“I want to lose weight, but my metabolism has slowed down.” As a trainer, I hear this so often. First, let’s break it down. Your metabolism is what your body goes through to turn food into energy. Basically, it’s the amount of calories your body needs to do essential functions (breathing and restoring cells), process food (digestion and absorbing nutrients), and perform physical activity according to Mayo Clinic. However, the factors that affect your metabolism are much more complicated than just calories in and calories out, and according to a study published in Science, your metabolism actually doesn’t start to decline until age 60. The good news? You can absolutely use exercise, specifically cardiovascular and strength training workouts, to improve it. This is why we’ve put together the ultimate exercise plan to boost your metabolism and lose weight. Gear up to get that tight, toned physique you’ve been looking for.
Nothing will warm and fire up your body like a good old fashion plank. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and your feet hip-width distance. Your heels should be driving back, your hips in line with your shoulders, and your abdominals pulling in. Hold this position for 30 seconds, breathing into your rib cage and exhaling out of your mouth to further engage your core.
Related: The #1 Strength Workout To Regain Muscle Mass as You Age, Trainer Says
Continuing to hold that plank position, lower your right forearm down to the mat and then your left to come down into a forearm plank. Then come back onto the palm of your right hand and straighten your arm and do the same with your left until you’re back in a plank. Continue going from plank to forearm plank, alternating the arm you start with first and making sure to keep your hips as steady as possible to stabilize your core. Do this exercise for 30 seconds.
I’m a firm believer in finding length and strength, and this move will do exactly that. To set yourself up, place your hands underneath your shoulders with your elbows driving back and grazing the side of your body. You can choose to do them either on the tops of your thighs (knees bent and feet together) or with straight legs. Inhale to lower your upper body down into a push-up, and then exhale to press yourself back up. Then, send your hips back to come into a downward dog with your weight equally distributed in your hands and feet. Come back into a plank for another push-up. Complete 10 push-ups to downward dogs, and finish with 4 push-ups and 8 pulses at the halfway point.
Related: The #1 Floor Workout To Lose Belly Fat and Slow Down Aging, Says Trainer
Let’s continue to exhaust those triceps. Sit on your butt with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Put your hands behind you with your fingertips facing your glutes. Pressing your feet into the floor, lift your hips up, and roll back your weight over your wrists. Now, bend your elbows—keeping your hips up and driving your elbows back—and re-straighten your arms. Do 8 reps and 8x pulses at the halfway point for 2 rounds.
Now, let’s work on those glutes by coming into a reverse tabletop position just like in a reverse push-up. Except for this time, you will start with your butt lifted and your arms straight. Drop your booty down one inch above the mat—keeping your arms straight—then lift it back up so it’s in line with your knees, and squeeze your glutes at the top. Perform 16 reps with a 4-second hold at the top to finish.
This move is my favorite to work every muscle in your lower body. Stand with your feet wider than your hips and your toes pointed out. Bring your hands to your heart’s center. Lower your hips so they’re in line with your knees, and press your knees back. Hold this for just a second, stacking your shoulders over your hips and pulling the crown of your head towards the ceiling. Straighten your legs back up, and squeeze your glutes at the top. Do 8 reps and 8x pulses at the bottom for 2 rounds.
To challenge those glutes and thighs even more, let’s add onto that wide second squat. Get into the same starting position, and then as you lower down, tap your hands on the floor between your legs. As you start to come up, explode up onto the balls of your feet, and reach your hands straight up above your head, engaging your entire body. Do 16 reps and 8x pulses at the bottom.
This next move in our workout to boost your metabolism and lose weight will light up your core. Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, and your arms alongside you. Press your arms firmly into the mat as you bring your knees into your chest towards your face, and lift your hips up for a reverse crunch. Make sure to keep your feet close to your glutes. Then, using your core, lower your hips and your feet down, and come into a sit-up, tapping the floor next to your feet. Lower down, and continue in this fashion. Do 16 reps and 8 isolated sit-ups to finish.
Everyone has a love/hate relationship with this exercise, but it’s extremely efficient at working the whole body and increasing your endurance. Start in a plank position, drop your body to the mat, push back up as you step or jump your feet outside your hands, and lift your hands off the mat. Then, explode up by standing or jumping up towards the ceiling and clapping your hands over your head. Drop back down to repeat. Do 10 reps.
If you’ve been following along with my workouts, then you know that every single one finishes with a plank! Place your forearms parallel on the mat with your shoulders directly over your elbows and your palms facing down. Drive your heels back, engage your legs, and activate your core. Hold for 30 seconds, again breathing into the ribcage and out through the mouth. And just like that, you’ve completed this productive workout that’ll help you boost your metabolism and lose weight, so give yourself a nice pat on the back!