We Asked Experts What the Best Exercises For Fat-Burning Are — Here's What They Said
We'd be lying if we said there was one ultimate exercise that would help you burn fat and build muscle. But after speaking to two experts for tips on burning fat and building muscle, two words kept coming up: compound exercises. Compound exercises are multi-joint movements like squats and deadlifts that work groups of large muscle. Because they elicit a greater energy expenditure compared to smaller, isolated movements like the bicep curl, your body will burn more calories and fat.
Nutrition is also important in order to change your body composition, but when it comes to exercise specifically, Pratik Patel, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, director of performance nutrition and assistant strength and conditioning coach for the New York Giants, told POPSUGAR to do "movements that recruit more groups of large muscle mass," aka compound exercises, to get a greater burn.
Rondel King, MS, CSCS, an exercise physiologist at NYU Langone's Sports Performance Center, told POPSUGAR that in order to build more muscle, you must first make sure your workouts focus on muscle hypertrophy (maximal muscle growth). Here is the hypertrophy format checklist: your rep and set scheme should be between three and five sets of 12 and 15 reps for every exercise in your program. According to Rondel, "You can also do heavy lifting . . . like compound lifts, [such as] squats and deadlifts, where you can do a little more weight" to burn fat and build muscle.
Now that you know why compound exercises are integral to lowering your body fat percentage and increasing your muscle mass, here's a list of exercises you can create a workout from. Be sure not to do them all at once — you'll be extremely sore and in the gym all day. If you aren't sure how to create your own workout, here's a strength-training workout to get you started.