All bodyweight exercises (and for that matter all other exercises) require energy to perform and by extension could be classified as fat-loss exercises.
But we can do better.
The basic principle of effective fat loss is this:
Calorie Deficit + Resistance Exercise = Effective Fat Loss
The calorie deficit forces your body to tap into its own stored energy reserves and lose weight. The accompanying resistance exercise ensures the majority of this weight loss stems from fat stores not muscle stores.
So this is where you should focus the majority of your exercise efforts.
On building stronger muscles!
And the best bodyweight exercises for building stronger muscles are… basic compound exercises which can be performed SAFELY to an extremely high degree of effort.
Examples include: wall sits, prisoner squats, split squats, ring rows, pull ups and push ups.
(Click here to download the GTS program for lots more exercises, pictures and descriptions)
What About HIIT Exercises?
The afterburn effect of HIIT has been wildly exaggerated. Furthermore most HIIT exercises popularised on social media are high impact and quite frankly dangerous when performed for countless repetitions. Even more so if you are carrying extra weight.
This doesn’t mean HIIT is a waste of time. Done well (with safer exercises) it can be great for your metabolic health and certainly won’t hurt your fat loss efforts.
Bottom line… treat HIIT as a supplement to your strength building exercises.
Amplify The Calorie Deficit
Creating a calorie deficit will primarily be dictated by better food choices. However you can certainly amplify this effect by ramping up your daily activity levels.
And the best way to do this is… walking!
Yup, walking. It’s simple, it gets you outdoors, its low impact, it can be easily accumulated throughout the day and in my opinion is highly underrated for overall health and well-being.
So to wrap it up the absolute best bodyweight exercises for fat loss are: 1) basic compound strength exercises performed progressively to an extremely high degree of effort and 2) walking.
Add joint-friendly HIIT exercises as you see fit.