Despise cardio? Fitness expert Sam Wood shares the best cardio-free exercises that will help you burn fat long after you finished working out.
When it comes to burning fat, most people think cardio is the only option. Cardio is a great way to burn calories and can therefore help with losing body fat but it’s not the only part of the weight loss puzzle. In fact, when it comes to burning fat if you want to be truly efficient, you must do some form of resistance training.
Resistance training helps to build lean muscle and the leaner muscle you have, the better your metabolic efficiency will be. What this means is that you will burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re just sitting on the couch.
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Resistance training is not just heavy weight workouts. It also doesn’t mean becoming a gym junkie or lifting heavy weights; it simply involves working against some form of resistance. This might involve dumbbells and kettlebells, it could be using a Pilates reformer or TRX but it can also be your own body weight.
The key is to make sure your resistance workouts are challenging and you continue progression as you become stronger and leaner.
Then of course you must compliment this with good nutrition to really rev up that metabolism and become a fat burning machine.
With this in mind, here are seven of the best cardio-free exercises guaranteed to have you working up a sweat.
7 best fat-burning exercises for people who hate cardio
1. Reverse lunge
Stand tall with your arms by your side. Step backward with your left leg and lower your hips to that your right leg becomes parallel to the ground and your right knee is directly above your ankle. Return to standing by putting the weight in your right heel to bring yourself back into the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg and continue, alternating legs with every rep. To make this more challenging, hold a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Weighted squat
Hold a weight to your chest (whether it be one dumbbell, two, a kettlebell or even a bag of flour) as you push your butt back into a squat position. Keep the weight in your heels, don’t hunch your back and squeeze the glutes and return to standing.
3. Single leg glute bridge (left leg)
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg and extend it out straight. Drive the heel of the foot that is still on the ground into the floor, pushing your hips up until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to the toes of your extended leg. Pause at the top, squeeze the glutes and slowly lower back down. Repeat.
4. Single leg glute bridge (right leg)
Same as above but swap legs.
5. Slow, deep push-ups
Brace your core, don’t let your hips drop or bum go into the air. Go down slow and with control, getting your chest as close to the floor as possible without compromising form.
6. Dumbbell rows
Lean forward with your core braced and a slight bend in the knees to push your hips and butt back while keeping your chest and head up. Your upper body should be almost parallel with the ground and your palms facing each other with a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your elbows as close to your sides as possible, pull the dumbbells towards the side of the bottom of your chest. You should feel like you’re squeezing your shoulder blades towards each other. Pause at the top before returning slowly to the starting position.
7. Dumbbell curl and press
With a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing outwards, bend your elbows to curl the weights up towards your shoulders. From here, straighten your arms out above you, performing an overhead press with your palms now facing outward. Then, bend at the elbows to lower back down to your starting position.
Cardio-free total body fat-burning workout
You could even make these seven moves into one workout.
Simply do each exercise for 40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest in between each exercise. Have 60 seconds rest at the end of one round, then repeat the circuit four times.
But remember, workouts are only part of the equation. Good nutrition, stress management, quality sleep and training all play a role when it comes to your body’s ability to burn fat.