In today’s fast-paced world, juggling work obligations, social engagements, and other life duties can leave little room for personal time, especially for those women aiming to shed some pounds. The challenge of squeezing workout sessions into a hectic schedule is real. This is where the convenience of adaptable workouts comes into play, particularly those that can be done anywhere, making a significant difference in weight loss efforts. For my female clients with packed calendars, I often recommend floor exercises. These can be enhanced with weights like dumbbells or medicine balls, or done using just your body weight, offering a flexible yet powerful workout whether you’re in a gym or your living room. As such, I’ve compiled a list of eight top floor exercises tailored for women looking to lose weight.

These selected routines are designed to burn calories effectively, strengthen the body, and provide the outcomes you seek, all with the flexibility of being performed in various locations such as your home, gym, a park, or even your office. You only need a yoga mat and a few moments of your time to engage in these exercises. Continue reading to discover the ultimate floor workouts for women targeting weight loss. Also, don’t forget to check out my recommendations on 7 Home-Based, No-Equipment Exercises to Shed 10 Pounds in a Month post-workout.

Workout #1: Core Sculptor

Losing weight goes beyond performing countless sit-ups. Targeting the core alone is insufficient for fat reduction. Yet, when combined with a mindful eating approach, maintaining a calorie deficit, and including aerobic activities, core-focused exercises can effectively burn fat, unveiling a firm, sculpted abdomen. Moreover, core training plays a crucial role in the postpartum recovery phase, an essential aspect for any woman post-pregnancy.

1. Planks

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Planks engage the core muscles deeply, helping women strengthen their midsection, improve posture, and burn calories efficiently.

Start in a pushup position with your arms extended and your hands under your shoulders. Engage your core, and keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. Hold this position for 30 seconds or longer. Complete three sets of 30 seconds.

2. Bicycle Crunches

woman doing bicycle cruncheswoman doing bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunches are excellent for burning abdominal fat and toning the waistline, making them crucial for weight loss.

Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your legs lifted off the ground. Bring your right elbow and left knee toward each other while extending your right leg. Alternate sides in a pedaling motion. Complete three sets of 15 reps per side.

3. Russian Twists

Russian twist with medicine ballRussian twist with medicine ball

Russian twists are highly effective for burning abdominal fat and toning the waistline, which are essential components of an effective weight loss program. This exercise engages the oblique muscles and challenges your core strength, helping you shed unwanted pounds around your midsection and achieve a slimmer waistline.

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Keep your back straight, chest up, and engage your core. Lean back slightly, creating a V-shape with your upper body and thighs. Clasp your hands together in front of you, or hold a weight or medicine ball with both hands. Lift your feet off the ground, so your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Begin twisting your torso to the right. Return to the center, then twist your torso to the left. Continue alternating sides in a controlled motion. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

Workout #2: Cardio Torch

Cardio is a tried-and-true method of shedding pounds. I recommend a combination of cardio and strength training for maximum weight loss, increased muscle tone, and a higher metabolic rate.

1. Jumping Jacks

how to do jumping jacks demonstrationhow to do jumping jacks demonstration

Jumping jacks are a fantastic calorie burner, helping women enhance cardiovascular fitness while shedding excess weight.

Begin in a standing position with your arms at your sides and your feet together. Jump your feet apart while raising your arms overhead. Quickly reverse the motion by jumping your feet back together and lowering your arms. Complete three sets of 60 seconds.

2. Jump Rope

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Jumping rope is an excellent calorie-burning exercise that enhances cardiovascular fitness, making it a valuable addition to any weight loss routine. It not only helps shed excess weight but also improves coordination, agility, and endurance.

Start by standing up straight with your feet together and the jump rope handles in each hand. Hold the jump rope handles at hip level with your elbows close to your body. Begin swinging the jump rope over your head, creating a circular motion with the rope. As the rope starts to come down in front of you, jump slightly off the ground. As you jump, allow the rope to pass beneath your feet. Keep your jumps light and controlled, landing softly on the balls of your feet. Continue to swing the rope overhead, and jump with each rotation. Complete three sets of 60 seconds.

3. High Knees

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High knees are a dynamic cardiovascular exercise that’s highly effective for weight loss. They elevate your heart rate, engage your core, and enhance overall fitness.

Begin by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands in front of you, palms facing down, at about waist height. Lift your right knee as high as possible, aiming to bring it level with your waist. As you lower your right knee, simultaneously raise your left knee in the same manner. Alternate between your right and left knees in a running-in-place motion. Keep your core engaged, and maintain a brisk pace, trying to bring your knees as high as you comfortably can. Complete three sets of 60 seconds.

Workout #3: Leg Slimmer

A common problem area among women, the lower body and legs are one of the first places stubborn fat likes to linger. Training your lower body helps build muscle, burning more calories at rest and toning your legs along the way.

1. Glute Bridges

glute bridgeglute bridge

Glute bridges target the lower body, helping women tone their glutes and hamstrings, which can be particularly effective for weight loss.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip-width apart. Press through your heels to lift your hips off the floor, forming a straight line from shoulders to knees. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Lower your hips down, but don’t touch the ground, then lift again. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

2. Leg Lifts

illustration of leg liftsillustration of leg lifts

Leg lifts are an effective exercise for women aiming to lose weight as they engage the lower abdominal muscles and strengthen the core. This exercise helps improve muscle tone in the lower abdomen, contributing to a more defined waistline and overall weight loss.

Begin by lying flat on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs fully extended. Engage your core muscles to stabilize your lower back against the floor. While maintaining this position, lift both legs off the ground simultaneously. Continue to raise your legs until they are vertical or as close as your flexibility allows. Slowly lower your legs back down toward the ground, but do not let them touch the floor. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

3. Clamshells

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Clamshells are an effective exercise for women looking to lose weight as they target the hip muscles, specifically the gluteus medius. Strengthening these muscles can improve overall lower-body stability and help maintain proper alignment during various exercises, contributing to more effective and safe workouts for weight loss.

Begin by lying on your side with your legs bent at a 90-degree angle, your feet together, and your head resting on your arm. Keep your feet touching and your heels together throughout the exercise. While keeping your feet touching, slowly lift your top knee as high as you comfortably can, opening your legs like a clamshell. Pause for a moment at the top of the movement, focusing on squeezing your glutes and engaging your hip muscles. Lower your top knee back down to meet your bottom knee in a controlled manner. Complete three sets of 15 reps per side.

Workout #4: Full-Body Burn

Engaging in compound movements increases the number of calories burned and is one of the most efficient ways to lose weight. Compound movements are exercises that work multiple muscle groups, helping you make the most out of your workout.

1. Pushups

pushups illustrationpushups illustration

Pushups work multiple muscle groups, including the chest, arms, and core, offering an effective way to burn calories and build strength.

Start in a plank position with your hands under your shoulders. Lower your body by bending your elbows while keeping your body in a straight line. Push back up to the starting position. Complete three sets of 10 reps.

2. Bodyweight Squats

squat illustrationsquat illustration

Squats engage the lower body, making them essential for toning legs and enhancing calorie burn.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending your knees while pushing your hips back. Keep your chest up and your back straight. Return to the starting position by pushing through your full foot. Complete three sets of 10 reps.

3. Military Squats

Military squats are a valuable exercise for weight loss, as they engage the entire body. This exercise helps tone and strengthen the legs while also enhancing calorie burn due to the large muscle groups involved.

Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your back straight and your chest up. Place your hands behind your head, interlocking your fingers. Lower your body by bending your knees while simultaneously pushing your hips back, maintaining an upright posture. Continue to descend until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Hold the lowered position for a moment, focusing on maintaining balance and stability. Push through your entire foot to return to the starting position. Complete three sets of 15 full reps.

Workout #5: HIIT Fat Blaster

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a method of cardio that focuses on short, intense bursts of effort separated by brief periods of rest. It’s a wonderful aerobic workout that increases your heart rate, burns maximum calories in a short amount of time, and simultaneously builds muscle.

1. High Knees

high kneeshigh knees

High knees are a high-intensity exercise that gets your heart rate up, helping women burn calories and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Run in place, bringing your knees as high as possible. Alternate legs quickly. Complete three sets of 30 seconds.

2. Burpees

illustration of burpeesillustration of burpees

Burpees are a full-body workout that elevates heart rate, making them ideal for torching calories and boosting metabolism.

Start in a standing position. Drop into a squat, placing your hands on the floor. Jump your feet back into a plank position. Perform a pushup, then jump your feet back to the squat position. Explode upward into a jump. Complete three sets of 30 seconds.

3. Plank Jacks

Plank Jacks are a dynamic core exercise that also elevates the heart rate, making them an excellent addition to a weight loss workout routine. They engage the abdominal muscles, shoulders, and legs, helping to strengthen the core while simultaneously burning calories.

Begin in a plank position. Engage your core muscles to keep your body stable throughout the exercise. Start by jumping both of your feet outward, widening your stance just like a jumping jack motion. Keep your arms and your upper body stable as your feet move apart. After jumping your feet outward, quickly jump them back together. Continue this motion, jumping your feet in and out, while keeping your core engaged and your back straight. Complete three sets of 30 seconds.

Workout #6: Yoga Flow

Yoga is a fantastic practice for weight loss, combining flexibility, balance, and mindfulness. This workout is designed to help you shed unwanted pounds while enjoying the benefits of yoga. Remember to focus on your breath and maintain proper form throughout each pose.

1. Sun Salutation Sequence

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Sun salutations are a series of yoga poses that provide a full-body workout while promoting flexibility and mental clarity.

Begin with your feet together and your hands at your heart’s center. Inhale, and raise your arms overhead, arching your back slightly (extended mountain pose). Exhale and fold forward into Uttanasana (forward fold). Inhale, lift your chest, and come into Ardha Uttanasana (half forward fold). Exhale, and step or jump back into plank pose. Lower down through Chaturanga Dandasana (four-limbed staff pose), or modify with your knees down. Inhale into an Upward-Facing Dog or Cobra Pose. Exhale into Downward-Facing Dog. Inhale, and step or jump forward into Ardha Uttanasana. Exhale, and fold forward in Uttanasana. Inhale, sweep your arms wide, and come back to Extended Mountain Pose. Exhale, and bring your hands to your heart center in Tadasana. Repeat the sun salutation flow for three to five rounds.

2. Warrior Sequence

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The warrior sequence tones the legs, engages the core, and enhances balance.

Start in Tadasana, then step your left foot back into a wide stance. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle, keeping it directly above your ankle (Warrior I). Open your hips and arms wide, extending them parallel to the ground (Warrior II). Reverse your warrior by dropping your left hand to your left leg and reaching your right arm up and back. Straighten your right leg, and hinge at your waist, reaching your right hand toward the ground (Triangle Pose). Return to Warrior II. Repeat on the other side. Complete three sets of warrior sequences on each side.

3. Boat Pose Sequence

boat pose exerciseboat pose exercise

Boat pose strengthens the core, promotes mindfulness and flexibility, and improves balance.

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lean back slightly, keeping your spine straight. Lift your legs off the ground, bringing your shins above parallel to the floor. Extend your arms forward, keeping them parallel to the ground. Your body should form a “V” shape. Hold this pose, engaging your core. Release and repeat for 30 seconds to one minute.

Workout #7: Power Pilates

Pilates combines mindfulness, strength training, and cardio for an effective fat-blasting workout. It also increases flexibility, strengthens your core, and helps you melt excess weight to reveal a long, lean, toned physique.

1. Pilates Hundred

The Pilates hundred is an essential exercise that engages the core and increases circulation, helping to burn calories.

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat, engaging your abdominal muscles. Extend your legs straight at a 45-degree angle. Pump your arms up and down vigorously, inhaling for five arm pumps and exhaling for five arm pumps. Continue this pattern for a total of 100 arm pumps (10 full breath cycles).

2. Pilates Plank Twists

Plank twists in Pilates work the core and engage oblique muscles. They also promote balance and flexibility, and burn maximum calories.

Start in a plank position with your arms straight. Engage your core to keep your body stable. Slowly twist your hips to one side while keeping your feet stacked. Return to the plank position. Repeat on the other side. Continue alternating for three sets of 30 seconds.

3. Pilates Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers in a Pilates context are effective for cardio and core strengthening. Pilates mountain climbers focus on quick, light-footed steps, a pointed toe, and an elongated spine.

Start off in a plank position. Engage your core, and draw one knee toward your chest, then return it to the starting position. Alternate between knees, moving at a quick pace. Make sure your shoulders stay aligned with your wrists. Perform three sets of 30 seconds.

Workout #8: Arm Sculpt

Don’t overlook the importance of strength training the upper body when it comes to weight loss. Not only do arm-focused workouts tone and strengthen your upper body while burning calories, but they also engage your core and improve posture.

1. Pushup Planks

illustration of pushupsillustration of pushups

Pushup planks are excellent for targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps while also engaging the core and torching calories.

Begin in a plank position with your arms straight. Lower your chest toward the floor, bending your elbows. Push back up to the high plank position. Repeat this pushup motion for three sets of 10 reps.

2. Tricep Dips

Tricep dips focus on toning the back of the arms, helping to eliminate flabbiness. They also engage your core, making them efficient calorie-burners.

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat. Place your hands behind you with your fingers pointing forward. Lift your hips off the ground, supporting your weight with your hands and feet. Bend your elbows to lower your hips toward the floor. Straighten your arms to lift your hips back up. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

3. Plank Taps

plank shoulder tapsplank shoulder taps

Plank taps engage the chest, shoulders, and core, making them an effective calorie-burning exercise.

Begin in a plank position with your arms straight. Tap your right hand to your left shoulder while engaging your core to maintain stability. Return your hand to the plank position. Tap your left hand to your right shoulder. Continue alternating taps for three sets of 20 taps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the best floor exercises for weight loss for women?

Some of the top floor exercises for women aiming to lose weight include burpees, mountain climbers, planks (and their variations like side planks), bicycle crunches, leg lifts, Russian twists, push-ups, and squats. Incorporating these exercises into your routine can help in building muscle, burning calories, and improving overall fitness.

2. How often should I do these floor workouts to see weight loss results?

For effective weight loss, aim to do these floor exercises 3-5 times a week, integrating them into a balanced workout routine. Consistency is key, and it’s important to also focus on nutrition and maintaining a calorie deficit for weight loss. Allow your body time to rest and recover by including rest days in your workout schedule.

3. How long should each workout session last?

Each session should last between 30 to 60 minutes, depending on your fitness level and the intensity of the workout. It’s beneficial to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase duration and intensity as your fitness improves. Ensure to include a warm-up and cool-down to prevent injuries.

4. Can beginners attempt these floor workouts?

Yes, beginners can certainly attempt these workouts. However, it’s crucial to start slow, focus on proper form to prevent injuries, and gradually increase intensity. Beginners may also modify the exercises to suit their fitness levels before progressing to more challenging variations.

5. Are these workouts effective for losing belly fat?

While these workouts can help in overall weight loss and strengthening the core, it’s important to remember that spot reduction of fat is a myth. Loss of belly fat, like other body fats, involves a combination of a balanced diet, consistent workouts, and overall lifestyle changes.

6. Do I need any equipment for these floor workouts?

Most of these exercises do not require any equipment and can be performed using your body weight. However, for exercises like Russian twists, you may optionally use a dumbbell or medicine ball to increase resistance as you progress.

7. What should I eat to complement these workouts for weight loss?

Nutrition is a crucial part of any weight loss journey. Focus on eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Stay hydrated, and avoid processed foods and sugary drinks. Occasional treat meals are okay, but moderation is key to see the best results from your workout efforts.

8. How can I stay motivated to continue these workouts?

Staying motivated can be challenging, but setting clear, achievable goals, tracking your progress, and mixing up your routine to keep it interesting can help. Additionally, finding a workout buddy or joining a community with similar fitness goals can offer support and accountability. Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small, to keep the motivation alive.

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