By Stella Katsipoutis; Photography by Pixabay
Let the torching begin.
Spinning gets a lot of street cred as one of the best kilojoule-blasting exercises, and not without good reason. Depending on factors like your weight and the intensity of your effort, a single one-hour class can help you scorch about 1 673 to 2 510 kilojoules. “You’re using all of your leg muscles—upper, lower, front, and back,” says ACE spokesperson Cris Dobrosielski, owner of Monumental Results and author of Going the Distance. Pedalling away at hyper-speed doesn’t just build your lower-body strength; it also improves your cardiovascular endurance while putting little strain on your joints.
But to be honest, taking a spin class isn’t the only fast track to a leaner, fitter bod. “There are other classes and workouts that can be better ways to burn kilojoules,” says Isabel Smith, celebrity dietitian and fitness expert. “It’s all about what type of workout will push you to work harder and raise your heart rate higher.”
If you’re thinking of hopping off the iron horse and trying something new, consider these five kilojoule-crushing alternatives for an even more rewarding sweat sesh.
Approximate Kilojoules Burned Per Hour: 2 510 to 3 347
Hitting the indoor rowing machine is a killer way to give kilojoules the heave-ho. It provides a better total-body workout than the spin bike, too: According to Josh Kernen, co-owner of Bridgetown Physical Therapy and Training Studio, cranking those handlebars utilises nine major muscle groups, including the quads, hamstrings, abs, triceps, biceps, and more.
To maximise the burn, Smith recommends interval-style rowing: “Do 500 to 1,000 meters per interval with a two-minute break in between, or vary your intervals for an hour (alternating between a one-minute interval with a 30-second break, and a two-minute interval with a one-minute break).”
Approximate Kilojoules Burned Per Hour: 2 510 to 3 347
You may not have skipped to your lou since you were in pigtails, but this drill is anything but child’s play. “Jumping rope doesn’t just burn kilojoules; it also helps improve bone density and develops agility and balance,” says Kernen. “Plus, you can do it anywhere.”
The best part? You already know how it’s done. The hopping motions are the same as the ones you used as a kid, just intensified: “Keep the tempo up to keep the kilojoule burn up,” says Smith. “You want to keep it to about 100 bounces per minute to help you reach your kilojoule-burning potential.”
Approximate kilojoules Burned Per Hour: 3 138 to 3 765
A class that gives unwanted kilojoules the one-two punch and teaches you how to kick ass? Sign us up! This full-body meltdown engages your legs and glutes for stabilisation, but it also tones your shoulders, back, and abs—something you miss out on when you’re biking. Not to mention it’s a healthier outlet for unleashing pent-up stress than, say, actually kicking someone’s butt.
This is more of a do-not-try-this-at-home type of deal, so the pros suggest grabbing a buddy and signing up for a local class. “If you don’t have experience in kickboxing, find a good instructor who can work with individuals at all fitness levels,” says Kernen. The trainer will walk you through routines that’ll help you meet your kilojoule-blasting goals.
High intensity interval training (HIIT)
Approximate Kilojoules Burned Per Hour: 3 765 to 4 184
With these hardcore routines, speed, power and endurance act as catalysts that boost your metabolic rate both during and long after your session—up to a whole 48 hours after, to be exact. It’s all thanks to the phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, which basically means you’re incinerating kilojoules while you’re resting post-workout. “This can burn an additional 6 to 15 percent more kilojoules due to your elevated metabolism,” says Kernen. “It’s like a free 251 to 627 kilojoules burned just for your body to recover.”
According to L.A.-based trainer Mike Donavanik, HIIT couples what’s normally anaerobic activity (strength training) with aerobic elements (cardio) to capitalise on kilojoule burn. Training is normally done in ratios of 2:1 or 3:1, meaning you’re exercising at peak intensity for two to three minutes and then resting for one. It’s no walk in the park, but it’s quick, convenient, and insanely effective.
Approximate Kilojoules Burned Per Hour: 3 347 to 5 020
“If time is your enemy but training is your friend, you may want to meet the kettlebell,” says celeb personal trainer Ashley Borden, author of Your Perfect Fit. “A study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) showed participants were able to burn kilojoules off the charts when they used KBs in a HIIT format.” There’s a whole menu of kettlebell moves to choose from—like squats, snatches, lunges and more—that will chisel your body into godlike perfection.
Borden swears by this 36-minute KB workout, which rotates between 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. Repeat the following circuit three times:
– Three rounds heavy kettlebell deadlifts
– Three rounds alternating reverse lunges with lighter kettlebells held above the head with both arms locked out for the entire move (hold KB bottom-up for a challenge)
– Three rounds alternating double-arm kettlebell bent-over row
– Plank hold on forearms
Whatever your choice, what ultimately matters is that you keep going and remember to switch things up once in a while. “The most important thing for those looking to improve their health, burn kilojoules, and stay fit for life is to utilise a variety of exercise modalities,” says Dobrosielski. “Find one or two that you enjoy the most and that are the most convenient. As long as you’re moving, you’re doing way better than not.”
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com