5 is a magic number. I follow 5 tips to fat loss and I am doing 5 sets in my pyramid strength training routine this month. But I am only going to give you my top 3 secret exercises to melt the fat. These 3 fat loss gems are nothing spectacular. There is nothing new or earth-shattering about them. You do not need fancy equipment or top of the line products. Doing these 3 exercises will produce excellent fat loss results when combined with a spectacular menu and a regular cardio program.
Exercise #1 – The Squat
The squat is an excellent compound exercise. It is one of my favorite exercises because it really works the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. There are many variations of the standard squat exercise. For example, there is the front squat, sissy squat, hack squat, full squat, split squat, single-leg squat and a few more. What ever variation you choose is up to you. They all work the thigh muscles and are effective.
Here is how a regular squat is performed:
Starting Position: Begin with both feet under the hips. Hands are relaxed by your sides. You may choose to hold free weights for extra intensity.
The Movement: Slowly lower as though you were going to sit in a chair on the inhale. Keep your back flat and eyes forward. Try to keep the bulk of your body weight on your heels. Lower all the way down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Hold here for a few seconds before slowly rising back to the starting position as you exhale.
Notes: Some variations of the squat will have different directions. In any case, have with a professional watch your form and critique your movement.
Exercise #2 – The Bench Press
The bench press is another classic. It may be one of the best known exercises of all time. The bench press is also compound exercise. It works multiple muscles at once. It works the chest, the shoulders and the triceps. You can do this exercise on an incline, decline or on a flat bench. Some people even use a stability ball instead of the bench. Just be sure you feel comfortable and have balance at all times.
Here is how a flat bench press is performed:
Starting Position: Begin by lying on a flat bench. Your legs should be relaxed and feet planted on the floor. Lift the barbell from the holding rack. Your arms are stretched out, but not over-extended.
The Movement: Slowly lower the barbell to your chest as you inhale. Hold for a second or two. On the exhale slowly lift back to start.
Notes: Be careful not to arch your lower back on this exercise. Just use your chest and arm muscles to perform the reps. Also, you should not allow the barbell to bounce off your chest as your bring the weight down. Always use a spotter.
Exercise #3 – Plank Pose
The plank pose is one of my all-time favorite abdominal exercises. I learned about it as I was becoming certified to teach yoga. This simple, yet amazingly effective, exercise has had a special place in my heart ever since then. The plank pose targets the abdominus sheath that runs down our mid-section. Strengthening this muscle helps our posture and balance. It also provides extra support for our lower back. As if those reasons were not enough, the plank pose is famous for strengthening the muscle that holds in our gut!
Here is how the plank pose is performed:
Starting Position: Begin on all fours. Your hands should be under your shoulders and your knees should be directly under your hips.
The Movement: On the exhale, move from all fours to a regular push up position. Continue to breathe regularly as you hold that position as long as you can. Pull your belly button into your spine and keep your back flat. Stop immediately or lift your backside into the air a bit should you feel lower back pain.
Notes: This exercise works the whole body. Just keep breathing and keep the back flat. Your arms will most likely get tired first. Count how long you can hold the pose and try to hold it a bit longer the next time.
These three exercises are some of my favorites. They all work various muscle groups and have multiple variations. These exercises should be combined with a regular cardio routine and a great eating plan. Diets do not work. Find a menu that works for you and includes carbs, proteins and healthy fats. Always consult with your doctor before beginning a workout routine or change in lifestyle.