Today I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite exercises to burn body fat.
What follows are exercises that I typically perform on a regular basis, although I may not complete them every single week.
I like to chop-and-change my workouts, usually every 6-8 weeks.
However, over the years I have found these exercises to be the best when it comes to burning body fat.
Some are fairly basic in nature, whereas others I would consider more advanced.
Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure – if you’re looking to get into fantastic shape, and whittle down your body fat, these exercises are the real deal.
Exercises to Burn Body Fat
Sprinting is without doubt one of the greatest exercises ever.
Whether you’re looking to gain muscle, strength, power, or you want to reduce your levels of body fat, sprints will do it for you.
With that said, sprinting isn’t for everyone, plus it certainly takes a toll on the body and the central nervous system.
So, any weaknesses in the lower body could soon be exposed through various injuries.
Furthermore, I’ve come across many articles and other people writing about sprinting, but as far as I’m concerned they’re talking about intervals, and not true sprinting.
I’ve read apparent sprint workouts that suggest that you “sprint” for one minute, rest for one minute, and repeat this 10 times to complete a workout.
This indeed a good fat-burning workout, but it’s running intervals and not proper sprinting.
There isn’t anyone on this earth that can sprint (properly) for one minute.
To me, a sprint is an absolute all-out effort, which most of us mere mortals won’t be able to keep up for more than a few seconds at most.
Case in point, let’s have a quick look at professional athletes.
The “sprints” are basically the 100m, 200m, and the 400m events.
However, I wouldn’t even consider the 400m a true sprint.
Looking at the men’s events, the 100m is typically completed in under 10 seconds, the 200m in under 20 seconds, whereas the 400m world record at the time of writing is 43.03 seconds, currently held by Wayde van Niekerk from South Africa.
It doesn’t quite compute does it?
Even though Wayde has produced an awesome time, he is still averaging around 10.76 seconds per 100m.
A further example would be the world record for the 4x100m held by the Jamaican sprint team is 36.84 seconds.
So, over 6 seconds faster than Wayde’s effort.
In truth, the 400m isn’t a proper sprint, as for a good 150-200m the athletes are “coasting” rather than putting in all-out effort.
So, for us “normal” people, most of us wouldn’t be able to put in absolute effort for more than 6-8 seconds.
For me, a sprint workout will typically be completed in about 12-15 minutes, and most of that time will be spent resting.
I generally sprint for no more than about 30-40m.
I will usually take 2-3 minutes of rest in between sprints, and complete no more than 5-6 sprints in total.
This way I know I am giving it my all with every single set.
I’ll spend a good 10-15 minutes warming up, and I don’t just mean a quick jog.
My hamstrings, glutes, adductors, quads, hips, and hip flexors are going to be put under severe pressure here, so I need to ensure that they are all fully warmed up and extremely mobile.
Additionally, sprinting is not something that you can expect to do every single day, and you will need to build up to multiple workouts a week.
When I’ve got my sprinting head on I still rarely sprint more than 2-3 times a week.
But, even with just a couple of workouts a week, sprinting is still one of the greatest exercises to burn body fat.
The burpee really is one of those exercises that most people despise.
However, I heard a saying many years ago, and it’s definitely one that has stuck with me:
“The exercises that you hate doing the most are the ones you should be doing more often”.
This is a principle that I have adhered to most of my life and it does seem to pay dividends.
Love it or hate it, the burpee is definitely one of the best exercises out there in terms of conditioning, building strength, losing weight, and burning fat.
You literally work every muscle from head to toe.
In fact, I remember a time when I replaced jogging with doing burpees.
I guess my regular readers will know by now that I hate jogging, and I don’t actually think it does much for any of us after the initial 3-4 week period after first starting.
However, rather than taking a 20-minute jog most mornings, as I say, I went through a period of setting a timer for 20 minutes and simply trying to get in as many burpees as I could.
I’m sure that sounds absolutely horrific to most of you, and trust me, some days it really sucked.
If memory serves me correctly, I would perform anywhere between 250-300 burpees (I always perform burpees with a push up and a jump), depending on how I felt, and what day of the week it was.
I can tell you now, just doing something like that 5 days a week for about a month, and most people will have completely transformed their physiques.
With that said, unless you already possess a fairly high level of strength and fitness, I would not suggest going straight in at this level, as you’re just asking for an injury.
Nevertheless, I see nothing wrong with starting out at 5 minutes a day and slowly working your way up.
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3. Kettlebell Swings
It seems like about a couple of decades ago the kettlebell swing took over the world, and was hailed as one of the greatest exercises ever.
This seemed like something new and fancy, although kettlebell exercises and workouts have been around for many years longer.
However, kettlebells enjoyed a resurgence in popularity towards the end of the 1990s and early 2000s, and it seems as though they are here to stay.
The kettlebell swing is a basic hip hinge movement, but also an exercise that can literally torch calories and body fat.
The entire posterior chain gets a decent going over, but this is especially true of the hamstrings and glutes.
I would also rate the kettlebell swing as one of the best core exercises you could possibly be doing.
If you want abs, then you best start swinging that kettlebell.
Possibly, one of the most famous workouts involving the kettlebell is the 10,000 swings.
This is something that I have performed a number of times.
You are basically looking to perform 10,000 kettlebell swings over the period of a month, while only doing very basic exercises with extremely low volume in addition.
Rather than me repeating myself, you can check out my article about my full body single kettlebell workout, which covers this in more detail.
4. Goblet Squat
I’ve mentioned before that the goblet squat is probably one of my favourite ever exercises.
Firstly, I will say that if you’re looking to burn body fat then focusing on the largest muscles in the body is the best way to achieve this.
For me, I have learned to concentrate much more on the lower body in recent years, as this houses most of the largest muscles.
This was initially due to injury, and the fact that my lower body was very weak when compared to my upper body.
I’m not sure if this is a “guy thing”, as many of us seem to focus heavily on the “showy muscles” of the upper body, especially the chest and arms.
However, the more I worked on my lower body, the better I saw my overall body composition become.
With the goblet squat you will of course be working some of the largest muscles in the body, especially the quads, glutes, and hips.
But, simply by holding a weight in place in front of you, the upper body certainly gets a great workout, plus just as with the kettlebell swing, the core definitely gets a good going over too.
In fact, once again looking at abs, regular supersets or circuits of goblet squats and kettlebell swings will produce an amazing looking midsection.
You can read more about my love of the goblet squat.
As I’ve mentioned, by working the larger muscles of the body, the more likely you are to burn fat.
I would say that this is also true if you can find exercises that work many muscles of the body all in one go.
The thruster just happens to be one of these exercises.
For me, I always prefer to drop into a full squat before pushing back up and pressing a weight overhead.
I will often use various equipment to perform thrusters as well.
I guess the standard approach will be to use dumbbells, but you can still perform a fantastic set of thrusters using kettlebells, a barbell, sandbag, medicine ball, or basically any other weight.
The thruster will also have you breathing very heavily after just a few reps, and once again, this is an exercise that I would much rather prefer to use as “cardio” than pounding on a pavement for several hours a week.
6. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are typically viewed as an ab exercise, but they are so much more than that.
You will literally work a vast array of muscles in the body, and I’m sure we all know that doing them at pace certainly revs up the cardiovascular system.
I guess the best way to describe a mountain climber is as a type of moving plank.
You start off in the plank or push up position and then alternate bringing your knees to your chest.
You can of course complete mountain climbers slowly or quickly, depending on what you’re looking to achieve.
RELATED====>Mountain Climbers Exercise FAQ
There are also many variations of the mountain climber as well, with one of my preferred methods being the spiderman mountain climber.
This is where you place your foot outside of (and next to) your hand.
As mentioned, this is a great fat burning exercise for the abs, or more specifically the core.
The hip flexors also work extremely hard, as you drive the legs forwards and backwards again.
I know many people love to perform TRX mountain climbers, as the additional instability of having your feet placed in suspension straps gets your core working even harder.
7. Bear Crawls
The bear crawl is another type of moving plank, so you may consider this initially as a core exercise.
With that said, once again bear crawls work numerous muscles in the body.
I have used bear crawls in a variety of ways, even as a warm up.
As you’re working so many muscles in the body at the same time, this could be the ideal way to get yourself “warm” before you start your workout.
I have also used bear crawls on their own, typically over very long distances.
Then again, you can use them as part of a circuit.
However, even just performing bear crawls for 30-45 second sets you will notice that your heart rate increases rapidly, you’re breathing heavily, and you can feel a lot of muscles working at the same time.
So, if you’re looking to burn body fat, the bear crawl has all the hallmarks of the perfect exercise.
CHECK THIS OUT====>What is The Bear Crawl Exercise?
8. Walking Lunges
The lunge is known as an awesome lower body exercise, as you work the quads and glutes, as well as some focus on the hamstrings.
There are of course many variations of lunges, but I love performing high reps of walking lunges.
In fact, this is yet another exercise that you could use to replace jogging, and you are likely to achieve far more in terms of fat burning and conditioning.
I have often completed walking lunges around the entire length of my local park, often hitting well over 800 walking lunges non-stop.
I will also sometimes finish off my gym workouts by completing a couple of hundred walking lunges.
I know as a beginner it is probably more advisable to stick to a few sets of much lower reps, e.g. 10-20 reps.
However, with practice you can definitely up the numbers of walking lunges you are performing.
It’s best to have a fair amount of space, so I usually perform walking lunges outdoors.
With that said, even at my local gym I have enough room to complete 10 walking lunges before having to turn around and come back again.
I have even performed this exercise in my front room, but this means that I’m having to turn around and reset every 2 steps.
You can even throw other exercises into the mix while performing walking lunges and turn it into a full body fat burning workout.
Check out Dr. Joe’s 10 x 10 walking lunge challenge in this video.
9. Skipping (Jump Rope)
My first real insight into the fact that skipping might be a great exercise for burning body fat was when I used to see boxers looking to drop a few pounds for a weigh-in.
In fact, there were times when I had seen a boxer not able to hit the required weight, go off with a sweat suit (or even wearing a black bag), and then skip for 15-20 minutes.
They’d return to the scales straight afterwards and had somehow lost 1-2 pounds in weight in that short period of time.
I think this shows you just how good skipping is for burning fat and losing weight.
Skipping isn’t an exercise that I perform all the time, but I’ll typically go through stages every year when I will focus on the jump rope.
I find it’s also great for coordination and mobility, plus you are guaranteed to trim down with some regular skipping.
One of my preferred fat-burning workouts will involve supersetting skipping with another exercise on this list, namely burpees.
I’ll complete 100 skips and 10 burpees for 10 sets.
My workout is generally done in under 13 minutes and I know I have just sent my metabolism into overdrive.
Here’s Simeon Panda to illustrate how you can use the jump rope, bodyweight exercises, and active rest to complete a superb fat-burning workout in around 10 minutes.
10. Loaded Carries
The loaded carry is another “go-to” exercise for me, simply because it provides so many benefits.
This is literally as simple as, pick a weight up and carry it.
There are many variations with the most famous being the farmer’s walk.
You can perform farmer’s walks with just a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells.
The weight you use and the distance you look to travel will very much depend on your overall goals.
I’ve seen much talk of walking for under 30 seconds for strength, 1 minute for building muscle, and 2 minutes for burning fat, etc.
For me, even carrying a very heavy set of dumbbells for no more than 20 seconds, and then repeated a few times, will still have some superb fat-burning effects.
This is because you will be kicking the metabolism up while performing the farmer’s walk.
There are many variations of the loaded carries.
You can read more about the carries I love performing in my article on the Best Gym Workout to Burn Fat.
So, there you have my list of what I consider some fantastic exercises to burn body fat.
You can choose to perform some of these in a circuit, or even as a standalone exercise.
One thing’s for sure is that all the exercises on the above list will raise the metabolism, while torching calories and body fat.
If burning body fat and getting into great shape is your thing, then I suggest you check out my Bodyweight Burn Review.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.