You may think of weightlifting as purely a way to gain muscle mass, but did you know that it’s actually one of the most effective ways to burn fat and lose weight, too?
Even for those who don’t want to bulk up, lifting weights can help you achieve your weight loss goals. First, without strength training, including weight lifting, you may end up losing muscle and fat at an equal rate; this lowers your metabolism, and could sabotage your weight loss efforts in the end.
Second, muscles burn more calories at rest than fat, so the more muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be. If you regularly lift weights, you can eat more food without gaining weight, and even lose fat over time due to an increased metabolism. For effortlessly maintaining a healthy lifestyle, strength training is the key to success.
When it comes to burning calories, not all exercises are created equal. These five weightlifting exercises are among the best at burning extra calories around the clock to help you lose weight.
1. Goblet Squats Or Barbell Squats
- Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in between your hands with your palms facing toward each other, cupping one end of the dumbbells like a goblet. Alternatively, use a barbell for a deep barbell squat.
- Squat down until your elbows are near your knees, making sure to keep your back straight and your butt out.
- Your knees should not pass in front of the tips of your toes.
- Return to a standing position.
- Complete 10 to 12 reps for one set.
This is a great compound exercise that focuses on your hamstrings and back.
- Start by standing in front of a bar with a safe amount of weight, with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your knees and place your hands on the bar on the outside of your legs.
- Sit back with a neutral spine to prevent injury, and drive up through your legs to stand up, then use your lower back to shift your weight back before slowly and carefully lowering yourself back down, bending your legs into the drop.
- Repeat eight to 10 times for one set.
3. Dumbbell Rows
- Start by putting one hand and one knee on a bench, with your other leg out to the side, so your stomach is over the floor.
- Reach down to the floor to grab the dumbbell, using your hand as a hook.
- Lift the weight up to your chest by pulling your elbow back behind you.
- Make sure you’re using only your arm and shoulder to lift the weight, keeping your legs stationary.
- Do 10 to 12 reps on each side for one set.
4. Clean And Press
This exercise is similar to the deadlift, but it goes a step further.
- You’ll want to use less weight for this exercise.
- Stand in front of the bar with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Reach down and grab the bar, then push through your legs to stand up, bringing the weight up to your chest as you do.
- Clean the weight to your shoulders, then press it up toward the ceiling, keeping it even.
- Lower the weight back down to your chest, then bring it all the way back to the floor, bending your knees as you descend.
- Make sure to keep your back straight.
- Do 8 to 10 reps for one set.
5. Kettlebell Swings
This exercise can be difficult to learn, but is great for strength building and weight loss.
- Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you.
- Bend down with your knees bent and your butt pushed back, and grab the kettlebell with both hands.
- Swing the kettlebell down between your legs, then swing it up until your arms are straight out in front of you, straightening your legs as you do.
- Bend your legs as you swing back down.
- Do 10 to 12 reps for one complete set, or continue swinging for a set amount of time.