Dread cardio days but still want to burn lots of calories? There are plenty of exercises you can do that are effective at blitzing those calories and shifting excess fat, without the need to jog for miles and miles, as Laura Hailey the fitness editor over at Thegoodestate told us.
Estimating how many calories we’re actually burning during exercise can be tricky, as it’s based on many factors such as body weight, age and sex. Although it might not be an exact calculation, these various exercises will give you a better understanding of how many calories you're burning each session, and which ones to work into your routine.
Maximise every second of your workout and get the results you want with these five forms of cardio that could blast more calories than running.
There’s a reason why some of the world’s best boxers use a jumping rope in their routines. You can boost your heart rate, burn calories and get seriously sweaty with a high-intensity jump rope workout.
As well as strengthening your shoulders, arms, bum and legs, doing intervals can burn around 13 calories a minute. Just two 10-minute workouts each day for a week, and you’ll have burned 1,000 calories. Plus, you’ll be using more muscle groups than you would if you were jogging.
The non-stop action that basketball offers gives you an amazing total body workout, with the cardio involved testing both aerobic and anaerobic capacity. As you play, you’ll be sprinting, squatting, jumping and using your hand-eye coordination.
You’ll be forced to use energy systems you wouldn’t usually use everyday, so you’ll be burning a ton of calories within minutes. You can expect to blitz around 728 calories an hour.
When it comes to burning calories and toning muscle, high-impact aerobics ticks both boxes. Movements like jumping jacks, stepping and plyometric-style hopping force your body and muscles to really work, and it can be made even more intense by adding in weights. If you work aerobics into your routine, make sure you keep the intensity level high for 20-30 minutes and then rest to burn up to 311 calories.
Resistance training and weightlifting
In contrast to cardiovascular workouts, lifting weights allows the body to burn more calories in the long term. It helps people gain muscle, which speeds up metabolism and has a prolonged calorie-burning effect.
The intensity of lifting weights means that more oxygen is needed to recover and repair muscles after your workout. As you build more metabolically active tissue—muscle—the more effective your body will be at burning calories throughout the day.
A study in 2018 found that resistance training and weightlifting elevated the number of calories that the body burns at rest for up to 48 hours.
Using a rowing machine in your routine gives you a low impact, full-body workout while burning significant calories. The rowing action means you’ll use both the lower and upper body and work multiple muscle groups at the same time.
As with other cardio exercises, make sure you mix high-intensity bouts with some slower-paced rower to increase the amount of calories you burn. According to research by Harvard University, you could burn up to 377 calories during 30 minutes of vigorous rowing.
Punching bag workouts
A tried and tested piece of gym equipment, including the heavy bag into your workout, has many benefits. Not only will it help decrease stress levels and improve aerobic fitness, but it will also develop self-defence skills and strengthen your core.
Punching bag workouts can vary greatly in duration and intensity, but men can expect to burn between 462 and 500 calories per hour.