If you’re looking to lose weight, working out is essential along with a balanced diet. It’s recommended to incorporate a bit of resistance training and cardio into your workouts in order to gain lean muscle and burn fats at the same time. However, not all cardio is made equal, there are some forms of cardio that burn more calories and fat than the others. Here are some of the best types of cardio for weight loss:
The elliptical is a great workout option. Although it may not burn as many calories as other options on this list, it’s perhaps the safest way to burn a lot of calories because it has a minimal impact on your joints. Another great thing about the elliptical is that it really works your leg muscles, so you’re essentially burning fat and building muscle at the same time.
With the right amount of intensity, you can burn fat pretty quick. Add some incline to work your glutes more or feel your quads burn with a higher resistance and low incline. The rest comes down to the intensity, it’s recommended that you keep short bursts of high intensity followed up by rest intervals. Overall, the elliptical is a great machine to burn fat and build muscle on.
Indoor cycles are common in most gyms, and even if you don’t have access to one, an outdoor bike works just fine as well. Where many people go wrong with cycling is low intensity. A high-intensity cycling session can burn up to 1100 calories per hour whereas moderate pace may burn half as many calories.
Although a moderately intense session will burn a lot of calories as well, the workouts that get your heart rate up are the ones that burn the most calories. Try incorporating heavy and light intervals to maximize the fat burn. Overall, cycling is great as it burns a lot of calories and helps sculpt your leg’s shape.
There’s a reason why you see athletes around the world use a jumping rope. It’s cheap, not so hard to do, and it burns a lot of calories. The reason it’s the go-to for athletes, especially fighters is that it improves your footwork, shoulder strength, and coordination. Doing a jumping rope cardio session can burn as much as 500 calories in 30 mins.
Although it may be hard to jump for 30 mins straight as the workout is highly taxing on the body, you can start slow and work your way up. Start by jumping for a few seconds and then take a short break. Slowly build up your resistance and after a while, you’ll be able to burn a lot of calories without ever leaving your room.
Swimming is the total package. It’s a total-body workout, and it’s relaxing as well. You can turn a leisurely activity into an intense workout as swimming burns a ton of calories. This is because your body is using your arms, legs and your muscles to keep you afloat without break. Swimming burns approximately 14 calories per minute.
If you’re just starting out, then start with just swimming a few laps. Slowly increase the number of laps and try to increase your speed as well. Different styles of swimming also burn different amounts of calories. For example, a breaststroke will burn fewer calories than a butterfly, so keep things like this in mind when learning a particular style of swimming. Overall, swimming is great for people wanting to lose weight, and it’s especially great for people with joint problems.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT is considered the best form of cardio workout there is. Other forms of cardio can become really boring and it might take you a long workout to burn a significant amount of calories. However, HIIT is not only known for being short, but it’s highly effective in burning fat and calories.
How it works is that you pick a set of exercises, typically a weighted exercise followed up by a bodyweight movement and then a traditional cardio exercise. There are multiple styles of HIIT, but the standard Tabata style works well. If you have no equipment, you can do bodyweight exercises, it will also be highly effective.
In Tabata, your “work” interval is 20-30 seconds in which you will perform the exercise with maximum effort. After that, you will rest for 10-30 seconds and then do another work interval of the next exercise. Once all your exercises are complete, that’s 1 round, and you’ll have earned yourself a 30-60 second rest. Then you repeat for 3 rounds or however many rounds you can do and your workout is complete. Popular exercise choices are Squats, Lunges, Jumping Jacks, Mountain Climbers, Planks and push-ups.
HIIT is highly effective, and if you do it right, you physically won’t be able to work out for long. You can either work longer or work hard, but you can’t do both. If you’re short on time, then HIIT workouts can be a great way to lose weight without spending too much time.