5 Non-Traditional Cardio Workouts For Weight Loss

Tired of running in place on the treadmill? If you’re in the mood for something new, try one of these highly effective methods of non-traditional cardio for weight loss.

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1. The 55

The premise for this one is simple, but I guarantee you’ll feel challenged.

  • For your first round, do one squat using only your bodyweight and 10 push-ups. Rest for 30 seconds.
  • For round two, do 2 squats and 9 push-ups. Rest for 30 seconds.
  • Round three is 3 squats and 8 push-ups. Continue until you’ve made your way up to 10 squats and 1 push-up.

By the end of the workout, you’ll have 55 reps of each move completed. What’s so great about this workout? In addition to eliminating boredom, it’s a cardio and strength-training session in one.

2. Uphill Sprinting

The weather is warming up, so it’s time to take your workout outdoors. Get off the treadmill and head for the hills. Specifically, find a hill that works for sprint intervals. That’s right: you’re going to sprint up a hill and walk back down 6 to 10 times. Think about the kind of sprints you want to do before selecting your hill. For sprints that are shorter but higher in intensity, you’ll want a short, steep hill. Longer, lower-intensity sprints should be done on a longer hill. This workout is so much more exciting than straight-up running.

3. Tabata

Here’s a complete Tabata workout for you to try.

  • For 20 seconds, you do a move at full intensity.
  • Then you rest for 10 seconds. Then you do the next move at full intensity for 20 seconds.
  • You continue the pattern 8 times (or 4 minutes).

The intervals move so quickly, you never have a chance to get bored. Plus, since the workout is HIIT-style, you’ll burn more fat and more calories than with steady-state cardio.

4. Battle Ropes

If you’ve ever watched an episode of “The Biggest Loser,” you’ve probably seen these in action. These are long, thick ropes that you hold onto with both hands, alternating bringing each arm up and down for a fierce workout that targets your upper body but is a full-body cardio workout. Many gyms offer battling ropes, so if yours does,give them a go! They’re not just a great workout, but a ton of fun.

5. Water Aerobics

It’s easy to dismiss water aerobics as an exercise only enjoyed by those looking for a light, dainty exercise, but think again. Quickly treading water can burn 11 calories a minute. Do you know what else burns 11 calories a minute? A six-mile-per-hour run! When done correctly, water aerobics can be an intense workout. Swim 10 laps as fast as you can, for three sets, using different strokes each time — or, if you’re not into the standard laps, here’s a complete water aerobics routine to try.

The bottom line is that there are infinite ways to move your body and get a good cardio workout in. If you’re bored with running or biking or the elliptical machine, don’t let that be an excuse to let your cardio workouts slip by; think outside of the box. Go back to basics and go for a hike, or just dance around the house. Try a group exercise class you’ve never heard of before. Create your own intervals. The more fun you have during your workouts, the more likely you are to stick with it.