I found this great article on The Post Game that claims you can lose weight by doing only two exercises.
I had my doubts when I read this, until I found a line in the article that gave me an “aha!” moment!:
“Running is just one exercise, but no one questions that when it comes to burning fat.”
Oh, so true. And since my fitness plan revolves around finding alternatives to running (running KILLS my knees), I’d love to find something equally fast and effective. The elliptical machine is great when you want to zone out to American Idol, but it doesn’t cut it for intense weight-loss and muscle-building.
Apparently, dumbbell swings and squat thrusts are the only two things you need to do to lose weight. Here’s how they work:
- Hold a dumbbbell behind your back with both hands.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keep a “big” chest (stand upright, with an open chest — take a deep breath).
- Bend just slightly in the knees.
- Make a major bend at the waist — think of it as “getting your tailbone to the back wall”
- Practice doing this a few times — stand up, bend at the waist, repeat. Make sure you bend your knees when you bend at the waist. Make sure your back is flat and your core is engaged.
- Now for the “real” exercise to start: Hold the dumbbell in front of your chest, arms extended.
- Bending slightly at the waist and knees, with your core engaged, “hike” dumbbell between your thighs like a football player.
- Repeat. Swing the dumbbell from your chest to between-your-thighs.
- Keep swinging.
- Keep your glutes engaged, you back straight and your core engaged.
- Make sure you’re not “hiking” the dumbbell too low (by your knees/calves), or you might strain your back.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or wider.
- Squat down.
- Put your hands on the floor.
- Kick backward into a pushup position (also known as “the plank”).
- Jump forward, back to a squatting position.
- Stand up from the squat.
- To make it harder (eek!), actually DO a pushup when you’re in pushup position.
How Many Reps?:
Do 15 reps of the dumbbell swings plus 15 reps of squat thrusts. Then do 14 and 14. Then 13 and 13. 12 and 12. And so on, until you finish one and one. Do it as fast as you can, without breaks, while maintaining great form. Whenever there’s a choice between speed and form, choose form first.
At the end of your round, you will have done 120 reps of each exercise, burned a ton of calories, and built a lot of muscle.