Exercises that burn the most calories

Dec 19 2017, 7:57 pm

People who want to lose weight need to shed those accumulated surplus calories. People often opt to go to a gym, to do some weights and cardio, and hope for the best. In order to lose that weight, you need to eat less calories than your body uses, creating a caloric deficiency, and do exercises that burn the most calories.

If you’ve ever played a sport, you’ve probably noticed how much of a toll this can take on the body. Sports and other forms of full body exercise burn a lot of energy, as the whole body is working hard. You may have also noticed a difference in the way that your body looked. I’m not talking about softball with friends, while slamming a few brews; I’m talking constant athletic effort, such as soccer or basketball. Here are some other exercises that burn the most calories:


Although running doesn’t necessarily use the entire body (there is arm movement, but it isn’t vigorous), it does require you to use a lot of your muscles. Your legs are made up of big muscles that require lots of energy to work hard.

A 155 pound individual running at 6 miles per hour will burn 372 calories in a half hour (this number is lower for a lighter individual, but higher for a larger individual).


The number of calories that you burn will depend upon the stroke that you are performing, the intensity at which you perform it, and the time you spend doing it, of course. Breast stroke, front crawl, and butterfly are the best for burning calories.

A 155 pound individual can burn over 400 calories in a half hour of swimming.

Skipping Rope

Like running, skipping rope requires little equipment, and can be done anywhere. Skipping rope is a full body workout in which a 155 pound individual can burn 372 calories in a half hour.


If you’ve ever done any activity on an incline, you know how big of a difference an incline can make in how hard you work. The intensity level instantly shoots up. Although hiking doesn’t necessarily require you to ascend mountains, it can provide a challenging incline. Add a backpack, and burn even more calories!


Cycling is a questionable one because it is so variable. The average leisure cyclist won’t burn many calories. Leisure cycling refers to cycling at a pace similar to a light walk. Once you raise your speed to above 10 m.p.h., that’s where the real calorie burning starts. Even then, you must cycle quite vigorously, or up hills, to burn a serious amount of calories.

Aerobics or any boot camp

In this category, I have grouped together circuit style workouts. Although it is difficult to provide calories burned figures for this category, you should know that it is quite high. As long as the activity is constant and of moderate intensity, you will burn tons of calories. A lot of success stories come from these types of classes.

Martial arts

Martial arts classes incorporate circuit training, sparring and flexibility training. Tons of calories are burned in these sessions, because there is constant movement. Many individuals join these classes for the sole purpose of getting a workout, and are not concerned with the self defense aspect. Sparring sessions are often intense, and can burn tons of calories alone.

A 155 pound individual participating in a half hour sparring session will burn 335 calories.

For a good resource, check out the Harvard Health webpage.


Featured Image: Flickr.com / Nathan Rupert

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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