You will be hard-pressed to find someone who is not willing to lose some body fat and gain muscle. Even if you don’t want to lose weight, most people are interested in changing their body composition so that they burn body fat and become more ripped with muscle and lean body mass. Moreover, losing fat is not just a vanity point, because excess body fat increases the risk of metabolic diseases, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
When combined with a nutritious, calorie-controlled diet, exercise is a highly effective way to lose weight and burn fat. Exercise burns calories and can also affect your metabolic rate. However, when it comes to fat burning and weight loss exercises, not all forms of exercise are created equal. Some workouts and exercises will help you burn calories and turn your metabolism into fat-burning mode more than others, so if you have big weight loss goals, keep reading for our list of the best fat-burning exercises.
How does aerobic exercise burn?
Before delving into specific fat burning exercises and workouts, it is helpful to address what is meant by “fat burning.” When most people say they want to lose weight, they mean they want to lose body fat. “Weight” also refers to fat-free mass, which includes muscles, bones, organs, etc., so fat burning exercises are designed to help you lose body fat.
Most importantly, exercise can help you lose body fat in a number of ways, as discussed below.
Body fat is basically stored energy. Each pound of body fat provides approximately 3,500 calories of energy, which means that when you consume more calories than you expend, you will gain 1 pound of body fat for every 3,500 extra calories. Likewise, you will lose 1 pound of fat for every 3,500 calories you create. All forms of exercise burn calories, so exercise and physical activities contribute to the spending side of the equation. Whether you choose to walk, swim, lift weights, take a yoga class, or jump, you’ll consume a certain amount of calories based on the intensity of your workout, the muscles involved, your body weight and composition, and the duration of your workout. High intensity exercises that involve your entire body or large muscle groups will burn more calories than low intensity exercises or those that work isolated muscles.
Certain exercises burn fat
Here’s where things can start to get a little confusing. While all exercise burns calories (and burning calories can contribute to weight loss), exercises done at a lower intensity actually burn a greater percentage of calories from fat cells while more active workouts are mostly fueled by glycogen, It is a storage form of carbohydrates. Because of the way energy production pathways work, fat oxidation slows down when the intensity of exercise increases, but that doesn’t mean you’ll end up burning more body fat by walking versus running, for example. You will burn a greater percentage of calories from fat by walking, but the total number of calories burned in a running workout for the same length of time will be much higher, so the fat loss will still be greater than the walking loss. However, this does not mean that low-intensity exercises cannot be effective fat-burning exercises; However, it is less efficient than high intensity activities.
Exercising increases your metabolic rate
Finally, exercise increases your metabolic rate. While you definitely burn calories during a workout, depending on the intensity of your workout, you’ll also continue to burn more calories than your base rate for several hours after your workout. Known as post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), this speeding up of your metabolism is due to your body trying to repair and restore everything back to baseline. Furthermore, over time, a consistent exercise program can increase your overall metabolic rate as long as you build muscle because muscle is ten times more metabolically active than fat. Thus, building muscle helps you eat more calories day in and day out, which can lead to that deficit you need to lose fat.
Best fat burning exercises
The best fat burning workouts either burn a large number of calories during your workout, increase your metabolic rate afterward, or help you become a fat burning machine by increasing your lean body mass. Below, we share the four best fat burning exercises.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT, which includes repeated bouts of very vigorous exercise and periods of recovery, is the best way to burn fat. Research shows that HIIT burns as many calories as moderate-intensity exercise in one-third to half the time. Furthermore, higher intensity HIIT dramatically increases EPOC burn, resulting in an increase in your metabolism for up to 24 hours after exercise. Great HIIT exercises for burning fat include Burpees, box jumps, squat jumps, jumping jacks, rope skipping, punching bag/speed punches, sprints, and running ladders.
Depending on the exercises you choose and the loads you lift, strength training can burn a lot of calories. Total-body exercises and compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and power cleans, especially with heavy weights, take a lot of energy. However, the real payoff from strength training comes from the metabolic benefits reaped from building muscle mass. To better support muscle hypertrophy, use heavy weights for fewer repetitions.
Plyometrics involves explosive movements and rapid development of strength. You can think of plyometrics as “jumping training,” using such exercises as squat jumps, burpees, and box jumps. These exercises require not only the cardiovascular system, but also large muscle groups. Like HIIT exercises, plyometrics ramps up your metabolism for hours after you finish your workout.
stable heart condition
Exercises like running, cycling, spinning, swimming, rowing, hiking, and elliptical training are sure to burn a lot of calories, especially if your workouts are long. The burn will be less than a more intense workout, but consistent cardio can certainly contribute to generating the calorie deficit you need to burn fat. When doing cardio, going up an incline will also increase your calorie burn. Whether it’s hiking, running, walking on the treadmill or outside, head for hills, stairs, or go up the incline to maximize your fat-burning effectiveness.
Exercise can certainly help you lose fat and improve body composition, although the importance of diet’s contribution to weight loss cannot be overstated. The best fat burning exercises will help you burn calories efficiently and improve your metabolism to mobilize stored fat. However, any type of exercise can support your weight loss goals, so choose an activity you enjoy — or mix it up perfectly.