Calling all men on a mission to shed extra pounds and transform their physique. We’ve got just what you need! We chatted with Jarrod Nobbe, CPT, a performance coach and certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews, who shares 10 stellar daily strength exercises for men to lose weight. These moves are designed specifically for men who want to melt fat, build lean muscle, and achieve their fitness goals.
While it’s no secret that weight loss can be daunting, doing these strength-building exercises along with eating a healthy diet can help you melt away unwanted fat and improve your body composition. According to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, strength training combined with a nutritious diet can blast body fat while preserving lean muscle mass.
“Strength training is essential no matter your fitness goals, and building muscle helps burn more fat in the long run by raising your resting metabolic rate,” explains Nobbe. “But if your goal is to lose weight, remember that following an appropriate diet and exercise routine in tandem is the key to success. Cardiovascular exercise is another piece of the puzzle that can improve heart health and aid weight loss.”
The following exercises comprise many basics, all of which can be built upon with variations or increasing resistance. These exercises can support weight loss by burning calories as you complete your workouts and promoting muscle growth to boost your metabolism. Read on for the exercises, then check out People Who Lost 10 Pounds in a Month Reveal Their 4 Best Workout Habits.
The barbell squat is a powerhouse compound exercise that targets your entire lower body, including your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. “Squats build lower-body strength and stability, as well as engage the core,” states Nobbe.
Stand in a squat rack with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward with a barbell resting on your upper back. Bend your knees and hips to lower down while keeping your back straight and your chest facing forward. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, push through your heels to stand and return to the starting position. Complete four sets of eight to 12 reps.
Up next is another killer lower-body movement. Dumbbell lunges are a fantastic exercise for engaging multiple muscle groups and burning calories, helping you lose weight while building stronger legs. “Lunges are an excellent exercise for balance and stability while building strength in the lower body,” Nobbe adds.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding dumbbells at your sides. Step forward with your right foot, lowering your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is at a 90-degree angle. Your left knee should be hovering just above the floor. Push off your right heel to stand and return to the starting position. Do four sets of 10 to 12 reps per leg, and alternate sides with each rep.
The almighty deadlift is another compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups. Nobbe tells us, “The deadlift engages several major muscle groups, including the glutes, quads, back, and core. This total-body movement not only burns calories but also improves overall stability.”
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart in front of a weight barbell. Bend at your hips and knees, keeping your back straight as you grip the barbell with your palms facing you. Drive through your heels, and extend your hips and knees to lift the barbell straight up, keeping it close to your body. Once fully extended, lower the barbell back to the floor with control. Aim for four sets of eight to 12 reps.
Dumbbell step-ups are a superb way to strengthen your legs while elevating your heart rate for a serious calorie torch. “Step-ups work the legs unilaterally (one at a time), which helps reduce imbalances or compensation with one leg versus the other,” Nobbe explains.
Stand facing a bench or sturdy platform with a dumbbell in each hand. Step onto the bench with your right foot, pushing through your heel. Bring your left foot onto the bench to meet your right, then step back down with your right foot and follow with the left. Alternate sides with each rep. Complete four sets of 15 to 20 reps.
Get ready for a unique movement that’s surprisingly challenging. “The upper back, arms, shoulders, and core will take the brunt of this movement, but it’s another exercise that benefits overall stability. Grip strength is also crucial to perform the move properly,” says Nobbe.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides. Maintain good posture with your shoulders back and your chest high as you walk forward. Take slow, controlled steps for a set distance or time, ensuring your core stays engaged. Go for four rounds of 30 to 60-second carries.
Kettlebell swings are another dynamic exercise that works your posterior chain (backside), including the glutes, hamstrings, and core. Nobbe says, “The entire posterior chain—the muscles running along your back and the back of your legs—works with the quadriceps and core during kettlebell swings, making them a great move to build overall strength.”
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the handle of a kettlebell with both hands. Hinge at the hips, allow your glutes to shift back, and slightly bend your knees. Swing the kettlebell between your legs, then push through your heels and drive your hips forward to swing the kettlebell up to about chest height. Let the kettlebell swing back between your legs, and repeat the motion. Complete four sets of 15 to 20 reps.
“The bench press is a classic upper-body strength builder, focusing on the chest and involving the arms and shoulders,” states Nobbe.
Lie flat on a bench with a barbell racked above you. Unrack the barbell, and position it above your chest with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower the barbell to your chest, keeping your elbows at about a 45-degree angle from your torso. Push the barbell back up to the starting position, fully extending your arms. Do four sets of eight to 12 reps.
Bent-over rows are a go-to compound exercise for targeting your back, biceps, and core. “When sculpting the upper back, you’d be hard-pressed to find a movement more efficient than the row,” says Nobbe.
Hold a barbell with an overhand grip and your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend forward at the hips, keeping your back straight until your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. Pull the barbell up toward your body, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Once the barbell nearly or slightly touches your torso, lower it slowly back to the starting position. Aim for four sets of eight to 12 reps.
“Overhead presses mainly work the shoulders, triceps, and upper-back muscles,” says Nobbe. “In addition to shoulder mobility and stability, this movement builds overall upper-body strength.”
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell at shoulder level with an overhand grip, palms facing away from you. Press the barbell overhead until your arms are fully extended. Lower the barbell back to shoulder level, then repeat. Complete four sets of eight to 12 reps.
Last but far from least, pull-ups are an ultra-challenging exercise that helps build serious upper-body strength. “Pull-ups are a movement often used as a test of upper-body strength, and rightfully so. If you can’t complete total reps from the start, try using a pull-up assist machine or resistance bands wrapped around a pull-up bar,” says Nobbe.
Grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hang onto the bar with your arms fully extended, then pull your body up until your chin is above the bar, keeping your elbows close to your body. Keep your core engaged, and focus on using your upper back to pull yourself up. Do four sets of as many reps as possible.