For all the effort we put into burning calories and building muscle, we do some pretty inefficient exercises. The reason is usually because we don’t know the best way to accomplish our specific goals.
We’re going to address four common exercises that don’t burn as many calories as people think. Knowing is half the battle (well, maybe a little less than that–you still have to do the exercises!). When you know exactly what an exercise accomplishes, you can decide whether you really want it in your repertoire.
There are many health benefits to performing yoga. The ancient exercise can help you be more flexible, strong, and mentally stable.
One thing it’s not great for is burning calories. The slow pace and static stretching do not increase your heart rate high enough to really shed calories.
That being said, some yoga classes are better than others for losing weight. Vinyasa yoga pushes participants to work harder and is better for burning calories than Bikram and other popular forms.
Crunches took over as the go-to ab exercise when sit-ups fell out of favor. People hunting for a six pack started doing crunches by the hundreds.
They are still a great way to improve core strength with no equipment necessary. The only problem is that they don’t burn off belly fat. Many people mistakenly try to target fat on certain parts of the body by working out those parts. That’s just not how it works.
If you want a six pack, you can still do those crunches to build ab muscles. But you’ll also have to do more intense cardio work to burn calories. A good solution is to replace crunches with something like burpees or deadlifts. These exercises target the abs together with other muscles which help burn more calories and sculpt your stomach.
3. Medium-Intensity, Long-Distance Workouts
Whether you’re jogging, swimming, or biking, there’s something important you need to know. Going at a medium pace for as long as you can is not an efficient way to burn calories.
Instead, going full-blast at intervals, and then coasting for several minutes, burns many more calories. You can achieve this by cycling on hilly terrains or adding sprints into your daily jog. Studies have found that you can achieve the same results in much less time if you intermittently exercise at high-intensity even if it’s as little as 20 seconds at a time.
Walking is a great gateway exercise. If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, use walking to get back into the mobile lifestyle.
Unfortunately, this low-intensity activity doesn’t burn many calories. You have to spend large chunks of time walking to see tangible results.
That being said, you can add challenges to your walks to help burn more calories. Walking briskly or hiking through hilly terrain can increase your heart rate and burn more calories.
Of course, walking as a mode of transportation certainly burns more calories than driving somewhere. You don’t want to confine your workout solely to long, low-intensity walks.