We all know that exercise is critical for burning calories, blasting fat, and helping you tone up and slim down, however not all exercises are created equal. Some exercises are much more low-impact than others, such as walking or moderate biking, which makes them great options for easy exercise or recovery days.
These types of workouts give your body a chance to recover and rebuild itself, preparing you for harder workout days. Other exercises, however, torch through calories, allowing you to do a shorter work that returns a greater calorie burn.
These five exercises, which are a combination of both cardio and strength moves, will help you burn a maximum number of calories in a little amount of time so that you get the most bang for your exercise buck:
- Jumping rope: Jumping rope isn’t just for kids or the playground anymore. This fast-paced form of exercise has the ability to burn through 11 calories per minute or more, and will leave you sweating after a mere 10 or 15 minutes. Add in the minimal equipment required to execute the move and it becomes the perfect way to blast some calories whether you’re at home or travelling.
- Burpees: Just the thought of having to crank out burpees is enough to strike fear into the hearts of many, largely because this exercise is anything but easy. It’s the difficulty of the exercise, however, that is precisely why it’s such a great full body, toning workout. Burpees combine squats, push-ups, core work, and jumping to make a workout move that kills around 10 calories per minute. It also is a good mix of both cardio and strength, and will leave you breathless after a few rounds.
- Push-ups: Another total body strengthening move, the push-up is one of the most basic exercises that a person can do, but it’s also one of the most effective. You can burn a little over 10 calories per minute doing push-ups, and with the many variations you can constantly keep your body guessing and stave off boredom. Push-ups are a very taxing exercise, however, so you can’t rely solely on them to lose weight; instead incorporate push-ups into your regular exercise routine, and do plenty of other total body moves in conjunction with regular cardio.
- Squats: Squats are similar to push-ups in that they are a very basic exercise move that pack a hefty punch as far as their fitness benefits go. You can do squats with your own bodyweight or with added weight, depending on your level of strength and accessibility to weights. They work your entire lower body, and will help you burn about seven calories per minute of exercise.
- Kettlebells: Kettlebell workouts have made a comeback recently, and with good reason: this weighted workout can help you burn around 20 calories per minute. In addition to being a great way to get in some cardio, the added weight of the kettelbell also helps you tone your entire body in the process, making it a one stop shop for exercise.
If you’re trying to sculpt a lean, toned body with minimal time spent in the gym, these exercises will help you do just that. When combined they help hit all of your major muscle groups and are a mix of heart-pounding cardio and muscle building strength, which are easily the two hallmarks of any good workout routine. Try doing all five of them for a minute at a time for 20 minutes in rounds of intervals for a killer full-body workout that will help you shape up in no time.
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