5 Full-Body Workouts That Burn More Calories Than Running

Running not your style? Need a cardio routine that will help you burn fat fast, without having to hit the pavement? There are countless workouts out there that will help you torch those calories (no running required), and here are just a few.

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1. Strength Training

Strength training is a great way to blast fat and gain muscle mass, which in turn, boosts your metabolism and allows you to burn even more calories even when you are at rest. In fact, a regular strength training routine can increase your metabolic rate by 15 per cent or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

While strength training used to be considered “moderate” activity, a new study from Arizona State University suggests that strength training burns twice as many calories per minute than originally thought, due to short anaerobic bursts of power, followed by periods of active or passive recovery. Depending on the intensity of your workout, strength training involving kettlebells, dumbbells or other weights can burn up to 900 to 1,000 calories per hour, Remember: Lifting weights doesn’t have to mean “bulking up,” but is an essential component of any fitness regime. Build lean muscle with bodyweight workouts, weight training workouts, Tabatas or even HIIT-style routines that incorporate resistance. The possibilities are endless.

2. Swimming

Swimming is a great low-impact exercise for individuals who have joint or weight-bearing issues. It’s a great full-body workout that works every muscle while incorporating a cardio element, too. Swimming for 30 to 60 minutes per day can also reduce your risk for stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and lower your resting heart rate.

As with any workout, intensity matters; 60 minutes breaststroke will burn around 700 calories in comparison to running at 6 miles per hour (a 10-minute mile), which will burn about 600 calories, according to the ASA. A combination of different swimming strokes will burn even more calories with minimal impact on your joints, so you’ll have a much lower risk of injury with swimming than you will with running.  To increase the intensity, throw in a kick board: grip it firmly with your hands and travel as many lengths as you can comfortably handle, kicking vigorously all the while. Check out more swimming workouts here. 

3. Kickboxing

Boxing is a very high-energy exercise that can lead to some serious calorie-burning sessions. High-intensity kickboxing sessions can torch around 800 to 900 calories per hour depending on your bodyweight and fitness level. Kickboxing classes combine both upper- and lower-body moves that pack some serious heat into your workout, with combinations including side-kicks, upper-cuts and jabs to a punching bag or sparring with a partner. Boxing is a great workout if you want to add both variety and a full-body workout into your fitness routine.

Another great thing about boxing is the improved flexibility, endurance, coordination and cardiovascular health benefits.

4. Cycling

If you engage in cycling for an hour at a 14-16 mph pace, you can burn around 700 calories. There are many variables that can change the amount of calories you can expect to burn, such as your weight, whether you’re cycling on a stationary bike or on a trail, and the varying elevations, inclined and resistance; but either way, expect to feel the burn. In addition, biking puts a lot less stress on your knees, ankles and spine than going for a run does. When the weather cooperates, hiking to and from work will burn those calories fast and will make your commute a lot more productive.

5. Team Sports

Playing sports is a great option for a full-body workout, and the best part is you can recruit your friends to play with you. Most team sports (basketball, tennis, soccer, etc.) involve high-powered bursts, followed by periods of active rest that mimic interval training. Depending on your intensity level, fitness level and weight, you can expect to burn anywhere from 400 to 700 calories per hour while playing touch football or basketball. Other sports such as soccer, tennis or rowing can burn around 500 calories while also factoring in each individual’s fitness status. And you just might enjoy them more than simply running around a track.

The most important aspect to consider when you start your next workout session is the intensity so as to maximize the benefits. You don’t have to work out for hours on end, but keep the intensity high to blast body fat and incinerate calories.