The best fat burning exercises don’t involve fancy equipment, or anything that you’d find only in an expensive commercial gym. Instead, you can burn fat just as well in the comfort of your own home as you would in the priciest, swankiest gym. So which close-to-home cardio activities blast fat fastest?
Try any one of these, and you’ll boost your metabolism for up to a whole day afterward. One small workout, one giant payoff.
Burns 374 calories in 30 minutes
The typical runner’s shape is sleek and lean, and there’s a reason for that: The major running muscles — legs, butt, core — happen to be the biggest calorie-and-fat-burning muscles in your body.
To get the most out of each stride, swing your arms close to your body, don’t lean forward, and keep your feet low to the ground. To lessen impact, land on the middle of your foot, then roll through to your toes.
Boost the burn: Alternate fast and slow intervals, or take to the hills.
2. Jumping rope
Burns 340 calories in 30 minutes
You knew this workout had to be high on the list. After all, it’s one of pro boxers’ favorite ways to train.
To get the most from each jump, use a rope with handles that reach to just under your armpits when you stand on the middle of it, and follow these top-form tips: Jump with your feet slightly apart and body upright, and keep your jumps low to the ground. Don’t have a rope? You’ll get the same benefits by doing the movements rope-free.
Boost the burn: Frequently switch up your speed (slow, fast) and style (jumping with one foot, then two feet), or jump rope while you jog.
Burns 272 calories in 30 minutes
Don’t think you need to round up a partner or trek all the way to a court to break a super sweat with racket in hand. (Though if you have a pal and a nearby net, you’ll burn the same calories.) Simply find a flat area near a wall or garage door that you can hit the ball against.
Alternate forehand and backhand shots — then see how many you can do in a row without goofing. Stand 10 to 25 feet away, which will force you to hit harder. Even practicing your serve will get your body in burn mode, because you’ll have to run and bend to pick up your missed balls.
Boost the burn: Try to hit the ball consistently for 50 or 100 strokes. Having a goal will make you work harder to reach it.
Burns 221 calories in 30 minutes
This may not be the biggest calorie-burner in the bunch, but it’s still an excellent — and fun! — metabolism booster.
The key is to keep the tempo high, choosing songs with fast rhythms like Latin or Bollywood, and don’t rest between songs. Download a workout’s worth of your favorite tunes. Begin with an upbeat inspirational song think, then move on to songs with increasingly faster tempos. Slow the beat toward the end to cool down.
Boost the burn: Use your arms! Raise them in the air and move them to the beat.
5. Walking vigorously
Burns 170 calories in 30 minutes
That’s right, walking actually made our list. Full disclosure, though: A leisurely stroll with a friend won’t cut it. You should be walking briskly enough that it’s difficult to keep up a steady conversation.
To get the most from your biggest calorie-burning muscles — legs, butt, and core — take short, quick steps, keep your torso upright, and pump your arms back and forth (not side to side) in time with your stride. With each step, land on your heel and roll through to your toes.
Boost the burn: Alternate two minutes of brisk strides with one minute of as-fast-as-you-can-go walking (or jogging).