The 6 Best Workouts for Reducing Body Fat

a woman does a body fat reducing workout

When it comes to turning your body into a fat burning furnace, there are several exercises and programs that can help you go about it.

The good news is that since there are several different strategies that work, there’s little chance of getting bored or having one exercise get too stale.

While creating major workouts that focus around burning body fat is simple, it’s not easy.

In fact, hard work is at the core of all of these but whether the focus is on a specific plan, workout, or exercise, if you’re willing to put in the work, there are plenty of ways to burn your way to that ideal beach body.

1. Engage Large Muscle Groups

Take a look at your current workout and really focus on the main muscle groups. Are you hitting the largest ones on a consistent basis?

The chest, the glutes, the back?

While pure cardio has its place and there are plenty of people doing some type of weight lifting, remember that muscles wanting to grow pull calories that might otherwise be stored as fat.

You may find you have a good workout, but you’re focusing on arms and lower legs or pure calorie burn. These aren’t bad things, but adding in some specific focus on those larger muscle groups could make all the difference to getting the needle moving again.

2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

There are plenty of people who might be sick of hearing about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), because it seems like everyone is talking about it, but there’s a reason for that!

HIIT is one of the best styles of exercise for burning sheer number of calories, for burning fat, or even building muscle groups. In other words, for many people it really is the perfect workout plan.

HIIT takes place when you go all out for 30 seconds to a minute during an exercise, and all out means all out. Putting out a complete 100%.

a woman does a body fat reducing workout

Once that time is over the person drops down to low level exertion for the same exercise. The time amounts vary based on fitness and regimen. True beginners who are way out of shape might start at 3:1 or even 4:1.

Most aim to go 2:1, although there are some more intense methods like the Tabata Regimen that goes the other direction with twice as much time on intensity as on rest.

The pattern then becomes huge high intensity burst, low intensity “break,” huge high intensity burst, low intensity “break,” and so on and so forth.

A HIIT workout tends to be much shorter than others and almost never exceeds 30 minutes. If you’re going all out you would be hard pressed to push beyond that anyway.

This creates a massive calorie burn that forces the body to dive into fat reserves to provide fuel for the intense workouts.

The alternation of high intensity bursts with low intensity keeps the calories burning and also confuses the metabolism, causing a major bump in how many calories your body burns the rest of the day even hours after the workouts are done.

More calories burned means more fat burned.

HIIT can be applied to a variety of exercises: running, jumping rope, exercise bike, anything that allows that huge burst and then slow steady pace as a “break.”

Even better, HIIT is one of the few workouts that scales since as you get stronger, in better shape, and lose weight you’ll actually get even better at going faster, harder, and therefore burn even more calories during the “sprint” phases.

So even as you drop body fat you will still become even more effective!

There are many workouts programs, or even machines like the HVT (read our review), that can help you get an amazing HIIT workout, so if you’re looking for some inspiration, be sure to look for an option that will work for you.

3. Resistance Training

One of the surest ways to burn off stubborn body fat is to naturally burn more calories by putting on more muscle. Resistance training is a great way to boost your strength, add some bulk and tone, and really light up the fat burning furnace in your body.

Not only that, but resistance training makes sure your body is preserving your muscle mass while dieting and losing weight.

a man uses bands for a resistance workout

Resistance training by itself might not be the best fat burning exercise, but it needs to be part of any other workout to make sure you’re not losing valuable muscle while burning calories.

There are many types of resistance training workouts that even bring cardio into the equation to help burn more calories.

Preserving the muscle means your metabolism stays higher and you have the ability to workout harder – burning even more.

Keep in mind that with a solid resistance training program even every so often, you build up muscles that allow you to do even more during HIIT.

So resistance training can help make arguably the most effective fat burning exercise program even more effective!

Resistance training can be done with body weight, a variety of exercise tools, but it really goes hand in hand with weights. So dust off that gym membership and get ready to go!

4. Med Ball Slams

Not only is this a great exercise for burning fat but it is an amazing exercise to vent out the frustration when you have one of those days that makes you just feel like killing everything.

This exercise is simple, but effective. You use your entire body for this move. You want to raise the heavy ball above your head, rising all the way up on your toes, then use your whole body (hips, core, arms) to slam the ball back down.

Catch the ball on the rebound then repeat until feeling better.

Keep your body in control, really focus on connecting those core muscles, and this aggressive exercise will make you engage all of your muscles in a natural way that will help your body burn a lot of fat. In addition, this exercise is a great way to de-stress which helps to flush Cortisol, the stress hormone, out of your system.

Cortisol can make losing weight excessively difficult so this exercise really helps take care of that and can be a great chance of pace to resistance training, HIIT, or whatever other exercise program you have been running on in recent weeks.

5. Hyper Hiking

a woman does a hyper hiking workout

Hiking is one of the best exercises out there, but not just walking with a backpack. Put together a 30-40 lb pack and find a good trail.

This means lots of hills, a wide variety of grades including some steep ones up, steep ones down, and plenty of miles.

Not only is reconnecting with nature great but hiking in this way causes serious engagement of all the leg muscles as well as the back, shoulders, and core.

Since a good hike can be part walking, climbing, resisting going downhill too fast (flex those calves), or doing serious cardio getting uphill you may find that a really good hike has plenty of resistance training, cardio, or even HIIT baked right into it.

A great way to burn tons of fat and sculpt your body from head to toe.

6. Weighted Farmer’s Walk

Also often referred to as the dumbbell farmer’s walk, this outstanding exercise combines walking with good posture and serious weight lifting as your haul weights.

a very fit man does a farmers walk

Done over enough time the heart rate shoots up, making this a form of cardio and weight lifting that is great for burning calories and fat off the body while being low impact on the joints.

There is the basic version of this with a big dumbbell in each hand, but there are also variations where you carry with one arm and maintain a straight spine, forcing some serious balance work before switching to the other arm and repeating.

This can add some nice work to the core and the exercise as a whole is a great way to hit strength, ramp up the fat burning power of walking and weights, and is a great way to work on balance.

Add in a stronger spine and hips and there’s a lot to love about the farmer’s walk as a fat burning workout!

Final Thoughts

Your ideal body doesn’t have to be a fantasy. If you focus on the exercises in this article, change up workouts to keep your body guessing, and are willing to put in the hard work then you will be stunned by just how good you can look as these effective exercises pay off.

There are few feelings as satisfying as seeing hard work pay off, especially when that evidence comes in the pounds of fat just melting off your body.