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7 Workouts That Burn More Calories Than Running

Running comes with both physical and mental benefits and is a great form of exercise. It’s also a pretty good option if you’re trying to burn some calories, but in order to maximize your caloric burn, there are many other options to consider. If running is not your exercise of choice, there’s no need to stress yourself out. 

These seven workouts are just as efficient in burning that extra fat you wanted to get rid of for so long, as well as keeping you fit.

1. Burpees


A 200-pound person burns about 1.5 calories per burpee. If you can perform at least seven per minute, you’ll hit the double digits. If you can achieve at least ten per minute, you'll rev your metabolism as much as a 30-second bike sprint can. This makes burpee a great cardio exercise to get your heart rate up and tone muscles in every part of your body.

2. Kettlebell Swing

Kettle Bell Swings

The kettlebell swing is not a movement you’re used to, and that’s why it's great—it taxes your body because you’re not efficient at it. The kettlebell swing is an explosive cardio exercise that works the big muscles around your quads and glutes, sending your heart into overdrive, burning about 20 calories per minute. According to a 2012 study, a 6-week kettlebell training program can significantly improve one’s maximum and explosive strength, and is deemed as a great alternative to strength and conditioning exercises.

3. Fat-tire Biking

Fat Tire Biking

Now, this is a cycling sport that’s becoming increasingly popular, and you should try it if you haven’t already. By tackling different types of terrain and pedaling one of these hard-to-turn, heavy bikes, you can burn 25 calories per minute (or 1,500 calories per hour). Keep in mind that this type of calorie burn depends on your skill, strength, and fitness level. With fat-tire biking, you’re working harder to push the rolling resistance and, due to the nature of the sport, you never really coast. It also builds muscular endurance, as with the heavy equipment, snowy conditions, and fat tires, there’s more drag on the bike, and more effort is needed to turn those pedals.

4. Jumping Rope

Jumping Rope

About 100-120 skips per minute is considered moderate-intensity rope jumping, which can burn about 13 calories per minute. Jumping rope requires you to use more muscle groups than running, and challenges your coordination and balance. It gets your heart rate up, helps tone your entire body (especially your shoulders), and provides cardio benefits.

5. Cross-Country Skiing

Cross Country Skiing

When compared to running, cross-country skiing definitely delivers a better cardio workout. It requires you to pull with your upper body, and push with your lower body. You can burn about 850 calories per hour, which depends on your experience and skills as a skier. A vigorous effort at brisk speed will burn more calories than a light, slow effort.

6. Hiking With a Load

Hiking with a Load

To walk up a hill or incline while lugging extra weight, now that can be difficult. But since you only need to find a big and strong backpack, fill it, and take a hike, this workout is also cost-effective. By hiking uphill with a load at an average walking pace, you can burn up to 450 calories per hour. Besides being good cardio, it can build up your endurance, and prevent and relieve back pain as well.

7. HIIT 


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be defined as repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise intervals, short in duration, combined with periods of lower intensity intervals of active recovery. We can conclude that HIIT focuses on training at intense levels. Ellipticals, stair climbers, exercise bikes, and treadmills are all great options, but only if you’re on the appropriate intensity level. The work periods should last 30-120 seconds. So, if you’re not into running, get the right kind of gym shoes for safety and stability during your exercises, and hit the gym.

What’s the difference between running and HIIT? The biggest difference is the number of calories your body burns post-exercise. The number of calories the body burns after a running session is pretty much negligible. On the other hand, after a HIIT session, the body burns calories at an elevated rate. This is called EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, which allows the body to continually burn calories at a faster rate because your body keeps working harder (even after your workout session).


Running is not everybody’s favorite activity, despite its known benefits of boosting endurance, reducing stress, and burning calories. An average person, running at an average pace, can burn only ten calories per minute. The good news is that there are other workouts that are more efficient methods of burning calories. What all of these seven calorie burners have in common is that they can be challenging, and they use a lot of muscles throughout the whole body. If you’re trying to burn more calories, consider adding some of these exercises to your training routine.

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