Most-Effective Exercises For Weight Loss

The 6 Most-Effective Exercises For Weight Loss

Written By : Dr Ruby Shah   ✓ Fact Checked

Struggling to piece together your own workout for fat-loss? Add this exercises to your workout plan and watch the fat melt off.

(Last Updated on May 14, 2024)

Weight loss is a process.

Taking up healthy eating habits is the first step to losing the extra pounds; however, exercise is also necessary.

Regular and intense workouts, torch calories, boost metabolism, strengthen bones, enhance muscle growth, and tone muscles.

If you are engaging in sweaty workouts to lose weight, there is a high possibility that you want to know if you are doing the most effective exercises to burn fat.

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It is almost certain you have read various viewpoints on how to get your heart rate higher.

Most fitness experts say that aerobic exercises-cardio workouts are the best for calorie burn while others swear by strength training exercises.

So you are left wondering, what’s the right direction.

The truth is both cardio and lifting weights workouts are ideal for weight loss.

Cardio exercises burn fat as you perform them; they offer direct results while strength training enhances post-workout calorie burn for hours or days; this means it provides an extended calorie-burn effect.

Strength training exercises enhance the growth of muscles.

Muscles are the most metabolically active tissues; thus, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn in the long run.

But, which exact exercises accelerate calorie burn?

Here are some of the top workouts that burn the most calories.

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Most-Effective Exercises For Weight Loss

1. Running


Running is one of the most effective and accessible ways of shedding extra pounds.

It only calls for a good pair of sneakers, comfy tops, and pants, and a sports bra for women to start.

It is estimated that running burns the highest number of calories.

For instance, if you weigh 140 pounds, running 3.1 miles in 10 minutes per mile burns about 328 calories.

Your weight and intensity play a significant role in the number of calories you burn.

Intensity impacts the number of calories you burn even after exercise.

The more intense the workout is, the more oxygen is consumed to repair muscles after a workout, increasing the calories burned in a day.

If you want to shed off weight, light jogging is not the technique to adopt; get up a hill or sprint up the stairs to work your glutes and leg muscles.

Running combines various muscles accelerating increased calorie burn.

When done in high-intensity levels such as interval runs, stair sprints, and hill repeats, they offer an after-burn effect.

An after-burn effect means that running continues to burn calories even after the workout, lasting almost 48 hours later.

This is because the muscles involved need the energy to repair and recover.

Research 1 shows that the after-burn effect promotes more calorie burn for more extended periods even after working out.

Additionally, running is one of the aerobic exercises 2 that have been proven to burn visceral fat (belly fat).


Aim to run for at least 30 minutes each session, 3 to 4 times every week.

It is advisable to run with a friend to keep you motivated and have fun in your weight loss journey.

2. Strength Training

Strength training

Strength training is also known as weight training or resistance training.

Most people focus on cardiovascular exercises to burn fat, but you need to combine it with strength training exercises that build new muscles and maintain existing muscles to facilitate more calorie burn.

A 2015 study 3 by Harvard School of Public Health showed that men who engaged in strength training for 12 years gained low abdominal fat compared to men who participated in cardio for the same period.

Additionally, another 2012 study 4 by Duke University involved 119 obese participants who were divided into three groups: those who performed aerobic training, those who performed resistant training and those who performed a combination of cardio and strength training exercises for 8 months.

Results showed that the groups that performed aerobic exercise and a combination of both lost fat and body mass while the groups that engaged in resistant training and a combination of both had increased lean mass and fat loss.

Strength training increases muscle gain, which accelerates metabolism and boosts weight loss all day, even when the body is at rest.

Weight lighting increases lean mass, which triggers Resting Metabolic Rate ( RMR); boosted RMR causes sustainable weight loss.

Here are effective strength training workouts to include in your weight loss plan.

  • Twisting lunge.
  • Single-leg deadlift.
  • Squats.
  • Inverted row.
  • Russian twist.
  • Push press.


Aim to include resistance training in your workout regime, at least 3 times every week.

Besides, you can use barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells for added resistance.

Strength training raises your resting metabolic rate, which means that the body burns calories even at rest when you are not working out.

3. Jumping rope

Jumping rope

Jumping rope is part of a cardio exercise that aims to tone the whole body.

It can burn a good number of calories.

It is estimated that this exercise burns about 1300 calories every hour of vigorous skipping.

Doing these workouts for 10 minutes is similar to running an 8-minute mile.

It involves the whole body; thus, it burns calories in a short time.


Jumping rope builds stamina, tightens your core, and burns calories.

Do not do these workouts barefoot to avoid toe injuries.

Combine with other aerobic exercises such as running and resistance training to burn more calories and avoid hitting a plateau- when the body gets used to a specific routine.

4. Swimming


Swimming is a low-impact workout that burns calories, strengthens muscles, and promotes cardiovascular health.

It is also fit for injury prevention.

The American College of Sports states that how you swim affects the number of calories you burn.

A 70-kg (155 pounds) 5 individual burns  528 calories performing freestyle, 409 calories performing butterfly, 372 calories performing breaststroke and treading water, and 298 calories performing backstroke in a 30 minutes swimming session.

Your body weight, swim speed, swim stroke are the main factors that determine how many calories you burn.


The secret to losing the most calories while swimming is performing high-intensity interval swimming dispersed with recovery time.

For example, swim as fast as you can for about 40 seconds and take a 40-second rest and repeat several times.

5. Yoga


Yoga is commonly known to relieve stress and offer relaxation.

People underestimate the power of yoga in burning calories.

According to Harvard Medical School 6, a 30-minutes yoga session helps burn about 149 calories in a 70-kg individual.

There are different poses in yoga that tone the body, build strength, and promote relaxation while others, such as power yoga, have a unique association with weight loss.

Power yoga combines the properties of aerobics and strength training.

It focuses on boosting stamina and enhancing internal heat.

Power yoga involves fewer poses that are performed longer and focuses on strength training the whole body.

Moreover, yoga promotes mindful eating, thus avoiding overeating, choosing healthy foods and resisting sugar cravings.

If you cannot access the gym, you can practice yoga in the comfort of your home.

Here are some poses to get you burning calories.

  • Bridge pose.
  • Plank.
  • Shoulder stand.
  • Warrior II.
  • Twisted chair.
  • Bow.
  • Triangle.


Yoga will not only help you burn calories, but it will also help control your cravings and practice mindful eating.

6. Boxing


People are turning to unconventional ways of losing fat in modern society.

That said, a lot of people are engaging in boxing, commonly known as martial arts, to burn calories.

Boxing is one of the effective ways of burning fat.

Here is why.

Boxing is an intense cardio workout that engages both the upper and lower body.

Intensive pad work exercises, fast-paced punching, and striking techniques improve both aerobic and anaerobic breathing.

Also, it involves the whole body.

Boxing is not just about punching; it includes footwork, and weaving, head movement, and skipping that enhances speed and power.

It engages all body parts; hence, it burns fat and enhances building lean muscles.

Studies show that you can burn about 800 to 1000 calories in an hour boxing session.

Boxing-interval techniques such as heavy bag, circular body bag, skipping, focus mitts, and footwork drills will help you lose body fat and achieve a sculpted body.


If you are a beginner, perform the following techniques with your partner at home: shadow boxing, fat-scorching exercises, defensive movements, cardio boxing, focus mitt work, and stance.

They will help boost muscular strength and increase cardio endurance.

Keep your hands above the chin to shield your face and tuck in the elbows to shield the ribs.


Experts recommend that you should lose 0.5 to 1.36kgs every week with regular exercises.

Many exercises promote weight loss, but some are more effective.

They include running, strength training, jumping rope, swimming, yoga, and boxing.

To realize a higher fat loss, increase your intensity and speed when performing the exercises.

Read next: 6 Proven Tips For Burning Belly Fat

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