6 exercises to lose body fat and keep muscle

September 27, 2022 | by Rachel Schneider
Categories: Healthy Driven Life

It’s known that regular exercise combined with a healthy diet helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle. The same is true when you want to lose fat while preserving muscle. Aside from eating the right foods, how do you exercise the right way?

First, shift the focus of your workouts to weightlifting. Cardio can be beneficial in moderation but focusing on weight training can elevate your muscle and fat loss goals.

Alternate between light weight and heavy weight days. This can help you maintain muscle mass while also shrinking fat—and keep your body burning calories all day long. When lifting lighter weights, aim to “train for failure,” which means to perform sets and reps until you feel like you cannot lift any longer.

What are some specific exercises you can do to lose body fat and preserve muscle mass? Try adding these 6 exercises to your next workout for great results:

  1. Squat: This exercise will use many muscles, like your glutes and quads, while also pushing you to use your core. Perform a squat using a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX straps or simply your own body weight.
    How to perform: Keep your legs hip-width apart, feet next to each other or in a wide-legged stance and bend at the knees. Stand up and repeat.

  2. Deadlift: Deadlifts also provide great flexibility. These will target your hamstrings and glutes as well as engaging your core to prevent lower back strain.
    How to perform: These can be performed with a barbell, dumbbells or single-legged. Push your butt back and hinge at the hips to bend down and grab the weight. Engage your core and pull the weight up without leaning back.

  3. Push press: This standard exercise requires you to stabilize from your core.
    How to perform: Stabilize your core and push barbells or dumbbells overhead. If the weight becomes heavy toward the end of your set, you can use a little boost from your legs by performing a little squat for momentum and lift the weight overhead.

  4. Dumbbell snatch: This full body exercise should be performed with lighter weight first to ensure you are comfortable with the movement and using the correct form. Challenge yourself as you go by increasing the weight.
    How to perform: Stand shoulder-width apart and keep your body straight. Push your hips back and bend your knees into a squat position. With a straight arm, grab the dumbbell from between your legs and rise the dumbbell in a straight line above your head as you move out of the squat position.

  5. Kettlebell overhead hold with marches: You’ll strengthen your body and improve your stability and endurance.
    How to perform: Hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in one of your hands overhead. While the weight remains in your hands overhead, perform marches (knees raises) with your legs.

  6. Kettlebell pull throughs: Pull throughs can help develop muscles on the back of your body including the glutes and hamstrings.
    How to perform: Get into a tall plank position with your arms straight. Pull the kettlebell or dumbbell through from one side to the other in front of you. For example, the kettlebell will start on the left side of your body, and you will use your right hand to pull the kettlebell to the right side of your body.

Each of these workouts can be performed with modifications. Remember to use safe and proper form during all your workouts to prevent injury.

Need help with reaching your fitness goals? A fitness specialist can help you develop a fitness program that works for you.

Drive your health forward at Edward-Elmhurst Health & Fitness.

Learn more about Edward-Elmhurst Health’s weight loss services.

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