Lockdown has been tough, and for the Iron Brothers team one of the hardest things has been the closure of our gyms. As we all know, exercise is key to being healthy, getting ripped, and staying lean. Exercise can also boost your mood, increase your energy, and promote better sleep, which are all important elements for keeping it together during COVID-19.
Exercise can also help with weight loss, and while many gyms are still closed, the next best thing for slimming down and burning calories are home workouts. We’re not suggesting you dig out your mm’s old aerobics videos (no judgement from us if you do, though). Home workouts have had an upgrade and you can make some serious gains while you wait for your local weight room to open back up.
We’ve put together a list of the best home exercises for weight loss. These are all equipment-free exercises and you don’t need much space to perform them, so you can do them anytime, anywhere.
Burpees suck, but they’re awesome for losing weight and toning your entire body. You’ll feel the burn in your core, chest, and legs, and they’re also great for getting your heart rate up.
To boss your burpees:
- Start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Move into a squat position and place your hands on the ground.
- Push your feet back to land in a plank position.
- Jump back into a squat, then explosively into the air.
Aim to complete three sets of 8-12 reps, or complete as many as you can (without passing out) in one minute.
Tuck jumps are bonafide calorie killers. They’ll give you a great lower body workout, and your abs will thank you for putting in the effort.
To master tuck jumps:
- Start by standing straight with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders.
- Bend your knees then jump explosively, tucking your knees to your chest as you do so.
- Move into your next jump the moment that you land.
Don’t be tempted to take breaks between jumps - that’s definitely cheating. Aim for three sets of 10-15 jumps, or go as hard as you can for 30 seconds, take a ten-second break, and repeat two more times.
Squats aren’t known as the king of exercises for nothing, and if you’re not including them in your workouts you’re missing a trick, my friend. Squats work by training the major muscles in your abdomen and legs while boosting your metabolism, making them a solid go-to for getting jacked and shifting excess weight. They’re also a good option if you live in an apartment building and don’t want to jump around and become the guy that the downstairs neighbors hate.
Squats might look easy, but there’s a knack to nailing your form:
- Roll your shoulders back and open your chest.
- Extend your arms out in front of you so they’re parallel to the ground.
- Send your hips backward, bending at the knees.
- Keep your chest and shoulders upright and your back straight.
- Keep your core engaged and get as low as you can without losing your form.
Aim for three sets of 15 reps. For an extra challenge, place a box under your butt to remind you to get low (lazy squats won’t work).
Mountain climbers are just a lower-body workout, right? Actually, no. These bad boys target every muscle group in your body. Although they’re not particularly hard to perform, they’re exhausting, so stick to a pace that’s not going to leave you needing an ambulance.
Here’s how to perform a solid mountain climber:
- Start in a plank position with your hands on the ground.
- Pull one knee upwards and inwards towards your mid-section.
- Re-extend that leg and as you do so, prepare to pull the other leg in.
Repeat this process as many times as possible for thirty seconds, then rest for ten and repeat two more times.
Tip: if this move makes you want to keel over, place your hands on a chair or other stable, raised surface instead of performing your mountain climbers on the ground.
Explosive Lunge Jumps
Lunge jumps are killer but they’re great for boosting endurance and dropping excess pounds. As you might have guessed from the name, this move combines powerful, explosive movements with lower body strength training.
Here’s how to do an explosive lunge jump:
- Start this move by performing a classic lunge.
- Ensure that your front knee doesn’t move past your toes.
- Then, instead of standing up, jump explosively into the air.
- Land in a position ready to move into your next lunge on the opposite leg.
Aim for three sets of 10-12. If you’re new to bodyweight exercise or you suffer from knee injuries, begin with classic lunges and add the explosive leap when you’ve built up enough strength to do them safely.
Pilates doesn’t feature in men’s home workouts as much as it should. Why should you care? Well, Pilates combines core strength, flexibility, balance, and efficient movement pattern. And, rather than working on your body part-by-part as many exercises do, Pilates works on developing the muscles deep in the center of your body. This is an effective way to turn yourself into an absolute powerhouse.
There are lots of great pilates teachers giving online classes for free. This 25-minute full-body practice is a good intro to Pilates, or if you’re feeling brave you can try and tackle this advanced practice. Be warned: it’s a beast.
Ideally, Pilates is performed on a yoga mat. But don’t stress if you don’t have one: just put a towel on a carpeted area or in your garden instead.
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Have you ever noticed that people who box are ripped? It’s not a coincidence: boxing is one of the best home exercises for ditching lockdown weight in a short amount of time. No gloves or bag? No worries! You can get all the benefits of boxing without having to shell out on equipment.
The key to boxing workouts is to not slack off. Put the effort in and you’ll be rewarded with burning hundreds of calories in as little as 30 minutes.
New to boxing? Try these classes:
Best Home Workout for Weight Loss
So, there you have it: our best home exercises for weight loss. All of these exercises can be performed alone or as part of your existing workout routine. Or, you can combine the first five moves to create a mega fat-burning HIIT workout.
None of these exercises will work miracles alone; to see real progress you’re going to need to combine them with a healthy, balanced diet. Whenever you’re exercising at home, treat your workouts like you would at the gym and include a thorough warm-up and cool down. Finally, if you’ve been inactive for a while or have any pre-existing injuries, it’s smart to check in with a doctor before trying to smash a new workout plan.
Got stubborn fat in a particular area that you’re struggling to shift? Drop us a note in the comments - our Iron Brotherhood is on hand with extra tips.
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