The 50 Exercises That Will Supercharge Your Weight Loss

If you haven't read the first installment of our 50 best exercises for weight loss then click here to review the initial 25. There are some wonderful full body compound exercises included that will produce a significant calorie burn, promote lean muscle growth, and deliver a powerful post exercise oxygen consumption or 'afterburn'. If you've already had a squiz at the preliminary list, and how they are performed, then without further ado - the next 25 for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy. 

Pull Ups

Pull ups

Pull ups

They might seem like a basic exercise, simply raising your body above an overhead bar, but pull ups are tough and performed correctly (without swinging) rely on significant upper body strength. 

How to do it:
Grab pull up bar with wide overhand grip, body hanging.
Pull body upwards until chin is over the bar.
Then lower body slowly until arms and shoulders are fully extended.
Be careful to avoid swinging body throughout the movement.

Burpees or Burpees With Push Up

Burpees, also known as squat thrusts, work your entire body and offer a range of benefits - from increased strength to improvements in muscle endurance.  The inclusion of a push up within the movement can increase the difficulty and enhance the fat burning benefits.  

How to do it:
Stand up straight to start, feet shoulder width apart.
Move into squat position with hands on the ground.
Kick both feet back, arms remaining extended.
Quickly return feet to squat position.
Jump up to your starting position.
For alternative version: Perform a push up before returning to squat position and standing.

Mountain Climbers

The mountain climber exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles, legs and to some extent the upper body as well.  At the same time it provides a beneficial aerobic workout.

How to do it:
Start on the floor in a push up position.
Pull your left knee forwards until underneath your hip.
Quickly extend the bent leg until straight.
At the same time flex the opposite knee and hip.
Alternate legs explosively for desired duration.

Bodyweight Squats

How to do bodyweight squats

How to do bodyweight squats

If you do not have access to a barbell or dumbbells, or wish to slowly build your squat strength up before adding significant resistance, then bodyweight squats are a fantastic option for weight loss and muscle development.

How to do it:
Stand feet shoulder width apart.
Bend your knees and squat down until knees reach 90 degree angle with arms parallel.
Contract legs and gluteal muscles and slowly return to standing position.

Plank

Plank abdominal exercise

Plank abdominal exercise

The plank (or bridge) is a relatively basic and low impact isometric exercise.  Because of this it is popular with a slightly older demographic.  Don't let this fool you.  Despite it's simple appearance, the plank provides an effective core workout and can strengthen the entire body as your watch the clock countdown. Check out 20 different ways to do a plank

How to do it:
The plank commences in position similar a push ups, but elbows are bent and bodyweight rests on your forearms.
Remain in this position for your desired exercise duration, keeping the entire body rigid and aligned.

Plank Walk

Holding the plank position is difficult, particularly as duration of the hold increases.  The plank walk adds an extra level of progression providing a super effective core and arm workout, but also engaging practically every main muscle in your body.

How to do it:
Begin with your body in the normal plank starting position.
Press your body up by extending your arms one at a time.
Reverse the process to return to your elbows.

Lunge With Biceps Curl

In part one of our 50 best exercises list we introduced a number of two-in-one movements that combined two individual weight training options.  The lunge with biceps curl is another of these great all over body toning options and is constantly engaging multiple muscle groups throughout the movement.

How to do it:
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides
Step right foot forward and bend knee to lower right thigh until parallel to the floor.
During the lunge, curl dumbbells to your chest.
Return to starting position and repeat with opposite leg.

Superman

The Superman is a wonderful option for strengthening the (often neglected) lower back, butt and core muscles. It is an excellent medium-intensity alternative to include in your workout, particularly for those that are suffering from limited back strength.

How to do it:
Lie on the ground, facing the floor with arms stretched out in front.
Engage your back muscles and lift legs, arms and chest off the ground, with only your core remaining on the floor.
Hold position briefly and lower to the floor. Repeat.
You can lift an alternate arm and leg if you find the exercise too difficult at the outset. 

Bear Crawl

Bear crawls are not a widely adopted exercise. Perhaps it's because you look a little odd dropping to the floor and crawling around on hands and knees.  If you can overcome a little embarrassment at the gym then they're an amazing addition to your routine.  But don't take this exercise lightly, they are intense - giving your shoulders, triceps, core and quads a super high intensity workout.  

How to do it:
Start in crawling position with both hands and knees on the floor.
Raise knees slightly, with hips remaining close to the floor.
Crawl forward quickly while maintaining low hip position.

Hanging Knee Raises

How to do hanging knee raises

How to do hanging knee raises

Hanging knee raises primarily target your lower abdominals. And while the most common hanging apparatus is a pull up bar, literally anything you can hang off will do the trick.

How to do it:
Position body on a triceps dip stand, or hanging from an overhead pull up bar.
Pull knees upwards towards your chest.
Pause briefly then return legs to hanging position.

Squat to Overhead Press

Combining the all-powerful squat with an overhead press seems like a match made in exercise heaven.  The squat strengthens the quadriceps, hips and buttocks (alongside other muscles). Add to that the deltoids, triceps and biceps courtesy of an overhead press and you have an extremely comprehensive movement.

How to do it:
Stand with feet shoulder width apart, dumbbell in each hand.
Pick up dumbbells so they are at shoulder height, palms facing inwards.
Initiate squat movement.
After completing squat movement press dumbbells overhead with arms extended.
Return weights to shoulder starting position.  Repeat.

Jackknife

How to do jackknife exercise

How to do jackknife exercise

The jackknife is designed to work the abdominal muscles, although a range of supporting muscles assist with the movement. There are multiple variations of the jackknife to cater for different levels of fitness and experience, aside from the one suggested below.

How to do it:
Lie on your back on the floor, feet outstretched, arms straight behind your head
Raise your arms, torso and legs simultaneously until arms and legs meet in closed jackknife position.
Pause briefly and return slowly to starting position. 

Alternating Kettlebell Swing

Alternating kettlebell swing

Alternating kettlebell swing

Kettlebells have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years.  With a single piece of equipment it is simple to perform a variety of resistance movements. The alternating kettlebell swing is a dynamic exercise that requires extension of the hip and knee and rotation of the thoracic and lumbar spine.

How to do it:
Grasp kettlebell in one hand.
Maintain tight abdominal muscles and swing kettlebell upwards until arm parallel to ground.
At the top of the swing, switch kettlebell to the opposite hand.
Control the swing as it returns to the starting position and then repeat. 

Step Up With Biceps Curl

Work your biceps, butt and legs by employing the step up with curl as part of your weight loss program.

How to do it:
Stand with right foot on a high step or bench with dumbbell in both hands.
Step up onto bench pushing left thigh upwards until parallel to the floor.
At the top of the step curl dumbbells towards chest / shoulders.
Return to starting position.
Switch legs and repeat.

Box Squat Jump

Box squat jumps can be thought of as a speed bodyweight squat of sorts. They are an explosive movement, more suitable for the young and able bodied than the elderly, and provide a solid workout for hamstrings and hip flexors.

How to do it:
Stand straight with feet shoulder width apart.
Squat box or chair should be behind you and an elevated platform in front.
Squat backwards and sit back on squat box or chair, arms should be extended forwards.
Immediately jump explosively onto platform in front.
Jump / climb down and repeat.

Triceps Push Ups

Triceps Push Ups

Triceps Push Ups

Triceps push ups are a more challenging close grip variation of the standard push up.  While admittedly all push ups engage the triceps to some extent, the close grip version places more focus on the back of your arms as well as targeting pecs, deltoids, and traps.

How to do it:
Starting with a standard press up position, move your hands closer together - positioned underneath your shoulders. 
Bend elbows and lower chest towards the floor until almost touching hands.
Press upwards to return to starting position.

Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunches are a popular exercise for building core strength and toning thigh muscles, and provide a welcome relief from standard crunches or sit ups. Bicycle crunches performed effectively will target both rectus abdominus and your obliques in this single movement.

How to do it:
Lie on the floor, arms at sides and legs extended.
Place hands behind your head or lightly touching ears.
Raise legs until thighs are at 90 degree angle to the ground and lift shoulder blades off the ground.
Twist upper body so that left elbow touches your right knee. Return to center.
Perform same movement on the other side to complete one repetition.
 

Medicine Ball Russian Twists

Russian twists are commonly included in weight training programs to tone the abs, and work your oblique muscles. Once you add a medicine ball, or additional weight such as a dumbbell or kettlebell into the mix - suddenly this exercise becomes far more effective. 

How to do it:
Sit down with lower legs lifted slightly and torso and thighs forming a v shape.
Hold a medicine ball of suitable weight in front of you clasped in both hands.
Twists back and forth shifting the ball across your body and touch lightly on the floor on either side.  Complete for desired repetitions.

Ok, we've nearly covered off the second half of our 50 weight loss exercises. Until now the list has focused primarily on weight training or body weight resistance exercises that can be completed at the gym or around home. All of these options elicit an extraordinary muscle building and calorie burning response.

The last 5 exercises I want to discuss are not of the strength training variety. They are standard cardio exercises. Now I know there is significant debate on the merits of slow to medium intensity cardio for fat burning. While lower intensity exercise may burn a reasonable volume of calories during the course of a workout, they don't typically assist in lean muscle development and often fail to provide a prolonged calorie burn post training.

RELATED: Avoid These 4 Totally Overrated Weight Loss Exercises

For this reason I suggest you focus at least a couple of weekly cardio efforts on higher intensity interval sessions or HIIT.  Numerous studies have linked HIIT training to increased calorie burning and greater weight loss success. 

So what are the next 5 exercises?

Running

Running and weight loss

Running and weight loss

Running is a convenient and time efficient exercise when endeavouring to lose weight. If you have been getting your cardio through walking you might be interested to know that one study comparing runners vs. walkers found that calories burned through running led to 90% more weight loss.

Cross Country Skiing

Cross country skiing is a wonderful total body workout, strengthening and toning your upper and lower body. There is a reason why professional cross country skiers are considered some of the fittest individuals on the planet. Cross country skiing is tough! It has been shown to burn over 500 calories per hour.

Rowing

Rowing is not only a great variation to add to your workout, it is a total body exercise. If you follow the correct form you will target a whopping nine muscle groups throughout your arms, abdominal region and legs.

Swimming

Swimming has the benefit of a solid workout and calorie burn, without placing too much stress on the body due to its non weight bearing nature. Depending on your chosen stroke, swimming can engage muscles throughout your entire body and provide your heart and lungs with a great cardiovascular workout.

Cycling

Last but not least on our fab 50 exercise list is cycling. Cycling provides a great workout for your bum, hips and thighs and can assist in losing weight. Be careful not to fall into the trap of cruising on the bike though. It's important to maintain a high intensity to maximise weight loss gains.

What is your favourite weight loss exercise?