Try These Ultimate 15 Fat Burning Workout Moves

Stack these essential exercises into your program to smash those shredding goals

battle ropes for fat loss benefits performed by athlete

Forget trudging on the treadmill in the ‘fat burning zone’, bro. That old-school sh*t is overrated, boring, and will kill your knees quicker than an angry mobster. What you need are some real fat burning moves proven by science to maximize shredding. Hit these 15 best fat burning workout moves hard instead.

How to Burn Fat

First up, we’ve gotta all get on the same page. We’re here to burn fat first and foremost without sacrificing muscle, right? According to scientific studies the secret to doing so is through resistance training. [1]

Now, we’re not just gonna let you loose on a set of bicep curls and be done with it. Studies into the fat burning benefits of exercises show that compound movements are officially the king of crushing calories. Because more muscle groups are activated during these compound movements, the body requires higher amounts of energy. [2]

Consequently, every single one of our ultimate exercises is a compound movement. We’re not wasting time on superficial isolation work. We’re here to get shredded, bro! So, hit them hard, smash them often, and strip away layers of unwanted body fat faster than The Rock destroys his cheat meals.

 

Ultimate 15 Fat Burning Workout Moves

athlete performing deadlift for fat loss benefits

Deadlifts

Nothing proves a man’s worth more than the deadlift. No one cares how far or fast you can run, swim, or bike – that’s all superficial skinny-boy stuff. Your real alpha male power lies in how much raw weight can pick up from the floor.

As one of the most primal movements on the planet, the deadlift recruits almost all the muscle groups. Therefore, when hit at high intensities, it’s a real fat killer that’ll naturally raise your testosterone too.

When programming deadlifts into your workout fit them in place first. As an almost whole-body move they’re super stressful on the central nervous system, so should be used as one of your main lifts.

Raise the bar at above 85% maximum intensity for serious strength gains whilst ramping up your metabolism. Stick to a rep range between 3-6 over 4-6 sets and make sure you get enough rest between each set.

Check out this complete guide to deadlifting for more in-depth guidance.

 

 

bodybuilder performing squat for fat loss

Squats

Alongside deadlifting, the squat is one of the three big lifts. It’s an ultimate measure of absolute strength and is as badass as they come. There’s a reason all serious athletes train the squat, bro.

According to Portuguese researchers, the squat burned more calories per minute than any other exercise they examined. [3] It even beat the likes of taxing moves such as the leg press, bench press and leg extension, which are popular amongst most gym goers.

Squats can be loaded both anteriorly and posteriorly dependent on your goals. To really focus in on your quad development, stack that sucker upfront in a zercher or goblet position.

However, if you want to go full old school powerlifter you can’t beat the barbell back squat. Strap the bar across the back of your shoulders and go ass to grass for serious strength gains.

Just remember to grab your bro for a spot when you’re hitting those high numbers. There’s no shame in having the squad for backup when lifting the weight of an Army tank.

Check out this super in-depth squat guide for any extra info you need.

 

 

athlete performing kettlebell swings for fat loss

Kettlebell Swings

If you’ve ever gone in hard at a MetCon circuit, you’ll know the burn of kettlebell swings. When performed properly with a challenging weight KB swings get the sweat dripping like nothing else.

The trick to utilizing the kettlebell to it’s full fat burning effect is intensity. Keeping the kettlebell moving at a powerful pace ensures the heart rate is constantly elevated. If you’re finding the swing all-too-easy to open your lungs go for a heavier bell – for men, this is usually >24 kg.

Infamous strength and conditioning coach Dan John once described the two-handed kettlebell swing as “a fat-burning athlete builder”. That’s because not only can they be used to build muscle, but for crushing conditioning workouts too.

Swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height to hit them like a Russian or overhead for a modern American approach. Concentrate on using your hip hinge to generate power, only using the arms to guide and grip.

 

 

barbell thruster as fat burning workout

Barbell Thrusters

A favorite of CrossFit athletes, the barbell thruster isn’t for the faint-hearted. Because the bar passes overhead, it challenges the cardio system to work much harder than most lifts. Yup, you’ll soon feel a pump in your legs, ass, abs, arms, and every other part of your lactic-acid-filled body.

Essentially, the thruster comprises of pushing the bar from a front squat position to full overhead extension. Rack the barbell up front across the anterior delts, hit a front squat, and then explode upwards into overhead extension.

As mentioned, your heart and lungs will be working overtime. Your body will have to fight extra hard to get the oxygen to any muscles above heart height, which will be your arms in this case. Plus, because of the added resistance, you’ll be increasing intensity through load and raising your metabolic needs.

In short, this sucker will get you shredded. Program it into a MetCon circuit, try CrossFit’s notorious FRAN, or fix them into a full body workout. Don’t fear the DOMS, bro, deal with that sh*t tomorrow.

 

 

man makers exercise used for fat burning effect

Man Makers

Man Makers know how to separate the men from the boys. As their title suggests they’re infamously unforgiving but are awesome for scorching calories.

Set the barbell in front of you on a flat floor. Now, place your hands on the bar and throw your legs back as if hitting a burpee. Don’t let your lumbar arch and maintain a tight core, bro.

Next up, explosively pull your feet back to the starting position. Once you’re back at square one rip the bar up into a power clean, and then press it overhead.

They sound easy, but if you’re putting your worth into ‘em you’ll soon feel their namesake.

Either use Man Makers as a single exercise in your full body workout or add them to a circuit. As a whole-body compound lift they’re extremely versatile so unleash your creativity.

 

 

farmer walks exercise for fat loss

Farmer Walks

There’s a reason manual worker’s get jacked, son. By carrying heavy loads all day, they need enormous amounts of energy, which we know must come from calories. If the intense carrying builds up a big enough calorific need that it overtakes the food they’ve eaten, then any fat stores are blitzed.

For you in the gym, this means getting a grip and going for a walk. Find two heavy kettlebells, dumbbells, bumper plates or specialist handles and stride your way to shredded. By utilizing your entire body from your head to your toes you’ll quickly create a need for energy.

Up the intensity with heavier weights over shorter distances and you’ll create a double-barrel effect. Not only will you burn through belly fat, you’ll build muscle too. So, when programming farmer walks into your workouts, use a challenging load that’ll test your legs, arms, core, grip, and mental toughness.

For a full exercise guide to Farmer Walks check out this article.

 

 

athlete using battle ropes for fat loss

Battle Ropes

There are more benefits to battle ropes than just looking badass. Slamming, spinning, and waving two hulking lengths of fiber is a ferocious way to fight fat.

John Brookfield first designed the battle rope system so athletes could continuously train at maximum velocity. Rather than using weights that are influenced by momentum, Brookfield looked towards ropes as the ultimate answer.

According to Brookfield, battle ropes allow the athlete to work with a constant output. No longer did they need to worry about dropping weights or stopping after every rep.

For the best battle rope fat burning effect, try a Tabata finisher (30s:30s x 4). Gravity won’t lend you a hand and there’s no sneaky breaks between reps, so prepare yourself for a savage beasting.

 

 

athlete performing burpee for fat loss

Burpees

Burpees should be crowned the king of all bodyweight exercises. Smashing a set will light up everything from the delts to the hamstring, as well as get your blood pumping hard.

You can blast burpees anywhere, so there’s no excuse not to smash them on the regular. All you need is yourself, the ground, and the will to push your body to it’s absolute limit.

Standard burpees require you to drop down into a high plank position, before exploding back up into a jump. However, not all burpees are created equal for fat loss so check these out.

To really squeeze every ounce of effort from your burpee you should go chest to the floor. In the British Armed Forces this brutal variation is known as ‘the bastard’, and not because it has anything to do with Game of Thrones.

Pushing yourself back up from the floor adds an extra energy dependent action which, in turn, uses more calories. Hey, you came here for fat burning exercises, didn’t you? So, drop down and give us 20!

 

 

sprint training for fat burning

Sprints

We all know that slow steady state cardio is bullsh*t. Sprints however, are a whole other ferocious beast entirely. If your aim is to on single digit body fat sprints are the way to go.

Studies have shown that High Intensity Intermittent Exercise is super effective for fat loss. After just 12 weeks of HIIE spread out over 3 x 20-minute sessions per week, a group of overweight young males dropped their visceral fat levels by 17% on average. [4]

Plus, overall aerobic power improved significantly too alongside fat free mass. So, if you’re not sprinting already, lace up those Asics on the double, bro. Not only will you lean up in no time, but you’ll stack slabs of lean meat too.

Now that’s the sort of speedy gains we’re after!

 

 

athlete using rowing machine for fat burning

Rowing

If you’ve just read our spiel on sprints and don’t think your knees are up to the challenge, choose the rower instead. You can employ the same amount of effort, except you’ll be strapped in rather than on foot. If you’re worried about any impact damage, to row is the way to go.

Rowing requires the entire body to be engaged during action. Your legs power the push, whilst the arms and shoulders provide the pull. Also, your core clamps down and engages to keep the spine safe as you thrash out each row.

Consequently, this compound conditioning favorite fries fat like no other cardio machine. Maybe the Assault Bike is up there alongside it, but not many gyms have these.

One of the best bonuses of racking reps on the rower is the resistance. By not being a b*tch and going balls-to-the-wall on the highest setting, you’ll build and maintain muscle with every stroke, even whilst torching fat.

 

 

athlete performing plyometric push up for fat burning effect

Plyo Pushups

Unleash your inner Rocky and replace your regular pushup with its plyometric big brother. Because, let’s face it bro, you’d mastered the basic beta version ages ago.

Explosively launching your entire body into orbit requires a lot of energy. Whereas you could probably hit pushups for days without rest, plyo pushes will create a puddle of sweat quicker than new nudes popping up on Snapchat.

It’s simple math again, bro. Because they’re a helluva lot tougher, you’re gonna need more fuel!

Therefore, by swapping out old faithful for the lactic acid inducing plyo pushup you can up your energy expenditure. By the end of your workout you’ll have burnt more fat than if you’d used the standard version, whilst also improving your KO power.

 

 

clean and press exercise used for fat burning

Clean & Press

Let’s face it, Olympic weightlifters are jacked AF. Whilst most of us bros are hiding, hitting curls in the squat rack they’re throwing three times their own bodyweight in the air like it’s nothing. And if you saw beneath that stretchy singlet you’d notice they’re d*ckskin shredded too.

That’s because Oly lifting doesn’t f*ck around making isolation exercises a priority. No way. It’s all about mastering compound movements to get the bar from A to B as efficiently as possible. One of the most notoriously taxing of this movement is the clean and press.

Rather than a grinding deadlift or squat you’re gonna have to whip this sucker up fast. Catch the bar in the front rack position before mustering a second shotgun shell of power and firing it overhead. For a detailed description of how to hit this move safely, click here.

Program the clean and jerk into your strength building workouts as a main lift. Aim for high-quality reps with perfect form over cheat-reps and stick to the lower rep range. You can leave out the tight costume too.

 

 

Turkish get up with kettlebell for fat burning

Turkish Get Up with Kettlebell

When talking about functional training you’d be surprised how many times this dude’s left out. It might not look as cool as the clean and jerk, or as badass as the bench press, but it’ll get you shredded in no time.

Essentially, you will be transitioning from the floor to a fully standing position. All the while you’ll have to control your core and every limb to stop yourself and the kettlebell from falling.

Hone-in on your technique first and then factor in a heavy kettlebell. You’ll be surprised how much effort it takes to keep unbreakable form, even after a few reps. Of course, all this effort must come from somewhere, which with the right nutrition should be your fat stores.

You can take this fat burning effect one step further by programming Turkish get ups are into a circuit. According to science, high-intensity circuit training is super-efficient for fighting body fat so don’t hang around. Set the clock and go! [5]

 

 

kettlebell snatch technique

Kettlebell Snatch

Whilst we’re on the subject of kettlebell training let’s talk about the snatch. Just like the swing, it requires a forceful hip hinge before the bell is explosively launched skyward.

Used by everyone from the Russian military to MMA fighters, the kettlebell snatch is incredible for functional fitness. Not only can it be used to build strength and power, but its full body dynamic movement makes it a killer for conditioning.

Singlehandedly swing the kettlebell between your legs before snatching it to full extension. You should finish the snatch standing upright, with an arm fully extended above your head, grasping the kettlebell with the bell resting on your wrist.

Remember to keep the spine in alignment during this exercise by engaging the core. It’s also handy to practice rolling the kettlebell around the wrist first, rather than allowing it to drop down hard at the top. Trust us, it makes you feel tough AF for the first few but then gets boring painfully fast.

 

 

athlete jumping rope for fat burning exercise

Jumping Rope – Skipping

You can stop laughing now, bro. We’re being serious here, skipping is a legit as they come for fat loss.

Grab ahold of the handles and position them beside your hips. Next, using your wrists, roll the rope so it whips over the top of your head and onto the floor 4-6 inch in front of your feet. Jump an inch or two as it glides under your feet and land back on your toes. Repeat this process by staying light on your feet and springing immediately once you land.

If you’ve never skipped before you’ll be shocked at how hardcore it can be. Suddenly you’ll be in awe of Mayweather and Tyson who made the whipping-whir sound effortless in their training videos.

Interested in raising your fitness game too? Well, according to one study, skipping’s cardio improvements far surpass the likes of jogging. Apparently just 10 minutes worth of jumping rope is just as efficient as 30 minutes spent slogging away on the pavement. [6]

So, for an easy to do exercise that’ll get you shredded and fitter look no further. Add a set or two of skipping to the end of your sparring or gym session to lean up your body and lungs.

 

 

rowing machine workout performed for fat burning effect

 

The final word on fat burning exercises

So, there you have it, bro. Take these 15 ultimate fat burning exercises and make them your own by programming them into your shredding workouts.

To accelerate your fat loss gains, ensure you’re eating a nutritious diet too. Stick to high protein meals, free from empty calories such as sugar and soda, and keep those carbs complex. Healthy fats also help to optimize your testosterone levels, which will put your body in the perfect state for getting lean and mean.

For more muscle building and fat burning guidance check out these related articles, bro:

 

References

  1. Willis, L., Slentz, C., Bateman, L., Shields, A., Piner, L., Bales, C., Houmard, J. and Kraus, W. (2012). Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults.Journal of Applied Physiology, 113(12), pp.1831-1837.
  2. Reis, V., Garrido, N., Vianna, J., Sousa, A., Alves, J. and Marques, M. (2017). Energy cost of isolated resistance exercises across low- to high-intensities.PLOS ONE, 12(7), p.e0181311.
  3. Reis, V., Garrido, N., Vianna, J., Sousa, A., Alves, J. and Marques, M. (2017). Energy cost of isolated resistance exercises across low- to high-intensities.PLOS ONE, 12(7), p.e0181311.
  4. Heydari, M., Freund, J. and Boutcher, S. (2012). The Effect of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise on Body Composition of Overweight Young Males. Journal of Obesity, 2012, pp.1-8.
  5. Miller, M., Pearcey, G., Cahill, F., McCarthy, H., Stratton, S., Noftall, J., Buckle, S., Basset, F., Sun, G. and Button, D. (2014). The Effect of a Short-Term High-Intensity Circuit Training Program on Work Capacity, Body Composition, and Blood Profiles in Sedentary Obese Men: A Pilot Study.BioMed Research International, 2014, pp.1-10.
  6. Baker, J. (1968). Comparison of Rope Skipping and Jogging as Methods of Improving Cardiovascular Efficiency of College Men.Research Quarterly. American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 39(2), pp.240-243.

 

 

 

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