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Change Your Life With These Fat-Burning Workout Routines for Women

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By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

fat burning workouts

Regular workout routines for women can seem daunting when you’re not sure which exercises produce real results. You don’t have to work out for hours each day to stay slim and trim. Simply focus on strength training, continuous cardiovascular exercise, and high-intensity interval training and change up your routine often. Use these workout routines for women to help get you started.

How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do?

exercises for women over 40The number of sets and repetitions of strength exercises you should do varies based on your fitness goals, but here are a few tips from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

  • To increase strength, complete 2-6 sets of 8-12 repetitions
  • To boost muscular endurance, complete 2-4 sets of 10-25 repetitions
  • Work each muscle group 2-3 times per week

Instead of counting repetitions, you can also time yourself and complete strength exercises for about 30-90 seconds. To maximize fat-burning, take short rest periods or no rest periods (super sets) between sets.

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7 Day Fat-Burning Workout Routine for Women

Aim to work out most days of the week to achieve optimal results. Take a day or two off if you’d like, or simply walk or do yoga on off days to remain active and keep your metabolism going strong. The following is a sample 7-day fat-burning workout routine for women that yields real results:

DAY 1: Cardio HIIT and Abs (35-50 minutes)

hiit Begin your new workout routine for women with a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio day! Choose your favorite aerobic exercises for this workout. It might be power walking, jogging, cycling, stair climbing, using an elliptical machine, or rowing.

#1 Warmup (5 minutes)

#2 HIIT (20-30 minutes)

  1. Work at a high-intensity for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Recover at a lower intensity for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Sprint at a high intensity for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Alternate high-intensity with low-intensity bouts for 20-30 minutes.

#3 Cool Down (5 minutes)

Cool down for 5 minutes and stretch.

#4 Renegade Rows (1 minute)

workout routines for womenFind two dumbbell weights (you can complete arm motions without weights if you don’t have dumbbells) and hold them beneath your hands while in a plank position with your arms straight.

Stay in this plank position during the entire exercise. Slowly lift the weight with your right hand up toward your right shoulder and back down. Repeat with your left hand and alternate for about 1 minute.

Click here for a video tutorial of renegade rows.

#5 Mountain Climbers (1 minute)

Get into a plank position, or extended push-up position, with your arms straight. Rapidly move your knees toward your chest, one at a time, as fast as you can for about 1 minute. Click here to see a video tutorial of mountain climbers.

#6 Plank Jacks (1 minute)

While in a plank position, rapidly spread your feet apart and together (like jumping jacks) for 1 minute. Keep your legs and arms straight during the entire exercise.

#7 Plank Side-to-Side Hip Dips (1 minute)

Get into a plank position and slowly dip your hips from side to side by moving your right hip toward the ground until it almost touches, then your left hip, and so forth. Sway from side to side continuously for about 1 minute.

#8 Ab Wheel Roll Outs (1 minute)ab exercises for women

Begin in a kneeling position and slowly roll an ab wheel out in front of you as far as you can without letting your upper body touch the floor. Roll the wheel back toward your knees, and repeat for 1 minute. View a video tutorial of ab wheel roll outs here.

#9 Repeat

Complete steps #4-#8 one more time if you'd like.

DAY 2: Fat-Burning Circuit Training (40 minutes)

Get ready to tighten and tone up and boost your metabolism on day two. Try the following fat-burning circuit training routine for women:

#1 Warm Up (5 minutes)

Slowly warm up with light jogging or jogging in place, jumping jacks, and walking lunges.

#2 Begin Circuit Training (30 minutes)

dumbell squats exercises for women over 40

Circuit #1 (10 minutes)

  • 1 minute of rope jumping
  • 1 minute of squat to press
  • 1 minute of kettle bell swings
  • Repeat this circuit two more times

Circuit #2 (10 minutes)

Circuit #3 (10 minutes)

  • 1 minute of alternating jumping lunches
  • 1 minute of box jumps or step-ups
  • 1 minute of triceps pushups
  • Repeat this circuit two more times

#3 Abs and Stretching (5 minutes)

Complete 3 minutes of lying leg raises and side planks, and stretch to cool down.

DAY 3: Long Continuous Cardio (60 minutes)

workout routines for womenOn day three of your fat-burning workout routine for women, try continuous cardiovascular exercise to change things up a bit. It’s a more relaxing way than HIIT to shed excess weight and fat when you have few extra minutes to spare. Studies show that continuous cardiovascular exercise improves fat distribution in overweight adults.

To complete longer cardiovascular workouts, choose walking up hill, jogging, cycling, swimming, using an elliptical or stair climbing machine, or rowing. Try the following:

#1 Continuous Cardiovascular Exercise (50 minutes)

  • Warm up for 2-3 minutes
  • Complete continuous cardiovascular exercise at a moderate intensity for 45 minutes.
  • Cool down for 2-3 minutes.

#2 Body Weight Resistance and Abs (10 minutes)leg raises ab exercises for women

  1. 1 minute of regular sit-ups or crunches
  2. 1 minute of bicycle crunches
  3. 1 minute of plank holds
  4. 1 minute of leg raise holds (lie on your back and hold your legs straight a few inches from the ground)
  5. Super set push-ups and squats (don’t take breaks between sets) for 1-2 minutes
  6. Repeat steps #1-#5

DAY 4: Rest, Yoga, or Light Cardio

On day four of your fat-burning workout routine for women, it’s time to relax! Take the day off or do yoga or light cardio, such as walking or cycling, for 30 minutes instead of high-intensity exercises.

DAY 5: Cardio HIIT and Abs (35-50 minutes)

It’s time for some more HIIT using your favorite cardio exercises (power walking, jogging, cycling, stair climbing, using an elliptical machine, or rowing) and ab workouts.

#1 Warm Up (5 minutes)

workout routines for women#2 HIIT (20-30 minutes)

  1. Work at a high-intensity for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Recover at a lower intensity for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Sprint at a high intensity for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Alternate high-intensity with low-intensity bouts for 20-30 minutes.

#3 Cool Down (5 minutes)

Cool down for 5 minutes and stretch.

#4 Jack Knife Sit-Ups (1 minute)

To complete jack knife sit-ups, lie on the floor on your back and keep your arms and legs straight. Slowly lift your legs up in the air toward your arms until they touch or almost touch. Do the exercise for about 1 minute. Click here to view a video tutorial of jack knife sit-ups.

#5 Alternating Toe Reaches (1 minute)

You’ll again lie on the floor on your back when completing alternating toe reaches. The exercise is like jack knife sit-ups, but you’ll lift one leg at a time instead of both legs together. Keep your arms and legs straight during the exercise. Lift your left leg up toward your right arm until your hand touches or almost touches your opposite ankle. Lower your arm and leg back down to the ground. Lift your right leg and left arm and alternate continuously for 1 minute.

#6 Side to Side Leg Raises (1 minute)

Lie on your back and keep your legs straight with your hands beneath your butt. Instead of doing traditional leg raises, you’ll lift and lower your legs to the right side of your body. Lift them back up and lower your legs to the left side of your body this time. Alternate leg raises from side to side continuously for about 1 minute to work your obliques and lower abdominal muscles.

#7 Leg Raise Butt Lifts (1 minute)

To complete leg raise butt lifts, lie flat on your back and get into an extended leg raise position with your hands under you butt and your legs straight and perpendicular to the floor. By flexing your ab muscles, lift your butt up and off the floor and back down continuously for 1 minute.

#8 Exercise Ball Leg Raises (1 minute)

To do leg raises with an exercise ball, simply squeeze the ball tight between your lower legs and complete traditional leg raises.

#9 Repeat

Complete steps #4-#8 one more time if you'd like.

DAY 6: Fat-Burning Circuit Training (40 minutes)

Get ready for another fat-burning circuit training workout to melt away excess fat and improve muscle definition.

#1 Warm Up (5 minutes)

Slowly warm up with light jogging or jogging in place, jumping jacks, and walking lunges.

workout routines for women#2 Begin Circuit Training (30 minutes)

Circuit #1 (10 minutes)

  • 1 minute of high knees (touch your elbow to your opposite knee during each jump)
  • 1 minute of squat jumps (alternate wide-stance with narrow-stance jumps)
  • 1 minute of dumbbell bench press with dumbbell flys
  • Repeat this circuit two more times

Circuit #2 (10 minutes)

Circuit #3 (10 minutes)

Abs and Stretching (5 minutes)

DAY 7: Rest, Yoga, or Light Cardio

On day seven of your fat-burning workout routine for women, it’s once again time to relax! Take the day off to spend time with your family or do yoga or light cardio, such as walking or cycling, for 30 minutes instead of high-intensity exercises.

Fuel Your Body to Maximize Fat-Burning

What you fuel your body with is just as important as fat-burning workout routines for women to gain the lean physique and flat tummy you desire. Here are a few tips and tricks to properly fuel your body plus a sample fat-loss menu for women.

#1 Drink Water Often

workout routines for womenDrink water often throughout the day to prevent dehydration, enhance fat-burning, and avoid overeating at meal time. Aim to:

  • Drink at least 12 cups of water daily for women
  • Drink 2-4 cups of water when you first wake up
  • Drink 2 cups of water before meals

To enhance the flavor of water add ice plus fruit chunks, a tiny bit of juice, cucumbers, or mint.

#2 Focus on Protein, Healthy Fats, and Fiber-Rich Carbs

workout routines for womenWhen filling your plate at meal time focus on protein foods, healthy fats, and fiber-rich carbohydrates to stay slim and trim. Examples of nutritious foods that boost satiety, keep energy levels high, and properly fuel your body for fat-burning workouts include:

  • Protein foods: lean chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs, tofu, seitan, low-fat cottage cheese, nonfat Greek yogurt, milk or plant milk, and protein shakes
  • Healthy fats: nuts, seeds, nut butters, plant oils, fish oil, avocados, and olives
  • Fiber-rich carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains

Aim to fill:

  • 1/2 of each plate with non-starchy vegetables (leafy greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc.)
  • 1/4 of your plate with protein foods
  • 1/4 of each plate with fiber-rich carbohydrates

#3 Eat Often Throughout the Day

Eat small, frequent, well-balanced meals throughout the day to maintain a healthy weight and keep your body fueled for workouts. A sample nutritious menu for women might include:

Upon waking up: 2-4 cups of water

Breakfast: a veggie omelet, oatmeal topped with sliced almonds, and green tea or coffee

Snack: nonfat Greek yogurt with berries

Lunch: grilled salmon with quinoa and broccoli

Snack: a protein powder shake blended with a banana

Dinner: baked chicken, whole-grain pasta, olive oil with pesto, and asparagus

Snack: low-fat cottage cheese with pistachios

#4 Set a Regular Sleep Schedule

Set a regular sleep schedule to keep your appetite in check and maintain energy needed for regular fat-burning workouts.

Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night to optimize your health. Sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet room to enhance sleep quality.

#5 Monitor Your Progress

weight loss tips for women

When you begin a new workout routine for women, monitor progress to stay on track with your diet, exercise, and other healthy lifestyle habits.

  • Record what you eat using a food diary or calorie-counting app
  • Weigh yourself daily or weekly
  • Track your waist circumference

Achieve a body mass index (BMI) of 18.5-24.9 and use a BMI calculator to track your results. Strive for a waist measurement of less than 35 inches to keep disease risks low.

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“FIT MOM” JUMPSTART
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Maintain a Lean Figure for Life!

When maintaining a lean figure and healthy weight for life is your goal, try the Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X) program today! You’ll receive:

  • Custom meal plans
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The program has helped thousands of busy parents get and keep lost weight off for good! To get a feel for what FM30X is like and receive a FREE meal plan, FREE workout, and FREE email coaching, sign up for the FREE Fit Mom Jumpstart Kit today! You won't be sorry you did!

Erin Coleman
Writer, The Fit Mother Project

A 15-year freelance writing veteran, Erin is registered dietitian and health educator who is passionate about health, fitness and disease prevention. Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife and mom of two beautiful children.

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
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  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

 

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