Calorie burn differs from person to person, depending on your weight, your fitness level, and the amount of effort you put into the exercise. Still, there are a number of traditional workout styles and movements that are known to scorch calories for everyone, regardless of these factors.
Build these high calorie-burning exercises into your workout routine to boost results, get stronger, and feel more confident.
Note: To determine total calories burned, we referred to this Harvard Health Publications list, which was updated in January of 2016. It refers to total calories burned in a 30-minute period. The three calorie numbers for each exercise represent the total for different body weights: 125, 155, and 185, respectively.
Calories burned: 240, 298, 355
These numbers represent the base level of circuit training. You’ll easily burn through another few hundred calories when you add high calorie-burning movements into your workout. Here are a few that will maximize your burn:
- Elliptical: 270, 335, 400
- Jump rope: 300, 372, 444
- Calisthenics (moderate): 135, 167, 200
- Weight lifting (vigorous): 180, 223, 266
Combine these into one full 60-minute workout to burn calories and build overall strength.
Burn more calories: Turn your circuit training into a HIIT workout, performing work for a specific interval of time, with a rest interval of the same length of time or less. For example, work for 30 seconds, rest for 20 seconds; repeat five times. With less rest, you’ll fatigue your body faster, resulting in greater burn both during and after exercise.
Calories burned: 270, 335, 400
Boxing is a surprisingly challenging workout because you mix upper body movements (punch, jab and hook) with cardio. While you’d normally just be moving your legs, you’re now coordinating punches with lunging, ducking, and shuffling.
Burn more calories: Take a boxing fitness class, which usually involves all forms of boxing training, mixing sparring and practice with running and strength training.
Calories burned per 10-minute mile: 300, 372, 400
Running is a full-body exercise, requiring both lower body and core strength to stabilize on rough terrain and push up steep hills. As such, it’s also a great way to scorch calories. The best part: you don’t need to be at a gym to run. With a pair of shoes and the open road, you can enjoy this exercise wherever you are.
Burn more calories: To burn more calories, run faster. Calories burned during a 9-minute mile: 330, 408, 488. Calories burned during an 8-minute mile: 375, 465, 555. To make sure you’re running at the right pace, invest in a wearable or fitness tracker, which you can get for as low as $45, according to a 2016 pricing analysis. You can also download an app for your phone and take that on your run instead.
Swimming Laps (Vigorous)
Calories burned: 300, 372, 444
Swimming burns calories while providing you with many of the same mental benefits as yoga and meditation. The movement to breath connection engages a similar area of the brain, allowing you to get a great workout while de-stressing.
Burn more calories: To boost your burn during a swimming workout, add different strokes into the routine, like crawl (330, 409, 488), butterfly (330, 409, 488), and breaststroke (300, 372, 444). You can even hop out of the pool between laps to do squats, pushups, and crunches for a challenging full body workout.
Calories burned: 315, 391, 466
Harvard refers to this exercise as “Bicycling, stationary: vigorous.” For most people, this exercise takes place in a spin class. Thanks to the upbeat music, friendly competition, and spin instructor’s motivation, you’ll have a blast while burning through nearly 1,000 calories (since most classes are 60 minutes, not 30 minutes).
Burn more calories: Fuel up with a mix of protein, fiber, and carbs 2 to 4 hours before class and then a small snack about 30 minutes before. If you go into class hungry, you’ll have less energy to give, which means you won’t work as hard. Miranda Hammer, a SoulCycle instructor, says that she eats lunch about 3 to 4 hours before her class, and then a small handful of trail mix 30 minutes before.
Take your workout to the next level and maximize your calorie burn with these exercises. You’ll feel stronger and get the most of your short workout time.