Top 10 Best Calorie Burning Exercises

If you’re dedicated to losing weight, and it’s a goal you’re working toward, it’s important to know that it’s worth the time. Unfortunately, there are a lot of conflicting claims about what’s best for weight loss.

For instance, some people say that cardio is the best way to burn calories, while others claim that strength training is the best way to get in shape.

The exact number of calories that you burn depends on several factors, such as how much you weigh and how much you do each task. Although some workouts will burn more calories than others, these are generally more effective at losing weight than others.

If you’re planning on losing weight, these 10 exercises are the ones that will most likely help you reach your goal.

Sport Calorie Burned Per Hour
Hiking400 Calories
Jogging500 Calories
Swimming500 Calories
Stationary Biking500 Calories
Aerobic Dancing600 Calories
Rowing Machine600 Calories
Jump Roping650 Calories
Kick Boxing650 Calories
Running700 Calories
Water Polo800 Calories


Young athlete jogging

One step up from hiking is Jogging, which can burn between 400 and 550 calories. However, that doesn’t seem fair because Jogging feels like much more work than an enjoyable hike through nature.

The key to a good jog is to keep moving throughout an hour’s worth of exercise. That’s why you see people jogging in place while waiting for green lights in the city. It looks silly, but they’re burning calories the entire time, and like with most exercises, the hardest thing to do is start back up when you’ve stopped.

The average person burns around 500 calories per hour while jogging. The number of calories that they burn depends on their weight and the intensity of their workout.


Running morning session

There’s a difference between running and Jogging. Jogging keeps a slower, steadier pace focused on keeping you moving and is a great way to increase your aerobic fitness level until you’re ready to kick it up a notch.

Running is moving at a much faster clip, typically around 6.5 to 8 miles per hour. The difference is dramatic, and you can hit up to 700 calories by running over Jogging- as much as 200 extra calories.

Much like Jogging, maintaining a run for an entire hour requires a lot of motivation- mainly because you want to be moving quickly to get the full benefit.

Jump Roping

Sporty women doing jumping rope

We all did it in elementary school, and you’ve seen Rocky do it in pretty much all of his movies- but it turns out that our favorite school-age pastime is also one of the most efficient ways to burn calories.

Jump ropes can burn 650 calories an hour and require almost nothing in startup costs but a few dollars- it’s the cheapest form of exercise aside from running or jogging.

Plus, jumping rope is an excellent way to build those calf muscles for all you basketball players trying to get some air.

Aerobic Dancing

Aerobic classes for women

Aerobic dancing is a very efficient way to burn calories and get in shape. You can top out at almost 600 calories an hour with a vigorous aerobic dance routine, and as a plus, you might even find yourself learning some sweet new moves for the dance floor.

The key to an excellent aerobic dance involves the entire body- this isn’t your grandpa’s slow waltz we’re dealing with. Instead, you will kick and flail like VanDamne in his prime, sweating off the calories.

Aerobic dance is an intense hour-long calorie-burning session of hot-footing like a madman. But it can be hard to stay motivated, so to keep those feet up, we recommend you douse the floor with thumbtacks. You’ll be practically hopping to keep those feet up and those calories burning.

Rowing Machine

Coach training woman on the exercise machine

Rowing a boat is hard work and an excellent calorie burner, but if you don’t live in the 17th century or are a poor potato farming peasant that can’t afford their boat, you can pick up a rowing machine for use at home.

This intense upper body workout uses resistance weights or tension to simulate rowing through choppy waters the consistency of molasses. It pays off in spades by burning up to 600 calories an hour.

Unlike other exercises, rowing will help you develop better abdominal and arm definition, so couple it with weight lifting to get shredded in no time. The most significant danger with rowing is the dull monotony of it which can make it an unappealing and unexciting workout that can start to feel like a chore.


Fit swimmer training in the swimming pool

Swimming amounts to doing some laps around the pool. An hour of slow but steady laps can burn as many calories as Jogging, between 400 and 550 calories.

You might need to head to a public pool because most backyard and apartment pools are just too small, or if you’re up hard for moisture, you can buy one of those swimming trainers you can use at home.

Swimming is a great cardio workout that can help you burn more calories than you would with a drink or a meal. While it’s not as hard as it sounds, swimming can still be done athletically and is a great way to improve your core.

Water Polo

Water polo player in a swimming pool.

In water polo, you toss a volleyball around to your buddies, who try to throw it into a net. The real challenge, though, comes from the fact that you’re constantly swimming, which is a full-body workout.

If you ever wonder why water polo players are shredded like lettuce mix, it’s because water polo is played in deep water, and there’s no standing up when you’re tired.

What it lacks in skill, dignity, popular interest, and clothing, water polo more than makes up for in sheer calories burned, with a whopping 800 calories melting off your body every hour.

Kick Boxing & Martial Arts

Woman practicing kickboxing at gym

Martial arts can offer high-intensity workouts, especially if they involve full or partial contact. Even just a casual spar can shred calories as you’re constantly moving, jumping, attacking, or defending.

This is a full-body workout that has the side benefit of teaching you some great self-defense moves, which puts it at the very top of our list. A vigorous training session can burn around 650 calories, but with the bonus of teaching you how to defend yourself.

Make sure you’ve gotten a physical checkup and that you and your training partner know each other’s limits.

Stationary Bicycling

Pretty woman in crossfit gym using exercise bike for cardio workout. Sport girl on air bike

For many people, cycling is a convenient alternative to regular exercise. According to Harvard University, it can help people lose weight and improve their health. For instance, a person who rides a stationary bicycle for 30 minutes can burn 260 calories while a vigorous bike burns over 400 to 600 calories.

However, by simply adding some inclines to your routine, you can dramatically increase the burn. The best thing about a stationary bicycle is that, unlike an actual bike, you can take a route with many inclines and few declines, during which you’re not burning many calories.


Austria, Tyrol, couple hiking in the mountains

Hiking is an excellent exercise for those who love the outdoors or if you’re into urban exploring. However, please don’t count on it being the best for shedding pounds because it comes in pretty low on the calories-per-hour scale.

An average hike without too many steep inclines will burn about 350-400 calories per hour. Add some elevation gains to that hike, and you can boost the burned calories. Another good tip is to load up a backpack with extra weight. In the military, this is called “rucking,” and it’s excellent for building endurance.