Best Cardio Exrcises
Burpees are a great all-around workout that strengthen the arms, core, chest and legs, all while raising your heart rate. Start in a pushup position, palms planted on the ground at shoulder-width and place your feet behind you. In an explosive motion, bring your feet in close to your hands. Quickly move to a standing position, throwing your hands in the air above your head. Do 10-12 in a row.
2. Air Runner
Stepping onto the treadmill to log another mindless 30-minute jog might sound like the most unappealing way to spend a workout — so don’t waste your time. Instead, cut your running time in half and ramp up the intensity with this curved tread, specifically designed for sprinting.
Better yet, the motor-free machine is built to be powered by your strides. There’s no max speed, either, so try your best to push it as hard as you can during sprint interval workouts.
Think you can handle the speed? Try this workout: Perform a 15-second sprint as fast as you can, and then rest for 15 seconds. Keep your chest high and your core braced the entire time you’re running. That’s 1 round.
- Effectiveness: A
- Functionality: A-
- Availability: A-
Every booty loves the stair mill. What could be more functional than walking up a never-ending flight of stairs? We suggest intervals for the best workout. Just try not to support too much of your upper body on the handles; you might feel like you’re still doing work, but your workout will be much less intense and you’ll burn fewer calories.
Warning: this exercise should not be performed on a real mountain. It can be done just about anywhere else, however. Start on your hands and knees with a slight bend in your back. Bring the right foot up to your chest and put it back, then quickly do the same with the left. Continue alternating feet with your hands planted firmly in front of you for 30-40 reps.
5. Assault AirBike
The Assault AirBike might look like it belongs in a dust-filled corner of your high school’s weight room, but it deserves respect. “No one climbs off of one of these thinking, ‘That was easy,’ ” says De Wispelaere, who has seen a few clients almost heave after an Assault AirBike workout.
The reason it’s so tough: The Assault AirBike is a stationary bike without a motor. It only has a fan in its front wheel that provides wind resistance. The harder you pump your arms and pedal your legs, the higher the resistance becomes. “While it’s easy on your joints, it provides an intense aerobic workout that burns a ton of calories in a short amount of time,” says De Wispelaere.
If you’re looking for a finisher to tack onto your regular workout, De Wispelaere recommends sprinting for 15 seconds, then resting for 15 seconds. That’s one round. Do six. If you’d rather test your endurance instead, do three miles as fast as possible.
Worst Cardio Exrcises
“CrossFit-style workouts are exploding in popularity around the world and are often promoted as the best way to get in shape and improve health,” Petre says.
“I don’t want to be controversial, but if your goal is to lose weight and improve health, CrossFit is the number one exercise you should avoid. It’s too intense for many people, and often includes high-risk activities.”
“The number one rule about losing weight through exercise is that you can’t exercise to lose weight if you’re injured,” she adds.
“If you’re a fit, active, and athletic individual, CrossFit might be the best workout for you, but if your body is not already in top shape, don’t unnecessarily risk injury. You’re likely to lose more weight if you combine a healthy diet with a moderate exercise program that’s more sustainable.”
- Effectiveness: D
- Functionality: F
- Availability: B
With your upper body, torso, and even your butt at rest, the recumbent bike asks your body to do almost nothing but move your legs. If you’re looking for a chair to sit in while you read a book or catch up on your favorite Netflix episodes, this is your guy.
“Pilates, like yoga, has a lot of health benefits that will help you live better, ranging from improved flexibility and balance to deeper relaxation, but fast fat burn is not one of them,” Petre says.
“Because it helps you gradually build and strengthen your muscles, it can be a great way to prevent getting injured while training. However, you need to do heavy compound weightlifting on the big muscle groups along with cardio to maximise fat loss, and Pilates does not incorporate either type of exercise.”
- Effectiveness: D
- Functionality: F
- Availability: A
We’re putting the elliptical below the Arc trainer, because the Arc trainer offers more versatility. However, we have the same problems with the elliptical; it’s just unnatural and ineffective. Further, setting the resistance at a level any lower than a 10 is about as effective at burning calories as sitting on the couch.
The elliptical’s only plus side is that it’s a low-impact option. However, we think the bike or swimming are much more effective options if you’re limited by an injury.
“Yoga represents the polar opposite to CrossFit, but this doesn’t mean that it will shed those layers of fast food on the body,” Petre says. “In fact, a 150-pound [68kg] person will burn only 150 calories in an hour of doing regular yoga, compared to 311 calories for an hour of walking at 3mph [4.8kmh].”
“Increasing your physical activity is a good first step towards losing weight,” she says. “It’s true that yoga can help you gain strength and tone up, but if you aim to shed pounds, you want to work as much of your body as possible to lose weight and stimulate your metabolism.”
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