Want to lose a few of those last stubborn pounds, tone up and get a little leaner?  But stuck for what exercises will kick start your metabolism and get your body burning fat? Well our resident fitness instructor Melanie Tuckwell tells us how.

Top five fat burning exercises 

Mel says: The answer is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). During HIIT blocks you will raise your heart rate to maximum level for short bursts followed by small rest periods using exercises that engage multiple large muscle groups.

So below are her Top five fat burning exercises for dynamic fat burning and toning!


Repeat these for 45 seconds with a 15 second rest once through, have a one minute break and then repeat.  We promise you will see results in no time.

1 Burpees

Love them or hate them this all over body strengthening move tones your core, upper body and legs all at once. They are hard but the results are impressive.

How to do it – Standing upright, squat down and place your hands on the floor, kick back both legs together out and in and bring yourself back up to standing position. Repeat. Form is really important in burpees. Make sure you get your legs out nice and straight and keep your bottom down and work those abs.

2 Jumping Lunges

Lunges are a fantastic thigh toning exercise.   Add to a lunge an additional arm movement like a bicep curl and you are working two muscle groups.  Then add a dynamic element like a pulse of three in each static lunge, a jump to change the lunge lead leg (not for the faint hearted) or even a kick inbetween lunges once you have pushed up to standing and the move turns into an incredible calorie burner.

How to do it – Take a big step forward, split stance with an upright posture.  pulse for a count of three bending both knees, bring your back leg forward into a front kick and return back behind you.  Remember to change your legs over so you do half the time kicking with both legs.

3 Squats jumps

Do this exercise for a minute or two straight and you wont have any doubts about how challenging it is. Add movement to a static squat, jumping forward and back and/or from side to side ensuring the thighs are working hard and bottom is down and out. This plyometric is also great for building explosive speed.

How to do it – Stand with feet hip distance apart.  Squat down and then jump forward and back, really bending your knees into the movement.  Land softly with knees bent to withstand the impact. Use your arms to support the movement and to move both muscle groups.

5 Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers can feel like a punishment, but they truly are one of the best overall toning and fat burning moves out there that don’t require a bit of equipment.

How to do it – position yourself on your hands and knees with hands out just wider than shoulder width apart.  Take both feet out behind you so you are in a long plank position.  Slowly bring one knee into the opposite elbow, breathing out as you do so.  Return the foot to the plank position and repeat on the other side.  Ensure you keep the bottom down to ensure you work your abs.

6 Jumping Jacks

This simple at home cardio essential (otherwise known as star jumps) is an excellent way to get your heart rate up quickly. Add it in between strength training sets to keep your caloric burn high.

How to do it – Start with arms down by the side and feet together.  Jump arms and legs out together, taking arms up straight above your head so your fingers touch.  Return to starting position and immediately repeat. You can play with speed in this exercise to enhance the calorie burn.

So get off the sofa, and start feeling the burn!

Melanie Tuckwell specialises in women’s health and fitness.
Follow Mel on Twitter @MelanieTuckwell or visit her pre and post natal website mumamojo.co.uk.

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