8 Top Fat-Burning, Body-Shaping Exercises

To get the lean body you want and need, you must do regular full body strength training and burn fat on your total body.

Always maximize your workout time by doing exercises that burn the most fat in the shortest time period. This will also lessen the risk of boredom, over-training and injuries. Workouts lasting 2-3 hours are outdated and who has that kind of time to waste!

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You should strength train your muscles with all contraction types (eccentric, isometric, concentric). All muscles function eccentrically (reduces force or deceleration), isometrically (stabilizes force) and concentrically (produces force).

And, you should train your body in all three planes of motion to give your body its 3-D shape and prevent injuries.

Short, interval cardio sessions, like sprint intervals, will also burn max fat and help lean out your body. Do interval training 2-3 days a week (you can also use bodyweight strength exercises to do intervals). Either way, you won't get bored with this type of cardio.

Having said that, here are 8 top exercises that will help you burn fat and sculpt your lean body:

1. Squats - Squats require stablization in the body's core muscles in general. The other benefits of squats (strengthens quads, gluteals, hamstrings,etc.) are well known.

See:  How Squats Build Muscle, Burn Fat and Boosts Metabolism

There is no other exercise that has a greater impact on your body's muscle-building, metabolism and energy expenditure.

Research shows that the abdominal muscles are engaged more when doing squats than they are doing many of the more popular ab exercises. So, the next time you do squats, brace your torso (like getting ready to take a punch) and work on those abs too.

Squat variations: bodyweight, Bulgarian (pictured below), overhead barbell, dumbbell, front, lateral and split---do them all. Bonus: do squat jumps regularly.

Courtesy: www.woldfitness.com

2. Deadhang Pullups. The pullup is not just a back muscle exercise. Deadhang pullups are even tougher. Pullups work your lats (and other back muscles), core, shoulders, arms, chest, biceps and improve grip strength. Its one of the best exercises out there.

How to do the exercise:

a. Hang (arms extended) from a pullup bar with your palms facing away from your body, your arms straight and your feet crossed together with legs bent about 90 degrees. Pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar.

b. A wider grip (greater than shoulder width) will work your lats more. A closer grip (shoulder width or less) will work your middle back muscles more. If you lack grip strength, you can use straps to help.

c. Use proper technique:

Don't jut your chin out (it strains your cervical spine).

Don't swing. It makes the pullup easier by using momentum. You need to pullup, not swing up.

Don't let your chest collapse because that puts too much stress on your shoulders.

Don't arch your lower back too much. You want your abdominal muscles to be engaged when you do the pullup. Keep your torso braced (as if taking a punch to the gut) during the pullup.

When you start the pullup, drive your shoulder blades down and squeeze them together. This will engage your shoulder stabilizers more.

Don't be afraid of the deadhang pullup exercise.

3. Romanian Dumbbell Deadlift. This full body exercise especially targets your core, overall lower body, hamstrings and glutes.


Start with your feet about shoulder width apart, a slight bend in your knees and hold two dumbbells with an overhand grip (in front of your thighs).

Bend forward at the hips and push your glutes back (as if sitting in a chair) while keeping the arch in your lower back.

Keep the dumbbells close to your thighs and shins until the dumbbells come to about mid-shin (you will feel the stretch in your hamstrings).

Keeping the dumbbells close to your shins and thighs, extend your hips and contract your glutes as you return to the start position. That's one repetition.

4. Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press - This is one of the best exercises to work your arms, shoulders and entire core area (just brace during execution).

5. Bentover Dumbbell Rows - If you're trying to build up back muscles and burn back fat, bentover dumbbells rows should be in your routine. Rows allow you to work your lats using heavier weights. Your lower back will be worked more if you row with both arms at the same time. Your obliques will also get quite a workout.

If you experience back pain doing two-armed rows, then try doing one-armed rows so you can support your body with the other arm.

Do two-armed bentover dumbbell rows this way:

With your feet about shoulder width apart, bend over and grab the dumbbells. Keep your back straight (don't bow or arch back) and keep your head in line with your torso. Look straight down during the exercise.

Pull dumbbells up to your side until they make contact with your ribs. Keep your elbows close to your side during the exercise. As you pull the dumbbells up, squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Don't curl the dumbbells as you lift. Curling will allow too much use of your biceps. This is primarily a back exercise. Return the dumbbells until your arms are fully extended. That is one repetition.

6. Ball Plank - You need to do isometric core exercises. This is a surprise to many people. Isometric core exercises build up the deep stabilizing muscles and give tone to your entire core area. Isometric exercises help you build strength and burn fat without moving much.

Isometric contractions can be described as a type of muscle contraction where your muscles develop tension without changing length. For example, pushing against a wall and holding for 30 seconds causes an isometric contraction.

Isometric exercises cause most if not all of your muscles to work during an exercise. To do the ball plank (pictured above), you get into position and hold for a period of time (like 20 seconds). So, many core exercises are great isometric exercises.

7. Cross-Body Mountain Climbers - This exercise will build strength and help tone your "six pack" and obliques. Cross body mountain climbers also work the calves, quadriceps, glutes, back, chest, triceps and shoulders. You will need high levels of core strength to do this exercise the right way for each set.

--Start by getting in the push up position with your arms fully extended. Keep your hips and torso in a straight line. Don't let your hips sag and don't point your butt in the air during this exercise.

--Do the exercise by moving your left knee straight up and across your body to the right armpit area (keep your abs braced). Also, don't let your foot touch the ground as you do the movement. Move your left leg back to the starting position and repeat with your right leg. Alternate your leg movements until you have completed all repetitions.

8. Medicine Ball Throws - These exercises are great full body movement exercises that can be done at full speed. This helps you burn fat and activates your shapely fast twitch muscle fibers. Some good exercises are:

  • Soccer throw (pictured above)
  • 2-Handed Chest Pass
  • Rotational Throw
  • Slams
  • Squat and Scoop Throw

Get busy burning fat with the program below:

Be sure and download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workout Book below and start shaping your body faster! There are 3 levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. You will also get fat-burning menus!


About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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