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The Best Metabolism-Revving Strength Moves, According to Science

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Want to get the biggest calorie-torching bang for your exercise buck? Add burpees and battling rope moves to your routine, according to new research published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. (And check out 3 Ways to Ramp Up Your Burpees.)

In the study, researchers had subjects do a different free weight exercise (like biceps curls), battling rope move (try the Battle Ropes Power Slam), or body-weight exercise (like pushups) each day for thirteen days and found that the dreaded burpee and battling rope exercises resulted in the greatest “oxygen consumption”. In other words, these moves, more so than the moves with weights, require more energy and better stimulate your metabolism.

Plus, they’re just darn good total-body moves, since both burpess and battling ropes get so many muscle groups in on the action simultaneously. While the latter do require equipment (many gyms have ‘em now, however), burpees are equipment-free and require practically zero space. Add a few sets to your strength sessions, or, if you can’t make it to the gym, do a few rounds at home for a quick heart-revving workout. (Then try the 3 Substitutes for Burpees.)

That’s not to say you should do these exercises exclusively. More traditional resistance moves allow you to lift heavier loads and build more muscle than more cardio-intensive moves like these, says study author Nicolas A. Ratamess, Ph.D. Instead, he advises, work them into a comprehensive fitness program that also includes a variety of different types of exercise.

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