Back to basics for shedding body fat


This month we’re going back to basics and going to go through some of the BEST exercises to help you shed body fat!

Contrary to common belief, traditional crunches, sit-ups play a very minimal role when it comes to carving out a shapely mid-section. What we need to focus on is movements which target a far greater range of larger muscle groups. The more muscles we can target at once, the more calories we can burn, and therefore the more fat we can potentially shed!

So here’s a run through of some of the best you can start incorporating into your workouts the next time you hit the gym:

1)   Deadlift:

This exercise has the ability to hits more muscles than any other; hence it’s huge capability when it comes to burning calories. It also has great practical application in the sense that it will ensure all the muscles we use when picking anything up from the floor, from a child to a shopping bag, are strong and supportive to our skeleton; specifically our spine, which means no more lower back pain in a lot of cases.

2)   Squat:

Squats always get a lot of exposure when it comes to sculpting a shapely bum, and for good reason. The key with this movement is to focus on achieving a nice deep squat with good technique throughout. Also think about varying your stance; go with a wider stance to hit more of the inner thigh muscles and a narrower one to target the outer thigh muscles.

3)   Military press:

Although the military press is predominantly an upper body movement, don’t worry about developing an overly bulky torso and definitely don’t underestimate the ability of this movement when it comes to fat loss. Were hitting everything through the shoulders and arms, but also using a lot of core stability to keep us stable underneath the bar.

4)   Lunge (Forward & Reverse):

The vast majority of us have all done lunges at some point. But rarely is this movement unleashed to it’s fullest potential. In both variations focus on keeping a shoulder width stance, and think about dropping the knee towards the floor without touching it. If you have any knee issues, stick to the reverse lunge as they place much less pressure around the knee joint compared to the forward variety.

*Key points on all the exercises*

·      Never sacrifice good technique for attempting to add more weight. This is going to put you at a high risk of injury.

·      Draw in and keep the abdominals tense. All these moves will help strengthen the abdominal muscles and tighten them up, but only if you focus on keeping them braced throughout the exercises

·      Take your time. Do not rush these movements; they require a lot of co-ordination and balance. Attempt to rush and you’ll never fully make the most of these movements and also risk a multitude of injuries

·      Get coached and practise. As a trainer, I have never seen anyone nail these exercises the first time they have tried them. There are often small tweaks to make and lots of progressions/regressions dependant on the individual. So approach an instructor in the gym and ask him to take a look at your technique or consult a reputable trainer for a more detailed approach and a specialist eye to ensure you consistently get the most from your sessions.