Despite all its benefits—burning calories, reducing stress and boosting endurance—running isn’t exactly everyone’s favorite activity, especially with the advent of technology and quicker means of transportation between locations.
For instance, if you’re training for a marathon, running can put dangerously high amounts of pressure on your feet, ankles and knees.
The most common mistake beginners make when trying to lose weight by running is doing too much too fast. This can lead to shin splints. And the only way to recover from this is to take time off.
That’s why sometimes, it’s a good idea to incorporate different forms of exercise. Here’s a short list of fat burning exercises that can be just as effective if not better than running.
Burpees are great for reducing excess body fat. The American College of Sports Medicine found that a 180 pound man could burn almost 1.5 calories per burpee. Those numbers only get better when you ramp up the number of burpees you do in a short time. Try for 10 burpees in 60 seconds.
2. Bike Sprints
Using the tabata protocol, bike sprints can shorten your workout time but still remain just as effective. The key here is to focus on short bursts followed by an active down time. Here’s an example of what this might look like:
1. Warm-up for 3-5 minutes.
2. Sprint at 60% effort for 20 seconds.
3. Light pedaling for 60 seconds.
4. Sprint at 70% effort for 20 seconds.
5. Light pedaling for 60 seconds.
6. Sprint at 80% effort for 20 seconds.
7. Light pedaling for 60 seconds.
8. Sprint at 80% effort for 20 seconds.
9. Light pedaling for 60 seconds.
10. Sprint at 80% effort for 20 seconds.
11. Light pedaling for 60 seconds.
Repeat this for as long as you want but make sure you do this progressively. Don’t try to do 20 minutes of this right from the start if it leaves you completely drained and dizzy.
3. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope gets your heart rate up and improves balance and coordination. A moderate intensity jump rope session burns 13 calories a minute.
4. Battle Ropes
These workouts seem to the be the key to ramping up fitness. These exercises achieve a calorie burn of nearly 10.5 per minute. Here are some ideas on how battle ropes can be used to work your full body.
5. Jumping Jacks
These are a classic. You might not think much of it, but there’s a reason why it’s still being used in the military. Jumping jacks work different muscles that are often neglected in a running program.
For this exercise you should try to do 60 seconds of jumping jacks with 20 seconds of rest. Repeat this cycle for a total of 15 minutes.
6. Indoor Rowing
Rowing burns an insane amount of calories. Per hour, you can burn up to 682! Rowing is one of the most intense, and effective exercises you can add to your routine.
7. Sandbag Workout
This may seem silly at first, but it’s actually a lot of fun.
Ever notice how most swimmers have very lean physique? According to the American Heart Association, just 30 to 60 minutes of swimming 4 to 6 days a week can help individuals both lose weight and reduce health risks such as stoke, diabetes and heart disease.
9. Stair Climber
If you do this exercise properly, stair climbers can provide a challenging cardio workout as well as strengthen the lower-body muscles.
10. Fat-Tire Biking
If you haven’t tried this fast-growing cycling sport, you should. Mike Curiak, record holder for the 1,000-mile Iditasport Impossible fat tire race says that you can burn up to 1,500 calories an hour pedaling the heavy, hard-to-turn monster bikes.