To start the fat-burning process, change the ratio of calories consumed to calories expended so that the former are significantly less than the latter. Following a well-designed diet is the first significant step toward a new “fat-free” life.
However, it is difficult to achieve significant results on diet alone. The second point of support, in this case, should be regular cardio-exercise.
What is cardio training and what is it for?
This type of physical activity uses the energy produced by the body during aerobic glycolysis (glucose oxidation). In addition, cardio training should help develop the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The exercises used in it combine minimum load and high intensity.
Cardio training is used to:
improve heart and vascular function;
strengthen the heart muscle;
speeding up your metabolism;
recovery from conventional (strength) exercise;
It is the last point that is the most important for many people.
Types and Benefits of Cardio Exercise for Fat Burning
There are several basic varieties of cardio, each with its own positive results.
Energy consumption: 300-400 kcal/hour. Mostly walking is designed for beginners and those who have a considerable body weight. It can also be useful in the recovery phase for those who have undergone surgery or have been injured. It allows you to prepare for more intense activities.
Running at a constant speed
Draws about 600 kcal/hour, which is quite different from normal walking. The leg muscles are active, the metabolism is boosted, and aerobic endurance is developed (which is extremely important for athletes).
Cardio on a bicycle or exercise bike
The calorie consumption is the same as during running at a constant speed, but the load on the knees is significantly reduced. Equally suitable for beginners and experienced athletes (allows you to achieve the effect of “drying out” the leg muscles). When using an elliptical trainer, the gluteal muscles are loaded to a greater extent.
Rowing on a rowing machine
In 60 minutes of such motor activity, 840 kcal are consumed. This is a significant expenditure, which allows you to intensively use up excessive fat reserves, without loading your knees and training your abs, back, legs and arms. At the same time you train your endurance.
Energy consumption: 600 kcal/hour. This type of activity suits almost everyone. It is especially useful for people recovering from injuries. Swimming is characterized by the lowest load on the spine and simultaneous involvement of all muscle groups. Maximum results can be achieved by combining different styles and rates of exercise.
Spending 1000 kcal per hour (usually the exercise lasts no more than 15 minutes), which is significantly higher than the same figure for other types of activity. There is an additional load on the shoulders and calves, and the development of stamina, speed and explosive strength. However, if the intensity is too high, there is a risk of injury to the knees.
HIIT (high-intensity interval training)
This is a relatively new and highly effective type of cardio training. It is based on alternating phases with minimum and maximum heart rate. According to most, this variant is the most suitable for fat burning, as it allows you to eliminate a significant number of calories and at the same time accelerate the metabolism for the next day.
It has the advantageous distinction from constant-intensity training that the body does not get a “habituation effect” (lower calorie expenditure when the same exercise is repeated regularly).
The main rules of an effective cardio workout for burning fat
Conducting a fat-burning cardio workout should be carried out in accordance with certain rules:
Regular monitoring of the heart rate
Too low values do not allow you to achieve the desired result, while excessively high values indicate a dangerous overstrain of the body. If you do not have a special measuring device (heart rate monitor), you should make independent measurements at least two or three times per exercise.
Prevalence of interval loads in the general program.
Interval exercises are much more effective compared to monotonous activities and allow for a more productive workout.
Predominant walking exercises in the presence of excess body weight.
For this, you can use exercise equipment, use the help of a video trainer at home, as well as just take long walks outdoors.
Mandatory presence of additional strength exercises.
The absence of this element leads to a decrease in muscle mass, slower metabolism and deterioration of the overall appearance. It is not necessary to perform both types of workouts on the same day, it is enough just to alternate them.
The beginning of the workout is strength exercises, the end is aerobic exercises.
When combining different types of loads, you should start with strength exercises, because after cardio it is very difficult to find the strength for a good workout of movements with weights.
Changing the types of aerobic load
On exercise machines, you can resort to alternating between ellipsoid and treadmill, and being at home – to use different programs. This makes classes more productive.
Incorporating high-intensity interval training (HIT).
This will avoid excessive loss of muscle mass due to lack of calories.
Supplementing the training program with low-impact cardio.
It is necessary, above all, for those who have problems with knee joints. Usually, low-impact exercises mean cycling or brisk walking.
Taking at least one day off a week.
Required to allow the body to recover.
Performing cardio even when there is no need to lose weight.
Exercise allows you not only to lose weight, but also to stimulate your physical development, to train your heart muscle, increasing its endurance. Therefore, practically any group of people will benefit from them.
Following a low-calorie diet.
Even daily aerobic exercise will not give the necessary result if there are no positive changes in the daily diet.
How to calculate the individual heart rate
There is such a parameter as heart rate max. This is a measure of the maximum allowable heart rate for a particular person. The most primitive formula for its calculation involves only one action: 220 minus age.
The resulting number is the point to which it is better not to approach. When it is reached, the heart begins to wear out, suffering from hypoxia (oxygen starvation), and all other tissues and organs of the body are also depleted.
Exercise at such a limit is contraindicated to any person and may be fraught with many problems: from overheating and overloading to a heart attack.
Therefore, based on the heart rate max, you need to calculate for yourself a corridor of acceptable heart rates, within which the training should take place. The resulting interval is called the aerobic heart rate limits. Staying within its boundaries, the heart has time to deliver oxygen to the tissues in the required amount.
The formula for calculating the lower aerobic heart rate limit: (220 – age) x 60% : 100%.
The upper limit is determined similarly, but 80% is given instead of 60%.
What time and how much to exercise
The specific duration of cardio depends on the heart rate you choose:
60-70% (about 120-140 beats/min) is the heart rate that provides the best results in terms of fat burning.
To get rid of excessive weight, this frequency should be kept for 40-45 minutes. This duration is due to the fact that during about half an hour from the beginning of the workout only carbohydrates are consumed and only then it is the turn of the fat tissue.
70-80% – development of aerobic endurance.
The exact duration of the exercise is determined independently, taking into account your own capacity for work and the health of your organism. In this case, fat and carbohydrates are also burned, but the former are burned to a lesser extent.
When the heart rate is over 80-85% of the maximum value, the body leaves the aerobic zone and enters the anaerobic zone, i.e. energy production takes place without oxygen (typical for strength training). Fat burning does not occur in this case, and carbohydrate reserves are quickly depleted. There is a risk of hypoglycemia, which is accompanied by dizziness, weakness, and cold sweat.
It should be taken into account that cardio lasting more than an hour burns only muscles.
If we talk about the preferred time of the day for fat-burning workouts, it is the morning hours. Available glycogen reserves in the body are depleted, the process of splitting fat cells begins much earlier (of course, if you pick the right heart rate zone). A pleasant bonus of such exercises is that the feeling of vivacity lasts for the whole day.
Daytime exercises are more suitable for maintaining the tone of the heart muscle, but the fatty tissue until the 20-40th minute is practically not used.
In the evening, the glycogen again becomes less, but you can only count on getting results if you wait at least two hours after the last meal.
Cardio workout for burning fat at home: a set of exercises
Position – front leaning support. With your hands in the elbows, lower the body down, and then push off from the surface of the floor with all your might (for a while your palms should be completely detached from it). Then land gently and return to the starting position. Further the exercise can be made more complicated: at the moment when your palms are not touching the floor, clap.
Initial position: standing on all fours, with knees and chest touching. Take a supine position, abruptly pulling your legs back. In one movement return to the starting position and jump as high up as possible. Re-establish initial position. 20 reps.
Take up position: front leaning support. Abruptly pull right leg up to right arm. Back to the starting position. Pull left leg up to left arm, then return to the lying position. 30 reps.
Place your hands behind your head, squat down and jump out strictly upward (arms remain in the initial position so as not to make the exercise easier and preserve its efficiency). 15 reps.
Stand up straight, with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and put your palms on the floor in the space between your feet. In one movement push legs back and stand in front of you lying down. Then perform all the movements in reverse order.15 repetitions.
Everything should be done as quickly as possible, but with maintaining proper technique.
The series of the above exercises makes up one round, and after it you should wait until your breath has completely recovered. Then the cycle is repeated at least three times (with breaks after each round).
After a month of regular training, you will see noticeable results.
Best cardio exercises for burning fat at home
The best cardio exercises for home, everyone determines for themselves, based on the existing basic activities in various forms and combinations.
Running in place:
with high knee elevation;
with a shin splash.
shallow and fast;
with deep squat;
Feet together – feet apart.
from deep squat;
Lying in front of you.