Whether you hate running or can’t run, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you can effectively burn calories and fat without having to pound the pavement. Below are my favorite non-running related cardio exercises. At the end I’ll give you a few tips on how to incorporate them into your program. Enjoy!


Battle Rope: Make “waves” with the ropes by going up and down, alternating, side-to-side, circles, and crisscross. Some variations can include adding various movement patterns such as squats, lunges, and lateral jumps to get an extra burn. Ever tried a burpee while using a battle rope? Not for the faint of heart!



Tire Strikes: I wish there was an easier way to describe hitting a tire with a sledgehammer than “pretend you’re chopping wood” but, alas, most of us never chopped wood. To my surprise this is the most difficult cardio intensive movement to teach because it should be so simple. With that being said please make sure no one is around you when you give this your first attempt. Keep your legs separated so if you miss the tire, heaven forbid, the sledgehammer will swing between your legs instead of smashing into your legs. Here’s an example of how to perform a tire strike (video).


Punching Bag: Depending on your limitations you can even sit in a chair and punch a bag. The impact alone will improve bone density in your upper body as well as improve muscle power. Whether or not that makes your muscles look any better is up for interpretation. What is inarguable is the number of calories one can burn hitting a bag. Some claim the average boxing or kickboxing class can burn up to 900 calories, depending on the intensity of the class.


Kettlebell Swing/Snatch: This is, by far, my favorite calorie burner: two handed swings, one handed swings/snatches, and double swings/snatches. Swings will be easier for most trainees to execute while the snatch is very advanced. Not to worry. Up the intensity by simply increasing the amount of weight you use on your swings. The more weight you use the more calories you burn. Shocker! And in other news, water is wet.


How do I add these exercises to my training? Glad you asked! First, pick one of these exercises to do at the end of your workout. Why the end? Because after a 30-40 min. workout your body will be primed for extended fat burning and this is the ideal time to perform one of the exercises listed above. Sure, you can add them in at the beginning as a quick warmup but the fat burning won’t occur until much later in your workout. Second, perform a 1:2 or 1:3 work versus rest ratio. For example, if you’re going to make battle rope waves for 20 seconds then you will rest anywhere from 40 seconds to 1 min. This is OPTIMAL for fat burning POST workout. Perform for no more than 10-15 min. Remember, more doesn’t always mean better.



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