Hi fitness enthusiasts! It’s good to be back with you and to get into another great topic to expand and maximize your efforts in the gym! There are so many popular topics out there, but I must say that what I’m writing about today seems not as common as it should be. Regardless, it is a great topic and very good fitness question!

So what exercise does burn the most calories?

Well, it’s best to think of it in terms of what TYPE of exercise burns the most… When it comes to fitness and pushing the body to work hard, there are a few variables that must be utilized in your routine to maximize that…. You have to train large muscles and muscle groups which would require exercises using the legs, back and core in ways where you are moving all possible joints typically in functional free motion movements.


For example, a squat or deadlift burns more than a bicep curl or chest fly because the leg and hip muscles are larger and you are also working around knee, hip and ankle joints as opposed to just elbow or just shoulder in those other simpler exercises …

Aside from focusing on large muscles and multi joint exercises, another huge variable is pace, speed and the overall intensity with which you perform the exercise. So doing that deadlift, squat or any other large muscle exercise, but turning it into a power clean or a jump squat increases the speed and power of the movement and allows you to burn more calories by making your body exert itself more.

Lastly, you need to do exercises like the type i’ve just mentioned in a large enough amount each session in order to really maximize calorie burn. So you should be working towards being able to do up to at least a few of these exercises 4 or 5 rounds each during a particular workout.

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So here are the best exercises to burn the highest amount of calories and work with multiple muscles simultaneously to produce that high calorie burn…. Be safe, progress slowly and modify certain moves if needed.

Train smart!

  • Squats and Deadlifts progressing to explosive versions like power cleans
  • Explosive Presses like power pushups and chest passes
  • Active Plank and core exercises like Burpees and Plank towel slides
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Low plank to High plank into a Burpee and back down

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
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