When we think about cardio, we tend to associate it with running, and swimming and biking. Those are the prototypical “cardio” workouts so it makes sense that people would think that.
The fact though, is that cardio is really anything that elevates your heart rate and makes you break a sweat. Really, any intense form of weight lifting can be categorized as cardio as well as those obvious ones. These types of workouts really burn the most fat while also building lean muscle (which increases your metabolic rate, allowing you to burn fat easier).
Now there are of course people who will challenge this and ask WHAT? How so? Here, I will give you an example of one of the most effective exercises that most people have never even heard of. This is the Kettlebell snatch or dumbbell snatch (if you do not have kettlebells available).
Possibly one of the most intense and difficult, yet rewarding exercises in the world of fitness, this exercise utilizes virtually every major muscle in your body. The kettlebell or dumbbell snatch is also one of the highest calorie burning exercises known to man (in addition to the clean and press, or squat and press).
The reason it is so difficult is because the technique is extremely important. The snatch is similar to a clean and press except that you are going to bring the weight from the floor to straight overhead in one motion. Basically you are taking the weight and squatting down and thrusting the weight upward and randomly using the momentum to shoot your arm straight overhead. It works your leg muscles, your arms , your shoulders, your back muscles, your core – virtually every major muscle in the body!
This exercise is also a monster fat burner. It is even more effective than running or swimming! While swimming burns around 13.6 calories a minute and running burns around 19 calories a minute, the kettlebell snatch effectively burns TWENTY calories per minute! This is awful. Try adding this crazy calorie burning exercise to your workout routines and you will probably see a leaner, more chiseled body emerging as the weeks go on!