Listen up, ladies. Losing weight can be struggle central when you don’t have a sense of direction. From online fitness trends touted by influencers to the abundance of wellness fads to hot new diets, you may be feeling a bit defeated without even starting your weight loss journey. But taking that first initial step is usually the most challenging part. Once you have a solid game plan on deck, you’re ready to grab the bull by the horns. We spoke with two fitness pros who break down their best-recommended weight loss exercises for women to do every day.
“In order for women to lose weight, they would need a healthy combination of strength workouts and cardio workouts,” Sydney Yeomans, certified personal trainer and director of fitness for BODY20, tells Eat This, Not That!. “Cardio exercises will help to lead to a faster fat consumption whereas strength will help to build muscle, therefore, burning more calories.”
If you’re wondering why it seems like the biggest hurdle of all time to shed unwanted body weight, know that, when compared to men, women typically have a reduced metabolic rate, UPMC HealthBeat explains. In layman’s terms, a woman’s body doesn’t use as many calories to perform regular bodily functions such as blood circulation, breathing, and thinking. The calories that remain are saved as fat.
So, what’s a gal to do? It’s time to up your cardio and strength game, and pair your fitness with a well-balanced diet. Experts have you totally covered with the fitness part and are here to walk you through the best daily weight loss exercises for women. Start doing these moves in your day-to-day routine, and watch the number on the scale move down.
Don’t sleep on good old-fashioned walking if you want to lose weight and snap back into shape. “While not often considered an ‘exercise,’ daily walking is among the most impactful habits you can do for weight loss since it is a low-impact way to increase your calorie burn across the whole week,” says Tyler Read, the founder of PTPioneer.com and a personal trainer who’s been involved in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years. Make it your goal to do at least 30 minutes of brisk walking every day.
“Squats work on your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, helping to build lean muscle which boosts your metabolism,” Read explains.
To set up, place your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. Place your hands on your hips, keep them clasped by your chest, or extend them ahead of you for extra stability. To intensify this exercise, you can also hold a set of dumbbells at your sides. Initiate the squat by bending your knees and pressing your hips back. Lower until your thighs become parallel to the floor or lower. Push through both feet to return to standing. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.
Love them or hate them, pushups are an excellent calorie burner. According to Read, “Pushups are great for toning the upper body and core.” If you find classic pushups too difficult, begin with knee pushups or wall pushups.
To set up, plant your hands on the floor below your shoulders, and rise up to the balls of your feet. Your body should form a straight line from your head down to your feet. Bend your elbows, and lower your chest toward the ground. Make sure your lower back doesn’t dip. Press yourself back up to a high plank to complete one rep. Perform three sets of eight to 12 reps.
Lunges are another productive exercise that works your lower body, including your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
To get started, take a big step forward with one leg. Bend your knees to initiate the lunge, and descend. Keep your upper body straight, and make sure your front knee doesn’t go beyond your toes. Then, push through your front heel to return to standing. Bring your back leg forward to complete a lunge on the other side. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps per leg.
“Burpees are an excellent total-body exercise that boosts your heart rate and develops explosiveness,” Read tells us. “They engage multiple muscle groups at once, making them a highly efficient way to burn calories.”
Burpees begin with you planting your feet shoulder-width distance apart. Engage your abs, and lower into a high plank with your hands on the floor and legs extended behind you. Do a pushup. Press yourself back up, and jump your feet forward to meet your hands. Then, jump up explosively while simultaneously raising your arms overhead. Perform three sets of 10 reps.
Get ready to put your entire body to work and raise your heart rate with mountain climbers. To begin, assume a high plank with your hands below your shoulders and both legs extended behind you. Quickly bring your right knee up toward your chest before extending it behind you. Then, repeat the same motion with your left knee. Continue to alternate as you perform three sets of 30 reps.
“Jumping rope can burn a significant number of calories in a short time and works both your lower and upper body,” Read explains. Begin by jumping for one minute, take a breather for 30 seconds, and repeat. Once you build up your stamina, make it your goal to complete longer periods of jumping, like two to three minutes consecutively.
Yeomans recommends the glute bridge as one of the best daily weight loss exercises for women. This move will seriously fire up your glutes, so get ready to feel the burn.
Lie down flat on your back. Bend both knees, and plant your feet on the floor. Keep your arms at your sides with your palms face-down. Next, push through your feet in order to press your hips up toward the sky until your hips, knees, and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes at the top for a moment, then gradually lower back down. Complete three sets of 15 reps.
The Superman exercise is another recommendation from Yeomans. To set up, lie down flat on your stomach. Extend your arms overhead, and make sure your legs are also extended. Focus your gaze on the floor ahead of you as you slowly raise your arms and legs. Hold this position for a moment before releasing. Complete three sets of 20 reps.
To begin plank holds, place your hands shoulder-width apart on a workout mat, and rise up to the balls of your feet so your body’s in a straight line. Lower to your forearms so your elbows are right under your shoulders. Keep your core activated as you hold this position, and make sure your back doesn’t cave inward. Perform three sets of one-minute holds.
Last but not least, this list of the top-recommended daily weight loss exercises for women wraps up with alternating bird-dogs. To begin, assume all fours, lining your hands up with your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Straighten your right arm ahead of you and your opposite leg behind you. Remain in this position for a few seconds. Then, bring your knee and elbow toward each other to meet below your body. Repeat on the opposite side. Perform three sets of 20 reps.