Body toning and fat burning exercises should efficiently target fat cells by burning them directly, as well as building muscle. This increases your results because metabolically active muscle burns calories even at rest. In addition, some toning can stimulate the release of fat burning hormones and elevate metabolic rate for up to 48 hours or more. Add fat burning exercises to your workout program to accelerate your weight loss results.
Compound exercises train muscles most efficiently, targeting more fibers for muscle growth and fat burning. In addition, these exercises stimulate the body to produce higher levels of potent fat burning hormones such as testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone). Examples include legs presses, pull-ups for back, bench presses for chest, upright rows for shoulders, bar curls for biceps and dips for triceps (see "Resources").
Single-joint exercises, also known as isolation or contraction movements, can help tone up by targeting the endurance components of muscle fibers. Examples include leg extensions for quadriceps, leg curls for hamstrings, straight-arm lat pull-downs for back, dumbbell flies for chest, dumbbell laterals for shoulders, concentration curls for biceps and dumbbell kick backs for triceps. Use any of these exercises in a drop-set to really boost fat burning. To do a drop-set, do one set of an exercise to exhaustion, then immediately decrease the weight and do another full set.
Leg exercises such as squats have a profound effect on fat burning because they use the entire body. The legs contain large muscle groups and training them naturally elevates fat burning. Moreover, of all the compound exercises, squats have one of the most significant effects upon increasing production of potent fat burning hormones.
According to "Xtreme Lean" authors Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman, deadlifts train up to 80 percent of the muscles in the body. Like squats, they stimulate the release of testosterone and/or growth hormone. While challenging, deadlifts can significantly boost fat burning.
Walking on the treadmill at a steep incline makes an ideal exercise for burning away excess body fat. In fact, according to "Combat the Fat" author Jeff Anderson, walking may burn more body fat than running. He contends that low to medium intensity cardio eats away less muscle and burns body fat more directly.
HIIT or high-intensity interval training represents the counter argument to low and/or medium intensity cardiovascular exercise. To do HIIT, you perform medium intensity cardio for 20 to 30 minutes, doing short all-out sprints every couple of minutes. For example, pedal on an exercise bike for half an hour, doing 15 to 30 second sprints every 2 minutes. This exercise can burn a lot of muscle tissue, so you should take in a protein shake afterward for proper muscle recovery.
- X-Treme Lean; Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman; 2006
- Combat the Fat; Jeff Anderson; 2008
- The Abs Diet; David Zinczenko; 2004