What is the best sport to lose weight, lose fat or get a flat stomach? We will tell you, but first of all, to understand our approach, read on.
Losing weight without sport, by eating better or less? If you want to lose a few extra pounds, know that it is essential to combine a healthy and balanced diet with physical activity. You can lose weight very well without exercising, simply by eating less, but this has certain drawbacks. It is important to preserve your muscle capital on the one hand; on the other hand, a thin but flabby body is not necessarily very aesthetic. A little sport helps to lose more calories, to tone your muscles to refine your figure and in addition, it’s good for the heart, health and morale!
Lose weight only by playing sports?
You can also lose weight without a diet, just by playing a sport. This method is however difficult because the easiest way to lose weight is still to reduce the calories absorbed rather than trying to spend them through physical activity. If you’re not convinced, read our article: Does Exercise Really Make You Lose Weight? In addition, regular physical activity leads the body to optimize the storage and use of its energy reserves. A trained athlete stores more reserves in the form of glycogen than fat and his body draws more from fat than a less athletic person. The interest of sport is therefore not only to burn calories but to make the body more efficient in using fat.
Sports can make you gain weight! Another important point to take into account: a sport can make you lose weight while making you gain a little weight. Muscle is indeed heavier than fat. When you play sports, whether it is cardio training, endurance sport or weight training, you develop your muscles, so you gain a little weight. The fats will indeed be replaced by heavier muscle. We will slim down while gaining weight, at least temporarily! Rest assured, this variation is minimal, and as the fats melt, the weight on the scale will eventually drop.
The ideal sport to lose fat Knowing all this, concretely, which sport is best suited to lose weight? To answer this question, you need to know 3 things:
Cardio training is a very effective way to burn calories. You will spend mostly during the activity and the hours that follow. Depending on the sport practiced, cardio training will also make you gain muscle mass. Cycling, swimming, running, cross-country skiing, zumba, water aerobics are cardio-training activities that burn a lot of calories. Learn more about cardio training.
Strength training, contrary to popular belief, is a great way to lose fat. By gaining muscle, we increase our basal metabolism, that is to say the minimum expenses that the body needs to survive. Our muscles primarily burn fat in light physical activity. The more you develop your muscles, the more fat you burn throughout the day, even at rest! Don’t underestimate this activity. Learn more about the benefits of bodybuilding for weight loss.
Calories burned: If you want to lose weight, don’t just rely on the number of calories burned or the intensity of the effort. Our body consumes more fat at low intensity than at high intensity, in proportion to the calories expended obviously. Studies have shown that the most effective way to lose fat is to work out at moderate intensity (find out more) and even more by doing high-intensity intervals or intervals including breaks (read our article: 3 times more fat consumed in half the time). To lose fat as efficiently and quickly as possible, it is therefore better to choose a sport that combines 2 activities: cardio-training and weight training. So here are the best sports for losing fat!
Precautions Cardio training makes the heart work and is not compatible with certain diseases, especially heart and respiratory diseases. Consult your doctor for an opinion or even a medical check-up. Some of the activities suggested below should not be practiced in case of health problems (low back pain, neck, back or knee pain, etc.). Ask your doctor for more information.
N ° 1 Rowing : the ideal sport to lose fat
The rower is an ergometric device, that is to say one that reproduces as closely as possible the movements of rowing. You can practice it at home or in most gyms! It is also very popular with men and women, precisely because of its effectiveness in burning fat. Very complete, this sport works almost all the muscles of the body, the upper (arms, shoulders, abdominals, back) as the lower (glutes, calves, thighs). Rowing or rowing in fact requires effort to pull the oars and bring them back to the front and calls on the legs to tilt the whole body from front to back and then come back.
N ° 2: Cross-country skiing: one of the most calorie-burning sports!
Cross-country skiing is one of the best sports for burning calories. One hour of this sport burns, depending on the difficulty, between 500 and 1,100 kilocalories!
The practice of cross-country skiing works all the muscles and will allow you to consume fat after exercise thanks to the muscle mass acquired during your outings.
This sport has other significant benefits. It strengthens the immune system and acts positively on morale. It also allows of course to take the air while enjoying beautiful landscapes!
N ° 3: The elliptical trainer: among the top sports for losing weight
The elliptical trainer is also a popular device in gyms and at home because of its high efficiency in burning fat, its ease of use and the fact that it does not shock the joints. It works around 80% of the body’s muscles, top and bottom, while burning a lot of calories: 500 to 800 kcal / h! By practicing this sport, you will not only have fun, strengthen your muscles (back, arms, legs) while losing fat during and after your sessions.
Contrary to what its name might suggest, the elliptical trainer is not at all a bicycle but a device that reproduces the movements of cross-country skiing. It has an inertia wheel, pedals and levers that you pull and push with your arms. A little less bulky than the rower, generally on wheels and sometimes even foldable, it fits easily in a small room and just requires you to put on sneakers (and more) to do your weight-training-cardio-training session! In addition, it is so popular that it is found today at affordable prices.
N ° 4: Swimming: a complete sport without impact on the joints
Swimming is a sport that expends a lot of calories (400 to 700 kcal / h), the effort being increased because of the resistance of the water. This sport is also very complete because it works almost all the muscles of the body. By building muscle mass, swimming promotes the elimination of fat 24 hours a day!
In the water, movements are smooth. The joints are indeed protected because they are not subjected to the body weight. This is why swimming is recommended for pregnant women whose joints must support the extra weight caused by pregnancy.
By strengthening the entire body, swimming helps prevent joint problems. The breaststroke or front crawl are also particularly recommended for strengthening the back muscles and preventing back problems.
The interest of swimming is also that it is accessible to all, from the youngest to the oldest. It does a lot of good and helps to relax.
All of its advantages make swimming an ideal sport for losing weight while being beneficial for health.
N ° 5: Running or the treadmill: one of the best sports to lose weight
Among the best sports for losing weight, running (outdoors or on a treadmill) or even trail running are excellent activities, both for losing fat, but also for maintaining good health and good morale. Depending on your pace and weight, running burns between 400 and over 1000 kilocalories per hour!
Even if it is especially the legs that are the most used, running makes work all the muscles of the body. Contrary to popular belief, running is not necessarily bad for the back. Recent studies have shown that running can even strengthen the intervertebral discs. However, this sport is not recommended for people with joint problems (knees in particular).
The advantage of running is that it requires almost no equipment, other than a good pair of sneakers designed for running. You can run very well where you live, whether in the city or in nature, without even taking the car.
And if your schedule is busy or the weather is bad, why not buy a treadmill for your jogging? The advantage of the treadmill is that it is less traumatic for the knees. It allows you to train at any time and whatever the weather conditions. However, it does less work on the hamstrings and is not very suitable for the practice of the interval training, unless you opt for a high-end mat.
N ° 6: The jump rope: a very effective sport to lose weight and overcome cellulite
This sport that you probably played when you were young in school hasn’t had its last word. Even if it seems easy and uninspiring to you, it is still one of the best sports for losing weight and eliminating cellulite!
A moderate-speed jump rope session can burn no less than 700 kilocalories per hour! This sport works on balance and coordination, strengthens the ankles, tones the muscles without making them gain volume and promotes blood circulation in the legs, which helps to overcome cellulite and prevent varicose veins and other venous problems. This benefit is due to the significant massaging of the veins by the calf muscles during activity, the latter acting as a pump promoting blood return to the heart.
Be careful, do not jump rope if you have back problems, especially a herniated disc, or if you are prone to tendonitis.
N ° 7: Spinning or cycling: a real calorie burner
Cycling (including mountain biking) and spinning are real calorie burners. You will spend between 400 and more than 900 kcal / h on your bike, depending on the difficulty, and will continue to burn calories several hours later if your ride has been intensive. This sport mainly works the lower body (thighs, calves, buttocks) but also the arms and abdominals. By gaining muscle mass, cycling or the practice of spinning bikes increases the basal metabolism, and therefore energy expenditure at rest. You will burn more fat throughout the day.