The Top Five Cutting Edge Exercises to Lose Weight

The Top Five Cutting Edge Exercises to Lose Weight

Combining an effective weight training routine with cardiovascular exercise is a surefire way to get the most out of your work-out time. It can also jump-start your metabolism for losing weight. Circuit training that combines compound exercises -- those that work multiple muscle groups -- with 10 to 15 minutes of cardio before and after will build muscle while speeding up your calorie burn. According to Harvard Health Publications, a 125-pound person will burn 240 calories in 30 minutes of general circuit training, while a 185-pound person will burn 355 calories, not including the increased metabolic after-effects.

Metabolism Boost
Start your circuit -- and end it -- with a 10 to 15-minute stint on either the elliptical or treadmill at moderate intensity. You can perform the “Talk Test” to ensure you are working at an adequate level. While exercising at moderate intensity, you should be able to carry out a conversation -- without gasping for air -- but be unable to sing. Each circuit requires that resistance exercises be performed three times -- back to back -- with a two-minute rest in between circuits. Do 12 repetitions of each exercise using a weight that causes your muscles to burn on the last rep.

Lower Body
Squats are ideal for training the lower body, specifically the thighs and gluteal region. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight. Lower yourself as if sitting in a chair until the top of your thigh is parallel to the ground, then raise yourself back up. Ensure that during the exercise your eyes stay focused in front of you -- not looking at the ground -- to help keep your back straight.

Upper Body
For training the chest, triceps and shoulders, the incline bench press is your ticket. Lie on a bench inclined at 45 degrees with your upper arms parallel to the ground and your elbows bent so that you're holding a pair of dumbbells above your shoulders. Press the dumbbells into the air at a slow and controllable pace, then lower them back down.

The front lat pull-down is an effective exercise for training the upper back and biceps. Position your legs securely under the crash bar and place your hands on the pull-down bar shoulder-width apart. Pull the bar down to touch your chest using a controlled pace, then return to the original position.

Finishing Up
For training the abdominals and obliques, the stability ball crunch is ideal. Lie down so your pelvis and lower back are resting on the ball. Place the index and middle finger of both hands on your temples, then use your abs to lift. To maintain proper form, focus on bringing your nose toward the ceiling. Hold this position at the top for two seconds before performing your other reps. You can use a medicine ball to increase the resistance by holding it in both hands, straight above your shoulders.