Sometimes you just want to smash out some cardio. It’s a great cure for many reasons: stress, cabin fever… hangovers…but what’s the best kind of cardio for your goals? We have an answer!
Spinning is fabulous because it is low impact, but intense. Having said that, it’s only as intense as your level of resistance. This means you can either have a full on cardio-resistance slog, or a fast spin to get rid of the Sunday morning alcoholic toxins. There are also many different ways to approach a spinning class, so it’s hard to get bored!
Cycling is an amazing form of cardio because:
- It is low impact but high intensity – a safe way to burn fat
- Spinning is beneficial to a variety of different sports types
- It is a wonderful leg strengthening exercise
- You can incorporate HIIT workouts into your spin session
The obvious form of cardio. It is one of the hardest forms of cardio because it uses all your body weight, unfortunately, it’s also high impact – not so good for the joints. While it primarily uses the power body, there are things you can do to engage upper body muscles. This could be tensing your abs or bringing small dumbbells with you on your run.
In your lower body, running works your hip flexors, mammies, quads, glutes and calves. Be sure to stretch these muscles well afterwards because carrying your own bodyweight is tiresome!
Running is useful for the following reasons:
- To burn more fat through purely cardio exercise
- It shapes lower leg muscles, and can recruit upper body muscles, too
- It is used in nearly every sport
- Running can raise your metabolism for up to 24 hours after
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training – i.e. HIIT provides an intense cardiovascular workout (as well as a strengthening one, too). It is the best form of fat-burning – the main reason people do cardio (besides cardiovascular health).
While most cardio workouts challenge the body at a steady pace, HIIT workouts startle the body into different intensities and movements. This has been proven to speed up your metabolism, not just during the exercise, but for up to 8 hours after.
HIIT is the perfect cardio workout for you if you:
- Want to burn fat
- Are looking to increase the fat burning hormone (epinephrine and norepinephrine)
- Want to increase your metabolic rate
Rowing burns an average of 840 calories per hour – wow! It is a fantastic all body workout. The correct technique uses 60% lower body, 20% core and 20% arms. It’s also a great cardio workout.
When talking cardio, though, rowing is great for:
- Burning a high number of calories, fast
- A whole-body workout
- A low impact cardio workout
- The muscles and cardio developed from rowing will be useful for many different sports