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8 Exercises That Burn the Most Calories

Whether you enjoy taking a nice daily walk or hitting the gym, chances are you’re curious about the number of calories you burn with various workouts. In fact, not only the type of exercise affects how many calories you burn, but the duration of the exercise, your speed, intensity, and your age, height, and weight.

“There’s a lot of nuance to burning calories throughout the day,” says certified personal trainer and founder of Work With Danny Daniel Saltos. “On average, we burn 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day just through our daily routine.” But a tall 300-pound guy will burn more calories than a short 150-pound guy because the heavier you are, the more your body The more energy required to function.

What factors affect calorie burn?

A calorie is a unit of energy used to measure weight loss. To lose a pound, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you eat for a pound, USDA says. Your ability to burn calories is affected by your age, height, intensity of exercise, and the duration and speed of exercise.

Age is an important factor in determining calories burned. “If you’re 60 and under, you’re not going to be as agile during your workouts as you were when you were 18, and you’re not going to be able to achieve such a high intensity,” Saltos says. Strength is important. How fast you move between sets affects your heart rate level, which determines how much energy (calories) your body burns.

Duration and speed can also determine how many calories you burn during exercise. For example, “walking can burn up to 300 to 500 calories in an hour, while running can burn the same amount of calories in about half the time,” explains Saltos. You can also burn more calories by walking longer instead of 10 minutes.

How to Burn More Calories in Your Workout

While the amount of calories everyone burns on any given day varies, there are ways to increase the amount of energy burned. Saltos recommends keeping a close eye on your heart rate.

“An elevated heart rate is your body’s physical response to pumping more blood. This requires more oxygen and energy, which in turn burns more calories,” Saltos says. Increasing the intensity of your workout and reducing the rest between repetitions can help keep your heart rate up. “If you usually rest a minute between sets, try rest periods of 30 to 45 seconds,” suggests Saltos.

You can also make your workouts better with compound exercises. “Compound movements use multiple muscle groups at once,” says Saltos. “If you’re doing bicep curls, it’s targeting a single muscle — the biceps. On the other hand, lifting the chin uses the biceps, back, and core, so you’ll burn more calories.”

Which type of workout burns the most calories?

You can upgrade any workout using the above suggestions, but the type of workout you choose will also naturally burn more calories. Running, swimming, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and cycling are just some of the exercises that give you good value for money.


“Running is one of the best calorie burners out there,” Saltos says. An average person can burn 500 to 1000 in an hour of running. “Speed, pace, and endurance are all factors that affect this range. But running uses every muscle group in your body, allowing you to burn more calories.


Swimming is a low-intensity exercise that also targets multiple muscle groups. “In just 30 minutes of swimming, the average person can burn 200 to 300 calories,” Saltos said. Swimming also improves cardiovascular fitness, builds endurance, and increases strength—all good reasons to want to jump into the water.

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ride a bike

When the weather is nice, there’s nothing quite like riding a bike and it’s actually a good workout for you too. Long, steady cycling can burn as many as 500 to 700 calories in an hour, Saltos says. “If you want to increase the intensity by sprinting on a stationary bike for 20 seconds and resting or slowing down for 10 seconds, you can burn 500 to 700 calories in about half the time,” he notes.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

If you want intensity, HIIT exercises provide just that. These workouts consist of intermittent hard work followed by rest. “There are many versions of HIIT, but the traditional tabata involves pushing yourself for 20 seconds and resting for 10 seconds for eight rounds or four minutes,” says Saltos. Because your heart rate stays high, you burn more calories in less time. “On average, a person will burn 400 to 600 calories in 30 minutes,” he says.

jump rope

This childhood activity can actually do wonders for your health. “Jumping rope is great for strengthening the lower and upper body while improving endurance and cardiovascular fitness,” says Saltos. It also improves your coordination as you have to work while jumping. Jumping rope can burn 600 to 1,000 calories in an hour.

Strength Training

Strength training is one of the most effective ways to burn more calories. “An hour of strength training can burn an average of 300 to 400 calories, but you’ll continue to burn more calories throughout the day because of the EPOC effect,” says Saltos. The EPOC effect, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, represents the increase in metabolism that occurs after strength training and is related to oxygen consumption needed to help restore muscle.

Healthy young woman weight training in gym

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Not only is boxing a great way to release pent-up energy, but it also helps improve balance, build endurance, and strengthen the upper body and core. “Boxing can also help you burn calories, the average person burns 500 to 800 calories in an hour,” Saltos says.


The rowing machine’s push-pull movements target multiple muscle groups, including the arms, core, and back, to help you burn more calories. “An average hour of rowing burns 400 to 600 calories,” says Saltos.

In general, any exercise is a good exercise

As the old saying goes, exercise is better than no exercise at all. If you only have 10 minutes of exercise a day, that’s better than 0 minutes a day. “Everyone focuses on calories burned during exercise, but the calories you burn in an hour at the gym are only 10 percent of the calories you burn in a day,” Saltos says.

Look for opportunities throughout the day to optimize calories burned, such as parking farther from the grocery store, standing at work, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. “It’s going to have a huge impact on how many calories you burn,” he says.

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