Wait! Don’t just skim down to see which exercise I’ve named as the best, get the whole story…
I’m often asked to name a single exercise as the one that will help lose the most fat and sculpt a Bikini Body quickest. Believe me, it’s not an easy question to answer!
As a trainer, I’m very aware of the fact that though an exercise may be perfect for Sue, it may not be the best choice for Jane, so begins my hesitation to name any exercise as the world’s best.
That being said, some exercises are definitely better than others. And, yes there are even a few that I would call the best and use them regularly in our group classes on Bondi Beach.
To answer this simply, when you decide which exercises to include in your routine, it’s important to consider the type of movement involved. The simpler the movement, the fewer calories you’ll burn and the fewer muscles you will strengthen. On the other hand, the more complex the movement, the more calories you will burn and the more muscles you will strengthen.
In other words, exercises that use complex or full body movements will deliver better results than exercises that use only simple movements. Complex movements recruit multiple muscles, some to stabilize and others to perform the movement. This process keeps your heart rate higher than a simple exercise would, providing a more intense workout.
What is a complex movement? Well its a multi-joint movement that recruits large portions of the body to complete the exercise. Let’s compare a simple movement leg exercise with a complex movement leg exercise:
The leg extension machine (at the gym) uses a simple, isolated movement to work the quadriceps. You’re in a seated position moving only your knee joint. There isn’t much involvement, if any, from other muscles and it doesn’t burn very many calories.
Now let’s look at a walking lunge (very popular in my classes). You start by standing with your feet together. You take a large step forward and lower your back knee, keeping your front knee at a 90 degree angle. Now you push off your front foot and pull your back leg forward, repeating the movement. With this exercise, there would probably be too many muscles utilized while performing the lunge to count! You certainly worked your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs, supporting muscles in your shoulders, arms and back- just to name a few. You also raised your heart rate and really kicked your metabolism into high gear. That’s what I call an awesome exercise!
The key to finding the best exercise is to find the ones that bring your workout intensity to a whole new level. I’d be short changing you if I named any exercise as the best. The fact of the matter is that it is a combination of changing your workouts up (see our timetable) using interval training methods, and even some good old soft sand running (RUNCLUB every Fri 6am) that will ultimately see you to your goal!
These methods will help you to burn more calories, increase your metabolic rate, and will stimulate the production of more fat burning and muscle toning hormones. Of course, there is more involved to achieving your fitness goals. You need to incorporate fat burning into your routine. You need to consistently challenge yourself during workouts. You need to take control of your eating habits and to get your diet in check.
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