You’re hitting the gym and staying generally active, but there’s some stubborn body fat hanging around on your hips or belly. You just need to shift your exercise habits a bit to shape up those troublesome spots.
Add 30 minutes of cardio to your daily workout routine
If your workout style includes plenty of lifting but not a lot of sweating, certified personal trainer and fitness director Clarence Hairston says you’re missing out on the fat-busting benefits of cardio. Running, fast walking, swimming, cycling, and other faster-moving activities raise your heart rate, leading you to burn more calories than the steady moves of strength training. “Try changing speeds and adding inclines to burn fat even faster,” he says. If you’re looking for more tips on how to lose body fat, check out these 38 foods that help you burn fat.
Alternate lunges with push-ups
These moves might not seem complicated or even that impressive, but Hairston says that lunges combined with push-ups are one of the most effective ways to get rid of unwanted pounds. He suggests alternating 12 lunges and 12 push-ups for three sets every other day. “These two simple workouts will help sculpt muscle, giving you a more toned and lean figure. You can use this as a way to start your workout routine or as a little extra burner at the end to give you that cherry-on-top finish,” he says.
Try HIIT workouts
Personal fitness coach Adam Gray-Hayward says that HIIT—high-intensity interval training—workouts are an effective way to lose body fat. This approach to cardio has you push yourself hard for a short period of time—say, 20 seconds—and then actively rest to catch your breath, up to twice as long as the intense part when you first start. You repeat the pattern for 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re a walker, break into a fast walk or a jog for 20 to 30 seconds, then slow down for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat. “The constant elevated heart rate ensures that the body is in a fat-burning state,” says Gray-Hayward. “They help boost your metabolism and you’ll continue to burn calories even after your workout.” If you can’t get to five, no biggie: Gray-Hayward says in just three sets, you will activate the glutes, core, and thighs. Learn more about the benefits of HIIT training.