Best Weight Loss Workouts for Women

Home and Gym Routines to Burn Fat

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If you're looking for a weight loss workout for women, you may already know that losing weight isn't the same for everyone. Depending on your fitness level, age, lifestyle, and medical history, it may seem to take you longer to reach your goals than it does for other people. For instance, there's a general stereotype that women tend to lose weight more slowly than men.

This slower rate of weight loss can be attributed to several factors, including differences in muscle mass and hormonal variations between the sexes. However, it's possible to overcome barriers that are slowing you down. With a positive mindset and the right training plan, you can start seeing the results you want.

Physical activity and nutrition both play a role in weight loss. Most experts agree that what we eat is more likely to have a more significant impact on our rate of weight loss than exercise alone. Nonetheless, exercise provides several weight-loss benefits that go beyond burning calories.

Exercise produces feel-good endorphins that keep weight loss fun and prevent burnout. Building muscle, flexibility, and endurance through exercise can boost your body image and improve your chances of sustaining weight loss over the long term.

It may surprise you, but putting weight loss aside and focusing on other goals can help you lose more weight. If you find yourself obsessed with weight loss, speak to a health care provider.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Type of Cardio  What it Is  Benefit  Example
Interval Training Alternating between moderate intensity and lower intensity Increases energy output in same timeframe Jogging for 5 minutes, followed by 2 minutes of walking. Repeat for 30 minutes.
 HIIT Alternating between high intensity and moderate or low intensity  Saves time with higher energy output in a short time  Sprint for 30 seconds, followed by 60 seconds of jogging. Repeat for 15 minutes.
 Tabata 20 seconds of high intensity with 10 seconds of rest (or another rigid timeframe)  Boosts anaerobic capacity and saves time  Do 20 seconds of burpees, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for 4 minutes.

Cardio, or aerobic exercise, is often the first thing that comes to mind when trying to lose weight. Here are some types of cardio to consider.

High-Intensity Training

Get more out of your exercise time with higher-intensity workouts. Because these workouts are shorter, you can squeeze them in even if you don't have a lot of time.

Interval training is one of the best ways to increase your fitness level during any workout. Work hard for some time (say 30 to 60 seconds), rest for a set period, and repeat. 

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) takes regular intervals to the next level, focusing on very high-intensity exercises. HIIT offers proven benefits for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. This type of training can also help improve your body composition effectively and efficiently. An example is sprint interval training.

Tabata training is another form of high-intensity interval training that involves pushing hard for very short periods, helping you burn calories and rev up your metabolism. Try the Tabata Low Impact Challenge or a high impact Tabata Cardio Workout.

Cardio Mistakes to Avoid

  • Doing too much cardio: Repetitive motions in cardio exercises (like running) increase the risk of injury and overtraining. Switch up your routine and take days off to recover between workouts as needed.
  • Neglecting other types of exercise: If you skip out on weight training to focus only on cardio, you're missing out on opportunities to change your body composition for the better.
  • Sticking to low-intensity cardio: Doing cardio in your 'fat-burning zone' may not be enough to help you lose weight. Mixing in higher-intensity workouts will give you an extra edge for weight loss.

Weight Training for Women

Both men and women can see improvements in body composition with weight training, especially when combined with the right nutrition. Fortunately, many women have caught on to the benefits of weight lifting.

Beyond sculpting stronger muscles, weight lifting burns a lot of calories (sometimes more than cardio), making it the perfect pairing for any weight loss program.

Stronger muscles also help build stronger bones and boost metabolism. Following a regular weight training routine will help you maintain an active lifestyle for years to come, warding off some of the weight gain and chronic diseases usually associated with aging.

Circuit Training

Circuit training involves going from one exercise to the next with no rest in between, usually combining cardio along with strength moves. If you get bored easily from weight training, circuit training is a fun way to sneak in a resistance workout. Aim to incorporate circuit training one to two times per week.

Strength Training

Strength workouts build muscle through straightforward, targeted movements. Try a total body workout twice a week or split routines for your upper and lower body.

Kettlebell exercises can increase your strength just as well as regular dumbbells. You can also use resistance bands. Just make sure you're lifting enough weight. Proper form is extremely important for effective and safe strength training. If you're not sure how to get started, enlist the help of a qualified personal trainer.

Developing a Weekly Workout Plan

With all that said, how can you fit in cardio, strength training, and circuit training for maximum fitness benefits? Plan your workout schedule ahead of time. Here's a sample of what that might look like:

Rest and recovery are essential components of any workout program. If you get really sore or run down, give yourself a day off and pick it up again tomorrow.

A Word From Verywell

When weight loss feels like it's taking forever, try not to get discouraged. Understanding the root cause of your weight challenges can help you develop a personalized plan that's more effective than what you've tried in the past.

Keep the motto "progress, not perfection" in mind. Remember, living a healthy lifestyle is an ongoing journey, not a race to the finish line. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on the positive changes you've achieved.

8 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Paige Waehner
Paige Waehner is a certified personal trainer, author of the "Guide to Become a Personal Trainer," and co-author of "The Buzz on Exercise & Fitness."