It could be part of your New Year’s resolution, it could be about getting ready to show off a tighter, leaner body while vacationing this summer or it could be just about getting healthier. It doesn’t really matter what the specific reason is – burning calories, melting fat and losing weight are often the focal point for those that get up every morning to hit the gym.
Unfortunately some folks who want to burn away excess body fat don’t have access to a full gym to get a good workout; others don’t have the time to add that the travel to and from the gym and a lengthy workout into their schedule. If you don’t have access to a commercial gym for any reason, here are five excellent options to help burn tons of calories right inside of your home (many without any equipment at all).
First on the list is indoor cycling – this is a familiar movement to most people with absolutely no learning curve. In fact, riding a cycling trainer is even easier than riding a traditional outdoor bike and while you won’t have the benefit of the beautiful scenery, indoor cycling is a great way to burn calories. Customizing your indoor cycling routine to meet your needs is easy as well – this equipment can be used for traditional cardio sessions, HIIT workouts and Tabata intervals (two forms of high intensity training with short rest designed to burn maximum calories in minimum time).
Indoor cycling is low impact (which is great for those who suffer from joint pain), it can be performed at any time regardless what the weather is like and it can burn up to 900 calories per hour. If you don’t already have a cycling trainer, you will need to invest in one to reap the benefits of this fantastic cardio workout but there are a multitude of different models from different manufacturers so finding one within your budget shouldn’t be too great of a challenge.
The only equipment you need to complete an intense, calorie burning jump rope workout is the rope itself. A high quality rope costs less than $20.00 and you can pretty much perform a jump rope workout anywhere at any time.
Unlike indoor cycling, there is a bit of a learning curve here if you aren’t familiar with jumping but even complete novices can get comfortable with the basic single turn relatively quickly. Getting good at jumping or skipping rope takes practice, but the good news is that even the practice is an intense workout. Jumping rope can burn up to 1000 calories per hour.
If you had gym class in elementary school there is a very good chance that you are familiar with the jumping jack. Jumping jacks require no equipment at all to perform – they are easy to learn and deliver similar benefits to jumping rope (less the improvement in coordination). This is a workout that is free, that can be performed quickly and that has powerful calorie burning benefits making it one of the top options for cardio exercise at home.
Mountain climbers are another old gym class favorite. If you are un familiar with them, you get down in the upright pushup position and move your lower body as if you were climbing up a steep incline (fast paced, alternating knees to chest). It might not sound like much, but this movement is wildly intense can burns plenty of calories. Vigorous activity like mountain climbers burns a high volume of calories per hour, but there isn’t much chance that you’ll be able to go for an hour while doing them.
If you hated squat thrusts in gym class, burpees will definitely put you to the test. This movement is basically the classic squat thrust (from standing, down to up right pushup position and back to standing) followed by an explosive jump. This move taxes the upper and lower body and your endurance like few others. If you can work up to one hundred burpees in a single session you’ll have completed one of the most serious at home cardio sessions out there.
You don’t need big equipment and expensive gym memberships to get fit. Pick one, a few or all of the exercise above and incorporate them into your regular routine. You’ll begin to see results before you know it without putting a big dent into your wallet or compromising your already busy schedule.