in the mirror is the result of months and maybe years of poor diet and neglect. Just as you did not gain twenty pounds in one day, you will not lose twenty pounds in one day either.

So choose a couple of these exercises and start slow. If right now you are a wad of chewed bubble gum, then perhaps in 2 or 3 weeks you can elevate yourself to the status of hardened bubble gum. After that you can be a block of wood. The key is to stick with it. Regular exercise and nutritional consciousness will go a long way towards helping you achiever your goals. Now let’s get started!

wear your bathing suit with pride this year!

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    • Brian Prickril profile image
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      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      DDE, thank you. I personally like to work out from home usually first thing in the morning after a few cups of coffee. These were a few that I like to do without needing any equipment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Weight loss is a such a problem for most people and your ideas are just so perfect. Home exercises sound and looks easy with proper schedules one can take on this opportunity with no issues.

    • Brian Prickril profile image
      Author

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      FlourishAnyway, thank you for the uplifting comments. I've got summer on my mind too. I think that is what inspired me to write this. Personally, I slack a little in the winter. Now that I live in the South, springtime comes much faster lol. Thanks again!

    • Brian Prickril profile image
      Author

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      CyclingFitness, points well taken. I think overall I was trying to spark some interest in fitness to those who are not normally gym rats and maybe just needed a little guidance. I was trying to demonstrate what could be accomplished at home without equipment. Thanks for the feedback. I'll consider sprucing it up a bit.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Oh, you do know why I'm here. I especially enjoyed that superbly written intro and your analogy to chewed bubble gum. I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately as I think about booking spring and summer vacation getaways. You must read minds. Very good hub. Voted up+++ and pinning.

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 3 years ago from Nottingham UK

      I'd like to have seen some more advanced exercises in this list and some cardio specific options. Why not even consider kettlebells? I know plenty of people who can do minute upon minute of bodyweight squats- where's the progression?

      You also don't really give much in terms of coaching tips and details on prescribed reps.

      While this hub looks good in term of layout and images - coming from a fitness training background the descriptions and teaching points are very weak and therefore I fear that simply showing what you are to potential exerciser will help them to develop bad habits and subsequent poor technique. I'd like to see a lot more information.

    • Brian Prickril profile image
      Author

      Brian Prickril 3 years ago from Savannah, GA

      Oh hell yeah, Bill. Your prize for doing ALL of these would be sore muscles and a lot of ice-packs. Glad to hear you're staying fit! Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, I do four of them. Do I get a prize or anything????? :) Great information my friend; I need to kick it up a bit.