We're huge fans of running. It allows you to get a stress-reducing, endurance-boosting workout with just a pair of shoes and an open road. 

It also burns kilojoules, of course. At a 6-minute per kilometre pace, you'll fry about 41kJ (10cal) a minute. That's a solid number, and if you run faster, you can burn even more. But if running isn't your thing, there are plenty of other ways to torch cals. "In general, you burn more kilojoules by doing high-intensity weight training than you do running," says trainer Harold Gibbons. 

And resistance training isn't your only option. There are also cardio exercises that can boost your burn, too. We found 10 exercises that will help you incinerate kilojoules—without ever having to hit pavement.

Kettlebell swing

This explosive exercise works the big, powerful muscles around your glutes and quads, and sends your heart into overdrive, according to research. In the study, participants burned 84.5kJ (20.2cal) a minute and their average heart was 93% of its max for the course of a 20-minute workout. "The kettlebell swing works you so hard because it's not a movement you're used to," says strength coach Dan John. "You’re not super efficient at it, which taxes your body."


Moderate-intensity rope jumping—about 100 to 120 skips per minute—burns about 54kJ (13cal) a minute. This mode of exercise uses more muscle groups than jogging, and challenges your balance, and coordination—especially if you practice drills that require extra hand and foot skills.

Tabata jump squats

This four-minute miracle drill burns major kilojoules both during a workout and after. In an  study, participants who did eight rounds of all-out jump squats—20 seconds of hard work, separated by 10 seconds of rest—burned 56kJ (13.4cal) per minute and doubled their post-exercise metabolic rate for at least 30 minutes.

Battle ropes

In a recent study comparing various workout styles, battling-rope exercises came in first in terms of total oxygen consumption and an average calorie burn of 43kJ (10.3cal) per minute.

Cross-country skiing

Zipping along on skis delivers a better heart-pounding workout compared to running at about the same pace, thanks to the fact that the sport requires you to push with your lower-body and pull with your upper. In fact, a good cross-country ski session can burn more than 50kJ (12cal) a minute. That explains why skiers consistently collapse in exhaustion at the finish line of Olympic races. Put it on your bucket list for winter. 

© Prevention Australia