Best Exercises To Drop Body Fat

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I am sure you’ve read and heard multiple recommendations on what to do to lose weight and look great.

Of course healthy diet is the cornerstone of achieving these goals. But what about exercise? Aerobic vs resistance, training vs yoga or lifting weights? The same goes for intensity: moderate and steady vs interval training?

Let’s look at the latest literature:

The latest study is from the British Journal of Sports Medicine: Interval training offers a 28.5% greater reduction in total absolute fat mass [1].

Interval training may elicit greater weight loss, even if the energy expenditure obtained during the interval training is lower or equal to that during moderate intensity continuous training – due to greater resting energy expenditure and fat utilization immediately following interval training exercise. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) can boost your metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after your routine.

Interval training also takes less time to perform. The two primary reasons why some people quit exercising are lack of time and lack of results, which interval training could address.

Interval training is defined as bursts of effort punctuated by recovery periods, or breaks. The two most popular forms of interval training are HIIT and Sprint Interval Training (SIT). Specifically, HIIT requires “near maximal” efforts performed at a heart rate ≥ 80% of the HRmax ( HRmax= 220 -age). SIT is even more intense.

So what is the difference? Moderate levels of intensity (MOD) led to a reduction of total body fat percentage up to 0.0026% per minute, whereas HIIT led to a reduction of 0.0050% per minute, and SIT to a reduction of 0.0067% per minute.


Vigorous exercise may bring about a more profound increase in skeletal muscle oxidative capacity, as well as sympathoadrenal stimulation.

With respect to SIT, the greater reductions in fat loss vs MOD could be secondary to heightened post-exercise fat oxidation (“fat melting”).

HIIT workouts

The great thing about HIIT workouts is that there is no end to the variations you can try. Whether you want to incorporate weights, running, or do a routine that requires no equipment, but yourself, there’s a workout for you.

Here is one that you can do in your living room:

  • 40 squat jumps
  • 20 push-ups
  • 30 jumping jacks
  • 10 tricep dips
  • 10 burpees
  • 30-second plank

Do not rest between exercises. Repeat this circuit 3 times, with a 1-minute rest between circuits.

Here are other HIIT circuits you can incorporate into your routine:

Running for approximately 12 minutes; can be done on a treadmill or outdoors:

  • 30-second sprint
  • 40-second brisk walk

Repeat this circuit 10 times in a row, with no rest. The point is to perform at 95% to 100% intensity during the sprints.

Other examples:

Do each of these moves for 45 seconds (count to 50), resting for 15 seconds after each exercise. Repeat this circuit twice.

  • Butt Kicks — 45 seconds
  • Jump Squats — 45 seconds
  • Burpees — 45 seconds
  • Mountain Climbers — 45 seconds
  • Alternating Side Lunges — 45 seconds
  • Jumping Lunges — 45 seconds

Do each of these moves for 40 seconds, then drop into a forearm plank for 20 seconds after each exercise. Rest for one minute after each set.

  • Mountain Climbers — 40 seconds
  • Forearm Plank — 20-second hold
  • Rest — 1 minute
  • Plank Jacks — 40 seconds
  • Forearm Plank — 20-second hold
  • Rest — 1 minute
  • Lateral Plank Walks — 40 seconds
  • Forearm Plank — 20-second hold
  • Rest — 1 minute

Repeat the circuit a total of 2 times

You can find and modify multiple other exercises into a HIIT routine.

HIIT is quick, convenient, and requires minimal to no equipment.

Remember that when done correctly, HIIT can improve your health, help you to lose weight, stimulate your memory, and live longer.

However HIIT and SIT need to be done correctly, as they can be harmful!

Too much, too frequent, done incorrectly or if you are not used to exercise and lack of flexibility, mobility and core strength, on top of muscle activation issues, they can lead to injury, cardiac distress, pain, overtraining, that can ruin your immune system, cause insomnia, extreme fatigue, affect your appetite, and even cause rhabdomyolysis (muscle melting with subsequent kidney damage).

If you are looking to get back into exercise for the first time in a while, it would be a lot more beneficial to start with some low impact cardiovascular exercises like walking, cycling or rowing, while adding flexibility and mobility practices to your daily routine. Do this for a couple of months to condition your body, and then start with the HIIT/SIT, once or twice a week.

Furthermore, 20 minutes of daily activity does not cancel out 8-10 hours of sitting. Sitting at a desk for eight hours a day can cause joint and muscle issues. To then go and put so much strain on your muscles and joints is a recipe for disaster. What will make a difference to your fitness is incorporating movement throughout the day.

Always talk to your healthcare provider or a certified personal trainer before starting any exercise program!

For more information on a healthy lifestyle, schedule an appointment with Dr. Koganski at 215-750-7000 or https://www.NewtownInternalMedicine.com


[1] Viana RB, et alIs interval training the magic bullet for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis comparing moderate-intensity continuous training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT)Br J Sports Med Published Online First: 14 February 2019. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-099928






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