The Top 10 Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss.
If you’re like most guys, you do cardio exercises to help you stay lean and show off your muscle gains from lifting weights, also known as “the usual workout routine.” And there’s nothing wrong with that at all.
When it comes to deciding which type of cardio workout is best for burning fat, you must first decide which lean body type you want.
We can all agree on one thing: Intensity is everything. More calories are burned as the intensity increases. That’s why high-intensity interval training is a great way to get shredded while keeping (or even gaining) muscle.
Here are the top ten cardio exercises recommended by experts to help you lose weight faster and see results faster:
Sprints can be done outside, on a treadmill, or even up stairs or bleachers to burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time. These workouts require no equipment and can be done almost anywhere.
“Sprinting is simple, and it burns a lot of calories—at it’s the top of the list when it comes to losing weight.” While steady-state running or jogging burns a lot of calories, increasing your speed and intensity will pay off big time,” Adams says.”
What’s the best part? Sprinting damages every muscle in the body. “If your goal is Six Pack City, then go full throttle with your sprints,” Ryan advises.
The best way to do it is to sprint a lap and then jog a lap if you’re outside on a track.
Continue doing this for as long as you can.
If you’re using a treadmill, sprint for 20-30 seconds, then slow down and jog for a minute or so before repeating.
In a stadium or up a flight of stairs? Run as fast as you can to the top, then jog or walk down.
Running down stairs or bleachers is never a good idea, so use the downward portion for active rest periods. Lift those knees high to get your glutes working and build sprinter power in no time.
2. High-intensity Interval Training.
(HIIT) provides a well-rounded workout while also burning a significant amount of fat and calories.
“HIIT workouts can range from 500 calories per hour to 1500 calories or more per hour for a 180-pound man.” “HIIT workouts are fantastic because of the intensity of each exercise as well as the variety of exercises and reps,” Ryan says.
Combining any body-weight movement with a weighted movement and a traditional cardio element creates the ideal recipe for an effective fat-burner.
Look for Tabata, HIIT, high-impact aerobic, and vigorous interval classes with weights at your local gym.
Is there no gym or class? Check out these 10 high-intensity interval training workouts to get shredded.
To truly maximize your efforts, keep rest periods to a minimum.
Look at any collegiate rower’s body and you’ll be envious of their athletic, v-cut frame.
“Rowing makes the list because it is a great way to incorporate the upper and lower body while putting little strain on your joints and ligaments.” It’s also an excellent way to work the posterior chain,” Ryan explains.
A moderate pace on the rowing machine can burn up to 800 calories per hour for a 180-pound man, but increasing the intensity with short sprints quickly pushes that number well over 1,000 calories per hour.
The best way to row is to keep your chest up and use your entire body.
But don’t rely solely on your arms; try starting the motion with your legs.
Set a timer for 20 minutes, row 250 meters as quickly as you can, rest for one minute, and then repeat for the entire 20 minutes.
Swimming is a total-body workout that begins the moment you step into the water.
“You’re essentially fighting gravity, so your muscles are working overtime to keep you afloat until you’re out of the water.” In fact, one minute of fast swimming burns 14 calories,” says Boudro.
“Keep in mind that the type of stroke matters. “Because the breast stroke burns fewer calories than the butterfly, incorporate different strokes into your training,” Adams advises.
The best way to use it:
Simply treading water is an easy way to burn calories in the water.
You can run a few laps, followed by a water-treading interval, and then repeat.
If you can swim at a high level, swim as fast as you can for as long as you can.
If you’re not a strong swimmer, try swimming intervals: Swim as fast as you can down the pool’s length and back, then slower for the same distance.
Alternate these intervals throughout your workout.
Stationary bikes are a common sight in most gyms, but there’s a reason why most people don’t queue up to use them.
“You must be willing to move quickly. So no cycling while scrolling through your phone. “A vigorous indoor cycling or spin class can burn close to 1,150 calories per hour for a 180-pound man, while a more moderate ride will only burn about 675 calories per hour,” Adams says.
The best way to do it:
Interval training on a stationary bike is a great way to burn the most calories in the least amount of time.
Maintain a high intensity on the intervals for a couple of minutes, then slow down for a minute or so, repeating these intervals as long as you can.
While a kettlebell workout isn’t strictly a cardio exercise, the calorie-burning benefits are too great to leave off this list.
“Kettlebell workouts combine the best of both worlds: strength and cardio,” Adams says. “In addition, according to a recent study on the calorie-burning effects of this type of workout, it burns around 20 calories per minute.” This total includes not only aerobic calorie expenditure but also anaerobic calorie expenditure. This is one of the few cardio exercises that builds muscle. “You can expect to burn 400-600 calories in 30 minutes,” Adams says.
The best way to do it: If you can do a specific movement for 40-50 reps, your kettlebell is probably not heavy enough. Don’t go too light, but also don’t go too heavy.
Some of the best ways to maximize calorie burn during a kettlebell workout are to perform a movement for 30-40 seconds, rest for 20-30 seconds, then repeat the movement or cycle through several movements.
Set your timer for 30 minutes and see how many rounds you can complete in that time.
7. Rope Jumping.
The jump rope is a staple in a boxer’s training regimen for a reason: it’s cheap, easy to do, increases foot speed, and burns a ton of calories. Consider your favorite boxers, wrestlers, and fighters—all of them jump rope.
“Jumping rope not only improves your footwork, shoulder strength, and coordination, but it also simulates sprinting, allowing you to burn up to 500 calories in as little as 30 minutes,” says Ben Boudro, C.S.C.S., owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, MI.
The best way to do it:
While few people can jump rope for 30 minutes straight, intervals of fast and slow jumps will keep you going.
Can’t you do it well? For one minute, jump as fast as you can, then rest for 20-30 seconds. Repeat until you’re finished.
If you travel frequently, pack a jump rope in your suitcase for a great workout without ever leaving your hotel room.
8. Stair Climber.
A stair climber is another popular way to burn fat and calories, but it only burns about 500-600 calories at a moderate pace for a 180-pound man.
“Because of the higher leg lift involved, climbing stairs uses significantly more muscles than walking—functionally strengthening your legs,” Adams explains.
Stair climbers can be difficult for people with bad knees because they put a lot of weight and pressure on your joints.
“Try incorporating 90% or more effort on the stair climber for 30 seconds with a one- to two-minute ‘active recovery,’ like a farmer carrying medium-weight kettlebells or dumbbells to incorporate upper body and core strength,” Ryan suggests.
Doing 10-15 rounds of this workout will spice up your workout and burn far more calories than usual.
9. jogging (Moderate Pace).
Running at a steady, moderate pace burns fat and calories, but it’s not the most cost-effective way to build or even maintain muscle.
“A 180-pound man can burn approximately 940 calories in an hour while running at an 8.5-minute-per-mile pace—or 7 mph on the treadmill for an hour.” This would be a nice, long run to do every couple of weeks to maintain your aerobic capacity, but it involves a lot of mileage for the time and effort invested,” Ryan says.
Running at this speed can also cause muscle breakdown and subject your body to a lot of pounding.
“By all means, add in a long run every now and then; just choose trails or softer surfaces over cement and blacktop,” he says.
The best way to do it is to run on a treadmill with the incline set to 2-3% to simulate running outside. “This burns more calories and may be easier on the knees,” Adams suggests.
If running bores you, try new routes in your neighborhood or join a local running club. Running with a partner or group can make the miles fly by.
These machines were originally designed to reduce impact on the knees and hips while still providing a good workout.
“Because of the low impact, the calorie-burning effect isn’t as strong as with other cardio machines like treadmills and stairmasters.” The elliptical machine, on the other hand, can be an excellent way to burn calories without wearing out your joints.” Roger Adams, Ph.D., a nutrition and weight loss expert, explains.
While the average male weight is 180 pounds, a man may only burn 500-600 calories per hour if he moves at a moderate pace; however, you can get even more out of it by varying the intensity, speed, and resistance.
The best way to do it: Include a steep incline to really activate your leg muscles, particularly your glutes. “This motion can be used to simulate stair climbing without the impact.” Lower the incline and increase the resistance for a cross-country skiing-like workout that really works your quads,” Adams says.
Holding on to the handles or rails too tightly, as with the stepmill, can reduce your efforts and cause shoulder or wrist pain.