It’s common for people looking to start a workout routine to take up running. But not everyone is a runner, and that’s not a problem. Here are 3 fat-burning workouts you can do instead.
Descending Circuits — Circuit training or interval training isn’t just for the seasoned athlete. Circuit training is an excellent workout to rev up your metabolic engine and start burning fat. Circuit training combines resistance training with interval training, so you get the best of both workouts in one combined, concise plan. Traditional circuit training involves performing a group of six to 12 exercises for a certain number of repetitions or a certain time period. When you complete one exercise, you quickly move on to the next until the full circuit has been completed. The circuit is then repeated for anywhere from two to six rounds.
For example, start with four body-weight exercises: push-ups, squats, lunges and jumping jacks. In round one, complete 10 reps of each exercise. Next step, complete nine reps. Finally, third step, complete eight reps. Continue dropping one set each round until you get to one. The key is to perform each round as quickly as you can (maintaining good form) with as little rest between exercises and between rounds as possible. To blast away fat and keep your metabolism running post-workout, increase repetition speed and tempo with each round, finishing your workout session fast and strong.
Barre — Trendy ballet-inspired barre classes are usually a blend of various types of cardio. These classes include strength training, flexibility, balance and core work, targeting the hips, glutes, abs and arms. Barre workouts incorporate movements from ballet. Pilates and yoga also use the ballet barre as a prop for balance. The exercises focus on isometric strength training and high reps of small but mighty movements to tone and tighten while you burn fat. Many classes also incorporate light handheld weights to increase burn, and mats for targeted core work. The fast-paced 60-minute classes put to upbeat music are a fun way to get in a full-body workout and see quick results. In addition to weight loss, the major benefits of barre include improved posture, muscle definition, increased flexibility and reduced stress.
Cycle (aka spin) — Spinning is a great low-impact exercise to blast away fat, improve cardio, train your core and build lean muscles. While you can certainly do a cycle workout on your own, you’ll get the most out of a group class. The workout gives your body a challenge, switching between flat rides (low resistance) and uphill (increased resistance). Unlike running, walking and even the elliptical, spinning keeps the pressure off your knees and feet, allowing you the same benefits of a high-impact cardio workout, without hurting your knees. Throughout the workout, the instructor will remind you to maintain form and ensure you’re working the right muscle groups. In a spin class, you’ll feed off the energy of others but still be able to work at your own level. In a 45-minute class, you can burn as many as 600 calories.
Not everyone is built for running, and that’s OK. Don’t beat yourself up trying to perform an exercise you simply don’t enjoy; you’ll only get frustrated and burn yourself out. The key to getting fit is to find something you do enjoy. This will ensure that you’ll be motivated to stay consistent with your workouts over time. Try these 3 fat-burning workouts before going full-throttle.