5 Workouts That Burn More Calories Than Spin Class

Spinning gets a lot of street cred as one of the best calorie-blasting exercises, and not without good reason. Depending on factors like your weight and the intensity of your effort, a single one-hour class can help you scorch about 400 to 600 calories.

“You’re using all of your leg muscles—upper, lower, front, and back,” says ACE spokesperson Cris Dobrosielski, author of Going the Distance. Pedaling away at hyper-speed doesn’t just build your lower-body strength; it also improves your cardiovascular endurance while putting little strain on your joints.

But to be honest, taking a spin class isn’t the only fast track to a leaner, fitter bod. “There are other classes and workouts that can be better ways to burn calories,” says Isabel Smith, R.D., C.D.N., celebrity dietitian and fitness expert. “It’s all about what type of workout will push you to work harder and raise your heart rate higher.” 

If you’re thinking of hopping off the iron horse and trying something new, consider these five cal-crushing alternatives for an even more rewarding sweat sesh. 


Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 600 to 800

Hitting the indoor rowing machine is a killer way to give calories the heave-ho. It provides a better total-body workout than the spin bike, too: According to Josh Kernen, C.S.C.S., D.P.T., co-owner of Bridgetown Physical Therapy and Training Studio, cranking those handlebars utilizes nine major muscle groups, including the quads, hamstrings, abs, triceps, biceps, and more.

To maximize the burn, Smith recommends interval-style rowing: “Do 500 to 1,000 meters per interval with a two-minute break in between, or vary your intervals for an hour (alternating between a one-minute interval with a 30-second break, and a two-minute interval with a one-minute break).”


Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 600 to 800

You may not have skipped to your lou since you were in pigtails, but this drill is anything but child’s play. “Jumping rope doesn’t just burn calories; it also helps improve bone density and develops agility and balance,” says Kernen. “Plus, you can do it anywhere.”

The best part? You already know how it’s done. The hopping motions are the same as the ones you used as a kid, just intensified: “Keep the tempo up to keep the calorie burn up,” says Smith. “You want to keep it to about 100 bounces per minute to help you reach your calorie-burning potential.”


Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 750 to 900

A class that gives unwanted calories the one-two punch and teaches you how to kick ass? Sign us up! This full-body meltdown engages your legs and glutes for stabilization, but it also tones your shoulders, back, and abs—something you miss out on when you’re biking. Not to mention it’s a healthier outlet for unleashing pent-up stress than, say, actually kicking someone’s butt. 

This is more of a do-not-try-this-at-home type of deal, so the pros suggest grabbing a and signing up for a local class. “If you don’t have experience in kickboxing, find a good instructor who can work with individuals at all fitness levels,” says Kernen. The trainer will walk you through routines that’ll help you meet your calorie-blasting goals.

 (To get more exercise tips check out Women’s Health Summer Body Training Guide.) 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Approximate Calories Burned Per Hour: 900 to 1,000

With these hardcore routines, speed, power and endurance act as catalysts that boost your metabolic rate both during and long after your session—up to a whole 48 hours after, to be exact. It’s all thanks to the phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC, which basically means you’re incinerating calories while you’re resting post-workout. “This can burn an additional 6 to 15 percent more calories due to your elevated metabolism,” says Kernen. “It’s like a free 60 to 150 calories burned just for your body to recover.” 

According to L.A.-based trainer Mike Donavanik, C.S.C.S., HIIT couples what’s normally anaerobic activity (strength training) with aerobic elements (cardio) to capitalize on calorie burn. Training is normally done in ratios of 2:1 or 3:1, meaning you’re exercising at peak intensity for two to three minutes and then resting for one. It’s no walk in the park, but it’s quick, convenient, and insanely effective.

Not a fan of running either? These five workouts burn more calories than running.

This article originally appeared on Women’s Health.

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