Whip Yourself Into Shape With This Weight Loss Workout

(Image credit: unknwon)

Losing weight is one of the most common goals people have when they embark on a fitness regime. The good news is that if you’ve been inactive for a while you’ll find that at first almost any kind of exercise will help towards that goal.

In time, you may find that weight loss slows even if you keep working out regularly. That’s completely natural – it may well be that you’ve hit a healthy weight and you can just carry on exercising to keep trim. Or, you may have added muscle so even if your weight isn’t dropping you’re still getting fitter and healthier.

However, if you’re in the situation where your weight loss has plateaued but you still want the scales to shift to the left, then give this HIIT workout from Kira Mahal, trainer at personal training company MotivatePT, a whirl.

“Exercises that involve cardio and high-intensity reps are key to losing the stubborn weight that never seems to go away,” says Mahal. “All these exercises can be performed at home without any weights or machines, and it takes less than an hour to complete.”


High knees

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

“High knees combine the running motion and jumping knee lifts, and are a great way to increase your heart rate,” says Mahal.

Burpees with high jump

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

From standing, drop down, place your hands on the floor and kick your legs out behind you to get into the top press-up position. Then jump your feet back up to your hands and jump straight up as high as possible.

“Adding a high jump dramatically increases the heart rate and will get you sweating,” says Mahal.

Sprints (or running on the spot)

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

“This is so simple but it works wonders for weight loss,” says Mahal. “It will have you feeling breathless by the end.”

After the warm-up take a one-minute break before going on to the workout.


Jump lunge

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

“These are a lot more intense than regular lunges,” says Mahal. “Perform a normal lunge but instead of stepping forwards, jump straight up and adopt the lunge position,landing softly.”

Jump squat

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

From standing, bend at the knees and push your hips back to lower your torso, keeping your chest up throughout. Once your knees are bent at a 90° angle, explode up off the ground, jumping as high as possible. Land softly and immediately go into another squat.

“Incorporating jumps into the exercise will make the heart rate rocket,” says Mahal.

Mountain climber

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

“This exercise can be performed with resistance bands or just your bodyweight. Either will burn a high amount of calories,” says Mahal. “The quick leg motion targets the obliques, glutes and hamstrings.”

For the standard mountain climber get into a top press-up position and alternate bringing each knee towards your chest as quickly as possible. To use a resistance band with the exercise get a small band and loop it round the middle of each foot to create some tension to work against.

Clap press-up

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

Press-ups are a great exercise to have in your workout full stop, but if you can push into the air and clap your hands before landing with each rep, you’ll reap even greater benefits. Of course, there’s no benefit if you do them with poor form so start with what you can manage, resting on your knees if necessary, and build up from there.

Take another one-minute break at this point, then head on to the core section of the workout.

Core Exercises

Leg raise

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

“Lie on the floor with your legs stretched out,” says Mahal. “Then raise both legs, trying to keep them together and as straight as possible. You can place your hands under your butt for more support.”

Walking plank

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

“Start in a top press-up position with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart,” says Mahal. “Bend your left forearm down to the mat and then your right forearm. Raise yourself back up starting with your left arm, then your right arm. Alternate the side you start with.”

Bicycle crunch

Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec

“Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head with your legs stretched out,” says Mahal. “Raise your left knee to your right elbow and then your right knee to your left elbow.” Repeat at pace.

After another one-minute break it’s time to move on to the warm-down.


You can do a ten-minute jog if you have the time and the inclination, then move on to the following stretches.

Standing hamstring stretch

“Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and arms by your sides,” says Mahal. "Exhale and bend forwards at the hips, lowering your head. Make sure to keep your head, shoulders and neck relaxed. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.”

Lunge with spinal twist

“From a standing position with your feet together, take a big step forwards with your left foot and bend the knee to drop into a lunge while keeping your right leg straight and placing your right hand on the floor,” says Mahal. “Twist your upper body to the left and extend your left arm towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.”

Figure four stretch

“Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, “says Mahal. “Raise your left foot and rest it on your right quad. Hold your right leg just below the back of your knee, lift your leg and gently pull towards your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, then perform on the other leg.”

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.