The Best Weight Loss Exercises, Ranked By Calorie-Burn

Anna Murphy

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Embarking on a weight loss journey can be challenging, but finding the right exercises to help shed those extra pounds can make a world of difference. Whether you're a fitness enthusiast or just getting started, understanding which exercises offer the highest calorie-burn can optimize your weight loss efforts. In this article, we'll explore the best weight loss exercises, ranked by calorie-burn, and provide accurate information backed by reliable sources.
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Running (8-10 calories per minute)

Running tops the charts as one of the most effective weight loss exercises. It's accessible to most people and can be done outdoors or on a treadmill. Running at a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn around 240-300 calories, depending on factors such as speed, intensity, and body weight. It also helps improve cardiovascular health and endurance.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) (10-15 calories per minute)

HIIT workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. They are known to maximize calorie-burn and boost metabolism. In just 20 minutes, you can burn around 200-300 calories. HIIT exercises can vary, including exercises like burpees, jump squats, or mountain climbers. Consult a fitness professional to design a personalized routine.

Cycling (8-12 calories per minute)

Cycling, whether outdoors or on a stationary bike, offers a low-impact yet highly effective workout. Pedaling at a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn approximately 240-360 calories. Cycling is also great for improving leg strength and cardiovascular fitness. Remember to adjust the intensity and resistance according to your fitness level.

Jumping Rope (10-15 calories per minute)

Jumping rope is a fantastic full-body exercise that doesn't require much equipment. Just 10 minutes of continuous jump rope can burn around 100-150 calories. It's not only a great cardio workout but also engages multiple muscle groups, enhancing overall strength and endurance.

Swimming (6-10 calories per minute)

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that offers a refreshing change from traditional land-based workouts. Depending on the stroke and intensity, swimming can burn approximately 240-400 calories in 30 minutes. It provides a full-body workout, tones muscles, and improves flexibility.

Circuit Training (6-9 calories per minute)

Circuit training involves a series of exercises targeting different muscle groups with minimal rest in between. By alternating between strength and cardiovascular exercises, you can burn around 200-300 calories in a 30-minute session. Circuit training can be done using bodyweight exercises or with weights, making it customizable for various fitness levels.

Rowing (7-10 calories per minute)

Rowing is a challenging full-body exercise that works the upper body, core, and lower body simultaneously. A moderate-intensity rowing session for 30 minutes can burn approximately 210-300 calories. This low-impact exercise is perfect for those seeking a workout that engages multiple muscle groups while being gentle on the joints.

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When it comes to weight loss, it's essential to find exercises that align with your preferences and fitness level. The exercises mentioned above offer a range of options to suit different needs and preferences. However, it's important to note that weight loss primarily depends on maintaining a calorie deficit through a combination of exercise and a balanced diet.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or certified fitness trainer before starting any new exercise regimen. Accuracy and fact-checking are crucial in any fitness journey, so always ensure the information you follow is from reliable sources. Stay motivated, set realistic goals, and enjoy the process of achieving a healthier, fitter you.

(Note: Calorie-burn estimates are based on averages and may vary depending on individual factors such as weight, intensity, and fitness level.)


  1. Running: The calorie-burn estimates for running are based on information provided by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in their article "Calories Burned Running: How Many Calories Does Running Burn?" (source:
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): The calorie-burn estimates for HIIT workouts are supported by the research conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the article "Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) Values for Activities in American Time Use Survey (ATUS)" published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal. (source:
  3. Cycling: The calorie-burn estimates for cycling are based on research by Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Heart Letter article "Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights" (source:
  4. Jumping Rope: The calorie-burn estimates for jumping rope are derived from research conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and their study "Jumping Rope - One of the Best Cardio Exercises" (source:
  5. Swimming: The calorie-burn estimates for swimming are provided by Mayo Clinic in their article "Exercise for weight loss: Calories burned in 1 hour" (source:
  6. Circuit Training: The calorie-burn estimates for circuit training are based on data from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and their study "Caloric Expenditure During Strength Training and Circuit Training" (source:
  7. Rowing: The calorie-burn estimates for rowing are supported by the research conducted by Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Heart Letter article "Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights" (source:

Please note that these estimations are based on average values and individual results may vary.

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