As you probably already know:
You may need to do some aerobic activity to reduce the stubborn fat from the body and bring the body to a perfect and lean shape.
Yes, I know, Cardio has received quite a lot of hate recently with people saying that aerobic exercises are responsible for muscle loss. That they are a waste of time and effort and bring nothing to the table.
So, does cardio burn belly fat? To answer that question, we would need to dive a bit deeper.
Scientific studies show us a different perspective contrasting the one presented by Vox.
Check out the video here;
In fact, cardio is a very powerful tool that in itself carries many weight-loss and [even] muscle-building benefits.
Love them or hate them, aerobic exercises have been proven time and time again to be one of the fundamental pillars of a successful physique.
Experts say that all cardio is not equal. They divide it into 2 parts good cardio and bad cardio.
|Bad cardio is all low-intensity exercises that involve you being active for a long time. (we’re talking in start) that are shown to cause muscle loss and even weight loss plateaus.
Example: jogging, light walking, yoga workouts, stretching, etc.
|Good cardio is the type of cardio that actually boosts your heart rate. It makes you sweat, it’s short and powerful and leaves you completely exhausted|
So, the question that remains is:
“What is the best cardio to burn fat?”
In this article, I am going to answer exactly that question by presenting one of the best list of cardio exercises preferred by experts.
Top 7 Best Cardio Exercises to Burn Fat
The goal of this list of cardio exercises is for you to better understand which cardio exercises are going to deliver the best weight loss results without hindering muscle mass. And which are a waste of time and effort and may even harm your weight loss goals.
And so that you have a selection of exercises to choose from and switch it up so you.
Before we get started, I recommend that you can consult with your trainer, an expert nutritionist who can help you get to know the number of calories you burn per day based on your daily activity and how much you should take.
let’s dive in!
Jump Rope/Skipping Rope Workout (It Burn your Belly Fat)
This is one of the favorite exercise of many people and mine also, probably the best cardio exercise on the list.
Jump rope training has been proven study after study to be one of the best aerobic exercises out there as it carries a vast number of benefits that help increase your physical fitness.
One study carried out by the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science followed the progress of two different groups of students. One group used jump rope training alongside their regular training routine and the other one did not for 15 weeks.
As you could probably guess, the group that was doing jump rope training was shown to have an improvement in their balance, agility, endurance, strength, power output, and muscle coordination.
Those are great and all but let’s not forget:
Rope jumping training lacks calories, as it involves almost every muscle and even brainpower to maintain that coordination and make sure you don’t get on the trip and fall down.
According to experts, 30 minutes of Rope Jumping can burn as much as 400 calories at a normal pace.
The best part is that you can easily increase the intensity of the exercise and thus increase the number of calories you burn by:
- Adding some extra weight as a weighted backpack or weighted vest.
- Using some techniques such as double jumps or high jumps.
- Moving the rope at great speed.
- Adding variations to the rope jump such as jumping on the sand.
- Alternating your hand movements, etc.
It’s cheap, it’s portable, it helps you build strength and agility, and most importantly it’s one helluva fat-burning cardio exercise.
Battle Rope Exercises (For Quick Weight Loss)
It’s not as cheap nor as accessible and portable as the jump rope. But still, it is one of the best cardio exercises for quick weight loss.
Here is what’s so awesome about Battle Ropes:
Battle rope training is notorious for its crazy calorie spending. Strength coach Josh Henkin of Ultimate Sandbag Training tested out how many calories you can burn with battle rope exercises by using a formula based on the participants’ average heart rate (read more about it here).
What he found was quite impressive;
Male participants were able to burn approximately 80 calories within just 5 minutes of fight rope training. And female participants managed to burn 45 calories in 4 minutes of exercise.
This is equivalent to burning 480 calories within 30 minutes! And this is without considering the afterburn effect that the training delivers.
The best part about battle ropes, however, is the vast variability that they offer.
Here is a neat video showing you how to properly use Battle Ropes and 12 different forms you can do;
Shadow Boxing (To Burn Fat)
The reason why I love shadow boxing, except for the obvious boxing appeal, is that it’s one of the cardio exercises you can do at home or maybe anywhere when you want.
It doesn’t require any equipment and it can help you burn a ton of calories!
According to sources, you can burn up to 400 calories within 30-40 minutes of shadowboxing.
Obviously, if you have a budget to buy a good punching bag and/or an opponent against whom you can box, then even better. This way you can increase the number of calories burned by about 30-50%.
But the best part about it is Shadow-boxing helps you work on your abs!
Boxing, in general, is a very compound exercise because it essentially activates almost every muscle in your body. Certain movements such as the uppercut and hook really work on the upper-body rotation have an extreme impact on your obliques and upper abs.
You can increase your calorie expenditure by adding movements that are of higher intensity, such as knee kick, elbow hit (which also works your abs), spinning-back-fist, and more.
Rowing (The Fat Burning Exercise)
Rowing is one of the fat killer cardio exercises that speed up your heart rate, entangling almost every muscle in the body.
The main downside is that you need a Rowing Machine or an actual boat and river where you can, you know, row.
Reasons to love rowing machine exercise
- You can burn up to 400 calories in an interval of 30 minutes.
- It’s a multi-joint compound exercise that activates almost every muscle in the body.
- It gives a very good pump for the feet, back and biceps.
- Improves core strength.
- Boosts muscle growth.
- It improves muscle coordination.
- It is perfect for muscle hydration (pump).
What is also really comfortable is that the machine allows you to adjust the force and thus alter the intensity of the rowing.
This is perfect because it allows you to do very explosive HIIT in the gym.
As I have already mentioned, exercise kills three large muscle groups – the back, legs, and abdomen.
How is that of any importance?
Essentially, large foundation muscles such as the legs, abs, chest, and back require far more calories to move and recover than other smaller muscle groups like the biceps and triceps.
What this means is that not only will the calories burned while rowing is a lot but also the calories burned as a result of the afterburn effect.
Two great videos that will help you to do cardio with rowing machines;
Burpee (Best Cardio to Burn Fat)
One of the simplest exercises that can be done anywhere at any time. That leaves your heart thumping against your chest, your lungs on fire, and every muscle completely exhausted.
Burpees are estimated to burn approximately 355 calories within a 30-minute time-frame.
The Burpee is definitely one of those cardio exercises that don’t just help you burn fat but it will also help you build some muscle definition.
From a standing position, you go down into a squat. You put your hands to the ground and keep them extended and you kick your feet behind you – you are now in a plank position.
Instead of stopping there drop yourself to the ground and do a push-up. From there as you push yourself back and you return back to your starting position as you jump in the air you grab on a pull-up bar and you do a pull-up.
This is going to leave your body completely exhausted after a couple of repetitions.
There are also a couple of other really good variations of the classic Burpee that can help you increase the intensity and burn some extra calories.
Here are some great variations that you can test out:
- Spiderman Burpee
- Rotational Jump Burpee
- Mountain Climber Burpee
- Box Jump Burpee
- Renegade Row Burpee
- Side Plank Burpee
- Weighted Burpee
- Pike Push-Up Burpee
- Tuck Jump Burpee
- Medicine Ball Burpee
- Single-Leg Push-Up Burpee
- Broad Jump Burpee
However, I would recommend starting out simple and working your way up.
Mountain Climbers Exersice
Another quintessential cardio exercise. mountain climbers have long been a core center of cardio.
When it comes to burning calories and shedding off extra pounds – mountain climbers is the first exercise you would think of.
It’s also one of those cardio exercises that you can do at home without the need for any expensive equipment or gym memberships.
The amount of calories you can burn is usually around 300–360 per 30 minutes. Thus, making this exercise an excellent fat-burner.
Mountain climbers, similar to Burpees, has a vast number of variations that can be applied. So that you can increase the intensity and burn some extra calories.
Some of the different ways of executing the exercise are designed in a way to help you work more on your core strength, muscle coordination, agility, and endurance.
One of the most important attributes to the variations is that they “spice up” the exercises making it more fun and entertaining than just switching from one leg to the other.
Or the side running mountain climbers that really work on your obliques.
Box Jump Squat (Best Exercise to Lose Fat)
Now, this is the last exercise in this article but definitely not least,
This exercise is also pretty good for the Glute workout. So it will not only burn your fat but you will work on those steel buns.
You do not necessarily require one of those large boxes you can find in most gyms, all you need is an elevated and secure surface.
Please don’t forget about the word I used “SECURE”; anyone doesn’t want anything bad happening to you that might cause you pain. Make sure that the surface which you’re trying to reach with your jump is stable, secure, and at a comfortable height.
The process of the exercise is quite simple:
You go from a squat into a jump and land on an elevated surface where you go for the full range of motion and then you fall back down to repeat the movement.
Its explosive nature where you are fighting against gravity it will actually make you sweat.
Many sources claim that jumping squats burn approximately 100 calories for every 10 minutes of exercising.
There isn’t much variation that you can add to the exercise to increase its intensity. Except maybe adding some weight so that it essentially becomes harder for you to perform.
This video will help you to do the correct form when doing a box jump squats.
I hope this list and article help you understand how cardio can make it even more effective by doing new experiments in your workouts to burn fat.
Something worth remembering is that this list of cardio exercises is no miracle. You really need to pay attention to your diet and nutrition.
You can do all the Burpees and Mountain climbers in the world, but if your diet is bad then your results are going to be the same – bad.
Another question that I presume you have is:
How much cardio I should do to lose weight?
Some important thing to remember is that while these exercises are actually going to give great results to lose weight, then you should understand that like anything else in life – if you do too much of something it’s only going to cause harm.
Do not overdo/overload it!
Experts would recommend doing cardio exercises about 2 to 3 times a week for the best results.
If you do too much, like 5-6 times a week, then you’re risking of over-training. This will not only lead to muscle loss but will also cause a weight loss plateau, or even worse a fat gain – due to the increased cortisol (stress hormone) levels.