12 fat-burning exercises for weight loss

Add running, squats and deadlifts to your daily fitness routine! Check out an expert-recommended list of the 12 best exercises to burn fat and lose weight.
fat burning exercises
These exercises may help you burn fat and lose weight! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 18 Jun 2024, 05:03 pm IST
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Burning stubborn fat cannot be an overnight achievement. It takes consistency, dedication, hard work and patience to follow a healthy lifestyle and a rigorous workout routine. While trying to melt away your bulges, you can’t miss the importance of fat-burning exercises! These workouts are essential for maintaining a healthy weight and improving overall fitness. Fat-burning exercises, such as squats, running and strength training, increase your heart rate and metabolism, helping your body burn calories more efficiently. They not only boost weight loss but also tone up muscles and improve cardiovascular health. All in all, including these exercises into your routine can lead to sustained weight loss, better stamina, and a stronger, leaner physique. So, are you ready for your weight loss transformation?

Best fat-burning exercises

Here are 12 best fat-burning exercises that can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight.

1. Running

Running is a high-intensity cardiovascular exercise that boosts calorie burn. “It increases heart rate and engages multiple muscle groups, promoting fat burn throughout the body,” says fitness expert Yash Agarwal.

Woman running
Running is one of the most effective ways to burn fat. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to perform: Start with a warm-up, then jog at a comfortable pace. Gradually increase speed or incorporate intervals of sprinting and jogging to maximize fat burning.

2. Skipping

Skipping, or jumping rope, is a full-body workout that improves coordination, endurance, and cardiovascular health. It targets the legs, core, and arms while enhancing calorie burn.

How to perform: Hold the jump rope handles, keeping your elbows close to your body. Jump over the rope, landing softly on the balls of your feet. Increase intensity by jumping faster or adding variations.

3. Lunges

Lunges target the lower body muscles such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.”This helps improve balance and stability in the body. They are effective for shaping your legs and burning calories,” explains Agarwal.

Woman doing jumping lunges
Lunges can help in your weight loss journey. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to perform: Stand tall, step one foot forward, and lower your body until both knees form 90-degree angles. Keep the front knee aligned with the ankle and the back knee just above the floor. Once done, alternate legs.

4. Mountain climber

Mountain climbers are a dynamic exercise that engages the core, shoulders, and legs. They elevate heart rate quickly, promote calorie burn, and improve cardiovascular fitness.

How to perform: Begin in a plank position, hands directly under shoulders. Drive one knee towards the chest, then quickly switch legs, alternating in a running motion. Maintain a steady pace.


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5. Squats

Squats are effective for strengthening the lower body, including the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. It also engages the core and helps tighten belly muscles. They improve overall muscle tone and increase calorie burn.

How to perform: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Lower your body as if sitting back in a chair, keeping your chest and your knees behind your toes. Push through heels to stand up.

6. Swimming

Swimming is a low-impact, full-body exercise that burns calories and tones muscles. It enhances cardiovascular endurance and targets major muscle groups like the back, arms, and legs.

How to perform: While swimming, focus on your breathing, learn to improve your balance in the water, and always wear goggles.

Also read: Water workout: 7 pool exercises to burn calories and lose weight

A woman swimming in the pool
Swimming can help in weight loss and fat burn. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

7. Cycling

Cycling is a cardiovascular exercise that strengthens leg muscles and improves endurance. It burns calories effectively, especially when cycling at a moderate to increased pace.

How to perform: Ride a stationary bike or cycle outdoors. Maintain a comfortable pace for you and try to keep your shoulders relaxed, bent elbows, knees aligned with feet, and the spine relaxed.

Also read: Want to burn calories for weight loss? Try cycling everyday

8. Deadlifts

Deadlifts are a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the back, glutes, hamstrings, and core. They improve overall strength and metabolic rate, aiding in fat loss.

How to perform: Stand with feet hip-width apart, barbell in front of you. Hinge at hips to lower torso, keeping back flat and chest up, until you can grasp the bar. Lift by extending your hips and knees.

9. Kettlebell Swings

“Kettlebell swings are a powerful exercise for building strength and improving cardiovascular fitness,” according to Agarwal. They engage the posterior chain—back, glutes, and hamstrings—while boosting calorie burn.

Hamstring Exercises for Stronger Legs
Kettlebell swing is an effective fat burning exercise. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

How to perform: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width, kettlebell between legs. Hinge at hips, grasp the kettlebell with both hands, then swing it forward and up to chest height, using hip power.

10. Push-ups

Push-ups strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles. They improve upper body strength and stability and increase heart rate for excessive calorie burn.

How to perform: Start in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, then push back up. Modify with knees on the floor if needed.

11. Box jump

Box jumps are plyometric exercises that enhance explosive power and calorie burn. They target leg muscles, which include quads, hamstrings, and calves, and improving cardiovascular fitness.

How to perform: Stand in front of a sturdy box or platform. Bend your knees, then jump onto the box, landing softly with your knees slightly bent. Step down carefully and repeat, adjusting box height for intensity.

12. High knees

High knees are a cardio-intensive exercise that elevates heart rate and improves coordination and stamina. They engage core muscles and leg muscles while burning calories.

A woman doing high knees on a beach
High knees can help in weight loss. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to perform: Stand tall, lift one knee towards the chest as high as possible, then quickly switch legs, alternating as if running in place. Maintain a brisk pace, pumping your arms for added intensity.

Tips for exercising safely

When performing these fat-burning exercises, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Always start with a 5 to 10 minute warm-up exercise to prepare your muscles and prevent injuries.
  • Focus on maintaining correct form and posture to reduce the risk of injury.
  • Stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout session.
  • Take frequent breaks between workouts and allow adequate rest to let your muscles recover.
  • Perform these exercises at least 3–4 times per week.
  • Listen to your body and stop if you experience pain or any uncomfortable symptoms, especially chest pain.
  • To lose weight, following a healthy diet is also crucial. So, make sure you follow a nutritious diet packed with essential nutrients.

By following these tips and exercises, you can see a difference in your weight soon!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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