In general the battle to lose weight is all about the ‘energy in vs. energy out’ equation. Maintaining a healthy, well balanced diet goes a long way to helping make sure you stay on the right side of this, and getting lots of exercise will tip the scales even further in your favour. But finding the time to have a workout and burn off those unwanted calories can be difficult. If we were all able to devote a couple of hours every day to work out then I’m sure the whole world would be looking lean, fit & fantastic.
The fact of the matter is that there are very few people out there who have the luxury or the inclination to be able to devote that sort of time to exercising. So what we need to make sure we do is to maximise the time we do have to make sure our workouts are as efficient as possible. We need to ensure that even if we can only allocate 45 minutes to an exercise program, in that 45 minutes we must work as hard as possible and burn the highest number of calories possible, but more importantly cause the strongest calorie after burn possible.
A great way to do this is to incorporate some explosive training into your strength training routine; you can do this through the introduction of some basic plyometric exercises. This is a great way to increase the amount of calories your body uses for your workouts. Just be sure to get some proper instruction on correct technique before you go off on your own.
The reason that this plyometric type of exercise is capable of burning so much more energy than standard resistance training exercises is in the extra range of motion and added muscle recruitment that is required. Take the body-weight squat and jump squat, for example.
The body-weight squat is a great exercise for strengthening the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and lower back muscles. Traditionally, it goes from a standing position, down until the quads are at least parallel to the ground, and then back to standing, as if you were sitting on an invisible chair.
The jump squat can utilise those same muscles and the same range of motion, but in order to get off the ground we need to recruit more muscles from the calf, allowing us to extend up onto our toes, and then propel ourselves off the ground. In order to get off the ground we are required to apply considerably more force, and when you consider that the amount of energy used is a product of the force applied and distance moved, these types of exercises will come out a clear winner in energy-use, every time.
Some great basic exercises to start with are the squat jump and push ups with a clap. Try adding those into your program and start burning some extra calories today. If you want to see how to do those, click on the exercises to check out a video from our YouTube channel.
Aside from those there are loads of other exercises you can incorporate, you just need to use your imagination. But in the meantime here is a short list to get you on your way.
Single Leg Hops
Medicine Ball Throw Variations
Plyometric Push Ups
If you have any favourite exercise you think should be added to this list we would love to hear from you. Just comment below.