It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to give your entire body an overhaul or just want to burn away some fat around your muscles, cardio will still remain as one of the most effective ways to help achieve your goals. It does deserve to be said, however, that different types of cardio will work better depending on the goal that you’re trying to achieve. What do we mean by this? Well, the sport of running as an example. A long-distance runner should be logging in lots of miles at generally slower paces while a sprinter’s training would involve shorter and higher intensity runs. You wouldn’t see these two athletes switching workouts and expecting good results in their chosen fields, would you? While the type of cardio you ought to be doing will vary depending on your goals, there’s one thing that remains constant: intensity is important. Remember this: the higher the intensity, the more calories get burned. So, without further ado, here are the top cardio workouts for men.
If you’re looking to burn tons of fat is the least amount of time, sprints are the way to go. You could be speeding up the bleachers, flying around the track or pushing your limits on the treadmill, no matter what, these quick and high intensity exercise will have you melting the pounds away from all over your body. The best part is, you don’t need to be in the gym or a sports recreation area to get them done. You could easily do sprints in your own home at your staircase or, if you’re in an apartment complex, the stairwell. A word of caution, and common sense, though, don’t sprint down the stairs or the bleachers unless you’re looking to injure yourself. It’s better to use that time as a period of rest.
Looking to build an athletic v-cut frame? Then rowing is the name of the game. This cardiovascular exercise incorporates both the upper and lower body for high caloric burn. The best part? It’s great for people who are recovering from injuries or are just starting out thanks the low-stress and low-impact nature of the exercise. Not only that, rowing is a fantastic way to work on your posterior chain. If you’re going at a moderate pace, you could be burning up to 800 calories an hour. Increasing your intensity with some quick intervals can easily bump that number up to 1,000 calories burned.
If you’re even remotely serious about fitness, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of high intensity interval training or HIIT. It’s one of the most well-round cardiovascular workouts out there and can get you burning anywhere between 500 to 1,500 calories an hour depending on how rigorous your exercise is. If you’re not quite sure what high-intensity interval training is, it can be summed up by combining traditional cardio exercises with weighted movements to get your heart working hard. Samples of HIIT exercises include Tabata and high-impact aerobics.
In the world of athletes, it’s arguable that swimmers have some of the best physiques out there and when you consider what their regular training regimens entail, it makes absolute sense. Swimming is a complete and total body workout that begins the very moment you hit the water. Just the movement of treading water will give you a great work out since you’re basically fighting gravity. To give you a better grasp of how effective swimming is as cardio, just a single minute of swimming sprints will burn you a clean 14 calories, easy. You can also burn more calories depending on the stroke that you want to use. For example, the breast stroke will probably burn the least calories while trying the butterfly will have you burning much more calories. One easy way to incorporate intervals into your swimming exercise is to sprint one lap with a butterfly stroke and then switch to a slower pace and an easier stroke for the second lap.
You know how boxers can’t get enough of the jump rope? Well, there’s a reason for that. Jumping rope helps increase foot speed, improve foot work, is relatively easy to learn and burns tons of calories. Not to mention the fact that jumping ropes are generally inexpensive pieces of equipment to purchase. In addition to all the benefits we mentioned previously, jumping rope also helps you to increase shoulder strength and coordination while simulating the effects of sprinting. Take your jump rope seriously and you could easily burn 500 calories in just 30 minutes of skipping rope at a relaxed pace. Now, we understand that jumping rope continuously for 30 minutes is a challenge to most of the population, so the best way to tackle this exercise is by doing it in intervals of fast and slow-paced jumps. If that’s too difficult jump as much as you can for a minute and then take up to 30 seconds rest after. Keep that up until you hit the 30-minute mark.
No, we don’t mean at the DJ table, we mean at the stationary bike. While stationary bikes are a mainstay at practically every gym – alongside the treadmill and the elliptical – they’re probably one of the most underutilized pieces of gym equipment ever. Why? Because you’ve got to be hitting an intense and fast speed to really do your time on the bike some justice. A moderate pace on the stationary bike will burn about 675 calories per hour, but an intense hour-long spin class can get your body smoking nearly 1,150 calories. If you’re not into group classes, it’s possible to hit the numbers on the stationary bike by simply incorporating intervals to your training. For example, keep your rpm high for 3 to 5 minutes before slowing it down for a minute or two of rest. Keep this interval going for up to an hour or for as long as you can to get the most out of your time on the bike.