by: Realbuzz

Looking for a low-intensity workout that will still burn calories? These exercise alternatives might be just what you are looking for.

You don’t have to slave away in the gym for hours or finish your workout as a red, sweaty, dishevelled mess in order to burn those calories and workout properly. If you are not into highly rigorous exercise, then more moderate workouts like Tai Chi, yoga or even exercising in water can all offer a low-intensity alternative, whilst still make a serious dent in your calorie burn count.

Water Workout

Taking to the water can provide a great workout and be ideal for people who are just starting out in fitness or working their way back after an injury. There are a variety of options, from a full aqua aerobic session to underwater treadmills – really it’s all about being active, but in the water.

Water exercises don’t push you as hard as land activities as the water pressure helps circulation, not making your heart work as hard, but the relatively gentle exercise is a great way to workout without over exerting yourself or putting too much pressure on joints. Plus, particularly in classes, water exercise can be a fun and exciting alternative to your bog standard treadmill!

The water supports your body weight (up to 85 per cent of it), minimizing the impact on your joints, making it suitable for people of any age, size or fitness level. The number of calories burnt is dependent on the depth of the water – the deeper the water, the more calories you will burn as more energy is required to push your body mass through water. On average, a half hour session in the water will burn around 200 calories – and even more should you add additional weights to your body.


At first sight, Tai Chi may not appear as the most taxing of workouts, yet the flowing succession of slow and graceful movements can be a great calorie burner. Tai Chi is as low impact an exercise as you will find, yet a half hour session can burn on average 140 calories.

When done correctly, Tai-chi raises the heart rate significantly (to approximately 60 per cent of maximum) – enough to be classed as moderate exercise, without the toll that the gym and other sports can have on your muscles and joints. But these are not the only benefits tai-chi embodies, as strength, fitness, flexibility, concentration and balance all improve through this relatively slow paced workout. And best thing of all is that Tai Chi can be done almost anywhere, anytime.

Get your skates on

In-line skating provides a great low impact workout which some studies have suggested provides the same level of aerobic activity as running or even riding a stationary bike. The calorie burn will depend on your size, the effort you put in, and the route you take, but it is estimated that half an hour skating could burn in excess of 200 calories. Inline skating develops muscles in the entire upper leg, rear end and hip, as well as the lower back. Muscles in the upper arms and shoulders are also developed when arms are swung backwards and forwards while skating and you can increase your calorie burn just by swinging more vigorously.

Put on some fun tunes and take a trip back to the 90’s as you skate the fat away! Great for both cardio and muscle exertion, skating is a fun addition to your workout repertoire, without being too strenuous or impacting. Skating is known to be less arduous on joints due to the gentler impact with the ground, perfect if you suffer with any problems that can be exacerbated by running and cycling, yet will still get the heart pumping.


Swimming provides a great cardiovascular workout and is suitable for all due to the fact that it is non-load bearing with the water cushioning your joints as you swim. Breaststroke is the lowest intensity stroke and as such burns fewer calories – around 180 calories for a half hour session – but is a stroke that generally enables you to swim for longer and therefore burn more calories from a longer session.

Breaststroke expands the lungs, works the chest muscles, inner thigh, shoulders, triceps, legs and hamstrings – and some even swear it increases the size of your breasts! As a great whole body workout without the joint impact, swimming is a great way to mix up your workouts and have fun burning calories. If you wish to swim other strokes to increase your calorie burn then half an hour of swimming burns the following: freestyle/front crawl – 300 calories; backstroke – 240 calories; and butterfly – 450 calories.


Not only is yoga great for improving your strength, flexibility, muscle tone and reducing stress, it’s also a great calorie burner. Consisting of a series of deep-breathing exercises and ‘poses’ which are held for a set period of time, these can be adapted to suit any fitness level. A typical half hour session will burn around 200 calories. Perfect when combined with other higher intensity sports to cool you down, yoga is an ideal sport to both improve fitness, burn calories and an whole body muscle workout.

And the great thing is you can do a yoga workout with working up too much of a sweat which is great if you are really pushed for time. If you want try yoga of greater intensity to burn even more calories, then consider options like Bikram Hot Yoga, Power Yoga or Zero Gravity yoga. Getting a quick workout in the morning or winding down before bed, yoga can be done anytime for any duration, and you don’t even need to leave the house to get some yoga done. Just put on some music, pull out an exercise mat and follow a workout online to fit in a low key yet effective workout.


Quite simply the easiest and most accessible form of workout is walking. Without the joint jarring that occurs when running, a walking workout can fit into your daily routine easily or added as a leisure pursuit during your free time. You can happily choose the intensity to work at which suits you. Even if you’re short for time, taking a walk on your lunch break or walking here there and everywhere instead of driving or taking the bus, is the perfect way to burn some extra calories without ending up as a sweaty mess.

If you are not used to a walking workout, then start with a short distance and walk at a pace that suits you. You can easily crank up your speed and distance for improved calorie burn count. The number of calories burned will depend not only on your size, but also your speed and the route you take. As an example, an average sized woman walking on a flat route at around 3 mph will burn around 150 calories.

Note: Calorie burn figures are approximate as they are dependent on body weight, the intensity of the workout, routines or routes followed and the individual’s fitness level.

By: Realbuzz

When it comes to burning fat, we’d all love a secret formula to get rid of those flabby areas. Thankfully, there are several workouts (especially high impact cardio exercise) you can do, that will burn fat for fun and help you get fitter and more toned.

Weight Training

Although cardio will burn more calories, weight training is where it’s at if you want to zap the fat. Resistance exercises that involve major muscle groups and your own body weight, like lunges, squats, press-ups, planks, dead lifts, jumping jacks, burpees and the dreaded tricep dip, are all brilliant for building muscle and tone. And if you want to hit the weight training area of the gym to tackle some clean and jerk lifts, the heavier the weight, the greater the impact. The real beauty of weight training is that you burn fat during the workout and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterwards as well, because of the effect the workout has on your metabolism (which is increased by up to 20 per cent). So what is not to love about that?

Circuit training

The origins of circuit training date back to the 1950’s, when it was designed as a workout to combine high intensity cardio and resistance training. The idea is to alternate exercises, with a brief rest period in between, which focus on different muscle groups. The interval training nature of the workout will keep your heart rate up and burn that fat. So the best classes will combine aerobic intervals (like a stationary bike, skipping or a treadmill sprint), with weight training elements (weight-lifting or bodyweight resistance exercises like squats, press-ups etc). You’ll definitely get a sweat on and the weight should fall off.


Now here’s a thing you might not have expected to see on the list, but skating is terrific for blasting fat.

The side to side movement of your legs, thighs and bottom is tremendous for toning problem areas. Your core also gets its own super workout as it tries to keep everything stable and together to stop you falling over! Plus you can burn over 400 calories in just half an hour by interval skating (one minute hard skating followed by one minute slow). Go on, give it a go. The amount of calories and fat you burn off means you can treat yourself to a hot chocolate afterwards.


Pounding the highways and byways of your local area is another great way of zapping fat. It’s a high impact cardio exercise which focuses on your legs, core and bottom, which also happen to be the biggest calorie and fat burning areas of your body. If you fancy a really tough workout then hit the hills. Hill running is perfect for fat burning because it’s super hard work which involves your whole body (arm pumping becomes essential here). And it’s another form of interval training (you run up the hill then jog back down and start all over again).


Strap on the gloves, start throwing some punches and watch the fat fall off. Anyone who has trained for a fight will tell you how much toning, strengthening and fitness you can build in the ring. But it’s not just about hitting a punch bag or a person really hard, it’s the training around the sport that’s so effective too. Staying light on your feet, being constantly on the move and throwing punches involves a whole body workout, which is why it kick starts your metabolism so effectively. And remember that skipping, which is most pro boxers favourite exercise, is another tool in the fat burner’s arsenal. An interval session with a skipping rope can make grown men cry. So get down the gym and get the gloves on. You won’t regret it.

By: GBPersonalTraining

Top 13 Functional Training Exercises You Should Use in Your Workouts

Functional Training has been used as a buzz word for many years now.

The idea behind functional training is that each exercise should be more natural and carry over into daily life.

For example: improving your squats would help you get up and down from a chair and lunges would make climbing stairs easier.

Functional training exercises tend to activate more muscles and therefore consume more energy.

These multidimensional exercises also tend to improve your natural movement skills and enhance your general mobility.

See how many of the below functional training exercises you can incorporate into your workouts for a more practical and fat burning workout.

# 1 – Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with Rotation

Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with RotationThe Reverse lunge with Rotation combines a lot of movement changes and challenges your balance, mobility and core stability all at the same time.

It is important to ensure that the rotation comes from the midsection of the body rather than the shoulders.

The back knee should not rest on the floor during the rotational part of the movement.

Ensure that this functional training exercise is divided into 3 parts:

  1. The Reverse Lunge
  2. Then the Rotation back and forth
  3. Finally the step back to the stating position

Workout Example: 10 repetitions each side, rest 60 seconds and repeat for a total of 3-5 sets.

Want more? See 16 Kettlebell Lunge Variations

# 2 – Hip and Thoracic Openers

Hip Openers ExerciseThis hip opening exercise can be used as part of your warm up or as part of your main functional training program.

Due to most peoples sedentary lifestyles the hips can become very stiff with limited mobility. Tight hips will cause lower back issues and general movement compensations.

This functional training exercise not only opens the hips but also strengthens the core muscles and improves mobility in the upper spine too, another common area that lacks mobility due to too much sitting.

Breathing is a key part to this exercise so ensure that you breathe out as you sink your hips down into the movement.

Workout Example: Try 20 alternating repetitions with controlled breathing

# 3 – Single Leg Dumbbell Row

Single Leg Dumbbell RowRowing exercises are very important because not only do they counteract all the sitting that we do but they also target a huge amount of neglected muscle mass on the back.

As soon as you start standing on one leg and performing a row lots of great things start to happen.

Standing on one leg improves hip stability which is essential because most people have weak external rotation which affects gait.

The one legged stance also encourages greater core activation in order to deal with rotational forces placed on the body during the one arm row.

A flat back is vital throughout this functional training exercise to keep the spine protected.

Try to work on the mid back muscles by rowing towards the hips rather than shrugging the shoulders.

Workout Example: Try 8 repetitions each side, rest 60 seconds and repeat for 3-4 sets.

Want more? 6 Kettlebell Row Variations for a Strong Back

# 4 – Break Dancer Push Up

Breakdancer Push UpsThe break dancer push up takes the regular push up and adds another dimension.

Performing this exercise will improve your shoulder stability as well as increasing your mobility through your hips.

Once you get the hang of this functional training exercise you can increase the speed and get cardiovascular benefits from it too.

As with all Push up variations they require excellent core strength in order to complete the movement correctly.

Workout Example: Start the clock and see how many great repetitions you can perform in 60 seconds!

# 5 – Yoga Squat

Yoga SquatsPossibly one of my favourite squatting movements and superb for developing leg strength and all over mobility.

During the yoga squat concentrate on your breathing.

This functional training exercise is broken down into 4 parts:

  1. Squat down into a deep squat (Breathe Out)
  2. Hands down and straighten the legs (Breathe In)
  3. Return to a deep squat and hands up (Breathe Out)
  4. Stand back up tall (Breathe In)

Only move as fast as your breathing will allow and work on trying to straighten the legs while the fingertips are touching the floor.

Workout Example: Complete as many repetitions as possible with good breathing

Learn more: 7 Kettlebell Squats You Need to Know

# 6 – Kettlebell Turkish Get Up

Kettlebell Turkish Get UpThe ultimate full body functional training exercise that not only improves your overall strength but your overall mobility too.

The Get Up exercise is excellent when performed with a kettlebell but it can be equally effective with a dumbbell or just with your own body weight.

In fact, for the fitness newbie there is no better functional training exercise to begin with.

I would argue that you should never start pressing a weight above your head until you can perform a Turkish Get Up with the same weight.

The benefits that can achieved from this exercise cannot be stressed enough.

Want more? Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Turkish Get Up

Workout Example: 1 Left Side, 1 Right Side, 2 Left Side, 2 Right Side, continue for as high as you can go.

# 7 – Side Lunge with Reach

Side lunge and reach exerciseNot enough people perform the side lunge and by adding a reach it creates yet another dimension.

Side lunges work into the buttocks as you overload the one side.

They also encourage strengthening of the back extensors as you struggle against gravity to keep your chest up.

Finally, they are excellent at increasing hip mobility as the legs are separated during the lunge.

Ensure during the lunge that the chest is kept high and the weight is kept back on the heels rather than the toes.

As you get the hang of this functional training exercise and you start to warm up try to get deeper and deeper towards the floor for added hip mobility.

Workout Example: 5 Left, 5 Right, 10 Left, 10 Right, 5 Left, 5 Right.

# 8 – Overhead Warm Up with Dumbbells

Overhead Dumbbell Warm UpNow for a great warm up exercise that can be used before you start your main workout or as part of your workout session.

This functional exercise works the shoulder stabilisersbut also your core stabilisers as you move dynamically from the kneeling to the standing position.

The core muscles act in many different ways depending upon your foot position, so your core may be strong during the squat but weak during the lunge.

Just because you have ripped abs doesn’t mean you can stabilise your spine correctly during movement.

Take your time with the exercise and feel how your shoulders and core work hard to stabilise the dumbbells above your head.

Workout Example: Try 10 Leading with the Right leg and the 10 leading with the Left leg.

# 9 – Stir the Pot with a Stability Ball

If you are ready for a serious core exercise then this is the one for you.

This functional exercise works also every muscle of your core along with your shoulders, back, chest, buttocks and legs.

You begin in a standard plank position on the stability ball but then rotate the arms around in a circle going as far forwards as you can manage.

The further forward you push your elbows away from you the harder the exercise becomes.

I would recommend that everyone master the regular plank first before moving onto this more advanced exercise. Keep the core muscles tight at all times and never let the hips sag below horizontal.

Workout Example: 3 Rotations Clockwise, 3 Rotations Anti-Clockwise

# 10 – Dumbbell Reverse Lunge and Press

Dumbbell Reverse Lunge and PressDuring this super calorie burning functional exercise we combine two huge movement patterns the lunge and the overhead press.

As you perform the reverse lunge you use the forward momentum coming out of the movement to help you drive the dumbbells above your head.

Try and combine the two movements rather than just lunging first and pressing second.

Alternating legs after each press will ensure that you use as many muscles as possible throughout your workout.

Workout Example: Try 20 alternating repetitions, rest 60 seconds and repeat 3-4 times for a serious fat burner!

# 11 – Kettlebell Snatch

This kettlebell exercise is great at connecting the lower half of the body with the top half.

You will work practically every muscle in your bodyduring this explosive functional training exercise.

The Kettlebell snatch can be hard to master and certainly should not be attempted by the beginner.

Good stable shoulders, practical core strength and even good grip strength is required to ensure that you make it through this exercise in one piece.

However, once perfected the Snatch is one of the best explosive exercises around.

Want more? Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Snatch

Workout Example: Try the Snatch challenge, as many Snatches as possible in 10 minutes without putting the kettlebell down.

# 12 – Double Lunge and Reach

Double Lunge and Reach ExerciseThe double lunge takes your lunging exercise to another dimension.

Performing the double lunge overloads the buttocks, hip and thighs as well as putting your heart rate through the roof.

Including a reach into the movement just makes this functional exercise very tiring indeed.

The double lunge requires you to combine both the forward lunge with the reverse lunge.

The foot should not touch the floor between lunges so the movement happens reasonably quickly.

Practice both the forward lunge and the reverse lunge before attempting to put them together.

Workout Example: 5 Double Lunges Left, 5 Right, Rest for 1 minute and repeat 3-4 times.

Want more? 51 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

# 13 – Stability Ball Push Ups

The stability ball push up takes away the stable floor and adds a real challenge to the chest, shoulders and core muscles.

The wrists and forearms will also get a good workout from this push up variation.

If you are new to this type of functional exercise then you may want to have someone hold the stability ball in place before you start doing the exercise alone.

Keep the core rigid and tight throughout the exercise and experiment with wrist position until you find one that suits you best.

Workout Example: 10 reps, rest 60 seconds and repeat for 3-4 sets.

Conclusion to Functional Training Exercises

So that completes my list of 13 Functional Training Exercises.

You will notice from the list that we have an exercise for every important movement pattern:

  1. Squat
  2. Lunge
  3. Deadlift
  4. Push
  5. Pull

The 13 functional training exercises also incorporate the 3 fundamental movement planes:

  1. Frontal (side to side)
  2. Sagittal (forwards and backwards e.g.. running)
  3. Rotational (twisting around the centre line)

Why not try incorporating 1 or 2 of the above exercises into your standard workout program.

I think you’ll be amazed at the difference they will make.

Love these functional training exercises?

Then you’ll love my Kettlebell Workouts website


11 Major Health and Fitness Benefits of Lifting Weights

Wonder what *really* happens when you add strength training to your routine? All these perks.

By K. Aleisha Fetters | Jul 12, 2018

Why Should You Lift Heavy Weights?

No disrespect to cardio, but if you want to blast fat, get in shape, and rock everything that comes your way—both in and out of the gym—strength training is where it’s at. And experts agree: Heavy lifting is in! You can’t swing a kettlebell these days without hitting some workout guru, exercise program, or book advising women to not only lift weights but lift heavier weights.

But why? And should you try it if you’re already happy with your current workout routine? Here, eight benefits of lifting weights that’ll convince you to pick up the heavy dumbbells.

You’ll Torch More Body Fat

Build more muscle and you’ll keep your body burning fat all day long. (Here’s all the science behind why muscle helps you burn fat and calories.)

“Lifting weights can increase your lean body mass, which increases the number of overall calories you burn during the day,” says Jacque Crockford, CSCS and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise. Burning extra calories post-workout plus building muscle? That’s the surefire way to get the body you want.

In recent research on overweight or obese adults (age 60 and over), the combination of a low-calorie diet and weight training resulted in greater fat loss than a combination of a low-calorie diet and walking workouts, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Obesity. The adults who walked instead of weight trained did lose a comparable amount of weight—but a significant portion of the weight loss included lean body mass. Meanwhile, the adults who did strength training maintained muscle mass while losing fat. This suggests that strength training is better at helping people lose belly fat compared with cardio because while aerobic exercise burns both fat and muscle, weight lifting burns almost exclusively fat.

…and You’ll Especially Lose Belly Fat

While it is true that you can’t spot reduce—your body is born with pre-conceived places it wants to store fat—a University of Alabama study found that the women who lifted weights lost more intra-abdominal fat (deep belly fat) than those who just did cardio. This not only helps you lose weight and build a more toned body, but it also lessens your risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and some cancers. (Not to mention, lifting heavy weights recruits your core, giving you an abs workout without even trying.)

Strength training may have a reputation of making women “bulk up,” but it’s not true. The more your weight comes from muscle (rather than fat) the smaller you’ll be. “In fact, body weight often goes up with strength training, but dress size goes down one or two sizes,” says Perkins. Plus, it’s really, really difficult to get body-builder huge. “Women produce about 5 to 10 percent the amount of testosterone men do, limiting our muscle-building potential when compared to men,” says Sinkler. To seriously gain size, you’d pretty much need to live in the weight room. (More proof: What Really Happens When Women Lift Heavy Weights)

Your Muscles Will Look More Defined

Love the lean, defined muscles on super-fit ladies? “If women want more definition, they should lift heavier since they cannot get bigger muscles because of low testosterone levels,” says Jason Karp, an exercise physiologist and author. “So, lifting heavier has the potential to make women more defined.” (Seriously. Here’s why you can lift heavy and won’t bulk up.)

If you want more proof, watch this video with two-time Reebok CrossFit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir, who has a great body and certainly isn’t afraid to throw around heavy weights.

You’ll Burn More Calories Than Cardio

Just sitting on your butt reading this, you’re burning calories—if you lift weights, that is.

You may burn more calories during your 1-hour cardio class than you would lifting weights for an hour, but a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who lifted burned an average of 100 more calories during the 24 hours after their training session ended. Another study published in the International Journal of SportNutrition and Metabolism found that, following a 100-minute strength training session, young women’s basal metabolic rate spiked by 4.2 percent for 16 hours after the workout—burning about 60 more calories.

And the effect is magnified when you increase the weight, as explained in a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. Women who lifted more weight for fewer reps (85 percent of their max load for 8 reps) burned nearly twice as many calories during the two hours after their workout than when they did more reps with a lighter weight (45 percent of their max load for 15 reps). (Up next: 7 Common Muscle Myths, Busted.)

Why? Your muscle mass largely determines your resting metabolic rate—how many calories you burn by just living and breathing. “The more muscle you have, the more energy your body expends,” says Perkins. “Everything you do, from brushing your teeth, to sleeping, to checking Instagram, you’ll be burning more calories,” Perkins says.

You’ll Strengthen Your Bones

Weight lifting doesn’t only train your muscles; it trains your bones. When you perform a curl, for example, your muscles tug on your arm’s bones. The cells within those bones react by creating new bone cells, says Perkins. Over time, your bones become stronger and denser.

The key to this one is consistency, as research has shown that lifting heavy weights over time not only maintains bone mass but can even build new bone, especially in the high-risk group of post-menopausal women. (Psst. Yoga has some bone strengthening benefits too.)

You’ll Get Stronger, Obv

Lifting lighter weights for more reps is great for building muscle endurance, but if you want to increase your strength, increasing your weight load is key. Add compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and rows to your heavy weights and you’ll be amazed at how fast you’ll build strength. (Here’s what really counts as lifting heavy and how often you should do it.)

The payoff? Everday activities (carrying groceries, pushing open a heavy door, hoisting a kid) will be easier—and you’ll feel like an unstoppable powerhouse, too.

You’ll Prevent Injury

Achy hips and sore knees don’t have to be a staple of your morning run. Strengthening the muscles surrounding and supporting your joints can help prevent injuries by helping you maintain good form, as well as strengthening joint integrity. (Related: An Open Letter to Women Who Are Afraid of the Weight Room.)

So go ahead, squat low. Your knees will thank you. “Proper strength training is actually the solution to joint issues,” says Perkins. “Stronger muscles better hold your joints in position, so you won’t need to worry about your knee flaring up during your next run.”

You’ll Be a Better Runner

Stronger muscles mean better performance—period. Your core will be better able to support your body’s weight and maintain ideal form during other exercises (like running), plus your arms and legs will be more powerful. What’s more, since strength training increases the number and size of calorie-torching muscle fibers fueling your performance, strength training could actually help you burn more calories during your cardio workouts, says Perkins.

(More: Run into shape with this 30-Day running challenge—good for beginners, too!)

You’ll Increase Your Flexibility

Ignore that super ripped guy fumbling in yoga class for just a minute. Researchers from the University of North Dakota pitted static stretches against strength-training exercises and found that full-range resistance training workouts can improve flexibility just as well as your typical static stretching regimen.

The key word here is “full-range,” notes Sinkler. If you can’t complete the full motion—going all the way up and all the way down—with a given weight, you may need to use a lighter dumbbell and work up to it.

You’ll Boost Heart Health

Cardiovascular exercise isn’t the only exercise that’s, well, cardiovascular. In fact, strength training can up your heart health, too. In one Appalachian State University study, people who performed 45 minutes of moderate-intensity resistance exercise lowered their blood pressure by 20 percent. That’s as good as—if not better than—the benefits associated with most blood pressure pills. (Related: How to Use Heart Rate Zones to Train for Max Exercise Benefits)

You’ll Feel Empowered

Throwing around some serious iron doesn’t just empower women in the movies. Lifting heavier weights—and building strength as a result—comes with a big self-esteem boost. Your strength will not only show in your lean, toned body, but also in your attitude. (See: 18 Ways Weight Lifting Will Change Your Life.)

“Strength has a funny way of bleeding into all areas of your life, in the gym and out,” says Jen Sinkler, an Olympic lifting coach, kettlebell instructor, and author of Lift Weights Faster. By constantly challenging yourself to do things you never thought possible, your confidence grows. ” Weight lifting empowers you,” she says.