Top 10 Calorie-burning Exercises


There are so many different types of workouts and exercises, but which are the most effective for burning calories? When selecting calorie-burning exercises for yourself, it is important to know which types will lead you to your desired results & in most cases the quickest. Let’s have a look at the 10 exercises that burn the most calories. 

Note: the calorie estimates are based on a 155 pound individual in a study performed by the Harvard Medical School. 

  • Rock climbing: Rock climbing is an activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. It requires coordination, balance, technique, and strength. It uses pretty much every muscle in your body, which is a factor in it being one of the exercises that burn the most calories. Ascension for rock climbing burns 400 calories for every 30 minutes, being one of the activities with the highest calorie burn. Still not sure if rock climbing is for you? Read our article on the reasons to try rock climbing here.  
  • Swimming: Swimming laps is one of those calorie-burning exercises that you don’t feel like you’re “working out” in the moment necessarily, but you feel it the next day. Swimming laps can be in a competitive nature or just a leisure activity. Swimming laps can burn about 370 calories in 30 minutes, meaning in only one minute about 12 calories are burned. Aside from burning calories, read about the other health benefits of swimming here
  • Jump Rope: Taking it back to elementary school fun, jumping rope. Aside from a fun recess activity, jumping rope is a very effective exercise and requires coordination as well as endurance. Jumping rope can burn around 12 calories per minute, very similar to swimming laps and actually more than running. Read more about the advantages in incorporating jump ropes into your daily workout routine here.  
  • Running: Running can take numerous forms such as training for a marathon, a workout of choice, a way to think and relax, or a group activity with friends or family. No matter the motive behind it, it’s still an effective way to burn calories and get into better shape. Running at a 12 minute mile pace, about 300 calories are burned in 30 minutes.  If you find running difficult or hit a wall when you reach a certain point, check out our article on ways to improve running endurance.  
  • Kickboxing: Kickboxing classes have become more and more popular over the past couple of years. The classes are a fun way to stay active, make new friends, and engage your entire body. Kickboxing is also a great outlet for healthy stress relief and body improvement. Kickboxing burns around 12-13 calories per minute, meaning for a 30-minute class about 370 calories would be expended and for an hour class 740 calories. Kickboxing is enjoyed by many fitness enthusiasts as well as beginners. Read about the many advantages of kickboxing both physically and mentally here
  • Biking: Biking in the gym, home, or outdoors all have their benefits, especially in regard to calorie expenditure. Stationary bicycling can burn around 260 calories, while biking outdoors at about 13 mph pace can burn around 300 calories. Biking outdoors is more beneficial in several ways, but specifically in regard to calorie expenditure related to the terrain.
  • Rowing: Whether it be on the actual water or in a gym on the machine, rowing is one of the more intense calorie-burning exercises and yields a high-calorie expenditure. Rowing on a machine can burn around 9 calories per minute, proving it to be an effective workout. Rowing has an abundance of health benefits including altering body composition, heart health, and weight loss, all of which can be read about in our article here
  • Battle ropes: Battle ropes are popular in the gym to train arm strength and body control. The weighted body ropes require a significant amount of coordination and strength that engages the entire body. Battle ropes allow you to burn about 10 calories per minute, giving you a total body workout and calories burned to match. 
  • Burpees: Arguably, the most dreaded and avoided exercise, burpees has the benefit of burning a significant amount of calories. They are included in many workouts because they are a full-body exercise, which is one of the reasons it burns so many calories. Burpees burn about 10 calories per minute, so while avoided by many, it still is a good choice for burning calories and losing weight. 
  • Jumping jacks: Pretty much everyone has done a jumping jack in their life and many include it in their workouts whether in a warm-up or in a cardio workout, it burns a decent amount of calories for a single bodyweight movement. Per-minute, jumping jacks burn 9 calories, just one calorie less than burpees expend.

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