Do you ever get tired of doing the same boring cardio routine? Let's explore some of my favorite high-intensity movements that you burn fat, improve stamina and increase your energy!
Battle Ropes - Consisting of a long, durable exercise rope and varying in thickness, battle ropes are used for cardio conditioning to improve stamina, strengthen the core, burn fat and tone the total body. After looping the rope around a vertical apparatus such as a tree, pole or floor anchor, we can perform a multitude of high-intensity movements including Alternating Waves and Power Slams. The goal here is to keep each round short and explosive, working for 20 seconds and resting for 20 seconds, repeating this circuit for 5-10 rounds. To progress, shorten your rest period to 10 seconds. Perform 2-3 patterns using this setup. A 30-minute workout with the battle ropes can burn anywhere from 200-500 calories based on the intensity—the goal is to stay in Heart Rate Zone 3, or 86-95% of your *Max Heart Rate.
Swimming - Swimming is a great exercise for beginners to advanced athletes, providing less impact on the joints than steady-state cardio and benefits us by improving stamina, full body muscular endurance and cardiovascular health. A 30-minute freestyle swim could burn anywhere from 200-400 calories. Ensure that you make the workout intense by staying in Zone 2 to Zone 3 for the duration of the exercise.
Sprinting - A great alternative to steady-state jogging, sprinting is considered high-intensity due to the explosive movements required to maximize performance. Sprinting can actually help improve stamina, burn fat, strengthen the core muscles and decrease stress in a short amount of time. Opt for sprinting for short burst of about 50-100 meters, the shorter the distance the more explosive the movement should be. For beginners, start with performing 25-50 meter sprints, jogging back, and repeating for 15-20 rounds, taking minimal rest in between bouts. You can burn roughly 15-20 calories per minute while performing sprints, based on your intensity, ensuring your stay in Heart Rate Zone 3.
Jump Rope - This movement is a great way to burn tons of calories in a short amount of time. Jumping rope is more joint friendly than running and can help you improve stamina, burn fat and increase your cardiac output. There are several patterns that be applied to the basic two-foot in hop that will increase the intensity of the workout. A 30-minute workout can burn up to 300 calories, if not more, based on the intensity of the workout, aiming to stay in Heart Rate Zone 3.
Self-Defense - Boxing and mixed martial arts are great disciplines that will ensure you burn a lot of calories through structured, high intensity workouts. A 30-minute boxing workout on the heavy bag can burn anywhere from 200-300 calories, if not more, based on the intensity of the workout, staying in Heart Rate Zone 3. Sparring, which is where you practice your fighting skills with a partner, can yield 500-700 calories for a hour workout.
*Max Heart Rate can be determined by taking 220 and subtracting your age. Example 220 - 30 years of age = 180 beats per minute is your estimated max heart rate.
*Heart Rate Zones:
Zone 1: 65 - 75% of MaxHR
Zone 2: 76 - 85% of MaxHR
Zone 3: 86 - 95% of MaxHR