My job as a personal trainer is to have my clients, who want to burn a lot of fat, engage in compound lower body movements, and one of my favorite is the squat to lunge exercise.
The squat to lunge workout is exactly what the name says: squat, then go into a lunge. This can be done from end to end in an empty basketball court, or from end to end in an empty fitness class studio, or from one point to another on the gym floor.
Use a fixed weight barbell, as these are smaller than Olympic bars and less cumbersome. This routine is not for beginners or people who are not proficient with the back squat form.
The routine for burning fat:
Stand with feet at least shoulder width apart or whatever your preferred stance is for the back squat. To start the exercise, perform a half squat.
After rising to the start position, step forward with one foot into a lunge stance, perform a lunge, rise, then bring the back foot up to flush with the forward foot.
Next, step forward with the other foot now, into a lunge, lower accordingly, rise, and then bring that foot flush – except instead of the feet being close together like they typically are after completing each lunge during walking lunges, after that second foot completes the sequence, it comes up to create the foot-to-foot distance that you’d use for the back squat.
At this point, you squat. Then the cycle begins all over. So it’s as follows:
- · Squat
- · Return to start position
- · Lunge with right foot
- · Bring left foot to flush with right foot
- · Lunge with left foot
- · Bring right foot flush but at least shoulder width from left foot
- · Squat
Ideally, a person should be able to execute smooth movement so that motion is fluid rather than robotic with the lunge portion.
Once you can execute the sequence with confidence, it’s time to get a barbell across the upper back. How much the barbell should weigh is not something you’ll likely be able to figure out on the first try.
Let’s suppose someone starts with a 50 pound barbell. This may seem light to an individual who squats reps with 185. But the walking lunge really changes things.
Furthermore, one must get used to walking lunges with a barbell across their back; many who do walking lunges with weights use only dumbbells held with straight arms at the sides.
With the barbell, execute the aforementioned sequence. Don’t be surprised if you become fatigued very quickly. Intense fatigue is important for burning fat. Squats should be at least parallel (half squat), and lunges should be deep. The more it “hurts,” the more fat you’ll burn.
Make sure you don’t “good morning” the squatting portions; keep good form and an upright back.
Increase intensity to burn more fat:
Use a heavier barbell as you get better at this exercise. You should be able to sustain this movement for at least one minute before having to stop. Longer than two minutes means that the emphasis is shifted towards endurance.
Another way to increase intensity is to perform the squat after every single stride. And yet a third intensity technique is to perform this fat burning routine backwards. It’s best to do the backwards version in a fitness studio so you can watch in a mirror.
Do this routine twice a week to increase your body’s ability to burn fat. Remember, staying in your comfort zone will not burn fat. This exercise will promote fat burning through the entire body.