Now that Christmas is over and most of us have made that New Year's resolution to exercise more and eat more healthily, there are some fabulous fat burning exercises to blast those bulges into oblivion that you will love. I love exercising and there's no better way to start the new year than with some great exercises to motivate you. After all, summer is just around the corner, when we all want to look our bikini best, and these routines (combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, of course) should help you on your way! For this fabulous fat burning workout, beginners should do 3 x 10 reps. Those who feel they're less of a beginner but not at the advanced stage yet should do 4 x 10 reps. The more confident and advanced amongst you should do 5 x 10 reps. These exercises will require a couple of dumbbells, although a couple of cans of food or filled water bottles will do if you don't have any. A stability ball is required for some of the fat burning exercises too.
1. The Squat Press
This is one of my favourite fat burning exercises, and it will leave you feeling great and looking fabulous. This first exercise is great for your shoulders and bottom. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding 6 kg dumbbells at either side of your face. Squat down as low as you can go, then push up to standing whilst extending your arms towards the ceiling. Then lower yourself back to the starting position. Make sure your feet stay flat throughout and avoid tipping forward.
2. Press-up and Row
This exercise is great for working the upper and mid-back, your core muscles and the back of your upper arms. Start in the plank position with a 6-8 kg weight in each hand and your palms facing each other, ensuring they're directly under your shoulders and your whole body is resting on your toes. Lower your chest to the floor whilst keeping your elbows close to your body, as though you're doing a full body press-up. Slowly lift up whilst keeping your body still. Pull one weight towards your armpit whilst supporting your body weight with the other extended arm. Lower the weight and repeat with the other arm.
3. Dumbbell Lunge and Jump
This one is for your thighs and bottom. Take a dumbbell in each hand and take a large step forward with your left foot. Being sure to keep your back straight, bend both legs and lower into a lunge whilst keeping your weight on your front leg. Push through this front leg and jump up, switching leg position in mid-air. Your derrière will thank you for it!
4. Oblique Twists
This exercise is great for your side muscles and to help abolish those muffin tops. You'll need a stability ball for this one and you need to start by lying on your left side of the ball. Keep your left leg straight and your right foot tucked behind the left. Put your hands behind your ears as you would if you were doing sit-ups and keep your elbows wide. Crunch up to the side, slowly lower down and repeat. Make sure you use your side muscles rather than your head to pull yourself up.
5. Hamstring Curl
Again, this one will require a stability ball. Start by lying on your back whilst resting your heels on the stability ball and keeping your legs straight. Raise your hips as high as you can towards the ceiling and start to bend the knees whilst curling the ball towards you. Slowly push the ball back with your feet to return to the start position. Be sure to keep your stomach muscles tight at all times for maximum benefit.
6. Plank and Push
The plank and push is a brilliant exercise that works your lower stomach muscles. Start by resting your forearms on a stability ball with your legs extended and your shoulders, hips and ankles in a straight line. Be sure to keep your back straight at all times, your body flat and your stomach muscles nice and tight during this exercise. Start to nudge the ball forward and then slowly return back to the start position.
7. Dumbbell Jump and Squat
This one is my favorite and I can feel the effects afterwards! Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold 6-8 kg dumbbells in each hand in what I like to call the Wonder Woman stance. Keep your back straight and stomach muscles pulled in tight at all times and jump up as high as your can. Be sure to land softly then squat as low as you can. Repeat this one and feel the burn!
These exercises all combine for a fantastic full body workout and target your fat burning muscles. For maximum benefit, do these exercises as part of a circuit with a 90 second rest in between them and aim to complete the workout in its entirety at least two to three times a week. Always remember to warm-up and do some stretches before exercising to prevent injury. Does anyone have any other fabulous fat burning exercises they would like to share?