9 High-Energy Workouts Trainers Swear By

Pump! Up! The! Jams!

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A woman takes a break while jumping ropes, one of the best high-energy workouts.
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A workout is “high-energy” if it boosts your heart rate and puts you in a good mood, says trainer Kim D’Agnese, who points to dance and cycling as examples. It’s a great choice if you want to get stronger and improve cardio health. Here, the best high-energy workouts to try.

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Cardio Dance

While any cardio dance class will do the trick, one of instructor Alayna Curry’s faves is Zumba. It incorporates Latin rhythms and full-body dance moves to work the legs and core, while also improving balance, she says.



Trainer Ashley Joi recommends Tabata, a style of high-intensity interval training that boosts the heart rate. It’s 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds rest, repeated 8 times. Go for push-ups, mountain climbers, high-knees — any move will fit the format.

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Go for a jog indoors or out and you’ll effectively work leg muscles, bring your heart rate up, and give yourself plenty of time to listen to your favorite playlist. As trainer Kate Cherichello says, any form of exercise can be considered “high-energy” if you have fun doing it.

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Uppercut, uppercut, jab, jab. Do kickboxing combos like these and you’ll be drenched in sweat in no time. Most classes will feature 60 minutes of music, fast punches and kicks, and lots of encouraging words from an upbeat instructor.

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Any type of spin class is guaranteed to burn a lot of energy. Cycling workouts typically alternate between periods of pedaling hard at a sprint, pedaling slower, then going hard again, says trainer Robert Dodds. It’s all about those intervals to increase your heart rate.

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When in doubt, you can always do burpees. According to Centr trainer Luke Zocchi, this squat to push-up to jump move spikes your heart rate and engages multiple muscle groups at once, like your hamstrings, quads, calves, and abs, so you’ll really feel the burn.

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Circuit training is another good choice for a mix of cardio and strength training. Dodds recommends 20 kettlebell squats, 50 kettlebell swings, followed by 30 mountain climbers, repeated five times with no rest. Woof!


Step Class

When was the last time you took a step aerobics class? Cherichello says a group class that offers a sense of community and motivation can make for a really positive experience. If you find high-energy stuff exhausting, go at your own pace and focus on the good vibes instead.

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Jumping Rope

Trainer Sadie Kurzban says high-energy workouts are great for folks who tend to get bored while exercising. If that’s you, try jumping rope for a few minutes for a rush of endorphins and playground nostalgia.

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