Burn Fat At Home With This Bodyweight Workout
This six-move circuit is suitable for all levels – the faster you go, the better the burn
To burn fat at home you only need two things: your body and your brain. Your body to act as a weight for resistance training, and your brain to plan and execute a healthy diet. In fact your brain will have to do the lion’s share of the work because when you’re burning fat, most of the hard work is done in the kitchen.
If you can keep on top of your diet and consume fewer calories than you require over a day – known as being in a calorie deficit – then exercise will be the cherry on top.
Resistance training, even using just your bodyweight, will strengthen your muscles, joints and bones, improve your posture and make you feel great. When performed as part of a high-intensity interval-training (HIIT) circuit it can also help burn as many calories as you would on a long run, in a fraction of the time.
This simple but challenging HIIT circuit, devised by trainer Ila Divina (opens in new tab), will help deliver all those benefits and shift your body into an elevated fat-burning mode for several hours after you finish.
For more ways to get fit at home, browse our collection of home workouts, or if you have free weights to hand (or are happy to shop our selection of the best kettlebells, best dumbbells or best barbells) work your way through these fat-loss workouts.
This six-move fat-burning workout is made up of two circuits. The first focuses on gradually raising your heart rate and activating the deep-lying core muscles, which need to be primed for what comes next.
The second section is made up of one upper-body, one lower-body and one core exercise. The goal is to complete five rounds at the target number of reps as quickly as possible, while maintaining good form.
The faster you get through the five rounds, the better the fat-burning effect and the more calories you’ll continue to burn over the rest of the day. Time how long it takes you to complete, then try to beat your score next time.
Perform the dead bug for one set, then the side plank on both sides, then the high plank jack, and finally return to the first move. Complete three rounds, then move on.
1A Dead bug
Time 30sec Rest 10sec
Lie on your back with your arms pointing straight up. Lift your legs and bend your knees to 90° so your lower legs are parallel with the floor. Press your lower back into the floor to engage your deep-lying core muscles. Keeping your lower back pressed down throughout, lower one leg and the opposite arm until they’re just off the floor. Return to the start then repeat on the other side.
2 Side plank
Time 30sec each side Rest 10sec
Lie on your side with your feet stacked one on top of the other and your weight supported on your forearm, with your elbow under your shoulder. Raise your hips and squeeze your core and glutes to hold your body in position for the full 30 seconds. Swap sides and repeat.
3 Plank jack
Time 30sec Rest 10sec
Adopt a plank position with your weight on your toes and forearms, and hips raised to engage your core. From this start position, jump your feet out wide and then back again, and repeat for 30 seconds, making sure you don’t let your hips drop.
Perform 10 hand-release press-ups, then 12 reset jumping lunges, then 14 alternating V-sits to complete one round. Rest as needed, but as little as possible. Complete a total of five rounds as fast as you can.
1 Hand-release press-up
In the top of a press-up position – arms extended, hands directly under shoulders, with your body in a straight line from shoulders to heels – take a deep breath to brace your core and glutes. Lower your chest to the floor, lift your hands off the floor briefly, then put them back down and exhale as you drive back up to the start.
“This progression from a standard press-up requires extra power with each rep,” says Divina. “If this is too challenging, perform it on your knees. Just make sure you keep your hips high as you drive up, to protect your lower back.”
2 Reset jump lunge
Reps 6 each side
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Jump and land in a split stance with one foot forwards and the other back, still shoulder-width apart. As you land, bend your knees to bring your back knee just off the floor, then jump back up to reset your feet in the middle. Then repeat the move to land with your other foot forwards.
“Standard jump lunge technique tends to fall apart as you fatigue,” says Divina, “so resetting in the middle will help you complete all reps with good form.”
3 Alternating V-sit
Reps 7 each side
Lie on your back with your arms extended behind your head and legs straight. Flatten your lower back on the floor to activate your abdominal muscles. Inhale and then, as you exhale, sit up to bring your right hand to meet your left foot above you. Then return to the start and repeat with your left hand and right foot.
“Keep your legs as straight as your hamstrings will permit,” says Divina. “Think about using power to drive up, then lower to the start with control. Take one second to move up and two seconds to lower.”
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Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix (opens in new tab). Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.