The weight loss plateau is the most frustrating thing for anyone who is seriously trying to lose weight. You spend hours at the gym, carefully measure each bite you eat, yet you cannot seem to shake the pounds once you reach a certain level. If this has happened to you, here are some ideas you can use to kick up your weight loss and move past that plateau on to the next level.
Don’t Neglect the Cardio
If you are already successfully losing weight, you are probably already doing your cardio workout faithfully five days a week. This is important, so don’t quit. Cardio will help you burn fat and slim down, but you may need to add another component to it, and that is lifting.
Benefits of Lifting
Lifting weights helps push your muscles to the next level. When used with cardio, lifting helps improve the results, because your muscles will be stronger so your cardio ability will be greater. In other words, it makes your cardio more effective.
Not only that, but lifting can also boost your metabolism. The more muscle tissue you have, them ore fat you will burn throughout the day, even when you aren’t working out.
Finally, lifting can help deal with the bulges that aren’t moving with cardio. By toning that muscle, you can smooth out stubborn pockets of fat.
Creating Your Plan
Before you start lifting, you should get rid of the preconceived notions in your head. You might view lifting as huge weights and massive biceps. It doesn’t have to be this way. All you need is a pair of dumb bells, an exercise ball and a plan to get started.
A Basic Plan
If you are ready to incorporate lifting into your workout plan, here are some basic exercises you can do to tone your legs, hamstrings, back and core, as well as work your arms a bit:
- Dumb bell lunges: Holding a dumb bell in each hand, lunge to your left side by bending your left knee and positioning your weight over that leg, repeat on the right side.
- Dumb bell dips: Place the dumb bell in each hand on the floor near your hips. Bridge your body in a straight line, then bend your elbows so your body dips down to work the triceps.
- Hamstring curl: Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides and your feet elevated on a exercise ball. Pull the ball toward you, squeezing your hamstrings, then push it back without lowering your hips to the floor.
- Stability ball jackknife: Place your hands on the floor and your feet on an exercise ball so you create a “plank.” Bend your knees to roll the ball toward you, then straighten them to roll it back.
- Curls: Place your arms near your hips, then bend at the elbow to curl them to chest level with a dumb bell in each hand.
- Bridge pulse: Put a dumb bell in each hand. Lie on the floor with one foot on the floor and the other pointed out in front of you, lifting your hips off the floor. Lift the foot that is not on the floor straight up in the air while also pressing your arms away from your chest.
- Balance squats: Place one foot on a chair or other support behind you. Bend the knee of the leg that is on the floor until your rear end is parallel with the chair, lifting your hands to the side with a dumb bell in each one.
- Backwards lunge to kick: Holding a dumb bell in each hand, go to a lunge position, then stand up on your supporting foot, kicking your other foot out in front.
Once you have mastered these exercises, create a circuit. Do 10 reps of each, then move to the next, repeating until you have done a total of three sets. Aim to do this three times per week to add strength training to your normal workout.
Remember, strength training should not replace your cardio, but it will help you jump-start your weight loss if it has stalled. So grab a set of weights, blow up an exercise ball and get started today!