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There are certain exercises that are a ‘must do’ if you want to lose weight and build muscle at the same time. They should be able to burn excess calories and feed muscles with raw building materials your supply it with. Sounds confusing . . . build and burn at the same time.

Remember the more muscles you have the more calories you burn.

Let’s look at the best movements for torching and building at the same time . . .

The best exercises for burning calories and building muscles

The key to incorporating calorie torching and muscle-building at the same time is to do exercises that uses more than one group of muscles when doing them.

I mentioned squats in my last post but it bears highlighting again. This is a multi-joint/muscle exercise that targets the quads, glutes (butt), calves and is stability exercise that requires core strength. That’s right. Your ab muscles also come into play when doing squats. Talk about a true multifunction exercise. I would recommend doing them at least once per week. There are variations that can be done more than once each week such as calf raises or hamstring exercises but the squat is the ‘mack-daddy’ of them.

Bench press is the next multi-function movement that’s great for targeting muscle-building and calorie burning. These can be done twice per week. It doesn’t necessarily have to be benching the traditional way with a straight bar and weight bench but can be done with dumbbells or resistance bands. I sometimes exercise my chest with cables at my gym. These also incorporates more than one muscle.

The burpee is a great way to burn and build at the same time. Image result for burpeesAnd no machine or weights needed. This is a total body exercise that you can do at home starting today. It’s good for warming up your body before doing a heavy workout or as a stand-alone exercise to burn calories. It uses several muscle groups including – legs, abs, chest, shoulders and arms. Talk about a multifunction movement. Start slow and build up momentum over time . . . to increase calorie burning.

Ever see those crazy cross-fitters. They are in great shape. One of their ‘go-to’ exercise for looking fit and in such good shape is the dead lift. As the name implies, you are lifting a dead weight off the floor and hoisting it to chest height. There are several ways to do them. The most common way is to lift a bar, with or without weights, off the floor. Shrug (pull) it to chest height and returning it to the floor. An added variation is to press them over your head. This movement involves the glutes (butt), hamstrings, back, shoulders, arms, abs . . . while at the same time causing you to burn excess calories from the exertion. They can also be done using a kettle bell or dumbbells.

Pull-ups can be done at the gym or at home. This is mainly an upper body movement that involves your shoulders, back, arms and abs.  You are expending maximum effort while doing them and they are a good finisher to your workout routines. You can do these at least twice per week. My gym has an assisted pull- up machine that uses progressive weights . . . as you get stronger you increase the weights.

Although these exercises are fine by themselves to burn calories and build muscles, I would still urge you to do an aerobic exercise at least three to four days per week. It can be walking, swimming, cycling, rope skipping or any of the other multitude of cardio exercises to increase your heart rate.

All of the above are to be distinguished from those that are considered isolation exercises where you work on a particular muscle group. These are not focused on weight loss but on building up those muscles for size and definition. They include – bicep curls, triceps pump, calf pumps, sit-ups and etc.

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