Between work, household chores, eating, and sleeping, it can be hard to find the time for exercise. This means when you do make the time to work out, you want it to be effective and worth the effort. There’s no use changing into workout clothes, heading to the gym, and putting in your time if you won’t see results. Like everyone else, you want to burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time.
To do this, you need to be picky about which type of workout you choose. For example, while walking is an ideal exercise for many people, it’s not going to torch calories.
If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your workout buck, try one of these five exercises.
1. Interval Training
Most fitness experts agree that interval training is one of the best ways to get fit and lose weight. You can use interval training for most types of cardio exercises. The idea is to alternate between high- and low-intensity exercise during your workout. This may mean running at a fast pace for two minutes, jogging at a slower pace for one minute, and repeating this pattern for the duration of your exercise session. Training this way allows you to exercise at a more intense pace for a longer period of time overall so you end up burning more calories. Try interval training with running, walking, cycling, or swimming
If you push yourself, you can burn up to 10 calories a minute with plyometrics. That’s 200 calories in 20 minutes, 300 in 30. Plyometrics is a form of exercise that revolves around explosive jumps and hops that engage leg and core muscles. You’ll increase your strength, power, agility, balance, and athletic performance with a plyometric workout. Because of the high intensity of the workout, it’s not meant to be done everyday.
Don’t spend your time at the gym doing measly bicep curls and weight machines. Weight training is a highly effective way to get in shape, burn calories, and increase your metabolism, but like other workouts, there are right and wrong ways of going about it. A form of high-intensity interval training in the world of weight lifting is called supersets. They’re done by performing two different exercises back to back without resting in between. This could be an exercise that focuses on your upper body and one that mainly works your lower body. Skipping a rest period means you spend more time building muscle and burning calories.
Another highly effective, intense fitness program is CrossFit. Incorporating aspects of weightlifting, rowing, running, and gymnastics, CrossFit workouts get a lot done in a short amount of time—as long as you don’t overdo it and get injured. Each workout consists of a dynamic warm-up of jumps, squats, lunges, jump rope, pull-ups, and stretches. Then you’ll do deadlifts, squats, or overhead presses that push your limits. Each session includes a workout of the day that tests your ability in a certain amount of time. You end each workout with a cool-down period and stretching.
Get maximum calorie burning potential in a short amount of time with Tabata. A mixture of CrossFit and circuit training, Tabata is a type of high-intensity interval training that can burn more than 13 calories a minute. That’s 54 calories in four minutes. Don’t expect it to be easy, however. With Tabata you’ll begin with a warm-up, rotate through a series of intense exercises with short rest periods in between, and then end with a cool-down.