Try These Calorie-Crushing Workouts to Shed Serious Pounds

If you’ve fallen behind in terms of fitness, or simply let yourself go for a little while, getting back on track can be a challenge. A great deal of Americans are overweight or obese, and there are a lot of factors that play into that. But if you’re among them, just know you’re not alone, and it is entirely possible to get yourself back to a healthy body weight. It’ll take hard work, sacrifice, and a lot of goal-setting, but it’s entirely possible. And the first thing to do — after getting your diet and consumption habits under control — is to start burning calories. A lot of them — and you can do that with the help of these calorie-crushing workouts.

1. Distance running

Runners in a race

Distance running sheds calories fast. | iStock.com

There probably isn’t an easier or simpler way to burn calories than running. It’s the most basic and primal of all exercises and, when done in long stretches or with high intensity, can burn through a significant amount of calories. Start a running program — here’s a short list to help get you started — and use it in concert with a healthy diet and maybe some weight lifting. The pounds should start melting off if you’re staying within your caloric goals. You can burn around 100 calories per mile, depending on your speed.

2. Kettlebell workouts

Man lifting kettlebell

Kettlebell workouts are tough. | iStock.com

Kettlebells are becoming immensely popular, and with good reason. Not only do they present a great way to build muscle, but many kettlebell exercises burn significant amounts of calories while you’re doing them. If you can find a way to put together a kettlebell circuit workout, with minimal rest periods, then you’ll definitely find yourself getting a solid cardio workout along with the benefits of building muscle. In terms of total calories burned, studies have shown that some workouts can lead to as much as 400 torched calories in as little as 20 minutes.

3. Supersets

Man resting by weights

Make sure to get in those supersets. | iStock.com

For those of you who’d rather burn some calories in the weight room rather than with kettlebells or on the track, you’re going to want to adopt supersets.

“Supersetting actually increases the amount of work you perform in a specific time period, since you’re moving quickly from one exercise to another with minimal rest in between sets, which leads to a more intense workout and a higher expenditure of calories,” Jim Ryno, owner of LIFT, a New Jersey-based personal training facility, told Muscle & Fitness. “Supersets are a sure-fire way to further boost your metabolic rate and burn fat faster without spending more time in the gym.”

Basically, a superset is the pairing of two exercises, with minimal rest periods. There are lots of ways to do them, so do some exploring and experimenting. If you adopt them, they should get you in shape in short order.

4. Rowing

Man using rowing machine

Never underestimated the rowing machine. | iStock.com

Rowing, like running, is a simple exercise that will have you burning through a lot of calories through the act of repetition. Of course, sitting on a rowing machine can get pretty monotonous, so if you have the chance, look into kayaking or joining a rowing club in your area. You’ll get the benefits of exercise, with the chance to get outside and enjoy the environment.

5. Swimming

Swimmer

Swimming is easier on the joints than other exercises. | iStock.com

Want an alternative to rowing or running, and the chance to get wet at the same time? It’s time to become a swimmer — and put in some serious laps. Swimming has numerous benefits, including being a non-impact exercise that will help keep your joints and ligaments from getting damaged. Just like running or lifting, there are many programs out there that can help you get started and maintain a long-term habit. The average person can burn nearly 600 calories per hour swimming.

6. Ropes

sporty man jumping rope outdoors

Jumping rope is hard work. | iStock.com

Ropes are about to become your new best friend. It’s long been known that a device as simple as a jump rope can help you get in a solid workout — you’re working your lower body muscles, while also getting some cardio in. And that still holds true.

But battle ropes are also a solid choice. Battle ropes are an intense workout, and a lot more difficult than they may seem. You’re basically whipping huge ropes up and down until your arms feel like putty. That’s putting in some work and burning off a lot of energy. If you don’t want to run, lift, or swim — try incorporating some ropes.