Want to lose fat? Reshape your body? Increase your fitness?
Strength training has you covered. Of all the exercises you could do, strength training is one that will be a game changer. Not only does it improve functional fitness, meaning everyday activities become easier, but it has the power to elevate your resting metabolic rate allowing for faster fat burning.
If you think cardio training was the superior choice for fat burning, that just isn’t the case. Weight lifting can get you just as lean quickly.
What’s more is that strength training will also help increase bone density while strengthening your muscles, ensuring you have a long active lifestyle ahead of you.
Curious which strength moves boost your metabolism the most?
Here are the four most important moves to include in your workout program.
The first power-building exercise that’s a must to include in your workout routine is the squat. Squats are great as they’ll hit your hamstrings, quads, as well as your glutes all at once.
Your core muscles will also be contracting at every point in the movement pattern a well to help keep you balanced. With all of these muscle fibers working, your calorie burn is dramatically elevated.
Squats are also excellent for improving your overall power capacity, which can then mean you’ll excel in all the other weight lifting exercises you perform.
The second must-do move for boosting your resting metabolic rate are deadlifts. Just like squats, deadlifts will hit your entire posterior chain, working your hamstrings, glutes, lower back, as well as your traps.
If you want to build a powerful physique, deadlifts will help get you there. Those who regularly include deadlifts as part of their program will also experience excellent back strengthening benefits and may help side-step back pain later on in life.
As far as injury prevention goes, deadlifts performed with proper form are an excellent choice.
The classic upper body strength training move most people use to gauge their strength, the bench press is also superior for boosting your resting metabolic rate.
It’ll hit your chest, shoulder, and even your triceps with each rep you perform, allowing you to see excellent strengthening benefits.
You can perform it using a number of variations including flat bench, incline bench, or decline bench, ensuring you never grow bored with this exercise. Do this near the start of your upper body workout session when you are feeling fresh and can lift a maximum weight load.
Finally, to round out your metabolic boosting exercises turn to barbell rows. This exercise is primarily an upper body exercise, however the muscles in the lower body will still be contracting to keep you balanced.
You’ll hit your traps, rear deltoids, as well as your lat muscles while performing this exercise, giving you a great calorie burning boost with every set that you perform.
If you don’t have a barbell available, you can also do this move with a set of dumbbells as well.
There you have four top metabolic boosting exercises to include as part of your workout program. If you do no other exercises but these four, you’d still be able to develop a strong, powerful, and well-balanced body.
Seeing results with your strength training program isn’t about exercising more, but rather, exercising smarter.
Shannon Clark is a health and fitness freelance writer and regular contributor for SupplementReviews. She specializes in fat loss, muscle building, and health enhancement.
Pratley, R., et al. “Strength training increases resting metabolic rate and norepinephrine levels in healthy 50-to 65-yr-old men.” Journal of Applied Physiology 76.1 (1994): 133-137.
Menkes, A., et al. “Strength training increases regional bone mineral density and bone remodeling in middle-aged and older men.” Journal of Applied Physiology 74.5 (1993): 2478-2484.
Robergs, Robert A., et al. “Energy expenditure during bench press and squat exercises.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 21.1 (2007): 123-130.