10 Best Weight Loss Exercises for the Ultimate Shred

The end of Winter means one thing; we’re just weeks away from peeling off the layers, only to be disgusted by what lies beneath. It’s natural to pack on a few extra pounds over the cooler months, but the inevitable Summer shred plan will need to factor in at some point. With less than 100 days until the glorious golden days are back on, there’s no better time than now to crack into a few good workouts to lose weight. After all, making sure you’ve got a dedicated plan of action is critical to getting yourself lean and shredded for beach season. But, like we always say, it’s about quality, not quantity. Rather than spending hours in the gym trying to burn off your quarantine gut, flex your mental muscle and develop a workout that incorporates the most efficient weight loss exercises.

You’ll also like:
11 Best HIIT Workouts for Men
How to Lose Weight Fast & Maximise Your Workout
The Best Ab Workout For Men: 11 Must-Do Ab Exercises

best bicep exercises 2

For most of us, the road back to fitness is one fraught with false starts and missed opportunities, particularly in a year as turbulent as this, but that shouldn’t demotivate you from reaching your goals. “The best time to start is always now. Exercise should be something we consistently incorporate into our lifestyle for long-term health,” fitness icon and face of global health juggernaut F45 Training, Cory George tells Man of Many. “We can always set smaller goals in the short term, such as toning up for summer or stepping up our training for a marathon, however, fitness and health should always be a priority.”

It makes sense in theory, but the idea of staying dedicated to the cause 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year sounds awful tiring and wholly unsustainable. For those of us who have fallen off the wagon this Winter, all hope is not lost, however. In fact, by developing a workout guide that makes use of the best weight loss exercises, you reclaim your health and fitness in time for Summer. Even better, George reveals the process is more simple than you’d think. It’s called ‘functional fitness’.

Best Exercises For Weight Loss 5

What is Functional Fitness?

For years now, George and F45 have spruiked the benefits of functional fitness, a method of training that can easily be factored into your daily life. While running a marathon is impressive and obviously beneficial to your health, it’s unlikely you’re going to encounter a circumstance that requires you to run 42.2km in a single stretch. Similarly, bench-pressing 150kg is a true achievement, but unless you find yourself trapped under a runaway car, it will remain an ability that has no place outside the gym walls. Therein lies the beauty of functional fitness and functional training.

“Functional training refers to a style of exercise, typically designed to reflect the complex, multi-chain movements that we use in our everyday lives,” George explains. “Because functional training increases joint mobilisation, muscle stability, and full-body strength, our members find that they are better equipped to perform daily tasks. For example, learning to deadlift properly will not only help you build up your strength, but it can also help prevent injury when you go to pick up that heavy box from the floor at home.”

If you’ve been around the traps for a while, you would have no doubt heard the phrase High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The challenging mix of cardiovascular and strength training allows you to burn calories quickly and for a sustained period, providing a more effective workout. Functional training takes this method and applies it to real-life situations. By adding in elements of strength, cardio and HIIT, you can craft a series of highly effective workouts to lose weight.

“HIIT is incredibly productive and time-efficient,” George explains. “This enables us to get a full-body workout and help us move well in and out of the studio. By having the right balance of cardio and resistance in your HIIT training, you can burn more calories, increase muscle and reduce your body fat mass.”

It’s a training methodology that has attracted some big name celebrities, with Hugh Jackman and David Beckham noted advocates of functional fitness. But none are bigger and more active fans of functional training than Mark Wahlberg. The action superstar loves it so much, he even bought a minority stake in F45 back in 2019.

Best Exercises For Weight Loss 7

Circuits vs Strength vs Cardio

When it comes to functional training and weight loss exercises, it’s easy to fall into the trap of simply doing cardio or exclusively performing strength sessions. If your goal is to find workouts to lose weight, you really need to add a healthy mix of all three training protocols into your regime, targeting all muscles groups throughout a session. “You should aim to target your entire body where you can. This ensures that your whole body is targeted and you won’t miss training a certain body part if you can’t make the session on a certain day,” George says. “The more muscles that are needed in a movement, the more energy you will burn.”

That isn’t to completely discount the role of specialised cardiovascular or strength training entirely, however. After all, many of the best weight loss exercises are based on high-heart rate, sustained movements, ensuring that expend calories and stay in the ‘fat-burning zone’. “We recommend completing two to three cardio sessions and two to three resistance sessions in a week for a balanced training program,” George says.

One of the best ways to incorporate a mix of training methodologies is through circuits. A circuit workout consists of a series of weight loss exercises performed in succession with little or no rest in between. Circuits are great workouts to lose weight because they generally focus on high intensity aerobic exercise, but can be organised in a variety of different ways to include anything from weight lifting and bodyweight exercises to aerobic moves like box jumps and jumping jacks.

Best Exercises For Weight Loss 2

10 Best Exercises for Fat Loss

In order to get yourself sorted for Summer, a solid routine is a must. It’s precisely why we asked George to pull together the ultimate shred workout to lose weight this beach season. Like many of functional training workouts at F45, George has grouped a range of weight loss exercises to create a mixed methodology circuit. For this particularly weight loss workout, the protocol will remain the same throughout the exercise. Completing all stations in the circuit counts as one lap and for this weight loss workout, four laps should be completed in total.

Here is a list 10 best weight loss exercises.

1. 1 x Inchworm + 2 x Prisoner Squat

This movement is similar to manual abdominal roll-out, with two added squats thrown in. The superset-style exercise works both your core and lower body one after another, making sure you engage in a full-structured routine. To complete;

  1. Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart
  2. Hinge at the hips and place your hands on the ground
  3. Walk your hands forward as far as you can, maintaining control through the midline
  4. Walk them back and return to standing position
  5. Bring your hands behind your ears with elbows out wide
  6. Send your hips back and down for 2 x squats
  7. Keep your chest proud and go to your best depth
  8. Repeat

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

2. Rotational Push Ups

While generic push-ups work out your centre core and triceps, adding a slight rotation at either end can help to target your obliques. This can, in turn, help you to craft a more defined midsection. Similarly, the AMRAP-style function means your hear-rate is high and you will continue to burn calories throughout the exercise. To complete;

  1. Start in a high plank position
  2. Slowly lower into the bottom phase of the push up
  3. Maintain a strong core to prevent any dipping into the lower back
  4. As you push back up, take one arm to the sky, swivelling your body sideways and allow your eye line to follow your hand
  5. Come back to the starting position
  6. Repeat

You can regress the push up portion of the movement to the knees if needed.

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

3. Dynamic Lateral Lunges

Lunges are a great weight loss exercise because they target core areas of the body simultaneously. These high-intensity lateral lunges get your heart-rate, while working out with glutes and hamstrings. To complete;

  1. Take a large step out to one side
  2. Lower your weight on the outside leg
  3. Keep the chest high and squeeze the glutes
  4. Push off to come back to the starting position
  5. Repeat on the other side

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

4. Superman Complex 3 Rep

As far as the best weight loss exercises go, it’s no surprise many of them target the midsection. The Superman Complex allows you hit the major muscle groups in the abdominal region through a full body movement. To complete;

  1. Lie face down on the floor with your arms stretched out in a superman position
  2. Raise your arms for 3 pulses
  3. Brace your core and squeeze your glutes to raise your legs for 3 pulses
  4. Then brace your core to protect the lower back
  5. Raise your arms and legs at the same time for 3 pulses.

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

5. Frog Squats

One of the stranger movements in this circuit, Frog Squats are an exercise centred around balance, core strength and lower body stability. While they may feel a little uncomfortable at first, adding this weight loss exercise to your routine will have significant benefits in the long run. To complete;

  1. Take a wide Sumo stance
  2. Keeping your back straight and bum tight, slowly push your hips back until you are squatting
  3. To make it harder, raise one foot at a time, keeping low the whole set.

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

6. Burpee Front Reverse

The much-maligned burpee is a staple of functional fitness and a great weight loss exercise to add to your regime, but George has modified the movement for extra impact. To complete;

  1. Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Jump down into a crouch position
  3. Placing hands on the floor directly under your shoulders, explode feet out until you are in a bridge position
  4. Lower your body onto the floor and release hand
  5. Next, tuck legs back in until you are in a crouching position
  6. Push through the heels and jump up, landing in a standing position with feet hip-width apart
  7. Sit the hips back to the floor and roll backward with your feet in the air
  8. Use the momentum to come back and stand up, and straight away move into a front burpee
  9. Repeat

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

7. 10 x Bicycle Crunches + 5 Leg Raises

Another superset exercise group, this movement fuses Bicycle Crunches and Leg Raises to absolutely blast your abdominal region. To complete;

  1. Start by lying on your back and bring your legs to a tabletop position
  2. Bracing the core, take the opposite elbow to the opposite knee, while extending the other leg forward.
  3. Complete 10 reps then place your hands on the floor, slightly under your butt.
  4. Using your abs and not your hip flexors, raise the legs, bringing your feet towards the sky
  5. Next, lower down with control.
  6. Complete 5 reps before moving back to bicycle crunches.

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

8. Four Point Extension on Knees

More like a yoga pose than standard HIIT or functional training movement, the Four Point Extension targets your core and extremities in a unique way. This weight loss exercise focuses more on concentration and control, so while other movements employ an AMRAP protocol, for this one it’s better to aim for 8-12 reps over the 45 seconds. To complete;

  1. Start on all fours
  2. Bring the opposite arm and opposite knee into a tiger curl
  3. Next, extend both to maintain a straight line with the core activated
  4. Lower and repeat on the opposite sides.

Reps: 8-12
Rest: 15 seconds

9. Squat Mid-Point with Alternating Lunges

Another lunge movement with an added modification, this movement is a great exercise in core stability. You will need to pivot and hold your squat mid-way down, which can prove to be challenging. To complete;

  1. Come down to a halfway squat
  2. Extend one leg back into a reverse lunge
  3. Next, bring it back to the starting position
  4. Repeat on the other side – staying low into that half-squat position the whole time

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

10. Fast Feet Sprawl

Starting first with some fast movements, this weight loss exercise will have your blood pumping immediately. By having your heart-rate up throughout the workout, you will burn more calories, which can lead to greater fat loss in the long-term. To complete;

  1. Complete 10 x fast feet on the spot
  2. Next, jump feet backwards to be hip-width apart
  3. Keeping your hips low and hands directly under shoulders, drop to a sprawl
  4. Hold, before exploding back to starting position

Reps: AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) for 45 seconds
Rest: 15 seconds

How to Lose Weight Effectively

While the weight loss exercises listed will certainly boost your fitness journey, they aren’t enough to simple change your life. There are other factors that you need to consider, particularly if you plan on maintaining a level of fitness throughout the Summer.

Consistency

“Staying consistent throughout the year is definitely more beneficial for your overall health, but you can step things up if you’re looking to lean up for Summer,” George says. “If you’re only doing three sessions a week, try incorporating one or two more. Tracking the progress of your workouts with a heart rate monitor (we use Lionheart monitors in our studios) can help keep you accountable and give you a target goal to reach in each session – aim for 45 Lionheart points and you’ll definitely feel the difference.”

“Inconsistency is the biggest detriment to any weight loss journey. If you have a bit of a blow out with one meal, get right back on the wagon for the next meal. If you miss one workout, book the next one into your calendar straight away. It’s all about the accumulation of small, consistent changes rather than trying to change everything at once.”

Diet

It goes without saying, but if you want to lose weight, diet is critical, but it’s more than just eating well. “Make sure you fuel your body with a healthy diet, stay hydrated with plenty of water, and ensure you’re getting adequate sleep to help with your recovery,” George says. “Enlisting a workout buddy is also a great way to stay accountable and enjoy your sessions more, plus it can add in a little healthy competition during the session”

Goal Setting

While your overall goal might be ‘get shredded’, that doesn’t really count as an achievable or measurable aim. George says the key to long-term success is long-term goal-setting. “Don’t just treat this process with a short term goal in mind, rather use this time to focus on your long term fitness goals as well and you’ll be on the right track,” he says. “Make small changes that you can maintain in the long run and before you know it, you will be living a healthier lifestyle.”

You’ll also like:
11 Best HIIT Workouts for Men
How to Lose Weight Fast & Maximise Your Workout
The Best Ab Workout For Men: 11 Must-Do Ab Exercises

General FAQs

Does toning make you lose weight?

Toning your body refers to increasing lean muscle mass, without necessarily creating the bulky muscular frame of bodybuilders. This means you will have to shed the excess fat around the mid-section and significantly reduce your body fat.

What exercise burns the most belly fat?

While cardiovascular exercises such as running, cycling and elliptical training will burn significant fat, the real key is to build abdominal muscle so that you see visible abs. If you’re goal is simply to lose fat, rowing and performing movements on an assault bike are among the best exercises for weight loss.

Is HIIT good for weight loss?

Studies have shown that high-intensity interval training is more effective and efficient at promoting weight loss. Interval exercises can include running sprints alternating with light jogging or rest periods.