As a mother four, I know how hard it is to lose body fat. Trust me, I gave birth to my fourth daughter at 196 pounds so I understand the desire to lose that tire around your waist.
If you’re like I was, you probably have a good 15 to 20 pounds of body fat on you, maybe more. My belly fat was just the tip of the iceberg. That doesn’t count the extra body fat I had on my thighs, my butt, my back, my face, my arms, and more.
The amount of stretch marks that came with the weight gain from having four babies was terrible, but the body fat was worse. No matter how many times I tried popular diets, nothing would work.
It took some serious nutrition changes and I needed to maintain that daily in order to start seeing body fat disappear. You can read more about the foods I chose to eat in order to maintain a healthier weight by clicking here.
Still, I needed to do something more for the body fat to melt off faster.
Eating right only helped me go from 196 pounds to 174 pounds. The body fat had come down only a small amount. I was still obese according to my Endocrinologist.
My BMI in 2018 had gone from 35% to 30%. My new target would be to drop to 25% and I gave myself a year.
Finding exercises that I could do at home and that worked with my crazy schedule proved daunting, but I eventually found them. I had to contend with old sports injuries and birthing injuries. So every exercise I chose, had to be easy on my body.
I am proud to say that after almost four years of working hard, I have lost 60+ pounds and even better; I have also managed to keep it all off! All I had to was eat right and use the 7 exercises below.
7 Exercises to Burn Body Fat At-Home
#1 Jumping Jacks
You don’t have to do a ton. Doing them daily will help with burning body fat. You can break them up however you want. I was always busy between drop-off’s and work and dinner, so I chose to break up my sets as follows. I aimed for 200 Jumping Jacks a day. That’s 1,400 Jumping Jacks a week. I bet you hear that and you’re like, “No Way!” but it really can be done.
This is how I did it: 1 set of 50 before breakfast, 1 set of 50 before lunch, 1 set of 50 before dinner, and 1 set of 50 one hour before bedtime. Why did I do it this way? Well, I don’t have time to workout for an hour each day. I found that with my busy schedule, I could pump out 15 minutes of high-intensity workouts in each portion of the day that I just listed. 15 minutes is a lot easier to maintain as a goal and it gets easier to keep up with in the long run. So, I managed to fit in 15 minutes of high intensity workouts, 4 times a day and Jumping Jacks was just the start of it. Check out the video below on how to do a proper Jumping Jack. Form matters.
#2 Squats and Sumo Squats
I used the same concept here as I did with Jumping Jacks. I added these to my daily routine just using a smaller number of reps. In the first 3 months of exercising, I aimed to do basic squats. I would do 3 sets of 10 squats right after my 50 Jumping Jacks, before breakfast. I did that again before lunch, before dinner, and one hour before bed. In months 3 through 6 of my exercise regime, I changed it up from normal squats to sumo squats. Here’s two videos to help you squat and sumo-squat correctly. Proper form equals no injuries or back pain.
#3 Bicep Curls
Bicep curls can be done with weights, with no weights, or with resistance bands. I opted to use resistance bands and I got them super cheap on Amazon. You can buy them HERE and I think I paid less than $10 bucks for them. It was completely worth it because I use them in most of my at-home exercises.
This is how I used them to do a bicep curl: I held one end firmly in place with one hand and then did a bicep curl using the other hand. I have an old softball injury in my bicep, so in the beginning, I had to start smaller with the number of repetitions. I started with 5 sets of 5, each arm. By doing this, I was able to give each arm a 10 second break in between sets. I used my lighter resistance band and eventually moved up in resistance. When the resistance grew easy to resist at the highest level, I lowered my sets to 3 and upped my reps to 10. When that became easy, I upped again to 3 sets of 15. Watch the video below for an idea of how to do a bicep curl with a resistance band.
#4 Tricep Extensions with Resistance Bands
Tricep Extensions are what makes women’s arms look beautifully toned and as an added plus, gets rid of those pesky bat wings we can’t stand! Now, for someone with metabolic issues and injuries in the arms, this part can take longer to develop muscles. I know for me, it did. Let’s just say that because of my disorder and arm injuries, I tend to go lower on the reps to prevent further injury. But, that doesn’t mean that it didn’t work.
I saw results within 12 weeks even with doing a smaller amount. In the first 3 months, I aimed to do tricep extensions with a light level resistance band. I chose to do 3 sets of 8 and when I found that it hurt by the second set, I lowered my set to 2 sets of 10. In months 3 through 6, I was able to up my sets to 3 sets of 12, still using the light resistance bands. I love my resistance bands and you can purchase them by clicking here. Watch the following video to learn how to do a proper tricep extension. Fast forward to a 1:40 if you want to skip all the hoopla of the resistance band install.
#5 Glute Bridges
Glute Bridges are a great way to increase core strength while working your booty! But doing these the right way makes all the difference between working the right muscles and working nothing. These are not as easy at they seem and I’ve added a video below for you to see how they’re done correctly. For these particular exercises, I opt for 3 sets of 10 and again these are broken up throughout my day. So, I do them before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner, and one hour before bedtime. Adding a resistance band here can be useful in controlling your legs from moving around. You can purchase the ones I use by clicking here or by clicking the photo below.
#6 Standing V-Ups
I have two herniated discs in my lower back, compliments of giving birth four times. So, I can’t do regular sit-ups or crunches. I found a better way to work my abs, upper and lower, without causing back pain. That’s by doing standing v-ups. They’re very easy and effective. I do 3 sets of 12, adding it to my daily routine. I do these along with the above exercises before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner, and one hour before bedtime. Watch the video below for an example of what a Standing V-Up looks like.
#7 Crab Walking
Crab Walking is good for back pain. At least that’s what my physical therapist told me. Earlier I mentioned I had two herniated discs. Well, I went to physical therapy for the pain. Crab walking was introduced to me there. Apparently, crab walking helps to build core strength. If you don’t have a strong core, then you’re relying too heavily on your back muscles to keep you standing. A weak core equals more back pain.
So, my therapist set out to give me a stronger core. It turned out that when I added this into my daily routine, it was the missing piece to help burn the last few inches off. The physical therapist added a resistance band. He placed it just above my knees and told me to stand with my legs shoulder width apart. Then he had me get into squat position. After that, he told me to start walking to the right, sideways, towards a wall and to count 15 steps. Then to come back to the left another 15 steps and to keep doing that, side to side, 10 times. I was exhausted. My back was killing me and my core felt nothing.
Flash forward 3 months, my back pain has been reduced, I have lost ten pounds, 4 inches around my waist, and my butt and thighs look really good. So good in fact, I actually put a bathing suit on for the first time in four years! Obviously, crab walking assisted in my weight loss efforts, helped me build muscle, and gave me confidence. Check out the video below to see what it looks like. I added crab walking into my daily routine same as all the others. Now, I crab walk every day before breakfast, before lunch, before dinner, and one hour before bedtime.
I know how hard it is to get into a routine for exercising. I also know how hard it is to find something that actually works. Hey, being a mom of four is not easy and it is ultra time-consuming. No mom wants to workout or has time to do it, but we do it to stay healthy for ourselves and our kids. Find your reason to get healthy, to get fit, and to maintain it. Then find a way to exercise. If you can’t, feel free to use my method.
Breaking down those 7 exercises into doing them 4 times a day, every day sounds like a lot but it worked for me. It only takes me 15 minutes to do all 7 exercises each time, so it makes doing them 4 times a day a heck of a lot easier than trying to find time to go to a gym for an hour. It took me four years for to go from 196 pounds to 130 pounds. Imagine what you could accomplish with your weight loss goals if you found a way to exercise in the time you had available?