Christmas is great and everything, but then you wake up on January 1st with the crushing realisation your jeans don’t fit and you can’t even comfort eat to cheer yourself up because there’s no Quality Street left.
There’s nothing else for it but to join the gym.
But let’s be honest here: you don’t want to spend any more time working out than you absolutely have to in order to shift a few of those excess Christmas pounds. Which means you’re going to want to do exercises that have impact.
Personal trainer Faye Jobbins, who’s also the founder of gym wear company Tikiboo, has given us the lowdown on four effective fat-burning gym exercises that’ll help you get back into shape as quickly as you can.
Exercise explained: Most hear the word ‘burpee’ and let out a fearful shudder. This three-pronged classic is safely nestled within the plyometric training squad and is an effective fat burner, toning your legs, upper body and core at the same time.
Most people fear the dreaded burpee because it’s so tough. But that means it’s working.
- Stand straight then lower yourself into a squat with your hands placed on the floor in front of you.
- Kick your legs back into a plank position, then return your legs back to the original squat position.
- Jump into the air as high as you can, then return to the squat position.
Why it burns fat: This exercise is great for burning fat because it’s a triple threat, toning and targeting three key areas of the body all in one go. Trust me: it’ll be worth it.
2. Mountain climbers
Exercise explained: These toughies may well feel like you’re climbing a mountain as you do them, but it’s definitely worth the effort with this full-body workout exercise, which also requires no equipment.
Mountain climbers can feel like more of a prison sentence than an energetic thrill, but they deliver full-body toning and are one of the best exercises that focus on fat burning.
- Begin in a plank position, placing your hands underneath your chest, shoulder-width apart.
- Your arms should be straight and the rest of your body should form a straight line from shoulder to ankle.
- Keeping your body straight and your abs tight, lift your left foot off of the floor and bring your knee towards your chest.
- Return to your starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
Why it burns fat: Targeting deltoids, biceps, triceps, abs, obliques, traps, quads, hamstrings, hip adductors and abductors, this number is the ultimate full-body exercise, involving stacks of muscle groups and shedding calories fast.
3. Jumping squats (wide stance)
Exercise explained: Feel the ultimate burn with wide jumping squats. This exercise targets glutes, calves, the lower back and hamstrings, and is great for fat burning and toning.
By being brave and using a wide stance, the glutes are immediately activated and pushed more than in a narrow squat.
- Place your feet apart, wider than your shoulders.
- Ensure all of your weight is targeted to your heels.
- Making sure your knees do not extend anywhere past your toes, squat down and then, as you come up, jump as high as you can.
- Following the jump, land back in the wide squat starting position and repeat the jump.
Why it burns fat: This exercise is great for burning fat because the wide stance nature of the squat works a larger number of muscles than the more traditional narrow squat.
4. Jumping jacks
Exercise explained: Jumping jacks – a classic, but likely to be a welcomed change in your workout. These exercises bring with them a host of benefits, including increased calorie burn, due to their aerobic total-body workout magic.
- Begin by standing with your feet together and knees slightly bent, with your arms to your side.
- Jump while raising your arms and separating your legs wide.
- Land slowly on the ground with feet wide and arms overhead.
- Repeat the jump, bringing your feet together and lowering your hands.
- Land in a slight squat and repeat.
Why it burns fat: Simple but effective, these old-school classics are an efficient addition to any workout. They are an effective fat burner because they’re an aerobic form of exercise which will increase your heart rate, burn calories and shed fat.
Faye Jobbins is a personal trainer and founder of funky gym leggings company Tikiboo.