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The 17 Most Effective Fat Loss Moves - No Equipment Required

By Christopher Gaddour
Posted on 17 Oct, 2018

The 17 Most Effective Fat Loss Moves - No Equipment Required
The concept of lifting weights one day and doing cardio and abs the next is outdated. The current standard in fitness is metabolic training which harnesses the power of high-intensity intervals and total-body resistance drills, torching calories both during and after your workout. Metabolic training fuses whole body strength, cardio, power, endurance, and mobility work all into one, providing the modern, over-scheduled trainee with the ability to burn fat, build muscle, and boost metabolism in 30 minutes or less. These 16 awesome afterburners deliver everything you need for total fitness.

How to Do This Workout
Perform these exercises for 30 seconds at a time to begin with, and gradually build up to 60 seconds by adding 5 to 10 second increments as your metabolic conditioning improves. To burn the most blubber, keep your heart rate cranked up, and torch the most calories, keep your rest periods to 30 seconds or less between movements. Finally, you’ll get your best results by alternating between sets of “non-competitive” moves – i.e. switching between exercises that work your upper body and lower body, or front and backside. Doing so will minimize fatigue and help you keep up the intensity throughout the workout.


1. Ground Zero Jump
WHY IT WORKS: The ground zero jump is a lower-impact alternative to traditional jumping activities. The move works your whole body, especially your backside, crushing calories like few moves can while sparing your joints. The jumps target fast-twitch muscle fibers, which have the biggest impact on your metabolism, athleticism, and heart rate. And they strengthen your hips and core more than traditional cardio exercises like running on the treadmill or gliding along on the elliptical.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead, and knees “soft” and slightly flexed. This is the starting position. Hinge back at your hips with a flat back and reach your arms back behind you like a downhill skier without squatting downward. Explosively push your hips forward to come to a full stand while swinging your arms to chest level. Return to the starting position, and repeat. To make the move easier, perform the motion at a slow, more controlled pace. Or for an extra challenge, extend your arms overhead at the top, coming on to your toes. You can increase the speed of the movement, and even go slightly airborne if you really want to kick it up a notch.


2. Predator Jacks
WHY IT WORKS: If you’ve ever seen the movie “Predator” or the celebration dance of Green Bay Packers’ sack-master Clay Mathews, then you’ve seen this mighty metabolic mobility move. In a minute or less, it fires up the nerve pathways that link your mind and muscles, and mobilizes tight areas in your ankles, hips, and upper back –making this quite possibly the world’s quickest warm-up.

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet together and hold both arms straight in front of you, palms together. Jump your feet apart, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat while pulling your arms apart and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Your arms should be in line with or slightly behind your shoulders. Shift your weight over your right leg, and then your left leg, before returning it back to center and standing back up into the starting position. Gradually increase your speed and range of motion throughout the set.

3. Skater Jumps
WHY IT WORKS: If you want to work your lungs and legs in a hurry, you can’t go wrong with skater jump. This dynamic move heats up your hips and heart without causing as much stress to your knees as other jumping drills. The movement mimics speed skating on dry land, training your hips in the often-neglected side-to-side plane of motion, which helps reduce the risk of ACL tears when training or playing sports.

HOW TO DO IT: Start with your weight on your right leg with your knee bent. Your left knee will also be bent, so that your foot is held slightly off the ground. Push off your right leg and jump to your left, landing softly and holding that position for a one-count, keeping your hips back and down throughout. Reverse the movement and repeat for 30-60 seconds, gradually increasing your speed and range of motion. Imagine you are in a tiny house with a low ceiling throughout the exercise, keeping your head and hips down to protect your knees.


4. Blast-Off Push-Ups
WHY IT WORKS: This is probably the best push-up you’ve never done. It will fry fat all over your body. The move works your entire lower body by mimicking the action of a sprinter’s start or a lineman’s push off the line of scrimmage. Blast-off push-ups teach you how to explosively move at your hips without moving at your lower back for unreal core stability. Added bonus: The upper-body pushing and pulling will help sculpt a set of superhero shoulders from every angle while sending your heart rate through the roof.

HOW TO DO IT: Assume a push-up position with your hands underneath your shoulders, palms loaded, abs and glutes tight, and a straight line from your head through your heels. Push your hips back without moving at your lower back until your knees flex to about 90 degrees and your head trails behind your hands. Pause for a count, then explosively extend through your knees, ankles and hips while also pulling with your upper back as you lower into the bottom of a push-up. Keep your elbows tucked tight into your sides to protect your shoulders. Skip the push-up and just maintain a hold if you need it to be easier, or add difficulty by performing the movement with your feet closer together.


5. In-and-Out Squats
WHY IT WORKS: In-and-out squats will put you on the fast track to leaner, more toned legs. The exercise trains your thigh muscles to isometrically stabilize your knees with a dynamic side-to-side movement with your feet. It also recruits your body’s biggest and strongest muscles, which causes a metabolic disturbance significant enough that you’ll be burning calories even after you stop doing it. These squats are also a lower-impact alternative to traditional up-and-down squat jumps for those individuals who suffer from knee pain.

HOW TO DO IT: Bend your knees, ankles and hips, keeping your feet close together. Jump your feet outwards, landing softly and sticking it for a count, without letting your hips rise. Return to the starting position. Keep your head and hips down throughout the movement as you repeat for 30 to 60 seconds.

6. Low Box Runners
WHY IT WORKS: Low Box Runners dissipate some of the landing forces associated with plyometric exercises while still allowing you to crank up the cardio and calorie-burn. Translation: All of the weight-loss benefits without sore or achy joints. By moving your feet and arms quickly, you’ll boost the bounciness and elasticity of your muscles and minimize the loss of power that comes with aging. Combine this move with Low Box Burpees (the next move in this list) to add total body strengthening to this rapid fat loss cardio move.

HOW TO DO IT: Place your left foot onto a stable low box or step (even a sturdy phone book will work). Hold your right arm forward to resemble the opposite arm-leg action of running. Quickly switch your hands and feet front to back and repeat for 30-60 seconds. Stay on the balls of your feet throughout the movement, keeping your feet soft and slightly flexed. Perform the move at a slower, more controlled tempo focusing on nice, clean exchanges of your hands and feet, gradually increasing your speed over time.


7. Low Box Burpee
WHY IT WORKS: The burpee might be the best exercise on the planet, because moving from a standing to a push-up position and back involves your whole body –and blowtorches belly fat. That being said, it may also be the most-frequently botched exercise, because most people do it the movement too quickly while rounding their backs and driving the knees forward. To avoid this, first use a wide sumo stance to better allow yourself to load your heels and work your powerful, metabolically-active glute muscles. This position also takes pressure off of your knees. Use a low box or step (aerobic steps with adjustable risers are ideal) that allows you to drop your hips and place your hands on the box without flexing your lower back.

HOW TO DO IT: Assume a wide sumo stance with your feet farther than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly. Drop your weight into your heels and lower your hips until your palms reach the box or step without having to round your lower back. With your palms in place, jump your feet back into a push-up position, being sure to squeeze your glutes. Reverse the movement and repeat for 30-60 seconds. Add height to the box if the movement is too difficult.


8. Bucking Hop
WHY IT WORKS: The bucking hop is a total body exercise that challenges your shoulders and core to the max. Because the motion trains hand-balancing, it bulletproofs your shoulders and adds slabs of muscle to your upper body. These hops also teach your core muscles how to stabilize your spine during ballistic and multi-directional movement of your lower body. If you’re training for a mud run or other extreme race that requires you to climb over and under obstacles, master this move.

HOW TO DO IT: Assume a push-up position with your elbows soft and slightly flexed and your knees bent at 90-degree angles. Begin by hopping your feet up and down while landing softly and creating buoyancy in your hands and feet. Then hop your feet to the left, then back to the middle, then to the right, and back to the middle again - all while keeping your palms firmly planted into the floor and your hips and shoulders square throughout the movement. Don’t rush yourself on this one –it’s okay to make very small hops at first. Over time you’ll increase your height. Advanced practitioners will nearly assume a handstand push-up position.


9. Isometric Towel Rows
WHY IT WORKS: Your upper back is home to the most metabolically-active, calorie-burning muscle tissue in your upper body. However, it can be tough to target this area if don’t have access to equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands or a pull-up bar. The good news: You can use a beach towel to create resistance. The motion improves posture, promotes healthier shoulders, a more balanced upper body, and helps sculpt a V-taper that will turn heads in the office or at the beach.

HOW TO DO IT: Assume a split stance with your left leg forward and your right leg back. Place your left foot onto one end of a beach towel and grab the other end of the towel in your right hand. Start the movement by driving through your left heel and pulling the towel with your right hand as hard as you can without holding your breath. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds, then switch sides and repeat. If you can’t maintain the hold continuously, break it up into shorter 5- to 10-second bursts with brief 1- or 2-second rest periods in between, gradually building up the necessary strength and endurance to hold for the full time.


10. Power Step-Ups
WHY IT WORKS: Power Step-Ups are a lower-impact version of lunge/split jumps that are easier on the knees. The movement trains both knee and hip extension, which is critical to proper running mechanics and overall athletic performance. The glutes are the most metabolically-active, calorie-burning tissues in your body –so the more junk you’ve got in your trunk, the less fat you’ll have everywhere else.

HOW TO DO IT: Place your right foot onto a stable box, bench or step with your knee and ankle aligned, heel loaded and shin vertical. Drive through your right heel and swing your arms overhead as you switch your legs mid-air, landing softly on the other side. Perform for 30-60 seconds at a time.


11. Frog Push-Ups
WHY IT WORKS: Frogs have crazy powerful legs from their hops, and this modified dynamic pushup can help you be like them. The movement strengthens your core while working the entire frontside of your body. The squat opens up your hips, ankles and upper back while firing up your thighs.

HOW TO DO IT: Start in a push-up position with your palms loaded, hands underneath the shoulders. Keep your abs and glutes tight so there is a straight line from your head through your heels. Jump your feet outside your hands and drop into a deep squat position, pushing your knees out and keeping your feels flat on the floor while prying your chest open with your hands. Return to the starting position and repeat. For an added challenge, try moving both forward and backwards.
12. Bear Crawl
WHY IT WORKS: As they say, you must learn how to crawl before you can learn how to walk. And sometimes the best moves to burn fat are the ones we haven’t done in a while, like crawling. The benefits of this primal movement include being a foundational locomotion pattern that works your whole body (with a specific emphasis on your shoulders and core), and building your quads more than a regular straight-legged push-up position.

HOW TO DO IT: Assume a bent-knee push-up position with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees bent at 90-degree angles, feet underneath hips. Move your left hand and your right foot forward so that your opposite hand and foot are moving together. Switch sides and repeat for 30-60 seconds at a time. Start with smaller, slower steps, and gradually increase the speed and distance traveled per step over time.


13. Crab Walk
WHY IT WORKS: Consider the crab walk the opposite of the bear crawl. Where the bear crawl hits the entire front of your body, the crab walk attacks the whole backside. The motion mobilizes your hips and shoulders – especially important areas to work with all of the typing and texting we do all day. Crab walks also build your glutes and hamstrings, areas of your body that most people need to develop more. And they target your triceps, the muscles that account for two-thirds of the mass in your upper arms. Here’s your ticket to “the gun show.“

HOW TO DO IT: Assume a a seated position with your palms loaded, hands underneath your shoulders, and knees bent at 90-degree angles with your feet underneath your hips. Raise your hips so your butt hovers above the Ground, then move your right hand and left foot forward. Continue this opposite-hand, opposite-food contralateral pattern as you crawl for 30 to 60 seconds. Start with small, slow steps and gradually increase speed. You can add difficulty by traveling backwards or side-to-side.


14. Monkey Lunge
WHY IT WORKS: Monkey lunges are an amazing way to open up your inner thighs and hips. If you’ve ever suffered from groin pulls or tightness then this move is exactly what the doctor ordered. This exercise mobilizes your hips in a side-to-side frontal plane of motion, hitting your outer hip and glute muscles more than other forward lunging and crawling exercises. Your shoulders will feel pretty smoked, too.

HOW TO DO IT: Step to your left and lower your body into a lateral lunge, placing both hands on the floor. Without moving your feet, lift your hands and hips slightly and shift your weight over your right foot, so you end up in a right lateral lunge. Alternate back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds. To really kick up the burn, turn this movement into a monkey shuffle run by simultaneously loading your hands, lifting your hips and shuffling your feet side-to-side between right and left lunge positions.
15. Kick Through
WHY IT WORKS: Many people consider the Turkish Get-up, where you move from lying on your back to a full standing position and back, to be the ultimate total body exercise. But that motion can be tough and technical movement to perform, especially in a state of fatigue. Enter my favorite metabolic version of a get-up: Kick-Throughs. This movement will make you feel like you’re break-dancing the fat off of your belly. Along the way, you’ll improve shoulder strength and stability, and also get a great burn through your hips, obliques and abs.

HOW TO DO IT: Start in a bent-knee push-up position with your palms underneath your shoulders and knees bent at 90-degree angles, feet underneath your hips. Kick your right leg underneath as you roll onto your right hand to assume a 1-arm,1-leg hip bridge position. Hold for a one-count, then reverse the movement and repeat on the other side. Move at a slower, more-controlled pace if it’s difficult, or even try a modified version called “sit-throughs,” where you sit on the outside of your hip as you move to each side. Or to ramp up the intensity, perform the isometric holds for 3 to 5 seconds, rather than a one-count.


16. Squat Walk
WHY IT WORKS: Walking squats and lunges elevate your heart rate more than traditional squats or lunges alone, resulting in more cardio conditioning and greater calorie-burning per training session. Squat walks hammer your quads but also teach you how to shift your weight properly from hip to hip when in a staggered stance.

HOW TO DO IT: Assume a staggered squat position with your right leg forward (heel flat) and your left leg staggered behind on its toes, so that the front of your foot is aligned with your right heel. Push your hips back and down as far as you can while staying upright throughout the movement. Walk forwards taking short, choppy steps for 30 to 60 seconds.


17. Lunge Walk
WHY IT WORKS: Lunge walks deliver the same benefits as squat walks while also teaching you how to decelerate and absorb single-foot landings. The movement will boost running performance and reduce the risk of overtraining injuries like runner’s knee.

HOW TO DO IT: Perform using the same movement as the squat walk, but from a deeper squat, moving forward and backwards with larger steps to make the movement a full lunge.

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