What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “cardio?” Probably running, maybe the elliptical machine, stationary bike, or even rowing. But there’s so much more to cardiorespiratory training than steady-state endurance workouts—a.k.a. trucking it for the long-haul.
The best kind of cardio happens to be compound exercises, which involve multiple joints and more than one muscle group. “They improve coordination and elevate the heart rate quicker—plus, they allow a person to get a full-body workout in less time while mirroring movements you actually use in real life,” says Sarah Gawron, AFAA-certified trainer at Epic Hybrid Training and Solace in New York City.
A HIIT workout or circuit training sequence can often also burn more calories than steady-state cardio workout, BTW. That’s because they’re performed at a higher intensity, require more energy and oxygen to complete, and, therefore, produce a greater after-burn effect (otherwise known as EPOC). This means you’ll continue to burn calories at a higher rate even after your workout is over.
Excerpted from Women’s Health