The Best Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss

If you’re like most of us, you do cardio so you can stay fit and lean. But there are different kinds of cardio and some are better at burning fat than others. If you train like a distance runner (i.e. you go for slow to moderate speed long runs twice a week) you’re going to end up with a distance runner’s physique which means you’re going to have a very lean body with little muscle. On the other hand, if you train like a sprinter (i.e. you do high intensity short workouts) you’re going to develop a sprinter’s body with more muscle growth.

The one thing you need to understand is that for cardio, intensity is key. The more intense your cardio, the more calories you burn. If you’re goal is to lose body fat and excess weight, high intensity interval cardio workouts are what you need. Here are our top recommendations:

1. Sprinting

Sprinting is a great way to burn calories and you can do this on a treadmill, doing laps on a track, or when climbing up a few flights of stairs. While steady state jogging or running can burn calories, increasing intensity and speed will really pay off.

Tip: Do an all-out sprint for 30 seconds and then slow down to recover for a minute or so.

2. High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

You get a well-rounded workout with HIIT while burning calories and fat. With HIIT you can burn anywhere from 500 to 1,500 calories per hour. You get even better workouts when you pair your cardio HIIT with body weight movements, which is something that group classes in gyms like Crossfit offer.

3. Rowing

Rowing is a great way to target the lower and upper body without putting you at risk of injury to the ligaments and joints. You can burn up to 800 calories per hour rowing and doing quick bursts of speed could even help you burn up to a thousand calories an hour.

4. Swimming

Swimming is a full body workout that you can adjust to suit your fitness level. You can, for example, do free style or a butterfly stroke, and you can opt to swim slow or fast. Butterfly stroke burns more calories than freestyle.

5. Spinning

Most gyms have stationary bikes but if you want to burn more calories you need to join a spin class which can help you burn anywhere from 500 to 1,200 calories an hour depending on your current weight and workout intensity.

Tip: You can do intervals on a stationary bike by pushing to high speeds for 2 minutes and switching to moderate speed for 3-5 minutes after, then repeat.

6. Jumping Rope

Jumping rope enhances your footwork, coordination, and shoulder strength. At the same time, you can burn up to 500 calories in just half an hour when you do intervals.

7. Running

Running at moderate speed can help you burn calories and fat. Doing 1 or 2 long and steady runs every week (60 – 90 minutes at 7mph) is a wonderful way to improve your aerobic capacity and lose weight. Keep in mind however that running is a high impact activity and could put a strain on your knees and joints.

8. Ellipticals

Ellipticals were once designed to give us a great workout while at the same time minimize the impact on the hips and knees. It can be an excellent way to burn calories and you can burn up to 600 calories per hour at above moderate pace.

9. Stair Climber

Using the stair climber stimulates your heart as well as your muscle in your lower body giving you more toned legs, glutes and back.

Check out this video from Gravity Transformation to learn more about the best cardio machines for fat loss:

Category: Featured