When your goal is to lose weight, it’s typically most desirable to get it done fast—and sustainably, of course. According to Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, a member of our Medical Expert Board and a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, when it comes to sustained weight loss, there’s one element that’s most important: being consistent with your routine. Dr. Bohl explains, “Some of the toughest parts about sticking to an exercise routine are the inconvenience and amount of time it takes out of each day. Driving to the gym eats up precious time, and if you’re on vacation or otherwise away from where you usually spend your time, you may not know how to get a proper exercise session done at all.”
That’s why floor exercises come in clutch. They can easily be performed just about wherever you happen to be and aren’t total time-suckers. This way, you really can’t make excuses for yourself when it comes to carving out time or being inconvenienced. Floor exercises are also a stellar way to lose weight because they’re a combination of two prominent types of training: strength and cardio. “Cardio is effective for weight loss because it helps burn calories, and strength training is beneficial—not only because it helps burn calories—but also because it helps maintain muscle mass as you lose weight (which you might otherwise lose some of when eating a calorie deficit),” Dr. Bohl says.
Let’s get into a great floor exercise routine that brings together cardio and strength training. Keep reading to learn all about Dr. Bohl’s best floor exercises for quicker weight loss in your 40s. And when you’re finished, don’t miss these 11 Exercises Women Should Do Every Day for Weight Loss.
“Squats can be done with or without extra weight, and they help work out the large calorie-burning muscles in the thighs and buttocks,” Dr. Bohl tells us.
Bodyweight squats begin by placing both feet shoulder-width apart. Straighten both arms ahead of you, bend both knees, and hinge your hips back as though you’re sitting on a chair. Lower into a squat until your thighs are even with the floor or lower. Finally, push through your feet to return to standing. Perform three to six sets of at least 12 reps.
Keep in mind that if you’re working with added weight, you should opt for a lower weight. This form of strength training—using a lower weight while doing higher reps—is excellent for torching calories and boosting your muscular endurance.
“Lunges also work out the large muscles in the legs, but they can be done in multiple directions (forward or side to side) and can help get your heart rate up during your floor routine,” explains Dr. Bohl.
To start lunges, place your feet shoulder-width apart, and step forward with one of your legs to assume a split stance. Bend your knees in order to lower into a lunge. Keep your upper body straight as you descend, and make sure your front knee doesn’t go over your toes. Push through the front heel in order to press back up. Step your back leg forward to lower into a lunge with that leg. Perform three to six sets of at least 12 reps.
“Burpees are great for building both muscle strength and endurance across multiple parts of the body,” says Dr. Bohl.
To start burpees, place your feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. Engage your abs, and lower into a high plank—your legs should extend behind you and your hands should be planted below your shoulders. Lower your chest toward the floor to perform a pushup. Press your body back up, and jump both feet up to your hands. Then, jump up explosively as you bring both arms over your head. Perform three to six sets of at least 12 reps.
“Going back to standard strength training exercises, pushups are effective for strengthening the chest and arm muscles, so you don’t lose much muscle mass from those areas during your weight loss journey,” Dr. Bohl points out.
To perform pushups, start out by getting into a high plank position—roll up onto the balls of your feet so your legs are out straight behind you and your hands are planted below your shoulders. Bend at the elbows to lower your chest toward the ground. Then, press yourself back up. Perform three to six sets of at least 12 reps.
“Sit-ups, by themselves, won’t give you six-pack abs (that has more to do with the amount of fat over the top of the abdominal muscles), but, as you lose weight, they can help make your torso look more toned,” Dr. Bohl explains.
Start the exercise by lying on your back on a workout mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands at the back of your head. Engage your core as you lift your shoulders, upper back, and head, moving your chest up toward your knees. Remain in this position for a moment before lowering back to the ground. Make sure your core is the body part that’s facilitating the upward motion. Perform three to six sets of at least 12 reps.
To finish things up, another simple floor exercise that torches a great number of calories is the jumping jack, Dr. Bohl says. Begin by standing tall with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Then, jump your feet out as you bring both arms overhead. Jump your feet back in and lower your arms to the start position to complete one full rep. The goal should be to complete three to six sets of 50 jumping jacks, of course, depending on your fitness level.