exercises for keto diet

Best Exercises for the Keto Diet

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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for everyone. It is not just beneficial for our physical health, it also helps boost our emotional and mental state. Studies prove that those who exercise regularly have a more positive outlook in life.  

Should You Exercise on the Keto Diet? 

If you are reading this, you are likely on the keto diet and wondering whether or not you should exercise. The answer is yes, you can exercise while you are on a keto diet. Not only is it doable, exercising while you are on a keto diet actually brings a lot of health benefits. 

A good workout routine can help you maintain a steady state of ketosis. It is also good for your heart and helps you build muscles while maintaining a lean shape. But that is not everything a good workout can do for you. It also helps strengthen your bones. 

How Much Exercise Should You Do on the Keto Diet? 

As a general rule of thumb, extensive and intense exercise is not ideal for those who are on keto. This means you need to avoid high-intensity workouts such as HIIT, circuit training, and any other intense workouts you haven’t tried before. 

Most health experts recommend doing low-intensity cardio workouts and strength training exercises. This includes cycling, jogging, walking, swimming, recreational sports, and light weight lifting.  

Can You Lose Weight on a Keto Diet Without Exercise?

While you are not consuming many carbs on a keto diet, some people still do not lose weight on the diet alone. There are plenty of reasons why this could happen.  

For instance, many people do not lose weight on a keto diet because they are stressed or do not have enough sleep. Another reason could be because you are eating a lot of high-calorie snacks. However, for most people, the keto diet is effective in losing weight even without exercise.  

Does Exercise Get You into Ketosis Faster?

The quick answer to that question is Yes. Exercise can get you into ketosis faster. Being physically active burns off glycogen and helps speed up your metabolism. As a result, you can get into ketosis faster than you might with dieting alone. 

exercises for keto diet

What Is the Best Type of Exercise for the Keto Diet?

As we have said, low-intensity cardio workouts, strength training, and stretches are the best types of exercise for those who are on the keto diet. These can be split into four different forms of exercise: 

Aerobic Exercise  

Aerobic exercise, or cardio exercise, helps you burn fat steadily over time. It could be any low-intensity workout that lasts more than three minutes. You can try jogging, cycling, swimming, or walking a few minutes every day. As long as it is done consistently, you should notice a drop in your weight within a few weeks. 

Anaerobic Exercise 

The second type of exercise known as anaerobic exercise. This typically involves weight lifting with lighter weights. It is highly recommended that you do not start off with heavy weightlifting exercises while you are on a keto diet. This is to make sure that your body will not be under too much stress while it is adapting to the new changes it is going through. 

Flexibility Exercises 

Another type of exercise you can do while on a keto diet are flexibility exercises. This type of exercise generally involves a lot of muscle stretching. In the long run, this can help you improve your muscle’s range of motion and help support your joints.  

You have a few options for flexibility exercises. You can do yoga, passive or relaxed stretching, ballistic stretching, dynamic stretching, and more. These types of exercises can help prevent injuries that are caused by shortening the muscles over time.  

Stability Exercises 

Lastly, we have stability exercise which generally involves a lot of balance exercises and core training. There are different types of stability exercises, including squats, stability ball lunges, shoulder press, chest press, sit-ups, planks, and more. These types of exercises help improve your alignments, muscle strength, and movement control.  

Do You Need to Alter Your Macros, Calories, or Diet While Exercising?

There are many different keto workout plans for different types of exercises. If you are looking to start a new exercise routine, or change your workout routine, you may need to adjust your diet.  

Once your body adjusts to the keto diet after the first two or three weeks, your body is already an efficient fat burner. For instance, those who are on a Targeted Ketogenic Diet or TKD, you need 20-50 grams of net carbs taken 30 minutes to one hour before exercise. This type of keto plan is best for athletes that do high-intensity exercises. 

Those who are going through Standard Ketogenic Diet or SKD, you need to consume 20-50 grams of net carbs per day. And those who are in a Cyclical Ketogenic Diet or CKD, you are required to eat low-carb keto for several days before switching to moderate-carb for a couple of days.  

A Sample Keto Exercise Plan 

Since the keto diet has gained massive popularity through mainstream media, there are plenty of keto workout plans available for you to find. Here is an example of a three-day workout routine complete with the types of exercise you can do. 

Day One 

Warm up – Light Barbell Bench Press 

Perform as many sets of six or seven reps as you need. This can be your warm up before you gradually increase the load of the weights.  

One-arm Dumbbell Row – 3 sets of 8-10 reps 

The next set of exercise is one-arm dumbbell rows. This exercise typically requires three sets of either eight to ten reps, five to seven reps, or 12 – 15 reps for each side. Do a 60-second rest in between sets.  

One-Arm Incline Press – 2 sets of 8-10 reps 

Another exercise you can do on the first day includes a one-arm incline press. It requires two sets of eight to ten reps on each side and you are allowed a 60-second rest in between reps.  

Optional: Dumbbell Curls – 3 Sets of 8-10 reps 

If you are looking to sweat a little more, you can also do dumbbell curls. This exercise requires three sets of eight to ten reps, with a 60-second rest in each set.  

Optional: Decline Lying Triceps Extension – 3 Sets of 10-12 reps 

Lastly, you can do decline lying triceps extension. This one requires three sets of 10 to 12 reps each and has a 60-second rest time in between.  

Cool down – 5 minutes of stretching 

Do some stretching to finish off. Stretching is a great way to cool your body down after a workout. 

Day Two 

Warm up – Back Squats 

On the second day, you can start with a few sets of back squats. Perform as many sets as you feel is right. Remember to do a warm-up set beforehand.  

Gradually increase the load until you find a weight that allows six or seven reps, usually, five reps are enough to boost your system. Rest as needed.  

Rack Pulling – 2 sets of six reps each side 

The second exercise you can do is rack pulling. This exercise requires two sets of six reps each. You are allowed a 90-second rest in between.  

Pallof Pressing – 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each side 

The third exercise is pallof pressing. This exercise requires three sets of eight to 10 reps on each side and has a 60-second rest for each set.  

Sliding Leg Curls – 2 sets of 6-12 reps 

The next one is sliding leg curl. This exercise typically has two sets of six to 12 reps. Rest time is 60-seconds in between.  

Optional: Farmer’s Walk – 2 sets/30-second rep 

If you want to do more, you can do the farmer’s walk which requires two sets of 30-second reps. Remember to take a 60-second rest in between each set.  

Cool down – 5 minutes of stretching 

Try to do different types of stretches from the ones you did on the first day. Target your legs and the lower part of your body this time. 

Day Three 

Warm-up: Neutral-grip Chin-up – 3 sets of 6-10 reps 

On the third day, you can start with neutral-grip chin-up. This exercise requires typically three sets of six to 10 reps. Take a 60-second rest in between each set.  

Overhead Dumbbell Press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps 

Next is the overhead dumbbell press. This is a three-set exercise typically requiring eight to 10 reps, five to seven reps, or 10 to 12 reps with a 60-second rest in between.  

Bodysaw – 3 sets of 8-15 reps 

After resting for 60 seconds, you can start with body saw. The body saw exercise requires three sets of eight to 15 reps. Rest for 60 seconds before starting a new set. 

Face Pull Exercise – 3 sets of 8-12 reps 

After the body saw, you can start with the face pull exercise. This is also a three-set exercise requiring eight to 12 reps. A 60-second rest between each set is recommended. 

Optional: Hammer Curls – 3 sets of 8-10 reps 

If you want to sweat more during this workout, you can add hammer curling as your last exercise. This is a three-set exercise requiring eight to 10 reps with a 90-second rest in between. 

Cool down – 5 minutes of stretching 

Do stretches that will target the parts of your body that you have worked on today. This will help relax the muscles in those specific areas and avoid muscle pains.  

You can restart the same workout routine after three days or find a new one based on your specific needs.  

Always remember to get advice from a health care professional before starting any new exercise routine.  

Adjust the weights, reps, and sets in any workout to your own ability and fitness level.  

If you are feeling any pain, stop immediately and seek medical attention. 

The most important thing to remember is to warm up and stretch before and after each workout and don’t overdo it. Stay healthy on your keto journey!

Find out more about the keto diet in our articles on how to get into ketosis and the keto diet explained.

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