The Best Calorie-Burning Exercises for Weight Loss Goals

Want to get in awesome shape fast? Transform your workout and start torching megacalories by doing these amazing calorie-burning exercises that will leave you feeling fired up.

The Best Calorie-Burning Exercises for Weight Loss Goals

The 12 Most Effective Calorie-Burning Exercises for Weight Loss

Are you looking to amp up your workout routine and burn more calories? Finding the right calorie-burning exercises can be a game-changer for reaching your fitness goals faster. The best part—you don't need fancy equipment or a gym membership to do exercises that maximize calorie burn.

When it comes to burning calories through exercise, some moves simply outperform others. Huffing and puffing through long, slow runs can definitely help you shed pounds, but expounding the same effort doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or bursting through sprint intervals torches calorie burn.

This post will outline 12 of the top calorie-incinerating exercises, plus tips on how to incorporate them into your routine. Ready to break through that weight loss plateau? Let's do this!

Why Calories Burned Matters

Burning calories matters because it helps create that crucial calorie deficit needed for weight loss. You can eat healthier, low calorie foods all day long, but if you’re not doing exercises that get your heart rate up, you likely won’t see the number on the scale budge. Exercise puts your body into that coveted fat burning mode.

How Many Calories You Burn Depends On:

  • Duration of exercise
  • Intensity/pace
  • Your weight and height

Heavier individuals tend to burn more calories for the same exercise duration as lighter people. A 155 pound person might burn 300 calories doing 30 minutes of cardio, whereas a 185 pound person will torch closer to 400.

12 Most Effective Calorie Burning Exercises

1. Running

Burns 652-965 calories per hour

It’s no surprise running tops the list-it requires tons of energy to propel yourself mile after mile. Running outside adds variables like hills and wind resistance to up the calorie burn even more. Sprinting burns about 5 more calories per minute than jogging too.

2. HIIT Workouts

Burns Up to 700+ calories per hour

HIIT workouts feature short bouts of high intensity moves followed by brief rest, like 30 seconds of mountain climbers, then 15 seconds of rest x 10. This trains your body to spike calorie burn during the intense work period, as well as after (this is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC that adds to overall caloric expenditure.)

Some great HIIT moves are high knees, jumping squats, burpees and bicycles.

3. Jumping Rope

Burns about 450-600 calories per hour

Remember jumping Double Duthc as a kid? This classic cardio workout torches calories and is easy to transport so you aren't chained to the gym. Alternate between speed intervals while jumping and slower recovery periods.

To amp it up, try crossover and criss-cross jumps that engage your core and arms too.

4. Rowing

Burns About 420-620 calories per hour

Rowing machines simulate the fluid rowing motions of a watercraft, making it a full-body workout. Rowing engages your core, arms, glutes and quads in one fluid movement, leading to sky-high caloric expenditure.

The faster and harder you row, the more calories you'll burn baby!

5. Cycling

Burns 480-710 calories per hour

Whether indoor cycling or riding outdoor trails, this cardio workout utilizes large muscle groups in your glutes, quads and hamstrings to whip calories into oblivion. Climbing hills outdoors or upping resistance levels indoors helps crank calorie crucible even more.

6. Swimming

Burns 396-587 calories per hour

If running isn’t your thing due to joint issues or you just hate the impact, opt for the pool instead! Swimming provides an effective cardio and muscle workout without the high impact of exercises like running. The water makes you work against resistance too, engaging your core and arm muscles to power you through.

Choose faster strokes like front crawl and butterfly to maximize calorie burn.

7. Circuit Training

Burns 480-710 calories per hour

Circuit training combines cardio and strength training stations that target upper an lower body. You lose less intensity transitioning quickly between stations rather than resting between sets. Minimal rest = more calories charred. Complete 8-10 stations 2-3 times for maximum burn.

8. Aerobic Dance

Burns 396-587 calories per hour

Whether you opt for a formal Zumba or Bokwa class or create one in your living room, dancing vigorously can torch some serious calories! Work your cardio system by keeping your body in constant motion. Include upper and lower body elements for more musclework.

The more effort and bigger the movements, the more fuel your body burns. Crank up the jams and dance it out!

9. Mountain Climbers

Burns 240-355 calories in 30 minutes

Start in a pushup position, then keep your core braced tight as you alternatively drive knees inward towards chest, like climbing a mountain (but laying horizontally!) Speed is key to blast calories and works well in HIIT routines.

Do hill climbers next to burn even more!

10. High Knees Running

Burns 240-355 calories in 30 minutes

Doing marching high knees engages significant muscle groups in the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. Quickly pumping arms back and forth increases intensity. The faster the knees and arms move, the more calories incinerated so really pick up the pace!

11. Jump Squats

Burns 165-245 calories in 20 minutes

Lower into a squat with hands behind head, explosively jump up, land with soft knees and drop back into a squat. Jump squats engage your large lower body muscle groups resulting in sky-high calorie scorch. Increase intensity by adding tucked jumps for more air time.

Go for 20-30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest x 8-10 rounds.

12. Burpees

Burns 240-355 calories in 30 minutes

The infamous full-body burpee starts in standing, drops into plank, completes a pushup, hops feet back in and explodes up. This dynamic move smokes calories due to using almost every muscle group. Its also easily modifiable by losing the pushup or jump if needed.

Aim for 10-30 second bursts with 30-60 seconds rest x 10 rounds.

Burn More Calories By:

  • Increasing intensity (either speed or amount of resistance)
  • Working out for longer durations
  • Adding intervals (vary speed throughout workout by adding faster bursts)
  • Including compound exercises that use multiple large muscle groups
  • Reducing rest time between sets or HIIT rounds

Helpful Tips To Maximize Calorie Burn

  • Always warm up 5-10 minutes before intense training
  • Talk to your doctor before starting new exercise regimen
  • Enlist a trainer to help tailor workout plan to your goals and ability
  • Add strength training 2-3 days a week to build metabolism-boosting muscle
  • Mix it up! Alternate between moderate cardio, HIIT and strength days

Start Burning More Calories Today

Now you're armed with knowledge on the top calorie-scorching exercises. Try incorporating a few of these effective workouts into your fitness plan each week. Getting in that cardio and strength training combination is key for maximum fat burn.

Remember intensity and duration are your friends when aiming to fry calories - so push yourself! But also listen to your body if you need a break.

Stick with the plan and the results will follow. You’ve got this! Now get out there, break a serious sweat and burn baby burn!

The Most Searched Questions on Calorie-Burning Exercises

Looking to rev up your workout and burn more calories? You probably have a lot of questions about the best calorie-torching exercises and how to maximize fat burn during your sweat sessions. I did a deep dive on the interwebs to find the 10 most commonly searched questions on this topic. Read on for simple answers to all your burning questions on burning calories!

What Exercise Burns the Most Calories Per Hour?

Running is hands down the biggest calorie-incinerator, burning 652-965 calories per hour depending on your size and speed. The faster you can run, the more calories you'll burn!

Does HIIT or Cardio Burn More Calories?

Both HIIT and steady-state cardio like jogging or biking burn lots of calories. HIIT technically burns more calories in less time due to the all-out intensity. But longer moderate cardio sessions burn more total calories. For best results, aim to do both intense HIIT and cardio workouts.

Some great HIIT moves are high knees, burpees, jump squats and jumping jacks. Jogging, swimming and using cardio machines like ellipticals are solid moderate options.

How Many Calories Does Walking Burn Per Hour?

You can burn around 100 calories simply strolling for 30 minutes. Pick up the pace to a brisk walk and you’ll burn closer to 300 calories per hour. Add hills or wear a weighted vest to burn even more calories walking!

What Exercise Burns the Most Belly Fat?

Spot reduction (losing fat in just your belly) is a myth. You lose fat equally throughout your body. To "lose belly fat", you need full-body workouts that get your heart rate up paired with a solid nutrition plan.

Some great calorie-burning belly fat blasters are HIIT circuits with moves like jump rope, mountain climbers and burpees. Just be sure to eat in a calorie deficit too!

How Many Sit Ups Should I Do Per Day to Lose Weight?

Sit ups alone won’t lead to weight loss unless you also reduce daily caloric intake. And you’d have to do hundreds per day to burn any real calories, which isn’t realistic or safe.

For weight loss, focus instead on full-body calorie burning through cardio, HIIT and strength training while eating less calories than your body burns.

What Burns More Calories: Weights or Cardio?

Typically cardio burns more calories per workout session than lifting weights. However, lifting builds metabolism-stoking muscle so your body burns more calories long term compared to just doing cardio.

For best results, do 2-4 days a week of cardio intervals along with 2-3 days a week of total body strength workouts.

How Long Should You Exercise to Lose Weight?

To lose weight, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio or 75 minutes vigorous intensity cardio per week along with full-body strength training 2-3 days.

Getting in cardio intervals along with resistance moves during each workout maximizes caloric burn so you can lose fat fast!

What Exercise Burns the Most Calories in 30 Minutes?

High intensity interval training (HIIT) burns up to 700+ calories in just 30 minutes! HIIT alternates short bursts of all-out effort with brief rest periods.

Some great 30 minute HIIT calorie crushers are jump rope, jogging with sprint intervals, TABATA workouts with bodyweight moves like mountain climbers, burpees and jumping jacks.

Bring the intensity and your metabolism will be cranking for hours post-workout!

How Much Does Jumping Rope Burn in 30 Minutes?

Jumping rope torches between 450-600 calories in 30 minutes depending on your weight and intensity. Alternate speed intervals with slower recovery periods. Also try crossover and double unders to engage your arms and core too.

SOURCES: VeryWell Fit, Mayo Clinic, Shape Magazine, LiveStrong

Now get out there and start putting these calorie-crushing exercises to work for you! Let us know which ones you liked best or how many calories you burned by commenting below!