12 Weightlifting Exercises to Help You Lose Weight
Experts agree that if you want to lose weight and build muscle, you need to strength train, aiming for at least three weightlifting workouts a week. The best weightlifting exercises for losing body fat are the ones that recruit large muscles and work multiple muscles at one time, known as compound exercises. "These exercises burn more calories because more muscles are working," CSCS-certified trainer and registered dietitian Audra Wilson says. "There will also be a more significant afterburn than with isolation exercises."
These moves stimulate more muscles and burn more calories per rep, which translates to more muscle gained and more fat lost, explains NASM-certified trainer Eric Bowling. And since you're working multiple muscle groups on each move, compound moves are more time efficient, so you don't need to spend hours in the gym, he says. With all of that in mind, we gathered up the most effective strength-training exercises for weight loss.
One note before you get started: for all of these moves, ACSM-certified personal trainer Kekua Kobashigawa recommends, "You should begin with bodyweight only to learn proper movement." You can progress to weights after you've nailed the form and built up some foundational strength. This way, you'll "develop functional strength that transfers to daily life," Kobashigawa explains. This can also decrease your risk of injury, which is higher with compound movements because you're using multiple muscle groups at once, Bowling notes. Remember that you can always consult a trainer to ensure your form is on point.