Let's cut to the chase: when it comes to exercise, we want the workout that burns the most calories in the shortest amount of time. You've come to the right place! Incorporate these types of workouts into your routine and watch the pounds fly off.
- Plyometrics: Go ahead - jump for it: explosive movements like box jumps and jumping jacks help build strong muscles while burning 10 calories a minute. The key is to keep your moves quick and to land softly, so you are engaging leg and core muscles as you hit the ground.
- Short Workouts: Never seem to be able to fit a solid workout? You can still see results even if you just have minutes to sweat - you just have to increase your intensity. A recent study found that just 20 minutes of exercise can cause changes to your muscle's DNA, including metabolism and afterburner effects, while other studies have shown improvements in multiple markers of health in as little as seven. The trick is to exercise at your max potential in 30-second bursts, followed by a recovery period. Sounds manageable, right? Get some workout ideas below.
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- Supersets: A form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), supersets are circuit workouts that pair two different sets of exercises, one right after the other with no resting in between. This ups the cardio element of any strength-training routine, helping you build muscle and shed fat in less time.
- Tabata: Don't let the odd-sounding name scare you: Tabata is just a specific form of HIIT - one that burns, on average, 13.5 calories per minute! Tabata works like this: four minutes of high-intensity training, alternating between 20 seconds of max training, followed by a 10-second rest. Try it for two or three rounds for a quick workout that burns major calories.
- Kettlebells: If you want to burn calories fast, it's hard to go wrong with a kettlebell workout. The American Council on Exercise found that, on average, you can burn a whopping 400 calories in 20 minutes - talk about fast! The reason: multiplanar movement. "You're moving in different planes of movement," says Laura Wilson, director of programming for KettleWorX. "Instead of just going up and down, you're going to move side to side and in and out, so it's much more functional. It's like you move in real life: kettlebells simulate that movement, unlike a dumbbell."