Most Fat Burning Exercises

Making significant changes to your physique is undoubtedly a tough challenge, but it can be done with the right combination of proper diet and dedicated exercise. But not just any exercise will have you shedding pounds–some activities are more effective than others at burning calories and fat.


Swimming can be a great way to relax on a hot summer day, but it is also a highly effective way to burn calories. Burning more calories than you expend each day is the key to fat reduction, and swimming can help you do that. According to the activity calculator at NutriStrategy, an hour of vigorous lap swimming can burn up to 863 calories, while a light or moderate effort can burn just under 700 calories.


Running is a great way to burn fat because it doesn’t require exercise equipment and can be done nearly anywhere. Running burns a lot of calories, too. NutriStrategy’s activity calculator shows that running at a 10-minute mile pace for one hour can more than 850 calories, while a 12-minute mile pace burns 690 calories hourly. You may also want to try running before breakfast. According to strength and conditioning expert Josh Bryant, exercising before breakfast is ideal because your body will have to burn fat for energy in the absence of food. In addition, he points out that lipase, a fat cell releasing enzyme, is active in the morning.


Biking is another activity that is often associated with leisure. However, with enough effort, you can turn biking–whether on a stationary bike or outside–into a potent fat burning activity. Biking at around 11 miles per hour can burn up to 518 calories per hour, while biking at 19 miles per hour can burn more than 1,000 calories per hour, according to NutriStrategy’s activity calculator.

Weight Lifting

Weight lifting is an intense activity that demands a lot of energy from your body. And using up a lot of energy means you’ll be burning calories and dropping fat. Try to concentrate on compound lifts–those that involve the use of more than one muscle group– as those burn a lot of calories. One particularly effective exercise is the deadlift, which bodybuilder Randy Herring notes is ideal for “expending great amounts of energy and wasting calories.” Weight lifting also encourages muscle growth, which is important because muscles burn more calories than body fat. Dr. M. Doug McGuff points out that five pounds of muscle burn about 250 calories daily.

About this Author

Brian Willett began writing in 2005. He has been published in the “Buffalo News,” the “Daytona Times” and “Natural Muscle Magazine.” Willett also writes for and He is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of North Carolina.