Workouts that Boost Your Metabolism
In the last few weeks I’ve been discussing just what your metabolism is, whether you have complete control over it and what foods are potentially metabolism boosters.
(Reminder – metabolism is defined here as all the chemical reactions going on in your body that are required to generate energy, which you need to live in order to breathe, digest food etc.)
First we talked about people who believe they have a slow metabolism and think there is nothing they can do about it.
I bust open a few myths and set the record straight there – everybody has a unique metabolism but there are always ways you can make changes to get the results you’re looking for.
Then we went over what ‘boosting’ means and some great foods that will boost your metabolism. Boosting means you are improving the efficiency of the chemical reactions in your body.
This means you can burn fat faster and build muscle faster. Remember also that the more muscle you have, the more energy your body needs on a daily basis. Eating the right foods and performing the right exercises are crucial to boosting your metabolism and having an efficiently run body.
I love high intensity workouts (like Insanity and P90X), as you may know. One of the reasons these workouts double as great metabolism boosters is that your metabolism stays ‘revved up’ (by up to 25%) after an intense workout session for about 15 hours post-workout.
Strength training in particular is great as it forces your muscles to work harder and supercharges your metabolism.
For the following moves, you will want to warm up with some moderate cardio (jogging, cycling, step-ups) for 5 minutes, and the same after each ‘strength’ move.
The Diagonal Extension
Check out the picture on the right. Hold a lightweight dumbbell (3 to 5 pounds) out at shoulder height, palm facing the floor and keep your elbow bent. Do this with your right hand, and keep your left leg out to the side with your heel raised.
Now bring your left knee up to hip-height, and bring down the dumbbell in your right hand to meet it and extend your arm to the outside of your knee (as shown). Hold for one count and then return to the original position. Repeat approximately 10 times and then repeat the process for your opposite arm and leg.
For this exercise, lie face up on the floor with knees bent. Hold two dumbbells (8 to 12 pounds) with your elbows bent to your side, as shown.
Now lift your glutes and lower back off the floor until your hip forms a completely straight line. Contract your abs to hold your body still.
Extend your arms with the weights above your shoulders and then return to the original position for 10 reps. After the set, relax your hips back to the floor.
This one will require a stability ball to rest your legs on.
Start out with your heels up on the ball, and your knees bent into your chest. Hold your palms directly under your shoulders.
Now contract your abs and extends your legs, rolling the ball forward. This also extends your hips up off the floor. At this point you should look like this:
Remember to keep your head up and face forward. Then lower your hips and roll the ball back to return to the original position – do 10 reps.
These are a few great exercises that will boost your metabolism. Exercises are half the battle though, so remember to eat right and record your results.