Four Ways To Burn Fat Without Running!

Burn Fat Good – Running Bad

Need to burn fat but have bad knees? That may be a blessing in disguise. Too many athletes focus on running as their only conditioning option.  That is an inefficient  use of the many low-tech options available to you as a garage athlete.

For example, here’s a plate complex that takes no more than four feet of space and will have you huffing in a hurry!

Don’t have access to a 45lb plate? Here are four more ways to burn fat without running away from home.

Jumping Rope

Can you believe that the guy doing the punching sucks at jumping rope?

Can you believe that the guy doing the punching sucks at jumping rope?

Ah! The humble jump rope. Jumping rope is an excellent solution for when you don’t have a lot of time or you need to stay in a specific location such as the next room while your baby is asleep. Let’s say you suck at jumping rope like I do. Good! To paraphrase Coach Dan John the harder it is to do a movement the more calories you burn doing the movement.   But if bad knees or shin splints are an issue, jumping rope might not be for you. But I bet you can punch the air…

Shadow Boxing

Since I’ve got you thinking with a combat mindset anyway consider shadow boxing? You might feel silly at first but it’s your house.  As long as you feed them, your pets don’t care how uncoordinated you are.  Do these in timed rounds and all you need for that is a stop watch and enough room to avoid hitting something. Add in head fakes, circling and bobbing and weaving to engage the legs and I promise you that a few three to five minute rounds will be all you need.

  • Don’t hyper-extend your elbows when you throw punches.
  • Avoid going to full extension
  • If you have shoulder issues don’t rotate the punch past a quarter turn from vertical.

But let’s say you don’t think you’re coordinated enough to defeat attacking oxygen molecules. Okay, here’s something we’ve all done before that will fit the bill for you…


Sometimes more commonly known as animal movements crawling is just as tough as it was when you were in gym class (if you’re old enough to remember that sort of thing). Bear crawls, crab walks, Spider-Man crawls, lizard crawls and leopard crawls are all excellent ways to burn calories and reset your motor skills. In fact there’s an excellent DVD on the topic called Pressing Reset by Geoff Neupert and Tim Anderson of Original Strength. They hold seminars to teach people how to reconnect with the ability to get on the ground and move the way a baby learns to walk.

geoff neupert and tim anderson of Press Reset want you to reclaim our Original Strength

Crawling is great exercise
photo courtesy of Original Strength

Crawling offers additional benefits in that it helps reconnect our upper and lower body together the same way it does for babies who are first learning to walk.  And quite frankly too many adults lose the ability to get up off the ground . You might laugh but it’s true. I know  simply getting on the ground and getting back up may not seem like much but there’s a reason why they have football players & wrestlers do it every day. If you’re somebody who is fairly sedentary at work this is an excellent way to rediscover your inner athlete without a lot of other movements which are not kind to seasoned joint capsules. An excellent source for information on how far you can take animal movements is Vahva Fitness on YouTube.


Mountain climbers, jumping jacks (or side straddle hops if you prefer a military term), Hello Dolly, Windmills, In-N-Outs, the list is only limited by your imagination. If you do not have an imagination you can borrow @working_womans_workout’s. She has a new time efficient, usually bodyweight only exercise circuit every day on her Instagram feed that will help get your heart rate and waistline moving in the right direction.

Not Saying You CAN’T Run IF You WANT to

Jogging, sprinting, even walking with a weighted vest all work. But they all take time and unless you use a treadmill require distance. In peak condition, I could run three miles in 21 minutes, nowadays it’s probably more like 26 minutes. So if I take off running I’m half a mile from home in about thirteen minutes and I’m only at the halfway point! No bueno if I’ve just put my kid down for a nap and I’m the only adult at home.

I’m Just Saying, You Can Get It Done And Stay Home

You CAN burn fat in your living room! Personally I like to switch things up every two weeks. Why? Because I hate cardio but I can put up with anything for 2 weeks.  If you find that you enjoy a particular training modality repeat it for another 30 days but I still recommend switching to something else every month so that you don’t become neurally efficient and decrease the conditioning effectiveness of the movement protocol.

About the author

John Greaves III is a writer based in North Georgia with nearly two decades of experience in training at home. A former amateur kickboxing champion, John now competes recreationally in powerlifting. He takes a physical culture approach to training; believing that strength and health need not be mutually exclusive. In addition to his nonfiction work, John has written two fiction books, A Different Kind of Giant and A Little Lesson in Manners that are available on