40 Fat Burning Exercises That Are Proven To Work – Backed by Science

So you are wondering what the best fat-burning exercises that burn the most calories are? A lot goes into answering this question: meeting your body’s needs, finding an exercise you actually enjoy, and figuring out what will have a full impact to make a difference in losing weight.

If you are short on time, one of the ways to measure that is to figure out how much energy a specific exercise consumes; in other words,  how many calories does it burn?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of physical activity every week for adults, for instance, about 22 minutes daily or 50 minutes 3 times per week. You can also use a Body Fat Calculator or Adult Body Mass Index (BMI) Calculator to estimate your ideal total body fat.

Unfortunately, exercising on its own is not sufficient to lose weight. If you want to melt some calories and slim down, I suggest talking to your physician about what a healthy weight is for you and working on adopting a healthy lifestyle: exercise regularly and eat healthy food.

Remember that the numbers here are estimates. Also, remember that just because an exercise burns more calories; it does not mean it is the best fit for you. The most effective and important workout is the one you enjoy enough and do regularly.

Table of Contents

Fat Burning Exercises

The table below contains a summary of the number of calories depending on the practitioner’s weight.

fat burning exercises
fat burning exercises – Harvard Health Publishing

1- Running | 10.8 to 16 Calories burned per minute

Running is among the best fat-burning exercises; it develops flexibility and builds endurance. Running does not require any equipment, and you can start right away and fat-burn those unwanted calories.

The faster you run, the more calories you will incinerate per minute.

Besides, running has several other benefits for your body. It is an effective weight-loss tool, mainly when you mix it with resistance training; running is also an excellent way to improve muscle, develop bone, and strengthen your joints. 

2- Aerobic dance | 6.6 to 9.8 Calories burned per minute

Fat-burning exercises do not need to be boring. If you love to dance, you can burn calories by performing a high-energy dance workout at home.

Dancing is an excellent cardio exercise, and it is a fun way to raise your heart rate and burn calories faster.

40 Fat Burning Exercises That Are Proven To Work – Backed by Science – altinify.com

3- Walking | 3.1 to 4.6 Calories burned per minute

Walking is among the easiest and simplest fat-burning exercises at home. It is also perfect if you are recovering from an injury.

You can walk around your house or in your backyard.

You will burn even more calories per minute if you perform housework or make a phone call while walking around your home.

Tuesday | FAST Walking in 30 minutes | Fitness Videos – Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone

4- Kettlebell Swings | 20 calories burned per minute (1)

Easy to master, and it is one of the most effective fat-burning exercises.

When doing Kettlebell Swings, you will use your glutes, hips, and quads to command the kettlebell upwards, and at the same, you will use your abs to help keep your core stable. All of this will increase your heart rate to melt fat.

How To Do Kettlebell Swings:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width separated and keep the kettlebell by the top of the handle with both hands with your arms right in front of you.
  • Flex your knees slightly, then move your hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.
  • Stand up and push your hips forward energetically, squeezing your glutes and engaging your arms to swing forward to chest height.
  • Draw the weight back down, hinge at your hips, and proceed directly into the next rep. Move quickly.
  • Perform 8-10 reps.
Kettlebell Swing – Men’s Health

5- Kettlebell Flow | 20 calories burned per minute

A kettlebell flow blends two or more exercises to create one seamless move to help you build strength and burn fat.

Kettlebell Flow is like performing HIIT with weight; it is amazingly demanding on both your cardiovascular system and your strength

Kettlebell Flow is among the most effective fat-burning exercises that will get you a total-body burn and burn severe calories all at once.

Kettlebell Single Exercises & Flows Workout with Eric Leija

6- Jumping rope | 7.6 to 9.8 Calories burned per minute

Jumping rope raises your heart rate and torches calories while developing lower leg strength.

Additionally, jump ropes are small and easy to store. They are excellent for people who do not have sufficient space at home.

You can try using a weighted jump rope to engage your arms and shoulders hard and build your core.

Jump Rope Weight Loss Workout – Holly Dolke

7- Swimming | 198 to 294 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Swimming is a low-impact workout and fat-burning exercise. It burns energy while developing muscle strength, blood flow, and lung and heart capacity.

Practicing about thirty minutes of relaxed swimming torches has about the same number of calories as 30 minutes of jogging.

The good news is that swimming is less stressful on the body, especially for people who have joint difficulties or limited mobility.

To improve your caloric burn while swimming, perform laps or water aerobics. If you are interested in swimming, I wrote a whole article discussing the 10 Types Of Swimming Strokes and Their Benefits.

8- Shadow Boxing / Kickboxing | 582 to 864 Calories burned / hour

With both shadowboxing and kickboxing, you can expect a full-body workout that involves every muscle group in your body, particularly your core. The rapid moves in cardio kickboxing also develop flexibility, balance, and coordination, helping you build more active reflexes.

How To Do Shadow Boxing / Kickboxing:

  • Assume a fighting stance and jump on your toes as you kickbox or shadowbox
  • Try aiming for 30 seconds of rest for every 90 seconds of sparring.
Shadow-Boxing Workout For Seriously Toned Abs & Arms – POPSUGAR Fitness

9- Stationary Bike | 210 to 311 Calories burned in 30 minutes

A stationary bike is especially suitable for individuals with abdominal weight since it provides a backrest without stressing your body.

Biking affects more muscles than walking or jogging, which makes stationary bikes an excellent fat-burning exercise.

If you own a stationary bike, try doing intervals of high-intensity cycling. Performed vigorously, stationary bicycling can burn a high number of calories in 30 minutes.

Begin with a 5-minute warmup and alternate between 1-minute speed and 2-minute recovery periods. On a range from 0 to 10, your speed intervals should be 7 to 9.

10- High-knee running | 240 to 355.5 Calories burned in 30 minutes

High-knee running is an excellent fat-burning exercise and a vigorous cardio workout. It boosts your heart rate while strengthening your lower body.

As a high-intensity exercise and effective fat-burning exercise, high-knee running helps burn calories in a short amount of time.

High Knee – XFit Daily

11- Rowing Machine | 481 to 713 Calories burned/ hour at 150 watts

A rowing machine is a total body workout and is easy on your joints.

To get the highest calorie burn, row in fast, 1-minute intervals (150 watts), and take 30- to 60-second active rest periods by shifting between squats, planks, and pushups.

How to Use Rowing Machine | Fitness How To – POPSUGAR Fitness

12- Butt kicks | 240 to 355.5 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Butt kicks are excellent fat-burning exercises. You can quickly melt calories within 30 minutes by performing butt kicks at a high-intensity level.

How To Do Butt kicks:

  • Raise one heel toward your butt.
  • Do the same with the other heel.
  • Quickly rotate your heels while elevating your arms.
How to Butt-Kick with Proper Form – Get Healthy U – with Chris Freytag

13- Battle Ropes | 285 to 421 Calories burned / hour

According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, just 10 minutes of swinging the heavy workout tool burns 112 calories.

Battle Ropes are also metabolism-boosting workouts used mostly by fitness trainers, footballers, and other athletes.

45 Epic Battle Ropes Exercises You MUST Try – Renton Gym – Luka Hocevar

14- Sprints | 240 to 355.5 Calories burned in 30 minutes

In general, running is the best fat-burning exercise; however, you can cut your workout into high-intensity sprints if you do not have sufficient time to go on a run.

Your body will quickly burn calories to fuel your exercise.

15- Stair-climbing | 452 to 670 Calories burned / hour at 77 steps/minute

This is one of my favorite fat-burning exercises; it is free and accessible. Whenever possible, I choose the stairs instead of the escalators.

Stair climbing gives you a good mix of aerobic and anaerobic workouts.

Stairs Workout (10 mins) – Holly Dolke

16- Mountain climbers | 240 to 355.5 Calories burned in 30 minutes

The mountain climber is a cardio and fat-burning exercise. Because you need to use your entire body, you will burn a high number of calories in a short period.

How to Do Mountain climbers:

  • Begin in a plank position.
  • Put your shoulders over your hands.
  • Engage your core.
  • Raise your right knee toward your chest.
  • Return to plank.
  • Repeat with your left knee.
  • Repeat quickly.
How to Do Mountain Climbers Properly – Great Core Exercise for Beginners –
Fit Father Project – Fitness For Busy Fathers

17- Burpees | 160 Calories burned in 17 minutes (1)

According to a study from the American College of Sports Medicine, doing ten reps of chest-to-floor burpees at a fast pace can boost your metabolism as much as a 30-second, all-out bike sprint.

How to Do Burpees:

  •  From a standing pose, squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor and put your palms on the floor.
  • From this pose, kick your feet back as far as you can while maintaining your arms extended.
  •  As soon as your feet land, jump them towards your hands, then hop into the air.
  • Land and quickly squat down to go into the next rep.
Burpee Variations for Beginners | Proper Form & Progressions – Minus The Gym

18- Exercise Ball Workouts | 350 calories  Calories burned in 30 minutes (1)

A stability ball is particularly useful for individuals with lots of fat around their abdomen and who are looking to develop abs. They are perfect for abdominal crunches.

The stability ball is an excellent tool to add to your workouts, principally when it comes to core work.

Incorporating the stability factor causes your core to contract even more while training, making you stronger and your waistline thinner.

Total Body Exercise Ball Workout Video – FitnessBlender

19- Bear Crawl | 100 Calories burned in 10 minutes (1)

A Bear Crawl is a bodyweight mobility workout that works strength in the shoulders, quads, and abdominal muscles. It seems very comparable to a baby crawl however requires you to bear the weight on your hands and toes instead of your knees.

A bear crawl is among the most effective fat-burning exercises that build core control and breathing.

How to Do a Bear Crawl With Perfect Form:

  • Be on the ground on all fours with your arms straight, hands below your shoulders, and your knees turned 90 degrees beneath your hips.
  • Keep in mind that only your hands and toes should touch the floor.
  • Keeping your back flat, crawl forward and backward, moving opposing hands and feet in unison.
38 Crawls That Crush Your Core – Men’s Health

20- Thrusters | 80 to 266 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Thruster works your muscles and joints, and you can practice with a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells with equally good results, and it fits easily into a weights session.

The thruster is a  popular compound training that is part of the CrossFit exercise plan.

How to Do Thrusters With Perfect Form:

  • Hold two dumbbells or kettlebells by their handles, so the weight rests on your shoulders.
  • Lightly turn your knees and squat down, putting your legs in line with your shoulders.
  • Drive through your legs and straighten them, extending your arms as you do so to elevate the dumbbells or kettlebells above your head.
  • Try to Squat down and repeat the reps.
The Thruster – CrossFit®

 21- Farmer’s Walks | 180 to 266 Calories burned in 30 minutes

The farmer’s walk works on the muscles in your upper body, including your shoulders, upper back, biceps, triceps, and forearm muscles. It also builds your lower body, including the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

The farmer’s walk is one of the simplest fat-burning exercises. The idea is just to pick up something heavy and move it somewhere else.

How to Do Farmer’s Walks:

  • Hold something heavy, for example, two heavy kettlebells or dumbbells, by your side.
  • Hold your arms strong and walk short, quick steps as speedy as possible.
  • Return and walk back.
Farmers Walk – LivestrongWoman

22- Dumbbell Step-Ups | 450 Calories burned / hour

Dumbbell Step-Ups are fat-burning exercises that will help your body burn more calories than during usual strength training sessions.

The progressive nature of dumbbell step-ups will help you burn fat while developing upper-body strength and athleticism. Do not forget to keep increasing the weight of the load as you improve.

Dumbbell Step-up are fat-burning exercises that help you maximize your gluteus maximus, the major muscle responsible for extending, rotating, and abducting from the hip joint.

How to Do Dumbbell Step-Ups:

  • Place your right foot onto the raised platform and push up through your heel.
  • Move back down with your left foot, focusing on flexing your hip and the knee of your right leg.
  • Return to the other side.
How to Do Step-Ups – LIVESTRONG.COM

23- Jumping jacks | 8 to 11.8 Calories burned per minute

Jumping jacks are essential cardio and fat-burning exercises that raise your heart rate. They also give an impressive full-body workout.

How to Do Jumping jacks:

  • Stand tall with your feet together. Put your arms at your sides.
  • Jump with your legs shoulder-width separated. Uplift your arms over your head.
  • Perform as needed.
How to Do a Jumping Jack – Howcast

24- Power yoga | 226 to 335 Calories burned / hour

Power yoga is an excellent fat-burning exercise that can help burn calories and increase lean muscle mass, which might boost your metabolism.

20 Minute Fat Burning Yoga Workout Beginners & Intermediate – PsycheTruth

25- Bicycling | 568 to 841 calories burned / hour

Spending a few hours biking is fun but also helps boost your metabolism and burn calories. As you react to varied terrain, it will challenge your balance and athleticism.

Bonus: Bicycling is an excellent way to get outside and give your body a much-needed dose of fresh air.

26- Agility Ladder | 10 to 15  Calories burned per min as an Intense HIIT Workout 

Agility Ladder improves speed, agility, and quickness. You will torch a ton of calories with the short bursts of speed, balance, and coordination to finish a complete agility ladder circuit.

Incorporating an agility ladder as a fat-burning exercise is also great for improving your brain health.

A 2014 Air Force Research Laboratory research observed that agility training could improve cognitive performance and boost cardio levels.

15 Fast Footwork Exercises – 7mlc

27- Cindy CrossFit | 13 Calories burned per min (1)

Cindy is a benchmark workout that consists of 5 pull-ups, ten push-ups, and 15 squats for as many rounds possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes.

The name “Cyndy” might sound female, but it does not mean that men cannot perform it. It is a challenge for both men and women.

The actions are excellent for both beginners and top elite athletes. Watch the video below to perform the workout properly and prevent injury.

CrossFit WOD Cindy – KFD –

 28- Tabata Training | 15 Calories burned per minute (1)

If you want to burn significant calories but don’t have time to spend in the gym each week, then Tabata jump squats may be perfect for you.

According to the American Council on Exercise, a typical Tabata workout, usually lasting about 20 to 30 minutes, can incinerate an average of 15 per minute or 450 per half-hour.

In Tabata jump squats, the goal is to maintain the heart rate for the duration of the exercise.

Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo created the Tabata training.

Tabata is one of the most effective fat-burning exercises.  It is 20 seconds of high-intensity work – you go as quickly and intensely as you can, then you follow with 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times for a total of four minutes.

A 30-Minute Tabata Session to Burn Some Serious Calories – POPSUGAR Fitness

29- Rock Climbing | 240 to 355 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Rock climbing is a different way to burn calories. It develops both your upper and lower body muscles.

Rock climbing is an effective fat-burning exercise that strengthens muscles in your back and arms when pulling yourself up, forcing you to engage the muscles of your core, quads, and calves to stabilize your body when you are climbing.

TOP 10 Tips for Beginner Boulderers – Bouldering Bobat

30- Hiking | 180 to 266 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Hiking is also among the most effective fat-burning exercises. It helps improve your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Hiking also builds strength in your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.

If you have enough time, hit a trail, and go for a  refreshing hike, you will still burn plenty of calories.

31- Cross-Country Skiing | 240 to 355 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Cross-country skiing is a variety of skiing where skiers rely on locomotion to move across snow-covered terrain rather than ski lifts or other forms of assistance.

Cross-Country Skiing is an excellent fat-burning exercise that will help burn plenty of calories. 

32- Tennis | 210 to 311 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Tennis is an excellent exercise and a very effective fat-burning exercise. Playing tennis regularly will burn plenty of calories, build muscles, and improve reflexes.

 Additionally, if you play tennis outdoors, you will enjoy plenty of fresh air and sunshine.

33- Rollerblading | 210 to 311 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Rollerblading is also one of the most effective cardiovascular activities and fat-burning exercises you can do to incinerate plenty of calories.

Both indoor and outdoor roller skating are magnificent ways to torch calories.

Skating is a fat-burning exercise and cardiovascular activity. It will get your heart rate up and works up a sweat.

If you skate regularly and maintain a healthy diet, you will soon see the fat melt faster.

Tips for Beginners 1 – Rollerblade

34- Canoeing / Kayaking | 150 to 222 Calories burned in 30 minutes

According to the Victoria State Government in Australia, both canoeing and kayaking are low-impact movements that can develop your aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility.

Specifically, they will improve your cardiovascular fitness and increase your muscle strength, especially the back, arms, shoulders, and chest muscles, from actioning the paddle.

35- Box jumps | 800 to 1,000 Calories burned / hour (1)

Box jumps are part one of plyometric training or jump training. With this fat-burning workout, you will burn many calories through explosive moves and build endurance, strength, and coordination.

Before starting a jump box, make sure you use a sturdy box on a flat surface, and you will also need strong legs, coordination, and a little courage.

How to Do Box jumps:

  • From standing position, squat down to jump onto the box with both feet.
  • Elevate your arms up as you jump to increase momentum.
  • Jump up and backward off the box, smoothly landing with flexed knees.
  • Perform about 3 to 4 sets of 9 to 14 repetitions.
The Box Jump – CrossFit®

36- Soccer | 210 to 311 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Soccer (also called football, particularly in other countries) is “a multipurpose sport” that mixes endurance, strength, and high-intensity interval training altogether.

It is as good as interval running when it comes to cardio training and as good as long-distance jogging or cycling as far as endurance. It is also as good as lifting weights when it comes to musculoskeletal benefits (1).

According to Peter Krustrup, a sports and health sciences professor at the University of Southern Denmark, soccer-related exercise training can help decrease cholesterol and blood pressure. Soccer also can help you shift body composition by reducing fat and building lean muscle.

And according to the Victoria State Government in Australia, soccer also helps you lower body fat and improve muscle tone.

Football is medicine 2020 – Peter Krustrup

37- Basketball | 240 to 355 Calories burned in 30 minutes

According to better health, basketball is an excellent fat-burning workout that helps you burn calories (an hour of basketball can burn 630–750 calories) and build endurance and muscle.

38- Handball | 360 to 533 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Handball is a fun and stimulating social sport to play and offers some excellent benefits. It is effective cardio to lose weight; you burn fat while having fun.

A study found playing handball helps build physical performance, musculoskeletal fitness, well-being, and develop motivation.

39- Ice skating | 210 to 311 Calories burned in 30 minutes

Ice skating is among the most effective fat-burning exercises and an excellent way to burn calories while having fun.

HOW TO ICE SKATE – Coach Michelle Hong

40- High-Intensity Interval Training | 500 Calories burned in 30 minutes (1)

According to the American Council of Exercise (ACE), high-intensity interval training helps you to burn more calories in less time. It combines short bursts of high-intensity exercise with recovery periods.

A study showed that High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is an excellent fat-burning exercise and a  time-efficient strategy to decrease fat-mass deposits, especially those of abdominal and visceral fat mass.

Interval training can be included in almost any exercise to help you incinerate more calories. For instance, instead of running at a steady pace the whole time, try to run for two minutes, sprint for one minute, and then run again for two minutes. Continue alternating between the two for the rest of your exercise.

However, ACE recommends doing no more than two days of HIIT per week, leaving at least one full day of recovery between training sessions.

30-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout with Warm Up – No Equipment at Home – SELF

Final Thoughts

Now you know more about the best fat-burning exercises, it is time to challenge yourself. Try each fat-burning workout and see which ones you enjoy the most and which suit you best. It does not matter which training you choose; what matters is which fat-burning exercises do you enjoy and practice regularly.

Remember, you do not have to break any records; take it slow and enjoy the experience and your journey to a slimmer and healthier lifestyle.

If you want to start running and motivation, check out How to Start Running When Overweight and Out of Shape – 11 Simple Tips Or How To Motivate Yourself to Run Regularly: 16 Surefire Ways.


Hello friends, I am Altiné I am SO excited you are here! I believe in YOUR POWER to transform the world through a healthy lifestyle and diet, and that physical activity and diet are EVERYTHING when it comes to your health and well-being. My goal is to offer you a simple and science-based approach to building muscle, losing fat, getting happy and healthy, and living a meaningful and impactful life for you and your loved ones. So YOU can look better, feel better, live better, and go make more impact. Let’s do it.

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