Not all workouts are created equal.  Sure, you can spend time exercising without focus and still get the benefits that increased physical movement has on your body, but what about the results you’re really looking for – fat loss, muscle tone, stamina, endurance and strength.  Often when we first begin an exercise program, we see results like these rather quickly, but they don’t just show – and improve – without effort.

The word “effort” in exercise ultimately equates to your energy, or calorie, output.  If you’re going to spend time working out, wouldn’t you like your precious time to be time-well-spent with effective and efficient exercises that will lead to results?

You may not have the energy or mindset for every workout to live up to this standard, but if you apply this rule to the majority of your workouts, you will be thankful you did.

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In order to make the best use of your time and see results, try these 5 best calorie-burning exercises:

1. Burpees

2. Squat Jacks

3. Plank Rows

4. Plank Toe Lunges

5. Plank Toe Taps

best calorie burning exercise2

How do you further integrate these best calorie-burning exercises into your workout program?  It is important to understand which muscle groups you’re working with each of these exercises (see below).

Since they are such high calorie burning exercises, the goal is to exhaust these muscles, burn calories, become stronger, lose fat, and build stamina.  Each of these calorie burning exercises will raise your heart rate substantially and cause you to work hard (even when you chose to modify).

Here are my recommendations for you, based on your fitness level.

BEGINNER – I haven’t exercised consistently (3+ times/week) in the last 3 months but want to see results and push myself to a new level.

Exercise application: Choose 3 of these exercises to start with.  Incorporate 1 (one) each day for 3 days.  Perform 3 sets of 10-15 reps. On the following week, you can repeat the same sets of exercises, or pick a different 3.  

i.e. 

– Burpees – Monday 
– Plank Row – Wednesday 
– Squat Jacks – Friday

Perform 10-15 repetitions, without compromising proper form; rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat for 2 more sets of 15 reps on each day.

INTERMEDIATE – I have been consistently exercising for at least 3 months, 3+ times / week and am ready to push and see further results.

Exercise application: Incorporate 1 (one) of these exercises into your workout each day for 5 days.  Perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps. 

i.e. 

– Burpees – Monday 
– Plank Row – Tuesday 
– Squat Jack – Wednesday 
– Plank Toe Taps – Thursday 
– Burpee to Lunge – Friday 

Perform 10-15 repetitions, without compromising proper form; rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat for 2 more sets of 15 reps on each day.

ADVANCED – I have been consistently exercising for at least 3 months, 5+ times / week and am ready to dig deep.

Exercise application: Incorporate 2 (two) of these exercises into your workout each day for 3-4 days.  Perform 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps.  

i.e. 

– Plank Row + Squat Jack – Monday 
– Plank Toe Taps + Burpee to Lunge – Wednesday 
– Burpee + Plank Row – Friday 

Perform 15-20 repetitions, without compromising proper form; rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat for 2-4 more sets of 15-20 reps on each day.

For the INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED exerciser, it is especially important to be cautious of not overworking muscle groups.  If you have an exercise program in place to work specific muscle groups on certain days of the week (i.e. Chest on Monday), make sure you know where to put the above calorie-burning exercises by which muscles are being worked:

Burpee to Lunge – Legs, Core
Plank Row – Core, Shoulders, Back
Squat Jacks – Legs
Burpee – Legs, Chest, Core
Plank Toe-Taps – Core, Shoulders

The bolded word is the primary muscle group being worked in that exercise.  I would recommend adding Burpee to Lunge on Leg Day, for example. By incorporating these incredible best calorie-burning exercises into your weekly routine, you will amp up your energy output and therefore ramp up results.

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