What is the best exercise to lose weight? Combine strength and cardio

The combination of cardiovascular exercise with strength exercise is, without a doubt, the one that gives the best results when it comes to losing weight.

  • Jordi Notario, technician and trained at the DiR Academy , explains to Saber Vivir why this tandem is so effective and advises us on the best cardio and strength exercise plan.


The sum of both types of exercise helps you lose weight faster than if you do them separately.

Cardiovascular exercise:

It is one that, by definition, increases the heart rate and ensures an increase in energy consumption while we are practicing it.

  • And that’s just what we need to lose weight: consume more energy to burn fat from our reserves.
  • Let’s remember here that the body needs 25-30 minutes of continuous exercise to start burning body fat.

Strength exercise

It causes an increase in energy consumption not only while you are doing it , but also afterwards.

  • This is so because the exercise of force generates muscular destruction . “That is why the stiffness appears and they hurt us: they are the result of the destruction of the muscular sarcomere and until it is recovered there are discomforts,” says Jordi Notario.
  • And while the muscle is recovering, your body consumes more calories even if you are sitting watching television.

But strength exercise not only increases caloric expenditure by the energy consumption required by the muscle to recover.

  • This type of exercise also increases your muscle mass, and the muscle itself consumes more energy than fat.

Strength exercises speed up metabolism

In summary, that strength exercise increases your metabolic expenditure at rest, that is, it accelerates the metabolism, and that is very interesting when it comes to losing weight.


Any exercise that generates muscle tension is a strength exercise and there are many. The ideal is to practice them in a varied way to work all the muscles of the body and not focus on one area.

  • Squats or squats . With your legs shoulder-width apart and your back straight, bring your glutes down as if you were going to sit in an imaginary chair until you are at a 90º angle.
  • Push ups . They are the typical push-ups with the hands and the tips of the feet resting on the floor and the body in the plank position.
  • Pull ups or pull-ups . It consists of holding onto a raised bar with your palms facing out and, from this position, pushing yourself up.
  • Tractions. Anything that involves bringing resistance to the body is a good exercise of strength. The options are several: practice rowing on a fitness machine, stretch with suspension straps …
  • Lunge. It is a forward stride and works legs and glutes.
  • Step up. One leg is placed on the step or a slightly elevated platform and the other foot is raised by force only with the leg that is resting on the step. The step up or classic step climb strengthens the legs.
  • Bicep curl . With 2 kg weights in each hand and arms close to the body, it is about flexing the elbows bringing the hands to the shoulders.


Apart from running or cycling, Jordi Notario recommends 4 cardio exercises to practice at home or in the gym that are very complete .

  • Burpees . Standing consists of bringing your hands to the ground and your legs back until you are in the plank position. Then drop your chest to the ground and return to the starting position with a small jump to stand up.
  • Squat jump . It involves squatting and, from the 90º position, jumping upwards.


  • Skipping. It is simply running without leaving the site.
  • Jumping Juck . It consists of jumping while opening your legs and raising your arms, then closing them and lowering your arms.


You can start your session by doing the strength exercises suggested above first.

  • Of each of them, Jordi Notario advises doing 3 sets of 12 or 14 repetitions with a break of 45 to 60 seconds between each set.
  • You can also do a circuit with 4 or 5 varied strength exercises doing a series of each one. Repeat the circuit 5 times but without breaks.

After strength work, you can do a 30-minute cardio session that could consist of going for a run, running on the gym treadmill, or combining the four suggested exercises (burpees, squat jum, skipping, and jumping juck).

To further enhance the fat-burning effect

Working on strength first and then cardio is an effective formula, but according to Jordi Notario, if you want to lose weight, it is even more effective:

  • Alternate a strength exercise with a cardio one . ” For example, you can do 45 seconds of squats and then 45 seconds of burpees and combine strength and cardio exercises to complete the session . 

Obviously, if you have excess weight, you must follow a low calorie diet supervised by a dietetic and nutrition specialist. And if you are not trained in exercise, it would also be advisable that you put yourself in the hands of a fitness expert.

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