Weight Management > The Best Weight Loss Exercises For A High-Calorie Burn

The Best Weight Loss Exercises For A High-Calorie Burn

13th Mar 20

Exercising has a range of different purposes, and one of them is, of course, weight loss. It’s everywhere, and to make weight loss a reality, one of the best places to start is with the best exercises. To find those, there are different things to look at. To get started, that comes down mostly to which exercises burn the most calories.

It’s a tough one to answer, but there are some things you can look at to help solve. Realistically, weight loss and burning calories have so many variables that there is no one specific answer. Some studies suggest one thing and are then disproven by another.

With this in mind, we’ll keep things brief and take a look at some of the heavy hitters.

Want to move fast? Jump to the right section below.


woman running outside

First of all, running is one of the best there are, and that’s not only for weight loss. It’s not surprising, especially if you’ve ever tried it for a long period of time. Running uses pretty much your whole body, (mostly your legs of course) and uses a really powerful explosive contraction every time you take a step.

It raises your heart rate massively, depending on what you choose to do, and you can change things up to make sure that you’re working out in a way that works best for your needs. All of that makes it perfect for calorie burning.


Woman boxing in a ring

Boxing is another exercise that’s up there with the best of the best, and that goes for calorie burning and weight loss too. Almost anything that you’re doing in boxing, whether you’re training with a heavy bag or going toe to toe with someone in the ring, uses almost every muscle group in your body at some point.

It’s a combination of things that are great for weight loss. This is one of the best reasons that it’s in the list, and if you can stick it out for long enough, it will definitely be up there with the highest calorie burners! There’s a reason that fights have 12 rounds in 30 minutes! You need the breather!


man skipping outside

Although you might think of it as boxing training, it doesn’t have to be. Skipping doesn’t get the attention that it deserves a lot of the time, because it’s actually one of the most efficient exercise out there.

It uses more muscles than jogging does, which is reason enough for it to be up with the highest calorie burners. Even a workout like ours here is a good place to start! Take a look at this article from web MD if you need more convincing!


group of people doing burpees

If you want a real challenge, then burpees are the right fit for you. There is very little chance that you can do a burpee workout for as long as you can with the other exercises on the list, but because of how demanding they are, they’re one of the huge calorie burners and can be a wonder for weight loss in their own right.

Every different movement involved in a burpee is an explosive power movement that has a huge impact on your muscles. You really have to put in the work, but it pays off! (here are our 7 favourite burpees for a full body workout if you feel like giving it a try)


man rowing in his house on a rowing machine

Another of the best weight loss exercises you could ask for to be rowing, and that’s a for a lot of the reason you’d expect. It has a resistance that can be whatever you need it to be, as well as still being only moderate impact as far as exercise goes.

It’s another full-body exercise that means you’re burning the most calories you can in the least time, and as an exercise in general, rowing has something for everything.

Assault Bike

woman on an assault bike in a gym

Last but not least in our highest calorie burners exercises is the assault bike. Cycling, in general, is an awesome cardiovascular exercise, but an assault bike takes things to a whole other level.

The assault bike has varying resistance, and a lot of time it increases the harder you pedal. This and the use of the handles mean that is it’s a hard-core workout. You’re using your whole body and a high resistance cardio exercise. It’s got to be on the list.

Weight Training

As well as all of those awesome carido exercises being the best of the best for weight loss, it has to be said that weight training deserves a spot in the limlight too. It works slightly differently, but with the know-how and the right exercises, it can still be one of the best ways to train for weight loss you could ever ask for. On top of that, it helps to keep the weight from piling back on too!

The reason behind all of this is simple. It comes down mostly to two of the biggest principles of exercise:

  1. You’re burning calories from moving. Lifting weight takes energy, and that means a calorie burn to get you to the deficit. the more muscles you use, the more calories you burn. Compound exercises are great to learn about because of that.
  2. Your resting energy expenditure goes up. Muscle uses more calories to maintain and build than fat. Having more muscle mass means you burn more calories just in day to day life to keep yourself sustained.

Just like before, you still need to right exercises for the job though, and we have just the thing to help with that too.


woman lifting weight on a barbell

The first place to start has to be with one of the biggest and best exercises you could ever do, and that’s the deadlift. deadlifts use almost every muscle in your body, and there’s just about nothing out there that can do better for your body (as long as you do them right. These can be dangerous if not)

The reason behind this being one of the best exercises for calorie burning and weight loss is that it uses so many muscles at the same time. Your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calf muscles, lower back, arms, shoulders… the works. It all comes together for one huge lift, and it’s hard to beat in one exercise.

Squat to Shoulder Press

Woman doing a squat to shoulder press

On the same kind of lines as the deadlift, another titan of training for a great high calorie burning exercise comes from mixing two exercises together into one big lift. That is where exercises like a squat to shoulder press or a squat thrust come into play.

This is essentially a mix of squats and shoulder presses at the same time, meaning much like the deadlift, you sue almost every muscle in your body to do it. That’s again just perfect for what we’re looking for.


woman doing dumbbell rows

It’s important to train everywhere equally when weight training to prevent imbalances and injuries, so this is another great exercise to remember for both calorie burn and this reason. Bent rows are one of the biggest compound back exercises you can find.

You can also do other back exercise slike single arm rows, pull-ups, pull-downs, or other rows, but make sure you don’t forget your back and to sue as many muscles as you can. This still has the potential to be a great weight loss focussed exercise.

Bench Presses

man doing bench presses with a woman spotter

Finally, we’ll hit the front of your body and your arms yet again for this huge lift. The bench press is always going to be one of the most iconic exercises in existence. It uses multiple muscles for one big lift, and that lets it fit in perfectly with our best exercises for weight loss.

This is best done on a bench with dumbbells or a barbell, but even using a leverage machine is great as well as other machines. Find the best way for you but always try out free weights where you can.

Other Factors in Weight Loss Exercises

So now that we know what the big hitters are, it’s a good time to mention what makes them the big hitters, and what factors you need to take into consideration before you decide what to do in your next workout. When it comes to burning calories and losing weight, these are always vital pillars of your progress.


First up, your weight. The more you weigh, the more work your body has to do to get you moving and keep it going. It does make sense. As a result, the more that you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn from any exercise. Keep that in mind before you try anything. (Being lighter also makes the work easier though, so swings and roundabouts…)


This should go without saying, but it does need to be noted. How hard you choose to exercise has a massive effect on the number of calories that you’ll burn. Going for a 10-minute jog does not have the same effect as a 10-minute all-out sprint, even if you take breaks. HIIT workouts are the highest burners, but it might not be the right thing for you. Experiment and see what works for you!


Next up, frequency. How often you can do the exercise is, of course, going to have a huge impact on your calorie burn both per day and per week. If you’re only doing one huge burpee workout per week for example because of how hard it is, that’s not going to have the same effect as using your assault bike for 20 minutes 3 times a week. You need to find the right balance!


Last, but not in any way shape or form least, is time. The time that you dedicate to doing each exercise has a massive toll on your results. You’re better off choosing something that you can do for a longer period of time over something that is going to kill you in 5 minutes. It’s all about personal ability and what you enjoy doing.


There’s no single exercise that is going to work for you all the time. Everyone is different. The best thing that you can do is to find something that isn’t going to be an absolute chore that you hate doing. You need to do something you like if you’re going to keep it up in the long run, and if one of these is that, then great. If not, don’t worry! Whatever you can manage is a step in the right direction.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.