You know you need to get more cardio workouts in, but uh, cardio … boring, right? You aren’t sure you can force yourself to do another minute on a treadmill, elliptical, stair climber, or in a spin class. Good news! We’ve got you covered with 10 fat burning workouts that work better than cardio.
Do all the “arm” exercises on one arm then on the other for one round. Rest for three minutes, then repeat four more times. Once arms are done, do the Turkish getup for five straight minutes. The longer you can go per side, the more calories are burned. This is one of the best fat burning workouts that strengthens your core.
One-arm snatch – 10 reps.
One-arm clean and press – 8 reps.
Hold a kettlebell, bend your hips back, so your chest moves closer to the floor, and weight is just above the floor. Bring bell to shoulder level. Brace your core and press the bell straight overhead.
One-arm goblet squat – 8 reps.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned outward slightly, hold kettlebell under the chin and squat as low as you can go.
Do as many reps as you can in five minutes. Lie with your back on the floor and hold the bell over your chest with your right hand. Bend right knee so your foot is flat on the ground. Bring your upper body off the floor and then push off the ground with your right foot to bring your hips off the floor. Support your body with your left hand. Now sweep your left leg back until you can rest on the left knee. Stand up. Then reverse it all until you are back on the floor. Alternate sides. Keep doing until you hit five minutes.
The key to intensity intervals is using moves that challenge the entire body in one exercise, and in doing a couple of the moves back to back before catching your breath and moving again. Don’t allow yourself to fully recover until you’ve completed a full round.
Burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks (that’s one round) – do this 3 times – first time 10 reps (of the first 3 moves and then jump rope), second time 15 reps …., third time 20 reps. After three times, jump rope for 3 minutes. Rest for one minute at the end.
Walking lunges with kettlebell exchange underneath leg, pushups, lunge jumps, and walk-outs (inchworms). Do three times through – 45 seconds for each exercise. Take a 15-second break at the end of each 45 seconds. After the three times, jump rope for 3 minutes. Rest for one minute at the end.
Traveling kettlebell squats, TRX pull-ups, box jumps, and TRX jack knives. Three times through – 45 seconds for each exercise. Take a 15-second break at the end of each 45 seconds. After the three times, jump rope for 3 minutes. Rest for one minute at the end.
Traveling side lunges, dips, speed skater (lateral jumps), and plank to pushups. Three times through – 45 seconds for each exercise. Take a 15-second break at the end of each 45 seconds. Now stretch out and recover.
Legs and core blaster.
Do three rotations of the following (you can do with either dumbbell or cable if you can’t do with a medicine ball):
Bulgarian split squat.
10 reps each leg and then rest for one minute. Stand with a bench (lunge length away) behind you. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Rest the top of one foot on bench and lower your body until back knee almost touches the floor. Drive heel into the floor to push back up. Do all 10 reps on one side and then switch.
Single-leg Swiss ball leg curl.
Do as many reps as possible with each leg. Try not to rest when you complete this one, just move to the next exercise. Lie on your back resting heels on a Swiss ball. Drive one of your heels into the ball to raise your backside off the floor. Bring the opposite leg into the air. Keep hips elevated as you bend the knee of working leg like you would in a leg curl.
Single-leg glute bridge.
Do as many reps as possible with each leg. Rest 30 seconds. Lie on your back bending one knee at 90-degree angle. Bring that foot so it rests flat on the floor and extend other leg straight. Keep your core braced as you drive your heel into the floor and raise hips until your body forms a straight line. Do all the reps on one side before switching to the other.
3 sets, hold as long as possible and don’t rest between. Get in pushup position, bending elbows to rest forearms on the floor. Hold ab muscles tight to keep your body in as straight of a line as possible.
Medicine ball wood chops – 2 sets.
20 reps each side and rest for 30 seconds after each set. Hold a medicine ball with both hands and stand with feet staggered, left foot in front. Extend arms so they are at the outside of your left knee. Swing arms diagonally hard and fast over the opposite shoulder. Do all the reps on one side before switching to the other.
Now repeat the full routine two more times.
Cardio – nontraditional options.
If you love cardio but want to switch up your routine, you can use the following fat burning workouts in a circuit. 10 burpees, one minute rest (3 times); 20 hopping lunges, one minute rest (3 times); 3-minute plant, one minute rest; 2-minute plank, one minute rest; one minute plank; lateral skater hop, 20 reps each side, one minute rest (3 times); squat to press with dumbbells, 25 reps, one minute rest (3 times).
Single-arm clean – 5 reps (3 times).
Hold a dumbbell between your legs using an overhand grip, feet should be shoulder-width apart and core engaged. Bend knees and hinge hips, keep back straight. Dumbbell should be about knee-height. Explosively extend hips, knees, and ankles while doing a shoulder shrug. Catch dumbbell at shoulder height with your knees bent softly. Stand tall and slowly lower weight. That’s one rep.
Single leg box jumps – 5 reps (3 times).
Standing on one leg directly in front of mid-shin height box, lower to a partial squat while keeping torso upright. Drive up making just the full foot lands on the box. Stand tall and then lower yourself back down. That’s one rep.
Barbell squat to press – 8 reps (3 times).
Use a clean grip to hold barbell. Keep upper arm parallel to ground. Squat by pushing hips back and keeping the body upright. Push off heels to stand upright – while doing this, press the bar and lock it overhead. Lower bar back to the clean grip. That’s one rep.
Pull-up – 8 reps (3 times).
Using an overhand grip, grab a pull-up bar. Drive your shoulder blades downward as you hold your core tight and pull your chin over the bar. Lower slowly. That is one rep.
Lateral Lunges – 8 reps each side (3 times).
Hold a dumbbell like it was a goblet at chest height. Take a step to the right with your right leg, push hips back. Your right foot, knee, and hip should make a straight line. Push off from the heel and drive back up. Do all reps on one leg and then the other.
Single arm bent-over rows – 8 reps (3 times).
Hold a dumbbell using a neutral grip with palm facing upward. Keep knees soft and hinge your hips until your spine is at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Pull elbow back and pull/squeeze shoulder blades into each other at the top of the row.
Rotational medicine ball slams – 8 reps each side (3 times).
Hold a medicine ball at chest height while standing next to a wall. Pivot feet and hips toward the wall using your core to throw the ball against the wall.
Ab wheel rollout – 8 reps each side (3 times).
Kneel on the floor while holding the axle of an ab wheel. Roll forward until you can’t hold your spine neutral, then roll back until the wheel is under your shoulders.
Dumbbell circuit (fat blasting).
This is one of the best fat burning workouts you can do that involves weight training. Do each exercise for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds, then move to the next exercise. Do all the exercises, rest for a full minute and then repeat three more times from beginning to end. Dumbbell goblet squat, pushups, dumbbell row, salute planks, ice skater jumps. This will take you about 20-25 minutes total.
Mixed martial arts – building.
You’ll need at least 30 minutes to complete.
Box jump – 6 reps (3 times).
Use either a high aerobics step or a box, bend knees, throw back your arms and jump onto the box. Then jump off. That’s one rep.
Swiss-ball rollout – 10 reps (3 times).
Spread your feet wide apart and rest your forearms on a Swiss ball. Extend your arms while rolling the ball forward until you feel your lower back about to sag. Hold for one second and then roll the ball back to starting position. That’s one rep.
Push press – 5 reps (3 times).
Bend your knees while holding a bar at shoulder level. Explosively press the weighted bar straight overhead.
Weighted chin-up – 5 reps, then 3 reps, then 3 reps.
Perform a normal chin-up with a weight attached around your waist.
Medicine ball slam – 6 reps (3 times).
Hold a medicine ball overhead at arm’s length, then throw it as hard as possible onto the floor. Catch the ball as it bounces up and throw down again immediately. Each throw and catch is one rep.
Dumbbell bench press – 5 reps, then 3 reps, and 3 reps again.
Lie on a bench face-up with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the weights at the sides of your chest and press them up explosively. Slowly lower them back to your chest – take a full five seconds to lower them.
Plyo push-up – 6 reps (3 times).
From pushup position, lower your chest until it is about an inch from the floor. Explosively push yourself back up – hard enough so your hands leave the floor, and you can clap. If you can bring your feet off the ground too, even better. Now when you land, use the momentum to start the next one.
Front squat – 5 reps, then 3 reps, and 3 reps again.
Rest your fingertips on a bar or chair back for balance – now squat down as low as you can without rounding your lower back. Extend your hips to return to standing position.
Jump front squat – 5 reps (3 times).
Squat until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor (A), then jump as high as you can (B).
Around your waist, attach a weight belt with a rope from the belt to the sled. Move so there is no slack in the rope when you start. Step out with one foot well ahead of your center of mass, so your heel strikes the ground first. Your torso should remain upright throughout the sprint – don’t lean forward using body weight instead of strength. You should feel as if your front heel digs and hip pulls are what is moving the sled. Rest 30-60 seconds between sprints for both experience levels.
For elite athletes.
Start with a 40-yard sled sprint. Increase the distance of each successive sprint by 10 yards until you do a single 150-yard sprint (12th sprint). Now decrease each sprint by 10 yards until you are back to a 40-yard sprint.
For regular athletes.
Start with a 20-yard sled sprint. Increase the distance every other sprint by 10 yards until you reach 50-yards and repeat it once. Then decrease back down by 10 yards every two sprints until back to 20-yard sprint (14th sprint).
Strength and conditioning circuit.
Do 3 rounds and rest only 45 seconds between each round.
Hold dumbbell plate ends so they are perpendicular to your body. Hips are sitting back like you would in a deadlift and flex the knees. Swing the weights between your legs and raise the weights by pushing through the heels. You should have hip momentum helping to raise the weight. Your goal is to get so you raise the weight above the head. In a controlled manner, reverse the motion, bringing the dumbbell back to its starting position. That one rep should take about 30 seconds.
Inverted row with chairs.
Sit on the floor with a chair on either side, seats facing away from each other. Place a broomstick bar on top of both of the chairs. Grab onto the bar tightly. Grab onto the bar with your body straight, now pull your body up with only your heels remaining on the floor. Hold core, hips and butt tight. Aim to pull yourself high enough that your hands are at your sides before you slowly lower yourself back down. Take at least 30 seconds to do this one.
Feet should be shoulder-width apart. Lower into a regular squat and then tighten core muscles before explosively jumping upward. Land as lightly and quietly as possible with your lower body back in squat position. Do for 30 seconds.
Hold plank position for at least 30 seconds.
Run in place with your knees coming as high as you can get them for 30 seconds. Now do the full round of exercises two more times.
A complex is a series of exercises done moving from one to the next without stopping or putting down the weights – no resting between exercises. This burns calories and fat – and builds calorie-burning muscle.
Choose a weight that still works when you do your weakest exercise (on the Plyo pushup, simply set the dumbbells aside). Rest for 90 seconds after each full rotation, then repeat 3 more times.
Here’s a sample complex workout.
Romanian deadlift – 6 reps
Bent over row – 6 reps
Reverse lunge – 6 reps (each side)
Dumbbell high pull – 6 reps
Overhead press – 6 reps
Front squat – 6 reps
Plyo push-up – 6 reps
Want to know more about what is needed for interval training to make it most effective for fat blasting and weight loss? Workouts help you know more about the procedures.