While you might’ve heard that cardio is the best way to burn the most calories, others might tell you that weight training is the way to go. Regardless of what method you choose, you want to pick an exercise that will burn calories both in the heat of the moment and for hours after you leave the gym.
Intense workouts will have your body craving oxygen afterward to recover and repair your muscles, which in turn will burn more calories in the long run. From the average run to climbing stairs, these are the best exercises for burning calories.
Jumping Rope Is Easy And Effective
Jumping rope was likely something you did all the time as a kid but as it turns out, it’s also a great fat-burning exercise. Jumping at a rate of 120 skips per minute can burn up to 990 calories per hour.
If you want to up the ante with this simple exercise, using a weighted jump rope will engage your arms and shoulders and potentially help define those muscle groups.
Sprinting Burns Calories In A Short Amount Of Time
Sprinting up a hill or a flight of stairs can burn more than 900 calories per hour. You’ll want to sprint with maximum effort at a pace you can keep up for 20 seconds, then follow with a recovery run at half of that intensity for double the time.
Sprinting is a great way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, while the recovery gives your lungs time to absorb more oxygen that your blood distributes to your muscles.
Kickboxing Burns Calories And Tones Your Body
Kickboxing can not only burn more than 800 calories per hour, but it also gives you a full body workout. It has the ability to burn fat while toning your muscles because it combines cardio with strength training.
Because you’re constantly moving, you’ll also improve your endurance. Just be sure to take short 30-second breaks in between sparring since one of the most important aspects of kickboxing is learning when to breathe throughout the workout.
Cycling At High-Intensity Intervals Will Evaporate Fat
If cycling outdoors is more your thing, try incorporating high-intensity interval training into your routine if you want to burn more fat than you usually do. Riding at a steady rate relies on your fat stores but increasing your intensity will burn more calories both during and after your ride.
This type of cycling burns more than 800 calories per hour, while the intervals will increase your lactate threshold, making you a faster rider in the long run.
Running Helps You Burn Calories Throughout The Day
Runners continue to burn calories long after they’ve completed their daily jog. Running at a steady pace will set your body up to continue to burn calories over the rest of the day.
We’ve already gone over the calorie-burning benefits of sprinting, so incorporating short bursts of faster running into your run will give the most post-workout burn. Someone who can do a 10-minute mile burns more than 800 calories in an hour.
Kettlebell Circuits Will Keep You Burning For Three Days
Kettlebell circuits can burn anywhere from 500 to 900 calories per hour depending on the intensity and length of your workout. Unlike dumbbells, the weight in kettlebells isn’t distributed evenly and their off-set center of gravity forces you to be more controlled.
A fluid circuit with no rest between each move will give you the best results while alternating between upper- and lower-body moves will increase your endurance. Kettlebell circuits will have you burning calories for 36 hours after your workout.
Stationary Bikes Will Encourage You To Work Hard
People who enjoy SoulCycle and similar classes burn more than 700 calories per hour. Stationary bikes encourage you to work harder to get a real workout in, while also strengthening your back, leg, thigh, and hamstring muscles.
A great way to keep the calories burning on a stationary bike is to start with ten seconds of intense pedaling, meaning at least 100 RPMs. After following with 50 seconds of rest, keep increasing time spent intensely pedaling while decreasing rest time, turning up resistance as you go along.
Rowing Machines Require Your Full Body
Rowing machines offer a great low-impact workout that really gets your heart racing. They target your back, shoulders, the pulling muscles in your arms, your glutes, thighs, and your calves without you ever having to lift your feet off the ground.
Depending on the machine’s wattage, people who use them can burn more than 700 calories an hour. Rowing intensely at one-minute intervals while taking 30- to 60-second active rests (by planking, squatting, etc.) will give you the maximum benefit.
Stair Climbing Is Convenient And Efficient
Simply opting for the stairs whenever you have the chance is another way to burn more calories. Stair climbing improves your cardiovascular fitness, while also developing the strength in your leg muscles.
Someone who climbs 77 steps per minute can potentially burn more than 600 calories in an hour. You can boost the intensity of a stair-climbing workout by carrying one- to five-pound dumbbells in each hand to work your upper body as well.
Strength Training Does More Than Burn Calories
Strength training is the perfect option for someone who wants to build muscle while also burning calories in the process. Lifting weights can help protect your bone and muscle mass, help you develop better body mechanics, and boost your energy levels.
While strength training doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio-based exercises, it does increase your resting metabolism. To get the maximum benefits, some trainers suggest working your muscles to exhaustion during each set, while focusing on movements that employ more muscle groups.
Employ The Metabolic Resistance Method In Your Circuit Training
Resistance training circuits, like strength training, gives you calorie-burning benefits. If you employ the metabolic resistance training method, you can burn more than 500 calories an hour.
If what you’re used to is doing 30 seconds of work with 20 seconds of rest in between each exercise in a circuit, try decreasing your rest time. Maintaining a high-intensity (but not the maximum) throughout the workout will give you the most benefits.
Elliptical Machines Are Involved But Low-Impact
Elliptical machines are a popular option at the gym if you want to burn calories with a low-impact exercise. These machines mimic the natural movement of your feet and legs, which reduces the strain on your joints, and also works out your chest, back, triceps, and biceps.
The exercise you get from elliptical machines is already very involved but if you really want to work yourself, vary your pace, the incline, and levels of resistance the machine offers.
Battle Ropes Will Work Your Muscles In New Ways
Battle ropes are a simple, yet versatile fitness tool. These heavy ropes can be used in a myriad of ways, especially if you’re looking for a high-intensity interval workout that is low-impact.
Using battle ropes will workout your entire back, arms, abs, and glutes– even encouraging you to work these muscles in different ways. Battle ropes burn more than 400 calories and possibly even more if you decide to incorporate jumps, lunges, or squats.
The Flow Of Power Yoga Will Keep You Burning
If yoga is more your speed but you want to get more out of it, try a power yoga workout. Power Vinyasa flow classes encourage you to match your movement with your breath as you move through a continuous flow of various poses.
Most yoga classes are at least an hour long, so one power yoga class can oust at least 550 calories from your body. Some studios and gyms even offer power yoga with the use of small weights for more of a challenge.
Burpees might fill some fitness gurus with dread but even they can’t deny the fact that the demanding exercise has tremendous benefits. A popular exercise to include in circuit training, burpees combine push-ups and jump squats to improve your physical conditioning.
Not only do the push-up and squat aspects of burpees increase your own physical strength, but this exercise will also improve your endurance. Good for weight loss and heart health, burpees alone can burn more than 600 calories per hour.
Cross-Country Skiing Will Burn Your Calories Into The Snow
If you enjoy picking up a pair of cross-country skis in the Winter, we have good news. Cross-country skiing can burn up to 20 calories per minute, which adds up to 1,000 calories in one hour. Experienced skiers can achieve this by pushing and pulling at the same rate you would run.
But contrary to running, cross-country skiing will workout not just your legs, quads, and glutes, but also your outer thigh abductors, your core, and your obliques.
Skinning Will Melt All Those Calories Away
An alternative to cross-country skiing would be skinning. Skinning involves skiing uphill or on a level surface and requires special bindings for your skis that will allow you to move your feet up and down as if you were hiking.
Skinning is a strenuous snow activity that can burn up to 18 calories per minute, pretty much burning as much fat as cross-country skiing does. Your hamstrings, glutes, and quads get the best benefits from this workout.
Swimming Will Dissolve Your Caloric Worries
Swimming is a fun water-based activity that can also give you a great workout. Depending on your stroke combined with the duration and intensity of your swim, you can burn anywhere from 400 to 700 calories.
The faster you swim, the more distance you cover, which is why the freestyle stroke has the most potential to burn calories. Alternatively, a breaststroke will allow you to swim longer and more consistently.
Jump Squat All Those Calories Away
Tabata jump squats have the potential to burn more than 13 calories per minute, while also doubling the rate at which you’ll continue to burn calories after you finish exercising. Squat jumps involve lowering yourself into a squat position before jumping as high as you can.
Doing this exercise repeatedly will be sure to wear you out but you’ll also be improving your conditioning and developing the strength of your leg muscles.
Taekwondo Burns Calories And Teaches Self-Defense
Taekwondo is a form of martial arts that actually burns more than 700 calories per hour. With a dynamic series of punching and kicking drills, learning to block, and core-strengthening stretches and exercises, taekwondo will not only help you burn fat but is also a good form of self-defense training.
A form of Korean martial arts, “tae” refers to “foot” or “to step on,” “kwon” means “fist” or “fight,” and “do” refers to “discipline.”