Many girls shy away from the gym because they are unsure of what exercises they should be doing to lose weight. Planning a gym workout routine for weight loss does not have to be complicated. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that girls up to age 18 get at least one hour of physical activity a day. Meeting this requirement, along with a healthy balanced diet is enough to help girls lose weight. Other benefits to staying active are more energy, more restful sleep and better mood; you'll also lower your risk for several diseases.
Burn More Calories
Cardiovascular exercise burns more calories than lifting weights in the gym. You want to do an activity that elevates your heart rate for at least 15 to 30 minutes of your workout. Your gym is full of cardio machines that will guide you through an effective cardio workout such as ellipticals and treadmills. Don't be intimidated by these machines, many are very easy to figure out if you follow the on-screen menu. Be sure to start with a five-minute warm up at a slower pace. Your gym may offer aerobics classes like dance fitness or kickboxing for a fun, fat-burning workout. If you are involved in a sport, dance class or any other physical activity, skip the gym on those days to avoid overworking your muscles.
Resistance to Fat
Although cardio is better at burning calories than strength training, you don't want to avoid muscle-building workouts. Include at least three days a week of strengthening exercises into your daily 60 minutes of physical activity. According to celebrity trainer Elizabeth Hendrix Burwell, building lean muscle mass through strength training boosts your metabolism and decreases fat. You don't have to lift heavy weights like the guys to build muscle. Dumbbell exercises are an easy way for you to build lean muscle all over.
Upper Body Exercises
Dumbbell exercises for your shoulders, chest, back and arms will help you not only burn more calories but give you a more toned look. Choose dumbbells that challenge your muscles but are light enough to complete each set with good form. Do each exercise 10 to 15 times and then take a two-minute break. Repeat the exercise for another two sets -- 10 to 15 times each set -- with a two-minute break in between. Do dumbbell bench presses and bent over rows to target your chest and back. For your shoulders do shoulder press and biceps curls for the front of your arms. Finish with triceps kickbacks to target the back of your arms. A trainer can help teach you correct form and empower you to work your way around these exercises.
Lower Body Exercises
Body-weight exercises like squats and lunges are effective for working your legs, hips and butt. Try three sets of 15 squats combined with three sets of 10 lunges on each leg to hit all major muscle groups including your stomach muscles. To do a squat, begin with feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your stomach in and back straight, bend at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor and come back to starting position. To do lunges, keep your shoulders back and upper body straight. Step forward with your right foot until your knee is above your ankle and both knees are at a 90-degree angle. Go back to starting position and repeat with your left foot going forward. Add on other leg exercises like the leg press and calf raises.