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10 Exercises That Burn Fat Better Than Running

by Melissa Bell
3 minutes read

When talking about fat burning, running has long been held as the most obvious workout. Aside from burning calories, it’s a great cardio. Nonetheless, running has a few drawbacks – it’s a high-impact exercise that puts a lot of strain on the knees, thighs, and feet. Furthermore, it only burns about 10 calories a minute, and if that is your goal, it can easily be replaced by other types of exercises, equal or more effective at burning fat.

Here we recommend 10 exercises that are good substitutes to running. They’ll not only help you lose weight, but also get your body into great shape.

1. Cross-Fit Exercises

A typical cross-fit workout routine includes a number of exercises, some of which are fairly intense. Following a strict routine, however, is not necessary for one to benefit from these exercises. The best way to approach this is to browse cross-fit exercises and choose three that target a different muscle group, for a fuller body workout.

2. Kettlebell Swing

This is a workout easily included into other workout routines. The best thing about the kettlebell swing is that it doesn’t take more than several minutes, during which you can burn around 20 calories per minute. Another positive is that the exercise is suitable for everyone regardless of shape or stamina.

Related: 14 Simple Kettlebell Exercises For A Tight And Toned Body (INFOGRAPHIC)

3. Burpees


Doing at least 10 burpees a minute can help you burn up to 14 calories in that same minute. Taken on its own, this workout is more effective than an all-out bike sprint; it boosts your metabolism and burns extra fat.

4. Bike Sprints

We might have mentioned that bike sprints are less efficient than burpees just now, however, they are ideal for people who aren’t into regular workout. The key to effective bike sprints is to pedal as fast as you can for a minute then to slow down for the next 1-2 minutes. Ideally, you should alternate between a cruising speed and a sprinting speed.

5. Fat Tire Biking

This workout includes special bicycles with large tires, which are heavier and harder to control than traditional bike tires. That’s why you can burn up to 1,500 calories per hour, or 25 calories per minute with this challenging exercise, which is more than twice the amount of calories you burn with running, while also keeping your knees strain free.

6. Jumping Rope


Jumping rope is a fun, medium-intensity exercise, which involves more muscles than running. Providing you do up to 100 skips per minute, you can burn about 13 calories during each of those minutes. Additionally, jumping rope gives you a more complete workout.

7. Jump Squats

A simple workout, this high-intensity exercise isolates and strengthens your quad muscles. Jump squats can help you burn up to 14 calories in 20 seconds of tough workout, which is an amazing result for less than a minute.

8. Battling Ropes

Battle ropes not only offer full body strength training, but are also a great as cardio. According to a recent study which compared battle rope exercises to other workouts, battle ropes proved to be superior for total oxygen consumption.

9. Cross-Country Skiing


Aside from being popular, cross-country skiing is another workout that’s more effective fat-burner than running. When skiing at a normal pace, you actually move at about the same speed as the average runner, but you burn more calories per minute.

10. Indoor Rowing

Like spinning before it, rowing has gone from being a competitive outdoor sport to one of the growing new trends in group exercise. Rowing works 9 major muscle groups: quads, hamstrings, glutes, lats, core, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps. In addition rowing is an amazing cardio workout. In the average Indo-Row class, people burn between 400-800 calories in less than an hour, while higher-intensity rowing can yield even better results.

There you go folks, our 10 alternatives to running. Keep in mind, when choosing a group of exercises to do, make sure they target different muscles in your body. Allowing some time for your muscles to recover during workout is also important. Keep shredding!

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