5 best exercises to burn calories!
When a new client approaches us at Rogue Fitness they are almost always concerned with toning up, but what exactly does this mean?
In order to tone our body and get that strong, slim and sculpted look we need to do two things:
We need to decrease our body fat.
We need to maintain the muscle we have below this body fat.
As trainers we rely on a number of exercises because they burn the most calories as they require the most amount of energy to perform. For most clients and individuals this is the most efficient way of burning calories in an hour long session. Realistically we must remember that we also need to be in a calorie deficit every other day in order for body fat reduction to take place.
The following 5 exercises, or a variation of them, are used in almost every personal training session and for good reason. They are compound, multi-joint exercises and require the central nervous system and the muscular system to work together, as well as testing our biomechanics to increase mobility long term.
The value of the squat cannot be overestimated. It can be performed by everyone regardless of their mobility or fitness level as long as it is adapted accordingly. From the hack squat with support from a fit ball to a heavy loaded, front or back squat, the options are endless.
The squat is a relatively technical exercise and time should be spent on perfecting it with your trainer or indeed on your own. The following is a basic illustration and the only major safety issue occurs when our body alignment is repeated incorrect. If we allow the knees to consistently drift over our toes for example, we can harm them or if the lower back rounds consistently we can also endanger ourselves.
The Press up
The press up/push up is one of the best exercises to work our upper body and when done correctly, our core also. As with the squat, the press up can be practiced by anyone, at any fitness level as long as it is adapted correctly. We can use the box press up to start with and then progress to an elevated press up and final we can move onto our toes.
A full press up is an advanced move and, for women in particular, will always be a tough movement to conquer. I like to use these movements as targets to monitor improvement in my client’s strength.
The Pull up
A full strict pull up is one of the most difficult exercises you will ever attempt however it can be modified to suit every one and is largely accepted to be the most efficient exercise for activating the entire musculature of the back. Whilst it is not necessary for most people to be able to do a strict pull up, moving your own body weight should be an integral part of any training programme.
As trainers we can use aids like the TRX strap and/or resistance bands to help clients work towards the full pull up. It is such a difficult exercise that many never conquer it and honestly, that’s fine. However some variation of this movement will be used in almost every training session. The pull up is essentially a full body row so if your trainer or your training plan utilises exercises like the pulley row or the single arm row, you are already working towards this movement.
Probably the most hated exercise of all time, the burpee tests all aspects of our fitness from mobility to cardiovascular fitness to strength and power. The burpee can again be performed by anyone at any level as long as it is adapted accordingly. From using a step to elevate the body to encouraging our clients to use a non-impact version to save knees and lower backs, we can change the burpee for every client as required.
Low blood pressure or a tendency towards nausea however can be a contraindication so the burpee should be used with caution.
Widely recognised as the best overall core exercise around today, the plank is a very common exercise often used at the end of a training session. The plank works all areas of the core and can help to increase, stability, posture and body awareness. We can use the plank to promote muscular endurance for everyday life or long duration exercise. We can also use it to promote strength and intra-abdominal pressure in competitive power lifters. It is hugely popular for good reason. It can be done very safely for most however if you suffer from lower back issues it needs to be done absolutely correctly with strong core engagement and no pressure on the lower back. The following diagrams show good and bad technique.
It is probably apparent at this stage that I myself and all the trainers at Rogue Fitness believe that everyone is capable of doing any of these big, calorie burning exercises as long as the correct precautions are taken and the level of difficulty is increased gradually. If you would like to challenge yourself to work towards improving your whole body using techniques such as these please use the link below to book a free consultations with us.
We would be delighted to help you!