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4 fitness-boosting running alternatives
Utilised correctly, the humble treadmill can be one your best fat-burning tools. Sprint intervals? Great. Deadmill pushes? Even better. Steady-state running? According to new research, maybe not. Such were the findings from a team of researchers at Milan University, who found that treadmill runners needed to push 15% harder to burn the same calories as their outdoor associates, due to several factors including wind, hills and forward propulsion from the machine.
This, however, doesn't mean you have to end every workout with a park-run or give up on your HIIT ambitions. Instead, deploy any of the below routines to incinerate fat and leave the treadmill crowd gasping.
We all know the feeling. Throwing in the towel rather than jockeying for position in the queue at the running machines is all too easy. As is mashing the snooze button and trading your morning jog for an extra 30 minutes in bed. In a bid to save you from treadmill tedium we've lined up four cardio alternatives that'll re-invigorate your workouts and help boost your fitness like never before.
Want to know how Mayweather’s still running rings around Argentinians at 37? He’s spent hours perfecting this boxer’s staple. According to The American College of Sports Medicine, skipping for 10 minutes is the equivalent of running a mile at 6mph. It also helps to pack size onto your calves and improves your core strength. While we don’t expect you to perfect double-unders or crossovers, we do recommend investing in this weighted skipping rope (£10, argos.co.uk). A small price for big results.
There’s a reason 15 minutes on the rower has you gasping like an Oxbridgian on the Thames. Rowing requires equal effort from both your upper and lower body. A study by Duke University found pushing and pulling on this fat-melting machine is more effective than resistance training and works all of your major muscle groups – minus the injury risk to joints you expect when running. Perfect your technique with this guide and get ready to go for gold.
Sadly, avoiding maniacal bus drivers and almost certain death on your cycle commute doesn’t count as a cardio session. To see serious benefits switch to night cycling (and trade in your wheels for this beginner’s road bike). AJournal of Strength & Conditioning Researchstudy discovered your power output is 8% higher in the evening. Strap on some high-vis and add bulk to your hamstrings, glutes and quads with these four high-intensity workouts.
Making a splash is another excellent way to boost fitness and burn fat. Swimming for an hour, three times a week for ten weeks is enough to increase your VO2 max by 11%, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
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