10 Great Calorie Burning Exercises (No Running)

10 Great Calorie Burning Exercises (No Running)

If you are lucky, your knees and surrounding frame have no trouble handling a novice jog or advanced run. Yet, for some, running is not their thing and for others the high impact has taken its toll on their joints.

If you fall into the latter category try these 10 calorie burning exercises besides running. Even if you’re bouncing around like a weekend warrior take note of these as well. You never known when your body may give out, forcing a new approach and adaptation to cardio exercising.

Two Wheels

Pedaling a bicycle is a low impact, high cardio workout. Spinning, the intense stationary bike workout classes that have taken the exercise industry by storm, is also very effective.

According to NutriStrategy, depending on your weight and biking format, pedaling for 1 hour can burn the following calories:

Mountain biking





Cycling 20mph





Moderate Stationary Biking





Vigorous Stationary Biking





He-Man, She-Woman

Weight training gets a bad rap when it comes to keeping your heart rate up but that’s because it is measured on an aerobic scale rather than an anaerobic one.

According to Harold Gibbons, New York State Director of the National Strength and Conditioning Association,

“In general, you burn more calories by doing high-intensity weight training than you do running,”

Researchers at the University of Southern Maine confirmed this in a small study which found that,

“weight training burns up to 71 percent more calories than originally thought. Which suggests that a fast-paced circuit workout burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute per mile pace.”

Weight Training Fast-Paced Circuit Workout – This usually consists of a combination of push-pull exercises with minimal resting in-between. For example, you may alternate 20 crunch sit-ups with 10 bench press reps at a challenging weight.

Kettlebell Swing – One highly effective weight training exercise is the kettlebell swing. This is a balance challenging exercise that researchers from the University of Wisconsin reported, “burned 20.2 calories a minute and their average heart was 93 percent of its max for the course of a 20-minute workout.” (Mens Health 4/2/15)

Jumping Rope

This may be too high impact for some however it can be done on an impact resistant mat. At about 100 jumps per minute, which is a moderate pace, you can burn about 13 calories per minute.

Glide and Stride

The ingenious elliptical machine mimics cross-country skiing by allowing for fluid, non-impact leg movements while pumping the arms back and forth as if they were holding poles.

You burn almost 400 calories during a 30 minute session. If the machine you’re on allows, add in terrain choices for more calorie burning challenges.

Indoor Rowing

Once you master this cumbersome activity, all it takes is 30 minutes to burn up to 380 calories. It is a total body trainer which is perfect for those that are short on time. Everything from your arm and leg muscles to your back, abs and glutes all come into play during indoor rowing.

Simple Cindy

Cindy is a simple CrossFit workout that scientists at Kennesaw State University measured to burn about 13 calories per minute. Do these three exercises as many times as you can in 20 minute chunks. Rest for 2-3 minutes and start again.

  • 5   pull ups
  • 10 pushups
  • 15 air squats

Before you lace up your sneakers, try some of these 10 calorie burning exercises besides running. Give your joints a break (so they don’t break) and keep your blood flowing all at the same time with these low impact, low injury workouts.