Pain in the Leg

The technical term is “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” otherwise known as EPOC or, in this case, afterburn. This refers to the increased rate of oxygen your body is taking in immediately following exercise. This oxygen is used to return your body to a resting state, which includes balancing your hormones and replenishing your ATP stores.

This process can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 48 hours, and the time depends on the intensity of your workout: it’s harder for your body to recover from a high intensity workout, so you’ll likely experience afterburn for a longer period of time following vigorous exercises.

So why does this matter to you? When you experience afterburn, your body is still burning calories because the effort it takes to return to a resting state is quite taxing and takes extra fuel (calories) to get there.

While most workouts yield this afterburn effect, full body workouts, which engage a number of muscles throughout your entire body, cause the most significant post-workout burn. Here are a few full body exercises to try:


Start in standing position, crouch down to the ground and walk your hands forward until you’re in the pushup position. Do a pushup then walk back to crouching position. Instead of just standing back up, however, jump as high as you can. Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times, and do as many rounds as you can.

Plank Jumps

Get into plank position, with your hands on the ground below your shoulders and legs straight back, up on your toes. Jump both legs out and back in to complete one rep.

Squat Jumps With Leg Kick

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and squat down, putting your weight back onto your heels. Instead of just standing back up, jump as high as you can and come back down to a squat. Rise back out of the squat and lift your right leg out to the side, toes pointing forward. Return to center to complete one rep.

Tabata Run

Start at a slow jog (5.0) for 3 to 5 minutes, then start a high intensity interval: 20 seconds at an all-out sprint (8.5 to 10.0, depending on your level) and jump your feet to the sides for 20 seconds of rest. Do 4 minutes of this interval, followed by 5 minutes of slow jogging and another 2 to 4 minutes of the tabata interval again for an intense workout sure to crush post-workout calories.

Other good afterburn-inducing exercises:

–          Weighted Lunge

–          Tabata Jump roping

–          Kettle bell Swings

–          Squatting Wood Chops