Which Workout Burns The Most Calories

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According to Science, these are the 15 best workouts for burning calories.

According to Science, these are the 15 best workouts for burning calories.

When it comes to workouts, it's either go big or go home. That's why we drew on hard data as well as the expertise of top trainers to bring you the workouts with the highest, baddest burn.

Frantic running

Running is one of the most basic athletic activities that humans can engage in, owing to the fact that no equipment is required—technically, not even shoes (though our 21st-century living environment calls for them). According to fitness expert Chris Ryan, CSCS, CPT, a New York City-based trainer, running at 8 mph burns 1,074 calories per hour for a 200-pound person. Most of us can't sprint or run too fast for too long because it takes a lot of energy to move fast and puts a lot of strain on your cardiovascular system.

"Doing 10- to 20-second sprints (or 100–200 meters if you're on a track) followed by a 60-second jog or walk is the best way to incorporate this exercise," says Roger E. Adams, PhD, a Houston-based dietitian and nutritionist and the founder of eatrightfitness "Repeat these intervals until you've had enough, or your sprints resemble jogs." Do you want to get the most out of your workout? Combine sprints with a weighted vest. This increases your calorie burn while being far safer than holding dumbbells or using ankle weights. If you are a walker who wishes to become a runner,

Rope jumping

There's a reason why some of the world's best boxers use jumping rope to improve their footwork and raise their heart rate. Jumping rope can burn up to 1,074 calories per hour and is a great total-body workout, according to Ryan. "Just a few minutes of jumping rope can set your lungs on fire and your heart racing.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of this calorie-burning workout? It can be done almost anywhere, at any time, though few of us can do it for more than a few minutes at a time. Intervals are the best way to incorporate jumping rope into your exercise routine, according to Dr. Adams. "Jump rope for a predetermined number of reps, such as 100, then walk around or in place for 60 seconds." Then, until you can no longer jump effectively, repeat this interval. " If you can jump rope for several minutes straight, go for it! Otherwise, the interval approach yields the best results.


Taekwondo is the black belt when it comes to martial arts exercises that burn a lot of calories, burning about 937 calories per hour for a 200-pound person. Taekwondo, which is similar to wrestling or boxing, is a self-defense exercise that originated in Korea and has been practiced for over 2,000 years. Normally, you'd do the exercise by competing against someone across from you. This individual attempts to weaken your technique and cause you to relax your guard.

This individual attempts to weaken your technique and cause you to relax your guard. "Among the exercise's guiding principles are speed, power, concentration, reaction force, and breath control, resulting in a truly otherworldly athletic mindset and the merging of mind and body." powerful weapon," Ryan says. Many people, however, rest quite a bit between movements, so to keep this mode of exercise at the top of the calorie-burning spectrum, minimize rest periods and go straight into each of your movements.

Swimming with vigour

You've probably heard that swimming, despite being low-impact and relatively accessible to nearly everyone regardless of age or injury, burns a lot of calories—and that's not a lie. Swimming at a high intensity can burn up to 892 calories per hour for a 200-pound person. Swimming's ancillary benefits include simply being in water, in addition to its therapeutic benefits and fine balance of strength and cardio. "Your body normally runs at 98.6 degrees, but the average pool temperature is usually around 80 degrees—so your body burns calories just to keep you warm and compensate for the nearly 20-degree difference,"

Stairs Running

Running up a flight of stairs puts the hussle in a hard-earned workout. It's not only great for muscle building and improving cardiovascular fitness, but it's also a serious calorie burner. A 200-pound person can burn up to 819 calories per hour by running stairs.

Ryan explains that "stair running increases heart rate while the heart and lungs pump more blood and oxygen, resulting in a higher caloric burn than running the same distance on flat ground."  Your overall calorie burn will be determined by your step speed, number of steps, and step height.

"The safest approach is to keep a faster pace up the stairs and walk down," says Samantha Clayton, Herbalife's vice president of sports performance and fitness. "You can increase the intensity level by varying your upward speed, or if you have the coordination, taking two steps at a time will make your muscles work harder and thus increase your calorie burn." The more steps you take in total, the harder your body works.


Jogging is an excellent way to burn a lot of calories even at a relatively easy pace like 5 miles per hour, which is just above walking speed for most people. When running at this relaxed pace, a 200-pound person can burn 755 calories per hour. Running works many muscles at the same time and tests your cardiovascular system because it is a full-body movement. It's also a relatively simple exercise to fit into people's schedules because, most of the time, all you need is a pair of running shoes and some pavement.

"If you want to add a little more caloric burn during your workout, try increasing the incline a few percentages for short bouts of hills," Ryan suggests. "Not only does this help to increase the intensity of the workout, but it also shifts the position of the foot strike to mimic an undulating path or trail, making it a much more functional way to attack a workout."


Tennis, widely regarded as the ultimate form of "athletic chess," is an excellent way to burn serious calories. This is primarily due to the amount of fast-paced running and body movement required in a match. "What makes tennis so difficult is the rapid deceleration and acceleration required to be a good player," says Ben Boudro, CSCS, owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, Michigan. "Because the ball movement is unpredictable, you challenge your brain and muscles to contract as quickly as possible to move your body and get into position."

Playing tennis for five minutes will put a strain on your body, and playing for an hour will burn up to 728 calories for a 200-pound person. (If you're playing doubles, you'll burn less calories.) "If you want to increase your caloric burn from tennis, consider wearing lightweight compression shorts or a weighted vest," Ryan suggests. "Working out with just 5–10 pounds of extra weight can significantly improve your workout."

Football with a flag

Because flag football is a popular pick-up game that most people play for fun, it's easy to overlook how effective it can be as a workout. In fact, it can burn 728 calories or more per hour for a 200-pound person! The field is shorter than in regular football, but because there are fewer players (and less hitting), most people run even more. "When combined with a change of direction and hand-eye coordination, flag football truly combines a great way to have fun with friends while getting a full-body workout," Ryan says.

To increase the intensty of your workout, play receiver on offense or cornerback on defense, as these positions will leave your lungs gasping and your body burning far more than quarterback or lineman.


If you want to be good at basketball, you must be able to move quickly and frequently. The sport consists primarily of players running for an hour or longer, with short bursts of sprinting and all-out jumps from one side of the court to the other. "These all-out movements put a lot of strain on your body and force you to use energy systems you wouldn't normally use," Boudro explains. "Combine those movements with competition and a hot gym, and you'll be burning a ton of calories in minutes."

Basketball has been shown to burn up to 728 calories per hour for a 200-pound person. Boudro recommends starting with 15 minutes of play and gradually increasing your tolerance. But be cautious with this one, as too many injuries occur in the sport, often because people aren't prepared for that kind of impact on their bodies. Begin slowly and work your way up, he advises.


Rollerblading combines a healthy balance of cardio and strength training while minimizing joint impact. Rollerblading, like skating, requires the use of several muscles at the same time. "The data for a 200-pound person indicates that 683 calories are burned per hour at moderate intensity," Ryan says. "However, if you want to engage your upper body even more, add some dry land ski poles, which effectively transforms this into a summer version of cross country skiing." Adding in a few short bursts of sprints for 10 to 20 seconds at a time is another great way to increase your heart rate and burn even more  calories.

High-intensity aerobics

Jane Fonda exemplifies how aerobics can be both enjoyable and extremely beneficial when it comes to burning calories and toning muscle. "High-impact aerobic movements force your body and muscles to contract and release in a quick, yet controlled manner," explains Boudro. Jumping jacks, plyometric hopping movements, and some dance moves are examples of high-impact exercises.

While this type of exercise is frequently enjoyable and provides a lot of variety, the impact on the joints is not for everyone. "This type of exercise can be made more intense by incorporating weighted equipment, maintaining a high intensity level, and performing exercises that target large muscle groups such as the glutes, legs, chest, and back," Clayton explains. "This type of training, done in a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) style with work-to-rest intervals, can significantly increase overall calorie burn." It should be noted, however, that when working out at a high intensity, a shorter overall workout duration is essential (ideally lasting 20 to 30 minutes).


Racquetball, like tennis, is a high-intensity sport that burns up to 637 calories per hour for the average adult. "You might not think so because it's mostly old guys doing it at the gym, but if you try it, you'll notice right away that it's very difficult." "It's mostly because you never sit down," explains Boudro. "With such a small court and such a bouncy ball, you have to constantly cut, run, jump, and lunge to get yourself in position for the ball." But perhaps The fact that this sport can be both mentally and physically demanding is one of its most appealing features. Get some headphones and begin by playing for 30 minutes.


Carrying a backpack on a hike or climb of any kind is an excellent form of outdoor exercise, burning approximately 637 calories for a 200-pound person. You're building muscular strength in both your upper and lower body as a result of the added weight of the bag. Clayton adds, "The varied terrain is also great for improving coordination and working the small stabilizing muscles in the legs and ankles." Consider increasing the weight you're carrying or choosing a steeper terrain to make backpacking even more difficult.

Skiing on the water

This surface water sport, which involves balancing on two skis while being pulled by a boat, may appear simple, but it is a difficult skill to master. "Getting into position and really leaning back with your core as you press your feet into the water is part of the workout," explains Boudro. "By constantly contracting your arms by pulling the rope, you'll be working your forearms, biceps, and lats while simultaneously contracting your quads and calves." Your quads and forearms will be on fire after only 30 seconds of waterskiing, regardless of whether you use one or two skis.

Boudro suggests setting up a course to run through or simply timing yourself and attempting six rounds of three minutes each, with constant carving in the water, to make this a more intense workout.

Machine for rowing

While rowing machines may appear outdated, they are making a big comeback in gyms and studios across the United States. "Rowing is a fantastic total-body exercise that is low impact but burns a lot of calories while having little impact on the joints," Clayton says. "The rowing motion engages both the lower and upper body, which is ideal for burning calories while also working multiple muscle groups." To increase calorie burn, as with most cardio exercises, do bursts of high-intensity work interspersed with periods of slower-paced rowing. This is simple to accomplish now that most rowing machines allow you to adjust the resistance.

Clayton recommends rowing for 60 seconds at a high speed and 15 seconds at a slow speed. You can, however, exercise at a moderate pace for many minutes at a time, which is a good steady-state exercise program.

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