Muscle Matters.

Building muscle is often an overlooked component of a successful fat loss program.

Muscle is highly metabolic tissue that burns approximately three to five times more calories than an equivalent amount of fat. This means that by increasing your muscle mass your metabolism will go up. A body with a faster metabolism is better at burning calories.

There are five muscle-building movements critical to your fat loss fitness regimen. When performed these movements build more muscle and burn more calories than exercises done in isolation on machine weights. If your program does not include these exercise types you are probably wasting your time, and money, trying to lose fat.

The five fat busting five movements are:

1. Squats. The squat is a compound exercise that originates at the hip joint uses some of the largest muscle groups in your body. Squatting movements are major fat burners that can be done with bodyweight, dumb bells, barbells or with the increasingly popular kettleball swings.

2. Pushing Exercises. Pushing exercises include any type of push-up, dumbbell or bench press, or standing shoulder press. Pushing exercises use large amounts of muscle which burn a lot of calories.

3. Pulling exercises . Pulling movements work your back, arms and your latissimus dorsi. Exercises include pull-ups and a variety of rows.

4. Single leg exercises. This includes a variety of lunges, split squats and single leg squats.

5. Total body abdominals. Crunches are terrible for your spine and not very effective at strengthening your core muscles. You should do total body abdominals which work your abdominals as well as your arms, legs and torso. This means you are building muscle and burning more calories. Examples of total body abdominal exercises include mountain climbers, roll-outs and planks. (see additional ab exercises here)

These five movements provide a total body workout that delivers a fat-burning, metabolism boosting training session.

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