Which Workouts Burn the Most Calories?

Check out this list of the most calorie-burning exercises and workouts to help you lose weight and get in shape fast.


Getting in shape and improving your physical health require you to move. But don’t worry — you don’t have to engage in exhausting and monotonous exercise regimes for hours on end! Different types of workout and activity can vary enormously in the amount of calories they burn — this is important to consider when mapping out a fitness plan.

Different types of exercise will provide different levels of intensity and produce varying calories-burned results, so it is important to learn more about the type of activities or workouts that have the biggest burn potential if your goals are weight loss or fat burning. To help you get started, here is an overview of some popular and effective exercises that are likely to help you reach your calorie-burning goals.

Cardio Workouts

Cardio workouts are a great way to burn calories and help you reach your weight loss goals. Cardio exercises can include running, cycling, swimming, stair-climbing, and even dancing. There are different levels of intensity and complexity that come with each of these activities, so you can choose the one that works best for you. Let’s take a look at some of the cardio exercises that can help you burn the most calories.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of cardiovascular exercise that has been gaining popularity for its capacity to elevate heart rate and induce fat burning. HIIT combines short bursts of activity with brief rest periods, and is often referred to as aerobic interval training.

This style of exercise typically involves brief, intense anaerobic exercises such as sprints or burpees, followed by periods of low intensity active recovery such as jogging or walking. Usually, HIIT workouts are composed of both cardio and strength exercises — the combination will help you burn more calories in less time. Studies have also suggested that this type of training affects metabolism post-exercise, making it a great calorie-burning choice for busy people with limited time.

When choosing HIIT routines keep your goals in mind — HIIT sessions should be tailored by intensity and length depending on factors such as fitness level and available time constraints. If you are new to this type of training it is recommended that you begin with shorter intervals — either 20 – 30 seconds at a maximum effort followed by 2 – 3 minutes of low intensity activity before repeating the cycle again. As your body becomes stronger gradually increase the intensity and duration of each interval for maximum results.


Running has long been revered as one of the most effective cardiovascular workouts. Whether running on a treadmill, track or outdoors, this classic form of exercise can burn a surprising amount of calories in a short period of time. Small lifestyle changes like taking more steps throughout the day and adding sprints to your runs can greatly improve your calorie-burning potential. An average-size person who weighs 150 pounds will burn approximately 140 calories after running one mile, which equates to approximately 1,400 calories burned per every 10 miles run. If you opt for longer routes with more inclines, it’s possible to burn up to double that amount!


Swimming is one of the best forms of cardio exercise. The water’s resistance actively massages your muscles as you move, making it an ideal workout for toning muscle and improving strength and endurance. Plus, with so many variations on movements and strokes to choose from, swimming makes for a fun, dynamic workout that never gets boring. Swimming can burn anywhere from 400 to 700 calories per hour depending on the intensity at which you are working out. It can also lower blood pressure and improve your cardiovascular health in just minutes a day. Hence, swimming is an effective type of calorie-burning cardio workout that will help you achieve both weight loss and improved physical fitness.


Cycling is an efficient and effective low-impact cardiovascular exercise that allows you to burn a significant number of calories. Depending on how hard you cycle and whether you’re on a road, mountain, or hybrid bike, you can burn anywhere from 400-700 calories in a single hour. If you use a stationary bike or recumbent bike at the gym, you can still get in a great cardiovascular workout while staying safely indoors!

When cycling outdoors, try to find routes with varying inclines for an extra challenge. This helps to target different muscle groups and increase your overall calorie-burn. Additionally, if cycling is something that interests you, it may be worth investing in your own bicycle to maximize the enjoyment of your workouts.


Rowing is a great full body workout that can provide an excellent cardio component. Rowing utilizes the major muscle groups of the arms, legs, and core, all while getting your heart rate up and burning calories. The American Council on Exercise estimates that a 175-pound person can burn approximately 372 calories per hour while rowing. Of course, the exact amount of calories burned depends on factors such as intensity and duration of the workout.

When rowing outdoors in open water or on an ergometer machine, you will use more muscles in order to stabilize your body in different directions. Since you are using more muscles for your workout you burn more calories compared to workouts that utilize just one plane of motion (for example walking on a treadmill). Rowing is also unique because it utilizes double-arm movements which help work both sides of the body evenly.

Increasing intensity and duration can be an important way to maximize calorie burning while rowing; however it is important to focus on good form with every stroke. With proper form, you will be able to get more power from each stroke and increase total calorie expenditure without strain or injury.

Strength Training

Strength training is an effective way to burn calories, strengthen your muscles, and improve your overall health. While there are many different types of strength training exercises, most involve lifting weights and doing other bodyweight exercises. In this section, we’ll explore the different types of strength training workouts and how they can help you burn calories and build muscle.


Squats are a full body, compound exercise that burns a large amount of calories due to the fact that multiple muscle groups are used in the movement. They can be done with or without weights, making them perfect for any fitness level. To do a squat, start with your feet about hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. With your weight in the heels and toes slightly turned outward, slowly lower your waist until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep tensions in both your core and glutes to prevent injury. Slowly come back up to the starting position and repeat for desired number of repetitions. Squats can be supplemented with dumbbells at each side or barbells on shoulders as you become stronger. For a higher calorie burn try jumping squats which will give you an effective cardiovascular and muscular training benefit.


Lunges are one of the most effective strength training exercises for burning calories, building endurance, and increasing muscle strength. A lunge is a unilateral exercise that targets the legs, glutes, and core muscles. It works both large and small muscle groups at the same time to increase calorie burn. To do a basic lunge, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a long step forward with one leg while simultaneously lowering your hips straight down until both knees are bent 90° (or slightly lower depending on flexibility). Make sure your front knee is directly above or slightly behind your toes and be sure to engage your core throughout the movement. Straighten both legs as you step back, resetting in the beginning position before repeating on the other side. Lunges may also be combined with other exercises such as arm raises or push ups for an added challenge. Lunges can help build strength in your legs while boosting overall metabolic rate; adding lunges to a workout routine can assist in burning more calories overall.


Push-ups are a classic, simple exercise that uses your own body weight as resistance to help you build strength in your arms, chest and core. Push-ups can be adjusted to modify their difficulty and target individual muscle groups more effectively. They are often used as part of an existing strength routine or as high-rep bodyweight exercises. In terms of burning the most calories, push-ups can be part of any workout that focuses on overall fitness and calorie burn.

Performing push-ups correctly will help you get the most benefit from the exercise while avoiding potential injury. Exercise physiologists recommend placing your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart when starting a set of push-ups, with feet close together but not touching. Lower yourself slowly until your chest just touches the floor before pushing back up to complete one rep. While performing each rep focus on keeping your core engaged throughout the entire movement to maximize effectiveness and ensure proper form.

Workouts that include push-ups can vary from low repetitions focusing on maximum strength to high repetitions for muscular endurance. When done correctly with good form, these exercises have been proven to work multiple muscle groups at once; improving overall strength and blasting away calories efficiently in less time than other traditional weight lifting exercises would require.


Pull-ups utilize many of the large muscle groups in your body and this makes them one of the best exercises for burning calories. The amount of energy you expend doing pull-ups will be determined by two factors — your body weight and how fast/slow you perform the repetitions. The heavier you are, the more energy you will expend during the exercise; likewise, if you do pause between your reps, this can also add to the total number of calories burned.

When doing pull-ups, it is important to maintain good form by keeping your torso rigid throughout each rep and avoiding any jerking movements. You should also take care to avoid overworking yourself as this can reduce the amount of calories burned instead of increasing it. Pull-ups promote stronger upper bodies and can help to boost metabolism long after you’ve stopped exercising, resulting in even more calories being burned throughout the day.


Deadlifts are a strength training exercise type that helps to build back, glute, and hamstring muscle and can increase overall body strength. Deadlifts involve lifting free weights or a barbell from the floor in an upright position. Therefore, they can be an effective way to burn calories while having the additional benefit of building muscle tissue.

Deadlift variations include sumo deadlifts, conventional deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, snatch-grip deadlocks, and hex bar deadlocks. Variations of the traditional may also include using resistance bands or cables for increased tension on the muscles engaged by this workout type.

Recording how much weight you are using when performing your chosen variation of the lift is important in order to ensure proper form as well as progress and prevent overtraining. Proper technique is very important in keeping proper posture which can allow for efficient lifting of heavier weights in order to burn more calories during each session. Allowing for adequate rest between sets allows for recovery between workouts which will increase overall performance over time.


In conclusion, it is important to remember that the amount of calories burned can be affected by many factors. Depending on your fitness level, age, and the intensity of the workout, the number of calories burned can vary greatly from person to person. Even though some exercises may show higher caloric burns than others, all forms of exercise are beneficial for overall physical health and emotional well-being. Therefore, it is important to find workouts that you enjoy doing so that you can achieve maximum results with minimum effort.

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