Sets, reps, rest times, equipment… These are the common terms you’ll hear in the world of fitness. But when it comes to losing weight at home effectively and sustainably, there’s something else that the best workout routines share. It’s not about having the most expensive gear or following the latest trends. It’s about consistency, adaptability, and a focus on functional movements.
Whether it’s strength training, cardio, HIIT, or yoga, the most effective workouts for weight loss at home have one thing in common: they are designed to be sustainable and adaptable to your lifestyle, ensuring you can maintain them over time.
So you’re wondering, what home workout should I do? How long should I do it for? How hard should I push myself? Read on for answers and tips.
What Home Workout Should I Do To Lose Weight?
The best home workout for weight loss should be one that suits your personal preferences, fitness level, and lifestyle. Here are some qualities to consider when creating a sustainable weight loss routine:
- Consistency: This is perhaps the most important quality. The workout you choose should be something you can see yourself doing on a regular basis. Consistency is key in any weight loss journey. It’s not about intense, short-term efforts, but rather about incorporating exercise into your daily routine.
- Enjoyment: If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, it’s unlikely you’ll stick with it. Choose workouts that you find fun and rewarding. This could be anything from dancing to yoga to strength training.
- Intensity: While it’s important to enjoy your workout, it should also challenge you at times. You want to push your body so it continues to burn calories and work towards your goals. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be particularly effective for burning fat and improving cardiovascular health.
- Variety: Mixing up your workouts can help keep you motivated and prevent boredom. It also ensures that you’re working different muscle groups and not neglecting any areas of fitness, such as flexibility or strength.
- Adaptability: The best workouts can be adapted to suit your fitness level and gradually increase in intensity as you get fitter. They should also be adaptable to your environment – if you don’t have much space or equipment, look for workouts that require minimal gear.
- Functional Movements: These are exercises that mimic movements you do in everyday life, like squats, lunges, or push-ups. They help improve your strength, flexibility, and coordination, making daily activities easier and reducing the risk of injury.
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What Exercise Burns The Most Fat?
Here are some of the most effective exercises for burning fat:
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT workouts to lose weight at home fast are arguably one of the most effective way to burn fat (4). They involve short, intense bursts of exercise followed by brief periods of rest. The key is to push yourself to your maximum during the intense intervals. This can elevate your metabolism and keep you burning calories, even after the workout ends.
Here is a sample High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout that you can do at home to aid in weight loss:
Warm-Up (5 minutes)
- March in place
- Arm circles
- Leg swings
- Jumping jacks
- Burpees (30 seconds): Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, lower into a squat, kick your feet back into a plank, return to the squat position, then jump up and clap your hands above your head. Rest for 30 seconds.
- High Knees (30 seconds): Run in place while lifting your knees as high as possible. Try to maintain a fast pace. Rest for 30 seconds.
- Lunge Jumps (30 seconds): Start in a lunge position, then explosively jump up and switch your legs in mid-air, landing in a lunge with your other foot forward. Rest for 30 seconds.
- Jumping Jacks (30 seconds): Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides, then simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump up just enough to spread your feet wide. Reverse the movement and repeat. Rest for 30 seconds.
- Mountain Climbers (30 seconds): Start in a plank position and alternate driving your knees towards your chest, like you’re running in place. Rest for 30 seconds.
- Rope Jumping (or pretend if you don’t have a rope) (30 seconds): Swing the rope over your head and jump over it with both feet as it approaches your toes. Rest for 30 seconds.
Repeat this circuit 2-3 times.
Cool Down (5 minutes)
- Walk in place
Remember to keep the intensity high during the exercise periods and use the rest periods to catch your breath. Also, it’s important to listen to your body and modify the workouts as needed.
Strength training is one of the best workouts to lose weight at home, especially for beginners. It helps build muscle, which burns more calories at rest than fat does (6). Beginners can start with bodyweight exercises such as squats, lunges, and push-ups. These can be gradually made more challenging by adding resistance, such as dumbbells or resistance bands.
Here’s a sample at-home strength training routine that requires no equipment:
Day 1: Lower Body and Core
- Bodyweight Squats (3-4 sets of 10-15 reps): Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then bend at the knees and hips to lower your body as if sitting in a chair. Push back up to standing.
- Walking Lunges (3-4 sets of 6-10 reps each leg): Step forward with one foot and lower your body until your front knee is at a 90-degree angle. Push back up to standing and repeat with the other leg.
- Jump Squats (3-4 sets of 10 reps): Perform a bodyweight squat, but explode upward into a jump at the top of the movement. Land softly and immediately lower into the next squat.
- Bicycle Crunches (3-4 sets of 20 reps): Lie on your back, bring your knees towards your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Rotate your torso to bring your right elbow towards your left knee while extending your right leg, then switch sides.
Day 2: Upper Body and Core
- Push-ups (3 sets of 5-10 reps): Start in a high plank position, then lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor. Push back up to the starting position.
- Dumbbell Rows (3-4 sets of 10 reps on each side): If you don’t have dumbbells, use a gallon milk jug or another weight. Bend at the waist and row the weight up to your chest, then lower it back down.
- Mountain Climbers (3 sets of 20-30 seconds): Start in a high plank position, then bring one knee towards your chest. Quickly switch legs, as if running in place.
- Plank (3 sets of 30-60 seconds): Hold a high plank or forearm plank position, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels.
Day 3: Full-Body Workout
- Walking Squat (3 sets of 5-10 reps): Perform a bodyweight squat, then step forward and immediately lower into the next squat.
- Squat with Knee Lift (3 sets of 5-10 reps each side): Perform a bodyweight squat, then lift one knee towards your chest at the top of the movement. Repeat on the other side.
- Side Lunge with a Twist (3 sets of 5-10 reps each side): Step to the side and lower into a lunge, then twist your torso towards the lunging leg. Repeat on the other side.
- Lying Leg Raises (3 sets of 10-12 reps): Lie on your back and raise your legs to a 90-degree angle, then slowly lower them back down without touching the floor.
Low to Moderate Intensity Cardio
Low to Moderate Intensity Cardio refers to exercises that elevate your heart rate to a certain level, but not to the maximum. These exercises are generally performed for extended periods, usually 30 minutes or more.
The goal is to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, and enhance endurance. Examples include brisk walking, light jogging, cycling at a steady pace, or swimming. The beauty of low to moderate intensity cardio is that it can be easily integrated into daily routines, making it a sustainable choice for long-term fitness and weight management.
Yoga is an easy at-home workout to lose weight that also helps improve flexibility and reduce stress (2). It may not burn as many calories as HIIT or strength training, but it can still contributes to a calorie deficit and weight loss.
For example, the practice of yoga includes various asanas (poses) that target different muscle groups and can help to build lean muscle. This muscle contributes to an increased metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories even at rest. Besides the physical benefits, yoga also emphasizes mindfulness and deep breathing, which can reduce stress levels and help to curb emotional eating (10).
What Exercise Burns Belly Fat?
Burning belly fat at home requires a combination of cardio, strength training, and healthy eating habits. Remember, while these exercises can help burn belly fat, they’re most effective when combined with a balanced diet and regular cardio exercise. Also, it’s impossible to target fat loss to one specific area of your body – when you lose fat, you lose it all over your body.
That said, incorporating the exercises below to your routine can help reduce belly fat:
This is a low-intensity exercise that’s easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Walking can help reduce belly fat and overall body fat, especially when combined with a healthy diet (8).
This full-body exercise can help you burn calories while also strengthening your core, chest, and leg muscles. Burpees involve a combination of a squat, push-up, and jump, making them a challenging but effective exercise for burning belly fat.
This is a core exercise that targets the obliques, helping to tone your waistline. To do a Russian twist, sit on the floor with your knees bent and lean back slightly while keeping your back straight. Then, twist your torso from side to side.
This exercise combines cardiovascular exercise with strength training, making it an excellent choice for burning fat and building muscle. It involves swinging a kettlebell up to shoulder height and then down between your legs while maintaining a flat back and engaged core.
Medicine Ball Slam
This exercise not only helps burn belly fat but also builds strength and power. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a medicine ball overhead. Then, slam the ball into the ground as hard as you can.
These are high-intensity exercises that can help burn a significant amount of calories in a short period. They involve jumping as high as you can and bringing your knees up towards your chest.
This is a classic abdominal exercise that can help tone your stomach and reduce belly fat. However, it’s important to perform them correctly to avoid straining your neck or back.
This lower ab exercise can help tone your stomach and reduce lower belly fat. Lie on your back with your hands under your glutes, raise your legs off the ground, and alternate crossing them over each other.
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How Much Should I Workout At Home To Lose Weight?
To lose weight through exercise, you should aim to work out for 150 to 300 minutes per week, according to guidelines from the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) (5). This equates to approximately 30 to 60 minutes per day, five days a week.
If you’re just starting out with exercise, you may want to begin with shorter workouts, gradually increasing your exercise duration as your fitness improves. The intensity of your workouts also matters. Moderate-intensity exercises include brisk walking or light cycling, while vigorous-intensity exercises include running or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
For more effective weight loss, you might need to exercise more than the minimum recommended amount. A study suggests that burning at least 2,700 calories a week through exercise (equivalent to about 300 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity exercise), can be beneficial for weight loss (1).
In addition to cardio exercises, strength training should also be incorporated into your workout routine. Strength training helps build muscle, which can increase your metabolic rate and help you burn more calories, even when you’re not exercising (7). Aim to include strength training exercises in your routine at least two days a week.
Read more: The Best Keto Burrito Recipes to Lose Weight
What Burns Fat the Fastest?
High-intensity cardio exercises such as running, cycling, swimming, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are some of the fastest ways to burn fat. These exercises help increase your heart rate, which promotes fat burning (3).
Strength training is also effective; it builds muscle mass, which increases your resting metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories even when you’re not exercising (7).
How to Slim in 7 Days?
While it’s important to note that healthy and sustainable weight loss typically occurs over a longer period of time, there are ways to feel slimmer in a week. This includes drinking plenty of water, reducing consumption of sodium and processed foods (to decrease bloating), increasing physical activity, and consuming a diet rich in lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (9).
How Long Should You Workout Everyday?
The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week, along with strength training exercises on two or more days a week (5). That breaks down to about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day, 5 days out of the week. However, the exact amount can vary depending on your personal fitness goals and schedule.
The Bottom Line
The best workouts to lose weight at home have one thing in common—they are sustainable. They fit in your schedule, are accessible, and you’re able to commit to them. That said, whether you prefer HIIT, strength training, or low-intensity exercises such as walking and yoga, focus on finding a routine that works for you.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Exercise for Weight Loss: Further Evaluating Energy Compensation with Exercise (2020, journals.lww.com)
- Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life (2011, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2010, hindawi.com)
- High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2010, hindawi.com)
- How much physical activity do adults need? (2022, cdc.gov)
- Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism (2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier (2023, mayoclinic.org)
- The importance of walking to public health (2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies (2004, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and stress-related physiological measures: A meta-analysis (2017, sciencedirect.com)