A total-body exercise, the squat thrust (or burpee) is considered a “big bang for your buck” movement. Arm, legs, core and cardio—this one move takes care of it all. On average, you burn 10 calories a minute, Gallagher says. “But keep in mind that each person's fitness level and calorie burn is different.” “What makes the squat thrust graduate to the burpee is the addition of a vertical jump after you stand up. The burpee has also been known to sneak in a push-up after jumping back into the high plank position,” she adds.
Jumping rope, jumping jacks and other plyometric exercises are incredibly effective for improving reactivity, power and coordination, while also increasing both the calorie burn – about 8 to 10 a minute – and challenge of your workouts, Gallagher says. And, while the intensity of these exercises means that participants need to be physically ready to do them, they should be a supplemental part of a well-rounded training program. “With plyometric training, more is not better,” she adds.
Step aerobics is the gold standard. “Step involves a step that has adjustable risers to increase intensity. Classes are great cardiovascular workouts during which an average person will burn more than 450 calories in an hour. “The research-supported benefits of step training include cardiorespiratory fitness, weight management and mood enhancement,” she adds.
You’ll burn a decent amount of calories — in a 1-hour circuit training session, a 150-pound person burns about 308 calories at a moderate intensity, and 573 calories at a vigorous intensity, Gallagher says. A circuit training she recommends is: 180 turns x 12, repeat other side; 8lbs squat press with abduction alternate x 16; Jacks/jump rope recovery; high knees 1 minute; air squats x32; 16 pushups with shoulder taps; air squats x 32; 16 pushups with shoulder taps.