If you hate running, you’re not alone. Even some runners themselves dread the sport, but there’s no denying it’s convenient, efficient, and gets the job done. Although running burns a lot of calories, it can also cause damage to the knees, and it doesn’t tone or strengthen your core muscles the same way other targeted exercises do.
Luckily, if you want to burn a bunch of calories but don’t want to go for a morning jog, you can try these seven exercises that burn more calories than running — and who knows, they may even be more enjoyable.
1. High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training includes something like 30 to 45 seconds of a high intensity exercise like burpees or bike sprints, followed by 90 second to two minute lower intensity recovery phase, and you can do this three to 10 times. “The advantage is this not only burns a lot of calories while doing it, but burns them long after you’re done,” says nutritionist and personal trainer Jamie Logie. “It’s through a process called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Your body used so much oxygen during the high intensity it needs to replenish it and burns calories to do so.”
This isn’t just your childhood backyard playtime. Working out on a trampoline includes fast and slow jumps, aerobic steps, and sprints, making for a high cardio workout. The key to this is that the trampoline does not let you stop moving, therefore you are burning calories constantly.
3. Kettlebell Swing
“These swings bring in the heavy hitters of muscles, working everything from your shoulders and pecs to most notably the glutes and hamstrings, meaning more calories are burned during the workout,” says certified personal trainer Samantha Kellgren. “When you swing quickly, your heart rate will spike, and you’ll not only be strengthening your body, but your heart as well.”
Vigorous rowing is not only a good cardio workout, but it works out the legs and back. “This full body exercise torches calories and gets your heart racing quickly, plus in the seated position, it’s low impact, perfect for those with feet or knee issues,” says Kellgren.
5. Box Jumps
“Box jumps are powered through the glutes, hamstrings and quads, all big muscles that require a ton of calories to maintain,” says Kellgren. “Box jumps not only improve your leg strength but can help you be a faster and more powerful sprinter.” Stand squarely in front of a step or large box. Crouch down as if to squat, then use your arms for momentum and powerfully jump off the ground, landing softly on the box. Step down and repeat for 10-12 reps or a timed set of 30 seconds to 1 minute.
6. Bike Sprints
Experts have found that sprinting burns 200 calories for only 2.5 minutes of work, and sitting on a stationary bike can help alleviate the impact on the joints and knees. Similar to high-intensity interval training, giving it all you got for short intervals of time is an effective and quick way to burn those calories.
7. Weight Training
“Weight training is more intense and lasts longer [than running],” says Erik Bowitz, editor of SkinnyYoked.com. “Thorough weight training programs usually exceed one hour and sometimes are closer to 2 hours in length, whereas common cardio durations rarely exceed 45 minutes. Thus the opportunity to burn calories is longer.” Additionally, just having muscles alone also causes you to burn extra calories throughout the day.