Try These 15 High Intensity Workouts For Maximum Calorie Burn

Last updated on : June 25 2021

Sportswoman jumping and stretching

Article Summary

Do you want to maximize your workout time at the gym? Then find out which activities burn calories at a high pace.

A quick cardio session is good to burn large amounts of calories in little time. However, many other activities work out your whole body and consume calories just as effectively.

We've partnered with to create this fantastic guide of our calorie-burning favorites.

1. Rope Jumping

2. Sprinting

3. Swimming

4. Jogging

5. What About Burpees?

6. Cross-Country Skiing

7. Rowing

8. Hill Workouts

9. Rock Climbing

10. Tabata Training Modifications

11. High-Knee Runs & Butt Kicks

12. Mountain Climbers

13. Stationary Bicycling

14. Aerobic Dancing

15. HIIT Training



1. Rope Jumping

It's no secret that rope jumping or skipping is key to getting your heart rate up and burning more calories.

However, not everyone can keep at jumping for long. If you're planning on doing this for a quick workout, give yourself a few moments of rest every few minutes. Otherwise, you'll tire out quickly.

Depending upon the intensity of your workout, you can burn up to 900 calories every hour. That's around 450 calories per 30 minutes, making rope jumping the quickest way to burn calories on our list.

A sufficient intensity is 120 skips per minute. Anything lower and you can expect to see a drop in calories burned.

2. Sprinting

Running at full speed isn't ideal for those who want to burn a decent amount of calories in a short time - it's too tiring.

It's more effective to keep your heart rate elevated while maximizing the time spent sprinting. To achieve this, run for sixty seconds at a full sprint and then rest for another minute by walking or jogging. Keep this going for a solid thirty minutes, and you have yourself an excellent fat-burning workout.

Just thirty minutes of running with this HIIT type method can burn a steady 500 calories per session. And is ideal for those who can't fit in a long workout.  

3. Swimming

Another fun aerobic activity is swimming, which is one of the best ways to burn calories if you have bad joints.

Swimming is an excellent total-body workout that burns calories without causing aches and pain. Many people who suffer from injuries, are overweight, or have weaker bones from old age tend to prefer swimming. This preference is because when you're in the water, it doesn't put stress on your joints. 

Of course, the intensity of your swimming affects how many calories you burn.

Depending on your fitness level, swimming burns up to 400 calories in just 30 minutes. Although, this requires that you're swimming at least breaststroke consistently for the full time.  

4. Jogging

Jogging is an effective method for beginners to help burn some extra calories.

There are multiple types of jogging to do either outdoors or in the gym. If you don't want to put additional pressure on your joints, using an elliptical can help simulate the motion of jogging without upsetting your joints. 

You can burn up to 372 calories per 30 minutes of jogging if you're at a steady pace. The recommended speed is around six miles per hour.

However, run at a level that's comfortable for you. For most people, keeping your heart rate at about 140 bpm will provide calorie burn benefits. 

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5. What About Burpees?

Burpees are one of the most challenging cardio exercises, but they burn a lot of calories while also building your lower body strength. To start, be in a standing position with your legs apart and your shoulders straight.

From there, you want to dip down as if doing a squat and then lower yourself into a pushup position. Push yourself back up and squat again before leaping into the air and jumping. Repeat this motion as many times as needed while giving yourself a few seconds of rest between each rep.

If you perform burpees vigorously for at least 30 minutes, you can burn up to 298 calories. However, it would be best if you took short breaks in between, or else you'll find yourself tiring out before the 30 minutes are up. Be sure to catch your breath.

6. Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing allows you to use your whole body while also burning calories.

It's an excellent activity for those who live in a winter climate or have access to skiing ranges. We recommend cross-country because the right course allows you to continue at a consistent pace over a long time. 

If you're always moving your body, you can burn around 198 calories in just 30 minutes of skiing. However, many people ski longer than 30 minutes at a time.

If you're looking for a sport to get active during the winter, you can't go wrong trying this.

7. Rowing

Another indoor and outdoor activity that burns high amounts of calories is rowing.

Rowing works mainly in the upper body and core, including the hamstrings, glutes, core, back, and shoulders. You'll also be using the triceps, biceps, and other parts of your body. 

Depending on how intensely you row, you can burn up to 316 calories every 30 minutes.

Rowing may not be suitable for everyone. It's also one of the more difficult sports to find due to needing special equipment. Some gyms may have stationary rowers, but not all of them.

8. Hill Workouts

If you want to maximize your caloric burn, then running at an incline can help.

Whether you do this outdoors or at the gym on a treadmill, you can still see a massive difference in calories burned with a slight change in incline. Try adding an incline to your walk or jogging exercise to see a higher caloric burn.

Running on a steep hill can cause you to burn up to 10% more calories than if you were jogging on flat land. That means that the average person can run at 5 miles per hour and still burn up to 373 calories. If you were to run without the incline, that number would drop down to 298 calories.

Read MoreFive Unexpected Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Run

9. Rock Climbing

Another full-body workout that burns calories is rock climbing. You'll be using every muscle group in your body as you try to balance your weight.

The need to keep balance helps build muscle and keeps your whole body engaged during the workout. Whether you're choosing to climb outdoors or in the gym, you can burn significant calories.

The average person can expect to burn up to 409 calories within a half-hour period, without stopping to catch your breath. You will need to keep moving to burn this amount actively.

10. Tabata Training Modifications

Tabata is a type of training method that consists of high-intensity intervals. It is a highly effective exercise to burn calories. The general rule for Tabata exercises is that you must be doing it consistently for 20 seconds before giving yourself 10 seconds of recovery.

Depending on what type of workout you're using with Tabata style, the calories you burn will be different. Let's say that you were pairing it with 30 minutes of crunches. You'd burn at least 15 calories every minute. By the end of the workout session, you would have burned up to 450 calories.

However, if you were to switch to doing Tabata with jump roping or another cardio workout, you'll burn even more calories.

Tabata training boosts your heart rate, allowing you to burn more than performing the underlying activity by itself.

However, Tabata isn't easy, and you must push yourself to your limits to maximize your calorie burn.

11. High-Knee Runs & Butt Kicks

High knee running and butt kicks are vigorous cardio workouts that require discipline. If performed with proper form, they elevate your heart rate and strengthen your lower body's muscles.

A short session of either high-knee runs, butt kicks, or a mixture of both can burn many calories.

Just thirty minutes of continued exercise can burn around 240-350 calories. However, it depends on what pace you're going.

12. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are the best way to burn calories and to strengthen your core and get a full-body workout. If your goal is to improve yourself while also getting a cardio workout, we highly recommend mountain climbers.  

Although it may be hard to perform them for 30 minutes straight, we recommend taking short breaks and working in intervals.

In a short 30 minute session, you can expect to burn anywhere from 240-356 calories.

13. Stationary Bicycling

If the other workouts sound too hard or you have an injury that prevents you from working out, you can still get a good cardio workout.

Stationary biking puts less pressure on your joints and burns the same amount of calories as running does. The only difference is that you may need to put in a bit more effort while biking.

Biking using high-intensity intervals can help keep your heart rate elevated and burn calories fast in a small session. If you're biking vigorously for at least 30 minutes, you can expect to burn up to 300 calories. 

14. Aerobic Dancing

If you're less into repetitive movement, then another fun activity can be an aerobic dance.

There are plenty of dance classes available. However, if you don't want to pay, there are many tutorials to follow online. Dancing can be fun, and a quick 30-minute session can pass without you even realizing it.

Find a few songs that get you moving to burn calories at home. Or try popular dance methods like Zumba and Bokwa.

A simple 30-minute session can burn up to 270 calories. That's nine calories per minute.  

15. HIIT Training

The last on our list is the most popular form of high-intensity workouts that burn calories called a HIIT workout.

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and is similar to the Tabata method. However, it requires that you are doing an aerobic exercise.

To perform HIIT, you will start with a quick 5-minute warmup of walking at a brisk pace. From there, you can bring your speed up to 7 miles per hour and continue to do that for 1 minute. 

After that, give yourself a quick 2-minute break lowering it down to 5.5 miles per hour. Then switch back up to the faster feed and repeat. Finish with a cooldown.

HIIT can burn up to 370 calories per 30 minutes, depending on the type of activity you're doing.


High-intensity workouts are your best bet for burning calories in a short session.

Balance them with exercises like the squat and deadlift that provide a composite full-body activity and benefits over time. And watch out for any common workout mistakes that might hurt your fitness goals

So if you're limited on time or don't want to work out as much, try a high-intensity workout like those above to keep you fit and burn calories effectively. Also, combine with natural fat burning foods to help achieve your weight loss goals.

Everything else being equal, exercise is also likely to boost your immune system, a positive side effect. 

Disclaimer: Consult your doctor if you're looking to change your exercise levels significantly or adopt any of these exercises without experience. 

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