Okay, I'll be honest. The title (i.e., 'Best Weight Loss Workout You Can Do at Home') is a little bit of a clickbait. Why? Well, that's because your calorie balance determines your weight ⚖️
Calories in vs. calories out.
Meaning? Even if you were to do the following “best weight loss exercises at home” 7 days a week – which isn’t advisable, by the way, you would see zero progress on the weighing scale if you aren’t eating in a calorie deficit.
Right. Now that we’ve gotten that all-important disclaimer out of the way … it’s time to look at things from a different perspective.
Yes, you can’t just rely on supposed “weight loss workout routines” to attain your dream physique. But are there exercises out there that burn more calories than others – in turn, making the process of sticking to a calorie deficit much easier for you?
There certainly are.
1: Jump rope
Think of boxers trying to make weight right before a big competition, and one exercise probably comes most readily to mind: jumping rope. There's a good reason for that.
Think about the skipping motion.
You’ll have to use your upper body to turn the rope at a quick pace, lower body (i.e., legs and calves) to lift yourself off the ground, and, of course, not forgetting the core, which helps you keep everything nice and tight for optimal energy transfer.
If you weigh 140 pounds, jumping rope can help you burn up to 318 calories in just 30 minutes. For reference: running (at 12 min/mile) burns 267 calories within the same time frame.
Jump rope isn't just superior when it comes to calorie burn, as well.
It’s also one of the most versatile “weight loss exercises” you can do at home – simply because of how little equipment (all you need is a skipping rope!) and the space you'd require to perform it.
2: Battle ropes
Ah, battle ropes.
If you’ve ever engaged the services of a personal trainer (or tried the exercise out in the gym) would know just how tiring this exercise can be on the entire upper body chain – like the forearms, biceps, and shoulders. Of course: this exercise calls your abs into play, too.
Wondering about calorie burn?
According to the NSCA’s report on battle ropes, just ten 15-second bursts of battle ropes can drive up your heart rate to 180 BPM, comparable to what you'd experience in an all-out full-body sprint.
Just 10 minutes of battle ropes can torch 120 calories.
If you don’t have access to battle ropes at home, there’s no need to worry. They’re super affordable. In fact, you can get yourself a decent one at roughly £40. A budget-friendly addition to your home “weight loss workout”.
Here's a pro tip: to increase your "working time" (i.e., amount of time spent burning calories) on the battle rope. Try experimenting with different tempos and movements. For example, you can do side-to-side waves or even circles.
3: Wall balls
Both the jump rope and battle ropes are intuitive exercises. Look at the equipment you have on hand, and you can pretty much figure out on your own how you’re supposed to perform the associated movements.
Wall balls, on the other hand … are a different ball game (how punny!)
So, to help those who aren't familiar with wall balls – typically those who've never encountered CrossFit, here's a brief explanation of how you can perform the exercise:
- Choose the appropriately weighted wall ball and stand about 2 feet in front of the wall with your feet hip-width apart and toes slightly outward (i.e., your squat stance).
- Hold the ball at chest height. Engage your core and squeeze the ball.
- Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor – or even deeper if your mobility allows – while keeping the ball at chest level.
- Come out of your squat; make sure to drive your body up while tossing the ball at a vertical target about 8 to 12 feet high. Keep your arms extended.
- Catch the ball after it bounces and keep it at chest height once again.
- Then, repeat the exercise for your target number of repetitions.
Like the previous exercises mentioned, wall balls are a full-body exercise that’ll truly melt fat like butter. Better yet: it’s also one of the best weight loss exercises you can do at home that involves some degree of strength-training element.
That means it’ll help you build muscle – which is more metabolically active than fat mass.
Disclaimer: wall balls are notoriously noisy. If you’d like to stay on the good side of your neighbors, do your best to sound-proof your “home gym” or, whenever possible, only perform your “weight loss workout” when you’re 100% sure the neighbors are away.
4: Farmer’s walk
Is performing the wall balls at home simply out of the question for you? Then consider doing the Farmer’s Walk instead.
It's one of the most straightforward exercises you can do for weight loss: all you need to do is pick up something heavy (a sack of rice, detergent bottles, or even your toddlers) and … walk around.
Plus, with it being an incredibly low-skill movement, you'll never have to worry about technical or mobility issues.
And the best thing? You’d be – somewhat unknowingly – training your grip strength.
Something important to note: according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, grip strength is a crucial predictor of muscular endurance and overall strength.
This makes sense since you'd require a strong grip strength to perform many of the "basic compound movements" in the gym (e.g., pull-ups, deadlifts, and even the bench press).
Don't neglect strength training
Because I know there'll be a handful of individuals amongst you that'll rush to replace all the exercises in your existing workout routines in an attempt for enhanced weight loss … please be aware that you shouldn't.
You should only “pepper” these exercises into your routines. View them as condiments.
Psst: need help getting started with building muscle? Then download GymStreak.
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How Many Calories Do You Burn While Running? (n.d.). Verywell Fit. Retrieved October 1, 2021, from https://www.verywellfit.com/how-many-calories-does-running-burn-2911108
McPherron, A. C., Guo, T., Bond, N. D., & Gavrilova, O. (2013). Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism. Adipocyte, 2(2), 92–98. https://doi.org/10.4161/adip.22500
Trosclair, D., Bellar, D., Judge, L. W., Smith, J., Mazerat, N., & Brignac, A. (2011). Hand-Grip Strength as a Predictor of Muscular Strength and Endurance. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25, S99. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.JSC.0000395736.42557.bc
Tumminello, N. (n.d.). UTILIZING BATTLING ROPE EXERCISES FOR HIIT AND SMIT. 6.