Calorie Burning Cardio Workout Ideas

Eating a balanced diet and exercising are great ways to stay healthy. But if weight loss is your main goal, finding cardio exercises that burn the most calories and adding them to your workouts is absolutely vital.

Here are our top 4 cardio workout ideas that give you the most calorie bang for your buck, helping you get results sooner!

1.  Sprinting

Sprinting on a treadmill, outside in the open, or even up a flight of stairs is a great way to torch the most calories in the smallest amount of time.

In fact, according to a study by Harvard Medical School, an average 155-pound individual will burn roughly 450 calories every half an hour of running at an average speed of 7.5 mph (8min/mile). And increasing the pace during your workout can help you crush even more calories.

Plus, sprinting also helps increase flexibility, engages most of your muscles, and boosts your endurance.

And the best part? You don’t really need special equipment for sprinting — you can do it just about anywhere.

However, it’s important to understand that sprinting can be taxing on your knees and joints. Here are a few tips that can help you avoid unwanted knee injuries while running.

A few tips on how to do it:

  1. If you’re on a track or at a park, try sprinting for one lap and then jogging another. Keep alternating between sprint and jog laps for as long as you’re able to.
  2. If you have access to a treadmill, do a max effort sprint for half a minute, then slow down and recover for a minute or two before repeating the process. If you don’t have access to one, consider these treadmill options.
  3. If you’re at a flight of stairs, sprint to the top as fast as possible, then slowly walk down and repeat.
  4. It’s never a smart idea to run down a flight of stairs, so try using the descents as your active rest period. Also, try lifting your knees high to activate your glutes as you run up the stairs.

2. Swimming

Swimming is a full-body workout that’s also great for burning calories. Even simply treading through water engages most of your core, legs, and arm muscles.

When it comes to swimming, it’s important to realise that the type of stroke you do can make a significant difference in the number of calories you end up burning.

For example, according to one study, a 155-pound individual will roughly burn 493 calories in an hour doing the backstroke. However, the same individual will burn approximately 774 calories doing the butterfly stroke for the same duration of time.

Additionally, where you go for a swim can make a big difference too. Swimming where you’re going to fight against the current — like at the sea — will definitely help you burn more calories than you would at your local pool.

A few tips on how to do it:

  1. The easiest way to melt calories in the water is to just tread it.
  2. If you’re a beginner or just starting out, you could try doing a few moderately paced laps around your pool, then having a water-treading rest interval, and then repeating the process for the duration of your session.
  3. If you’re a strong swimmer, then simply swim as fast as you possibly can for as long as you can.
  4. You can also do swimming intervals where you swim at max speed down the distance of the pool and then swim back at a slower pace. You can repeat these intervals throughout your workout session.

3. Jumping rope

There’s a good reason why the jump rope is so popular among boxers: it’s easy to do, cheap, requires minimal space, improves coordination, enhances footwork, and most importantly, burns loads of calories.

A few tips on how to do it:

  1. Because very few people can continuously jump rope for half an hour, it’s recommended to jump in intervals. You should do intervals of fast jumps for a few minutes and then recover by either doing slow jumps or jogging in place for a minute or so.
  2. You can also try jumping vigorously for one minute and then resting for half a minute. Repeat the process until you’re done with the workout.
  3. For frequent flyers, consider tossing a jump rope in your luggage for an awesome cardio workout without ever having to leave the comfort of your hotel room.

4. Rowing

Last but not the least, rowing is a form of cardio exercise that incorporates both the upper and lower body and exerts fairly low stress on your ligaments and joints. It also burns some serious calories and is a great way to work your back muscles.

Maintaining a sustainable pace on the rowing machine can torch north of 800 calories an hour for a 180-pound person. And increasing the intensity with short sprints can easily throw that number north of 1,000 calories an hour.

A few tips on how to do it:

  1. Hold your chest up and utilise your entire body when rowing.
  2. Make sure that you’re not letting your arms do most of the work — try using your legs and lower body to get the motion rolling.
  3. Once you’re properly warmed up, set a timer for 20-30 minutes and row as fast as you can for 250 metres and then rest for one minute. Then simply repeat the process till the timer runs out.
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