You love the ‘muscle burn’ after an energetic workout, but wonder if that burn is benefiting your waistline. Whether you’re a gym junky or prefer sweating it out in the comfort of your own home, most fitness gurus tend to agree, there are a few key exercises that burn the most calories. In this blog, our partners in fitness at the Australian Institute of Personal Trainers (AIPT) run through six of them…
1. Jump to it
Jumping rope targets more muscle groups than jogging, challenges your coordination and just 10 minutes provides the same fitness advantages as a 30-minute run. For added benefit, bring the intensity up a notch and try practicing drills that require extra hand and foot skills (like cross overs or double unders).
2. Add a squat
While we’re on the jumping bandwagon, jump squats burn major calories because they’re a weight-bearing activity – your body must work against force to complete the move. A great lounge room manoeuvre, start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position. Try and do two to three sets of 10 reps.
Most people love to hate ‘em, but Burpees offer a full-body workout because they’re essentially a jump, push-up and squat in one movement. Whether you’re a jump tuck, starburst, yoga flow or a one-leg burpee aficionado, if you can hammer out at least ten a minute (and do 10 reps), you can rev up your metabolism by as much as a 30 second all-out bike sprint.
4. Cross overs
Cross-fit workouts (often referred to HIIT) are effective because they pair three exercises – pull-ups (do 5), push-ups (do 10) and squats (do 15)– and work different major muscle groups. Plus, any exercise that takes you from standing, down to the ground and back up to again burns more calories, because it spikes the heart rate (if done quickly enough). Do as many reps as you can in 20 minutes and spice it up by adding jumping jacks or sit-ups and you’ll be getting results on par with jogging for an hour at a steady pace.
5. Bell swings
Kettlebell swings work the powerful muscles around your quads and glutes and send your heart rate into overdrive, because they’re not movements you’re super-efficient at. Some fitness experts believe a decent Kettlebell session (at least 20 minutes) can burn as many calories as cross country skiing, uphill and at a really past pace. Now that’s a workout.
6. Radical rowing
A great total-body workout using your arm, back and leg muscles, rowing can be done in-gym or a whacky version (the ‘Renegade Row’) done in-house with hand weights. If at home, get into a plank position with your weights in your hands and lift one arm against your body (your forearm should align with your back and your elbow should be at 90 degrees). Hold for two counts, then lower back down, repeat with the opposite arm. Do 3 sets of 5.
So with a little practice and persistence, your calorie-burning mission can be easily achieved. From your living room if you like! Burn, baby, burn.
This article was originally published by our partners at AIPT here.