As you probably already know:
Losing stubborn body fat and getting in shape may require for you to do some aerobic activity.
Cardio has received quite a lot of hate recently with people saying that aerobic exercises are responsible for muscle loss. That they are a waste of time and effort and bring nothing to the table.
There is even a video produced and released by Vox about a year ago claiming that cardio is [scientifically] completely unnecessary for weight loss.
Check out the video for yourselves:
However, scientific literature shows us a different perspective:
That cardio is in fact a very powerful tool that carries with itself a number of weight-loss and [even] muscle-building benefits:
Cardio exercises can help you lose those extra pounds of body fat – due to their high caloric requirement and the afterburn effect). Improve your power output when at the gym, enhance your strength and endurance, boost muscle growth (by positively altering protein metabolism), raise nitric oxide production, which improves the blood flow to your muscles, as well as improve your VO2 max.
Love them or hate them, aerobic exercises have been proven time and time again to be one of the fundamental pillars to a successful physique.
Something worth nothing is the fact that not all cardio is equal. There is good cardio and there is bad cardio!
I am not going to bore you with too much details, so I’ll try and be quick.
Bad cardio is all low intensity exercises that involve you being active for prolonged periods of time (we’re talking hours even) that are shown to cause muscle loss and even weight loss plateaus.
One of the best examples include: jogging, light walking, yoga workouts, stretching, etc.
Good cardio is the type of cardio that really gets your heart rate pounding. It makes you sweat, it’s short and powerful, and leaves you completely exhausted.
So the question that remains is:
“What are the best cardio exercises to burn fat”
In today’s article I am going to answer exactly that question by listing the…
Top 7 Best Cardio Exercises to Burn Fat
So that you have a better understanding which cardio exercises are going to deliver the best weight loss results without hindering muscle mass.
And most importantly so that you have a selection of exercises to choose from and switch it up so you 1) don’t get bored; and 2) you don’t hit a plateau.
READ MORE: THE 30 BEST FAT-BURNING FOODS
OK, enough chit-chat, let’s dive in!
#1. Jump Rope Workout to Burn Belly Fat
My personal favourite and probably the best cardio exercise on the list.
I remember watching Rocky 4 as a kid where Stallone was preparing for the big match and he had a nice little montage of him skipping rope as a form of cardio exercising.
I remember thinking to my self:
“Damn, that looks so cool!”
Jump rope training has been proven study after study to be one of the best aerobic exercises out there as it carries a vast number of benefits that help increase your physical fitness.
One study carried out by the Department of Physical Education and Sport Science followed the progress of two different groups of students. One group used jump rope training alongside their regular training routine and the other one did not for 15 weeks.
As you could probably guess, the group that was doing jump rope training were shown to have improvement in their balance, agility, endurance, strength, power output, and muscle coordination.
Those are great and all but let’s not forget:
Jump rope training burns a crap-tone of calories!
Because it involves nearly every muscle and even brain power to keep up that coordination and make sure that you don’t trip over and fall.
According to Lifesum 30 minutes of Rope Jumping can burn as much as 400 calories at a normal pace.
The best part is that you can easily increase the intensity of the exercise and thus increase the amount of calories you burn by:
– Adding some extra weight as a weighted backpack or weighted vest.
– Using some techniques such as double jumps or high jumps.
– Spinning the rope at a much faster rate.
– Adding variations to the rope jump such as jumping on sand.
– Alternating your hand movements, etc.
What is even better is that rope jumping is a high intensity exercise. This means that it will increase your caloric expenditure for hours after finishing. This is the so-called afterburn cardio effect.
It’s cheap, it’s portable, it helps you build strength and agility, and most importantly it’s one helluva fat-burning cardio exercise.
#2. Battle Rope Exercises For Quick Weight Loss
OK, not as cheap nor as accessible and portable as the jump rope. But nevertheless it’s one of the best cardio exercises for quick weight loss.
Here is what’s so awesome about Battle Ropes:
Battle Rope training is notorious for its insane caloric expenditure. Strength coach Josh Henkin of Ultimate Sandbag Training tested out how much calories you can burn with battle rope exercises by using a formula based on the participants’ average heart rate (read more about it here).
What he found was quite impressive:
Male participants were able to burn about 80 calories within just 5 minutes of battle rope training. And female participants managed to burn 45 calories in 4 minutes of exercising.
That is the equivalent of burning about 480 calories within 30 minutes! And this is without considering the afterburn effect that the training delivers.
The best part about battle ropes however is the vast variability that they offer.
There is no singular exercise that you can do but rather a selection of exercise combinations that battle ropes offer .
Check out “Torch Body Fat With Battle Ropes” by Shannon Para over at Bodybuilding.com. He explains perfectly what are the different battle rope workouts that you can do and how to do them for the best fat burning results.
Or you can check out this dope video by Adrian Bryant called “Top 12 Battle Rope Exercises for Fast Weight Loss”
Ropes are also known to help with the symmetrical strength and muscle development around the body. Thus making sure that weaker/slacking body parts are growing stronger.
The only downside is that they are a bit more expensive than other cardio equipment. With an average price of $60 but can go as high as $100. And it’s not a widely provided gym equipment.
Which is pretty weird when you think about it because:
Battle ropes offer an opportunity for very dynamic, explosive, effective cardio exercises that will deliver great results for your physique.
So if you’re wondering:
“What exercise burns the most stomach fat” – Battle Ropes is your answer.
Here is a neat video showing you how to properly use Battle Ropes and 12 different forms you can do: