If you really want to get serious about burning fat and shaping your body, ditch the treadmill runs and get busy with bodyweight cardio. Machines do too much work for you. Generate your own momentum with bodyweight exercises.

Side lunge girl

Bodyweight cardio has 3 primary benefits–fat loss, body shaping or toning and heart health. You won’t get bored doing bodyweight cardio. And, it only takes 20-30 minutes per workout.

Your strength workouts will definitely burn fat. Use your cardio workouts to burn fat too! Burn more body fat with a bodyweight cardio circuit. These circuits are a tried and true method to burn more fat, increase strength/endurance and improve heart health.

Cardio exercise doesn’t have to be aerobic. Aerobic exercise is an activity that is done continuously for more than 2 straight minutes. Favorite aerobic exercises are done on the treadmill (walking, running, jogging), bike, elliptical and stair-stepper. Unless you want to run long distance races, you don’t need to do aerobic exercise to improve your body’s ability to process oxygen and improve your heart and lung function.

Anaerobic exercise is all you need to improve heart/lung function and increase your body’s oxygen intake. Anaerobic exercise (like bodyweight cardio, sprint intervals and weightlifting), requires you to lessen the intensity or rest for less than 2 minutes (intervals or circuits). You’re talking about very intense exercise with intervals and circuits!

Interval training is a great way to do cardio exercise. There is much research to show that interval training sessions are superior to continuous aerobic sessions. You will get better fat loss results and more improved heart/lung health doing interval training or circuits.

Bodyweight cardio workouts also burn more fat and calories during and after your workout. Exercise Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) causes your body to burn more calories and fat after a tough workout. Your body has to work harder to get back to its pre-exercise state.

Here are two bodyweight cardio workouts for you to try:

Workout 1

Do each exercise (10 repetitions) one after the other with little or no rest between exercises. Rest 3 minutes between circuits. Do the circuit 3 times.

–Bulgarian split squats

–Incline pushups or pushups on medicine ball

–Pullups to failure

–Walking lunges with rotation

–Inverted rows

–Squat jumps. The squat jump is a power exercise meaning that it is done at full speed. Power exercises activate your bulkier fast twitch muscle fibers which will shape and tone your butt, hips and legs better.

Workout 2

Do each exercise one after the other with little or no rest between exercises. Rest 3 minutes between circuits. Do the circuit 3 times.

–Step Ups-knee high platform, 10 repetitions each leg

–Plank, 8 repetitions, 30 second hold

–Pushups on stability ball, 10 repetitions

–Mountain Climbers, 30 seconds, fast

–Pullups, to failure

–Side Lunges

–Triceps dips on bars or dips with both hands and feet off the floor, 10 repetitions

Get busy!

Download your Free Bodyweight 500 Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts and start shaping your body faster!

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist
Certified Nutrition Coach and Nutrition for Metabolic Health Specialist. Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes that helps you to achieve better long-term health, which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.
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