8 Cardio Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running
You don’t need to pound the pavement to incinerate fat

August 3, 2022

guy swining kettlebell

Here at MH, we’re massive fans of running… okay, some of us are. This staple exercise busts stress, boosts endurance and ramps up heart health like nothing else. Best part: all you need is a pair of running shoes and an open road (or trail). You’ll also burn more calories in the process. For every 10 minutes spent running at an average pace, you’ll burn about 60 calories. So, string together a 40-minute stint and you’ll melt through the equivalent of a generous dessert.

But if running isn’t your favourite cardio activity, there are plenty of other modes of exercise that can help you torch calories at a lightning fast rate.

“In general, you burn more calories by doing high-intensity weight training than you do running,” says Harold Gibbons, a trainer at Mark Fisher Fitness in New York City, and the New York State Director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

RELATED: 3 Simple Stretches To Prevent Running Cramps

Most people don’t realise this, though. That’s often because the number of kilojoules you’re told you just burned is typically estimated from The Compendium of Physical Activities, which calculates energy expended through aerobic metabolism.

That works well for low- to medium-intensity exercise, but not so well for higher-intensity activities that rely on anaerobic metabolism.

In fact, when researchers at the University of Southern Maine used a more advanced method to estimate energy expenditure during exercise, they found that weight training burns up to 71 percent more kilojoules than originally thought.

But resistance training isn’t your only option. There are also cardio exercises that can boost your burn, too. We found 8 exercises that will help you incinerate kilojoules – without ever having to hit pavement.

1. Kettlebell swing

This explosive cardio exercise works the big, powerful muscles around your glutes and quads, and sends your heart into overdrive, according to research from the University of Wisconsin. In the study, participants burned 85 kilojoules a minute and their average heart was 93 percent of its max for the course of a 20-minute workout. The kettlebell swing works you so hard because it’s not a movement you’re used to,” says Dan John, a strength coach in Salt Lake City and the author of Intervention. “You’re not super efficient at it, which taxes your body.”

RELATED: Build Major Strength With This Full-Body Kettlebell Workout

2. Indoor rowing

man on indoor rower

A 84 kg guy can burn 1577 kilojoules during 30 minutes of vigorous rowing, or about 52 kilojoules per minute, reports a Harvard University study. And because you need to utilize the muscles in your arms, legs, and back for efficient strokes, it’s a great total-body trainer.

3. Burpees

A 82 kg person burns about 6 kilojoules per burpee, says exercise scientist and Spartan Coach Jeff Godin. So if you can hammer out at least seven a minute you’re in the double digits. But you should shoot to average at least 10 every 60 seconds, or a rate of 60 kilojoules per minute. Why? Performing just 10 reps at a fast pace can rev your metabolism as much as a 30-second, all-out bike sprint, according to a study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting, and that makes the burpee a killer cardio exercise.

4. Jumping rope

Moderate-intensity rope jumping—about 100 to 120 skips per minute—burns about 13 calories a minute, according to the Compendium of Physical Activities. This cardio exercise uses more muscle groups than jogging, and challenges your balance and coordination – especially if you practice drills that require extra hand and foot skills.

5. Fat-tyre biking

If you haven’t tried this fast-growing cycling sport, you should. You can burn up to 6276 kilojoules an hour – or nearly 105 kilojoules per minute—pedaling the heavy, hard-to-turn monster bikes and tackling all types of terrain, all year round, says Mike Curiak, record holder for the 1,000-mile Iditasport Impossible, a fat tire biking race.

Reality check: That kind of kilojoule burn depends on your fitness and strength levels, and your skill. (You’ll burn more calories if you’re heavier and have more muscle mass.) But regardless, it’s sure to be one hell of a cardio workout.

6. “Cindy”

man doing olympic lift

This CrossFit Workout of the Day (WOD) burns an average 54 kilojoules per minute, according to scientists at Kennesaw State University. It’s effective because it pairs three exercises—5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 air squats—that work different major muscle groups, and you do as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.

RELATED: I Tried CrossFit For The First Time, This Is What It’s Really Like

7. Tabata jump squats

This four-minute miracle drill burns major kilojoules both during a workout and after. In an Auburn University at Montgomery study, participants who did eight rounds of all-out jump squats—20 seconds of hard work, separated by 10 seconds of rest—burned 56 kilojoule per minute and doubled their post-exercise metabolic rate for at least 30 minutes.

8. Battle ropes

In a recent College of New Jersey study comparing various workout styles, battling-rope exercises came in first in terms of total oxygen consumption and an average kilojoule burn almost 45 kilojoules per minute.

Originally published on menshealth.com