5 Cardio Exercises to Maximize the Afterburn Effect

There are many different types of cardio exercises, and these provide a wide variety of benefits. Among these routines, there are those that maximize and optimize the afterburn effect.
5 Cardio Exercises to Maximize the Afterburn Effect

Last update: 01 September, 2019

The techniques used to perform cardio exercises can promote the burning of calories even after your training is over. This is called the afterburn effect, the moment when your body uses a greater amount of energy to return to its natural resting state after workouts.

These techniques and exercise routines will enhance the well-known afterburn effect; the period of muscle recovery in which oxygen plays a fundamental role.

The afterburn effect can last up to 24 hours, but the highest level of energy is consumed during the first 60 minutes. Thanks to your body’s natural mechanisms, it’s possible to continue burning fat once the workout is over. To maximize the effects the afterburn has over your body, it’s advisable to follow some very simple tips.

Five cardio exercises to extend the afterburn effect

Next, we’ll see some ways in which we can enhance our cardio workouts to improve the afterburn and its effects on our bodies:

1. Exchange the requirement in cardio exercises

It’s essential to change the rhythm in your workout routine if you want to spend a higher amount of energy. Thus, the levels of oxygen required by the body vary. This means your body will take longer in returning to its natural resting state, as relaxation will take more time.

We recommend you run at high-intensity for short races right at the end of your training session, followed by one minute of recovery and walking slowly. This is a great strategy to burn calories and to maximize its effects, you should repeat this series several times.

2. Combined exercises to enhance the afterburn effect

A good habit to develop is to design training routines that engage several muscle groups at the same time. This will diminish the time you spend training while being more effective for your body. Explosive routines that engage your whole body at once will demand a greater amount of oxygen. This will make you feel tired after a shorter period of time, but it’ll lengthen and maximize your afterburn.

3. Perform plyometric exercises

Practicing plyometric exercises will engage your body in high-intensity workouts. Still, as plyometric exercises are often incredibly demanding, you’ll reap more benefits if you rest the day after you train. After plyometric training, the afterburn effect will last for a quite long period of time. That’s why you should let your body rest before training again.

Plyometric exercises often entail holding a static position for a few seconds right after an explosive movement. For example, if you try an explosive jump then, when you reach your position squatting low, you hold it for a few seconds before releasing.


4. Afterburn effect: supplement weights with cardio exercises

What most people tend to do is to do weight training one day, and cardio the next. If this is what you usually do when going to the gym, you should reconsider your training routines. Mixing cardio exercises with weight exercises can maximize your afterburn.

Before or after, the ideal thing is to do series with weights to strengthen muscles and run, ride a bicycle, or do several burpees series on the same day. As always, we recommend doing high-intensity exercises with medium intensity exercises intervals to mix oxygen levels.

5. HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training

High-Intensity Interval Training is a training method that consists of doing highly demanding exercises for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds. These 10 seconds will help your body recover from the explosive movements without letting it lose its momentum. Of course, you need to plan in advance your training routine so you don’t have to stop to come up with new exercises.

With HIIT training, excess oxygen consumption after exercise is very high. As a consequence, the energy used is greater and your body will necessarily burn more calories.

This routine of maximum intensity with small intervals increases the aerobic capacity considerably. Many doctors recommend HIIT training to prevent certain illnesses such as diabetes or even cancer.

cardio exercises to maximize your afterburn effect

Tips for doing cardio exercises that maximize your afterburn effect with less training hours

If you’re a beginner, we recommend taking it slow and incorporating these tips to your routine gradually. When you do high intensity exercises your routine will be shorter but just as effective. These kinds of routines will push you to your limits. That’s why your body will need some time to recover and adapt to the new standards.

When you start doing high-intensity training, it’s very common to need to rest for longer periods of time. However, you should always try to rest less than the day before. The important thing is to progress gradually.

Strength exercises and aerobic routines both help burn calories if you balance them correctly. Vary the rhythms of each exercise to accelerate the metabolism.

The most difficult and demanding cardio exercises should always be at the end of the routine. While high-intensity training can be highly beneficial at any time of the day, you should try to train before work every day to feel energized throughout.

Some athletes consider that training early in the morning helps them increase their productivity during the day. This way, your body will rest without being totally inactive, as opposed to working out in the evening. Remember, afterburn is about letting your own body burn calories after you have stopped exercising. You should definitely prioritize resting.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.