“I want to lose weight, but my metabolism has slowed down.” As a trainer, I hear this so often. First, let’s break it down. Your metabolism is what your body goes through to turn food into energy. Basically, it’s the amount of calories your body needs to perform essential functions (respiration and cell restoration), process food (digestion and absorption of nutrients), and perform physical activity according to Mayo Clinic. However, the factors that affect your metabolism are much more complicated than calories in and out, and according to a study published in Science, your metabolism doesn’t begin to decline until age 60. The good news ? You can absolutely use exercise, especially cardiovascular and strength training, to improve it. That’s why we’ve come up with the ultimate exercise plan to boost your metabolism and lose weight. Gear up to get that tight, toned physique you’ve been looking for.
Nothing will heat up and fire up your body quite like a good old-fashioned plank. Place your hands under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Your heels should pull back, your hips aligned with your shoulders, and your abs tucked in. Hold this position for 30 seconds, breathing into your rib cage and exhaling through your mouth to further engage your core.
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Continuing to maintain this plank position, lower your right forearm to the mat, then your left to descend into a forearm plank. Then return to the palm of your right hand and straighten your arm and do the same with your left until you are back in plank. Continue to transition from plank to forearm plank, alternating which arm you started with first and making sure to keep your hips as stable as possible to stabilize your core. Do this exercise for 30 seconds.
I’m a firm believer in finding length and strength, and this move will do just that. To settle in, place your hands under your shoulders, your elbows moving back and brushing the side of your body. You can choose to do them either on top of your thighs (knees bent and feet together) or with your legs straight. Inhale to lower your upper body into a push-up, then exhale to raise yourself back up. Then, return your hips to come into downward dog with your weight evenly distributed between your hands and feet. Come back to the plank for another push-up. Perform 10 push-ups to downward dogs and finish with 4 push-ups and 8 halfway pulses.
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Let’s keep working out those triceps. Sit on your buttocks with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind you with your fingertips facing your glutes. Press your feet on the ground, lift your hips and bring your weight back to your wrists. Now bend your elbows – keeping your hips up and bringing your elbows back – and straighten your arms. Do 8 reps and 8x halfway pulses for 2 rounds.
Now let’s work on those glutes by getting into an inverted table position, just like in an inverted push-up. Except for this time, you’ll start with your butt lifted and your arms straight. Drop your booty an inch above the mat, keeping your arms straight, then lift it up so it’s in line with your knees and squeeze your glutes at the top. Perform 16 reps with a 4-second hold at the top to complete.
This move is my favorite for working all the lower body muscles. Stand with your feet wider than your hips and your toes pointed. Bring your hands to the center of your heart. Lower your hips so they line up with your knees and press your knees back. Hold this for a second, stacking your shoulders over your hips and pulling the crown of your head toward the ceiling. Straighten your legs and squeeze your glutes at the top. Do 8 reps and 8x pulse down for 2 rounds.
To challenge those glutes and thighs even more, let’s add this second wide squat. Get into the same starting position, then as you lower yourself, clap your hands on the floor between your legs. As you begin to rise, explode onto your tiptoes and reach your hands above your head, engaging your whole body. Do 16 reps and 8x pulse down.
This next step in our workout to boost your metabolism and lose weight will light up your heart. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and arms at your sides. Press your arms firmly into the mat as you bring your knees into your chest towards your face, and lift your hips up for a reverse crunch. Make sure to keep your feet close to your buttocks. Then, using your core, lower your hips and feet, and do a sit-up, tapping the floor next to your feet. Go down and continue like this. Do 16 reps and 8 isolated sit-ups to complete.
Everyone has a love/hate relationship with this exercise, but it’s extremely effective for working the whole body and increasing your endurance. Start in a plank position, drop your body to the mat, push up as you step or jump your feet off your hands and lift your hands off the mat. Then, explode by standing or jumping towards the ceiling and clapping your hands above your head. Go back down to repeat. Do 10 reps.
If you’ve been following my workouts, then you know that every workout ends in a plank! Place your forearms parallel on the mat with your shoulders directly over your elbows and your palms down. Bring your heels back, engage your legs and activate your core. Hold the position for 30 seconds, again breathing into your rib cage and exhaling through your mouth. And just like that, you’ve completed this productive workout that will help you boost your metabolism and lose weight, so give yourself a nice pat on the back!
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