Performing cardiovascular (cardio) exercise is one of the best ways to burn calories and melt away excess fat. But, in spite of popular belief, this type of exercise doesn’t require expensive, monotonous equipment or even a substantial amount of your time. By coupling the right types of exercise with some effort and dedication, you can get in a quick, fat burning workout in the comfort of your own home. Here are five of the cheapest, convenient, and most effective exercises for burning fat fast.

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1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are a staple calisthenic exercise in physical education and recreational classes, sports training, and military fitness programs around the world. The fat-burning potential of jumping jacks lies in the fact that they incorporate high-impact leg and overhead arm motions for an effective full-body workout. Since jumping jacks don’t require any equipment, they can effortlessly be performed at any time and any place.

Including them in your circuit training or interval workouts promotes maximum fat burning. In fact, you can burn as many as 100 calories by performing them for just 10 minutes!

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2. Hula Hooping

Hula hooping (or simply hooping) is one of my favorite throwback exercises that’s low-impact and high-intensity in nature. In and of itself, hooping works the muscles of the core like no other exercise can. It’s also excellent for improving the general appearance of your lower-body. Since hooping involves rapid and repetitive back-and-forth swinging motions about the waist and other joints (hips, knee and ankles), you can burn a generous amount of calories (200-250 calories in 30 minutes) while doing so.

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3. Rope Jumping

Instead of boring yourself to death with hours of exercise on a treadmill, elliptical trainer or stationary bike, try incorporating rope jumping intervals into your workout routine. Rope jumping is a high-impact, high-intensity exercise that burns a substantial amount of calories in a relatively short amount of time. For instance, performing 3-5 minute spurts for 30 minutes can burn anywhere between 350 and 450 calories. Rope jumping is also highly effective for building core strength and endurance in your arms and legs.

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4. Shadow Boxing

You’ve probably seen shadow boxing performed by boxers and folks training for combat sports. As it’s name implies, shadow boxing involves throwing a variety of punches at your “shadow” or, basically, the air. Shadow boxing can look a bit weird but it burns a ton of calories. By performing numerous bouts of jabs, crosses, hooks, and uppercuts over the course of 5-10 minutes you can burn as much as 150 calories, which is more than you’ll burn with a 30-minute walk!

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You can nearly double your calorie burn rates by adding front and roundhouse kicks to the mix. A good shadow boxing routine can also increase muscle definition in your shoulders, arms, chest, and abdominals.

5. Stair Climbing

Stair climbing is one of the most overlooked, yet highly effective ways to burn fat fast. Whether you have access to 3 stairs or 20, you can get in a good workout in a very short period of time. In fact, just 20 minutes of walking upstairs burns as much as 200 calories while upping the intensity with jogging burns a whopping 350 calories. In addition to its fat burning potential, stair climbing is one of the best exercises for firming the muscles of your butt, thighs, and legs.

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For a great workout, try climbing stairs in 5-10 minute intervals at home, at work, or in a convenient public area like a parking garage, stadium or gymnasium. You can also opt for stair climbing in a mall as many open during early morning hours to accommodate exercising individuals.

And there you have it! Five exercises that’ll help you burn fat fast. All these exercises are virtually free and highly effective for burning calories and excess fat. By performing them regularly, you’ll maximize your workout time without getting bored, as each can be carried out in short spurts and at moderate-to-vigorous intensities.

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