The Best Fat-Burning, Interval-Training Exercises

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High intensity interval training, or HIIT, was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata and researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. HIIT workouts can last as little as four minutes but are highly effective for increasing fitness and fat loss. If you are new to exercise, consult your doctor before starting this intense exercise routine.

Guidelines for Interval Training

The most effective fat burning exercises for interval training should engage the major muscles of your body. This ensures greater energy expenditure and elicits a greater post-exercise metabolic response, which increases your body's ability to burn fat. This expenditure of energy burns calories, which are stored in the body as fat. Approximately 3,500 calories equals 1 pound of fat. Because interval training is an intense form of fat burning exercise, it is essential you give your body adequate rest between workouts. Do not work out on consecutive days.

Running Workout

Warm up with a five minute jog. Next, do stretches focusing on your hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, hip flexors and lower back. Jog for 90 seconds then sprint for 30 seconds. Jog or rest for 90 seconds, followed by another 30 second sprint. Do this jog and sprint interval six times for a 12 minute interval training workout. A 185-pound individual burns 12 calories per minute jogging and burns 31 calories running. If you are a beginner, start with two or three intervals. Increase your intervals as you get fitter and stronger. Do this workout outdoors or on a treadmill.

Cycling Indoors or Out

Go bicycling outdoors, or use a stationary bike in a gym. Start with a gentle five minute warm up, followed by stretching exercises. Cycle at a steady speed for two minutes, then break into a sprint for one minute. If using a stationary bike, start with a low resistance for two minutes, then cycle at a high resistance for one minute. Do between three and 10 of these intervals depending on your level of fitness. Each minute of moderate cycling burns 10 calories and 16 calories at high speed.

Circuit Training

Set up a circuit of six exercises that target the major muscles of your body. Do 12 to 15 repetitions of squats, bench press and dead lifts, and 16 to 20 lunges -- along with as many pullups and pushups you can do. Rest for two minutes after completing the circuit and repeat circuit three to five times, depending on your level of fitness. A 185-pound individual burns 355 calories in a 30-minute circuit training workout. While running and cycling may burn more calories during the workout, circuit training builds up your muscles, which increases their ability to burn calories all the time, not just while working out.