Are you looking for ‘workouts for beginners’, ‘workouts to lose belly fat’, or maybe even ‘workouts without equipment’? If you're ever wondering whether you should do an isolation workout or cardio to lose any type of weight. Here is your answer: Cardio workouts are a must for anyone looking to lose weight and get fit. They are also the most dreaded part of any fitness program. Not everyone loves running or hitting the treadmill. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a cardio workout you enjoy.
In fact, there are many different types of cardio programs out there, each one targeting a slightly different area of your body or focusing on a specific type of movement, such as intervals or high-intensity training (HIT) circuits. If you want to know what workout burns the most calories, you’re in luck! We have compiled our top picks for the best cardio workouts and example exercises to burn more calories and help you get back in shape fast!
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
When it comes to burning calories, few workouts rival high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Unlike low-intensity cardio workouts, HIIT has you working at above 85 percent of your max heart rate for extended periods, which causes your body to burn calories long after you’ve finished exercising. By alternating between intense bursts of activity and short periods of low-intensity recovery, HIIT forces your body to switch from aerobic (with oxygen) to anaerobic (without oxygen) metabolism. This causes your body to burn calories both during your workout and after, which is why HIIT has you burning up to 250 more calories than low-intensity cardio. And the best part? You don’t have to run a marathon or do an hour of intense interval training each day to start seeing results. In fact, research shows you only have to do HIIT a couple times a week to start seeing significant weight loss benefits.
The most important thing about doing HIIT workouts is going as fast and as hard as possible.
HIIT Exercises: Stationary biking, Sprint running, Burpees & High Knees
Steady State Cardio
While HIIT is a more effective way to burn calories, steady state cardio is the more efficient way to burn fat. With HIIT, you burn calories during your workout, but once you’re done, your body rapidly goes back to burning glycogen, the stored carbohydrates in your muscles. However, with steady state cardio, you’re at a lower intensity level, burning mainly fat for fuel. Because you’re exercising at a lower intensity level, steady state cardio can be done for longer periods of time. Many people who do steady state cardio utilize a low-impact activity, such as walking or swimming. While steady state cardio workouts are effective for burning fat, they don’t provide the same after-burn effect that HIIT workouts do. That means you won’t be burning calories while you’re sleeping or after your workout is over.
The key to Steady state cardio is keeping your heart rate consistent.
Steady State Cardio Exercises: Walking, running, hiking, bike riding, stair-climbing, and spending some time on a rowing machine.
Jumping Squats- HIIT
Squatting is an effective way to burn calories and strengthen your lower body. Plus, it’s an essential part of many types of cardio workouts. However, if you’re jumping while you squat, you can turn your low-impact cardio workout into a high-intensity interval training session. By adding a jump to a squat, you’re increasing your overall exertion, as well as the amount of calories and fat you burn while exercising. And while squatting is a great way to burn calories and lose fat, it’s a bit risky, and it’s not recommended for people with bad knees. Squatting is a great workout, but it has some drawbacks. You can minimize these drawbacks by adding a jump to your squats. Not only does this make the workout more challenging, but it also burns more calories and fat.
Jumping rope-Steady State Cardio
If you’re thinking you’ll have to hit the gym to get results, think again—one of the best cardio workouts for burning fat is jump rope. Jump roping is an excellent low-impact cardio workout that targets all parts of your body, including your heart, arms, legs, and core. In fact, jump roping is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories and fat because you’re constantly moving, which means you can’t afford to get bored and stop exercising. And if you worried that jump roping is an unsafe type of cardio, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) actually recommends it as part of a well-rounded exercise routine.
Kickboxing- It can be both!
If you’ve ever wanted to lose weight and get in shape, but you’ve been too afraid to try cardio, then kickboxing is for you. Kickboxing is an excellent low-affected cardio workout that can help you improve your health, lose weight, and increase your overall fitness level. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences found that people who completed 16 weeks of kickboxing lost an average of 14 pounds. And while kickboxing is an excellent low-impact cardio workout that can greatly benefit your health, it can also be done at an intense level, which turns your workout into a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session.
Swimming- It can be both!
Swimming is a form of cardio exercise that works your entire body and is a great way to lose weight. Swimming is low impact and is not only recommended for people who are overweight but also for people who have joint pain or other physical limitations. At the same time, swimming is one of the best exercises you can do to burn calories and fat. In fact, one hour of swimming laps burns about 1,000 calories for someone who weighs 150 pounds. Swimming is also one of the best exercises for toning your body, especially your arms, legs, and abdominal area. At the same time, swimming is also an effective way to strengthen your muscles. While you can complete a long distance swim as an aerobic workout, you can also swim in a more intense, interval-like style, which increases your calorie burning and fat burning potential.
Few exercises are as effective at burning calories and fat as running. In fact, running is one of the best ways to lose weight. And while many people assume that running is too intense for beginners, this is not the case. And while running is a great way to shed fat, it’s also very easy to overdo it, which can lead to knee pain, shin splints, and other injuries. So be careful and listen to your body. The best way to avoid these types of injuries is to choose the right surface for you, as well as the right type of shoe for your foot type. Running on a treadmill allows you to control your speed, which can be helpful if you’re new to running or if you’re trying to lose weight. The treadmill can also help you avoid bad weather like rain, snow, and extreme heat, which can often make outdoor running a less pleasant experience.
Strength Training With Weights
When it comes to burning calories, you might think cardio is the only way to go. But when it comes to burning fat, nothing compares to strength training. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Physiology found that people who did only aerobic exercise (exercises that increase your breathing and heart rate over longer durations) lost 10 times less body fat than those who also lifted weights. That’s because aerobic exercise alone increases the amount of fat cells in your body, whereas strength training simultaneously reduces the amount of fat cells, meaning your body has fewer places to store excess calories. Aerobic workouts, on the other hand, actually increase the amount of fat cells in your body. That means every time you complete an aerobic workout, you’re actually creating new fat cells and adding to your overall body fat percentage. However, strength training with weights doesn’t just burn more calories; it also increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR) by as much as 15%. What’s more, you don’t have to go to the gym three times a week to see results. A few sets of strength training exercises done at home or at the office can produce significant fat loss results.
Strength Training with Weights Exercises: squats, lunges, crunches, and pull-ups
The Bottom Line
When it comes to cardio, there are many different types of workouts to choose from. All the mentioned workouts are suitable workouts for beginners. And while many of them are effective at burning calories, some are more effective than others. Workouts that are most effective in burning calories usually also improve endurance. Add weight lifting to workout activities and you will also improve your strength while also burning fat. HIIT is a great way to burn calories and fat, while steady state cardio is the more efficient way to burn fat. It’s important to remember that your goal should not just be losing weight and looking ‘thin’ but rather feeling and being fit and healthy. No matter which type of cardio workout you choose, you can expect to see significant weight loss results. So, what are you waiting for? Pick one of these workouts and get moving.