One of the great things about exercise is that it doesn’t just burn calories while you’re moving — it can also boost your metabolism, encouraging rapid fat-burn even when you’re at rest.
Here are some of the best metabolism boosting exercises to incorporate into your routine.
The greater the intensity, the great chance of boosting your metabolism. Sprinting is one of the most intense exercises around, and it doesn’t take anything but shoes and a small stretch of road.
2. Tabata Cardio
There are many different ways to jumpstart your metabolism with cardio. In addition to running at sprint speed, you can also try for high-intensity swimming, cycling, or even jumping jacks. Try these cardio exercises in a Tabata pattern: 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 10 seconds at a recovery pace. Repeat 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. Add in a short warm up, some stretching afterward, and you’ve an excellent no-excuses workout that takes less than 10 minutes.
Tabata is an excellent method of high-intensity interval training, but it’s not the only one. There are many different ways to organize your periods of intensity and recovery, and they all have benefits. You might try a 30-second/90-second interval, or a 30-second/60-second. Alternately, if you don’t have a timer, you can try counting breaths. For example, you can try sprinting for 10 breaths, then recovering for 10 breaths.
4. Circuit Training 1
There are plenty of great circuit workouts to increase metabolism out there. Here’s an example of one extremely challenging routine from Men’s Fitness. It starts with consecutive sets of burpees, mountain climbers and jumping jacks — without any rest in between. In the first circuit, there are 10 reps; in the second, 15; and in the third, 20. Jumping rope for 3 minutes finishes out the first round. Then, after a minute’s rest, it’s on to three more equally difficult rounds. Check out the full workout here.
5. Circuit Training 2
Another example of circuit training, this routine performs Tabata intervals of the following exercises:
- Jump rope
- Plyo push up
- Bodyweight row
- Medicine ball squat to overhead throw
- Medicine ball chest pass
- Renegade row
- Jumping lunges
- Treadmill incline sprints
After you complete the circuit, rest for two minutes, then do it again. Try to complete three rounds. If this doesn’t boost your metabolism, we don’t know what will!
6. Circuit Training 3
The following workout only contains two exercises, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Start with 30 yards of loaded sled push, then follow up with 25 kettlebell swings. Take 90 seconds of rest between sets, and try to repeat the circuit 3 times.
7. Make Your Own Circuit
These are just a few examples of circuits, but the possibilities are endless. You can easily make circuits yourself, by combining exercises you know into sequences. Try to avoid having two exercises that work the same muscles in a row. By moving the focus around the body throughout your circuit, you give your muscles a chance to recuperate.
A fully-loaded squat is an extremely powerful exercise. It not only works your lower body, but it also taxes your core. Squats have been connected to increases in testosterone for men, which helps to build muscle, and building muscle is one of the best ways to speed up your metabolism.
Like squats, deadlifts are staples in the bodybuilding world, and for good reason. When properly performed, this exercise can take your workout to the next level and even increase your metabolism.
Full-body movements that require activity from multiple muscles tend to burn a lot of calories and help boost the metabolism. The burpee combines push-ups and squat jumps to create an explosive exercise that hits all your your major muscles and also gives you a cardio workout. To take it to the next level, perform your burpee by a bar and add a pull-up at the top of your jump (but watch your head).
11. Other Bodyweight Movements
If you don’t have access to weights, you can still structure a great no-excuses workout to increase your metabolism. We mentioned burpee pull-ups previously, but if you’d like you can also omit the push-up and simply combine pull-ups with squat jumps. The muscle-up is another great pull-up variation that hits a lot of muscles by training both your pushing and pulling motions simultaneously. Finally, full-body exercises like bear crawl, crab crawl, walking lunges and other movements are a great way to work lots of muscles — and boost your metabolism — without any equipment.