Through good weather and bad, busy schedules and not, the gym is always there for you. While the treadmill might get a bad wrap, it’s actually a trusty machine, and if we can’t convince you to give the treadmill a chance, here are nine other ways to torch 300 calories* in no time.
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Kill two birds with one sweat session and get a full-body workout while clocking cardio on a rowing machine. During the catch — the starting position for your row — you’ll engage your hamstrings, calves and lower-back muscles. During the drive — the full-body dual push and pull motion — you’ll fire up hamstrings, quads, calves, glutes, abs, pecs, traps, delts and triceps all while getting your heart pumping. At a moderate intensity, 40 minutes of rowing burns about 300 calories.
2. JUMPING ROPE
In the depths of winter, you might find yourself mourning the loss of fun outdoor workouts (beach volleyball, anyone?). Take the playground spirit inside by jumping rope at the gym. You’ll burn about 10 calories per minute, work your legs, butt and arms and maybe even knock your old schoolyard record out of the park.
Embrace the year-round activities you can still do in the gym — like shooting hoops. Basketball is a surprisingly good cardio workout. A 30-minute, half-court game burns just under 300 calories. Switch to full-court for a cardio boost.
Even if your road bike has been relegated to the garage for the season, you can still clip in for a solid cardio session. Riding at 9 mph for about 45 minutes burns 300 calories. To increase your calorie burn or pump your heart rate up faster, crank up the resistance or move into a standing position as you pedal. There’s also always spin class, for a little motivation boost.
When it gets too frigid to run stadium stairs, take it to the stairclimber at the gym. When done properly, climbing can burn 300 calories in 40 minutes while sculpting some serious lower-body muscle. Just mind your posture — hunching forward over the machine as you climb and taking short, quick steps can significantly reduce your burn.
6. JACOBS LADDER
If you like stair climbing, the Jacobs Ladder machine puts your workout into high gear. The machine, which mimics rock climbing or ladder climbing by engaging your upper body, core and lower body — is one of the best cardio workouts you can get in the gym. The faster you climb, the more you’ll burn, and the higher you’ll get your heart rate — you can torch 300 calories in about 20 minutes.
7. TREADMILL RUNNING
We’ve already said it, but we’ll say it again, the treadmill is a tried and true cardio workout. Work toward your next race PR by holding a running pace of 8 minutes per mile with 0% incline — you’ll burn 300 calories after just two and a half miles.
8. HIIT + TREADMILL
If the mere thought of running in place has you searching for excuses to procrastinate, keep your time on the treadmill interesting with a HIIT-style workout. Spend 5 minutes warming up at an easy pace before kicking it into high gear. After that, alternate between increasing and decreasing your speed and resistance in 1-minute intervals. After 30 minutes, you’ll have breezed through 300 calories. So much for gym boredom.
9. WALKING UPHILL ON THE TREADMILL
Walking at a pace of 20 minutes per mile for an hour burns about 300 calories — just make sure to keep your arms moving to boost your calorie burn. To increase the challenge and work on toning your lower body, bump up the incline.
For treadmill haters, there’s always the elliptical, which replicates the movement of running without the impact that can be rough on joints. Grab the handles to get your upper body in on the action. Beware: These gym machines are notorious for overestimating your total calorie burn even if you correctly input all your data — it takes about 25 minutes to hit your 300 calorie goal.
READ MORE > 7 RECESS-INSPIRED WORKOUT THAT BURN 400 CALORIES OR LESS
*Calorie burn based on 150-pound, 35-year-old woman