If running hits low on the totem pole for lists of exercises you actually enjoy, there’s no shame in that. In fact, there are actually a few exercises that burn more calories and fat than running! Even if you’re an avid runner, it’s good to switch up your workouts from time to time. So next time you feel the need to sweat, try one of these more efficient exercises instead.
MORE: The Most Important Exercises All Busy Women Need to Be Doing
The key to burning fat is using as many muscle groups as you can; with kettlebell swings, your glutes, quads and shoulders will all feel the burn, making for a killer workout. Try adding this move into your regular workout routine for awesome results.
Step 1: Begin with the kettlebell between your legs. Be careful that you do not bend too low. You don’t want to do a squat, but bend down just enough to be able to get the kettlebell between your legs.
Step 2: Swing the kettlebell forcefully up to a point between your belly button and chest. As you bring it up, emphasis should be on your core and lower body, not arms. Your arms can be straight or slightly bent.
Step 3: Let the kettlebell fall back down and repeat.
Tip: This is not an arm exercise, it is a lower body muscle builder. Use your lower body to thrust the kettlebell upwards. Using a heavier kettlebell is recommended — your lower body can take it!
Not only will battle ropes burn tons of fat, but you’ll also be building your strength, grip and balance. Depending on the variation you do, you’ll work your biceps, triceps, shoulders and legs for a full-body workout. For some expert advice on battle rope exercises to add to your fitness routine, click here.
It’s not just for your Double Dutch sidewalk days! Jumping rope helps improve your stamina all while giving your body a total-body workout. While you’ll mostly feel it in your calves, your hamstrings and quads are working, as are your arms, shoulders and core. Plus, your knees will get stronger and you’ll improve your jumping height and speed. For an extra toning boost, try it with a weighted jump rope.
If you’ve been putting off renewing your Cyclebar membership, it might be time to bite the bullet. Not only does cycling improve your flexibility and muscle strength, but you’ll also see a difference in your waist, booty and legs. Plus, the cardio is so good for your heart and blood flow. Celebs like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Khloé Kardashian swear by it, too!
P.S. Don’t have the cash to dole out on an expensive membership? Grab your helmet and ride your bike the old-fashioned style!
Surprise, surprise! In case you didn’t love/hate burpees enough already, here’s another reason to add them to your workout routine. Perhaps the best exercise to improve stamina, the burpee works almost every single muscle in your body — and the more muscle groups you’re working, the more fat you’re burning.
Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
Step 2: Bend your knees and squat down, placing your hands firmly on the floor.
Step 3: Jump your feet back to come into a high plank with straight arms and legs.
Step 4: Jump both feet forward to your hands.
Step 5: From your crouching position, jump up with hands above your head. That is one rep. Repeat for the allotted time.
Not only does boxing burn a ridiculous amount of calories, but it’s a fun and exciting way to get your daily workout in. Look for boutique shops in your area equipped with trainers to help you through your workout, and don’t be surprised when you see results faster than your two- or three-mile jogs!
» New to Boxing/Kickboxing? Check out our Know Before You Go: Kickboxing 101 video.