When it comes to burning calories and building total body strength, bodyweight exercises are a versatile and efficient option. Not only do they require little equipment, but they also engage multiple muscle groups at once, leading to an increased calorie burn. These are the five bodyweight workouts that burn the most calories and boost overall fitness that I always recommend to clients.
Incorporating these bodyweight exercises into your fitness regimen will not only help you burn calories but also improve your overall strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health. Remember to perform each exercise with proper form and gradually increase the intensity as your fitness level improves. Whether you’re short on time or prefer the simplicity of bodyweight exercises, these workouts are sure to deliver results and keep your calorie burn at its peak.
Keep reading for the best bodyweight workouts that burn the most calories. And when you’re done, be sure to check out A 69-Year-Old Fitness Trainer Shares 6 Exercises That Keep Her Looking Middle Aged.
Workout #1: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is known for its ability to maximize calorie burn in a short period of time. The combination of intense bursts of exercise and short periods of rest keeps your heart rate elevated, leading to an after-burn effect known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), where your body continues to burn calories even after exercise.
Do each exercise for 30 seconds with 15 seconds of rest between exercises. Complete three rounds.
1. Jump Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat position, keeping your back straight. Explosive jump, reaching your arms overhead. Land softly, and immediately go into the next squat.
Start in a standing position. Drop into a squat position, and place your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into a plank position. Perform a pushup, then jump your feet back into a squat position. Explode up to a jump, and reach your arms overhead.
3. Mountain Climbers
Start in a plank position. Bring one knee toward your chest, then quickly switch legs. Maintain a quick, alternating motion, engaging your core.
4. Plank Jacks
Start in a plank position. Jump with your feet wide, then return to the starting position. Maintain a strong core throughout.
Workout #2: Tabata
Tabata is another high-intensity workout that alternates between short bursts of intense exercise and short periods of rest. This method not only boosts cardiovascular fitness but also increases calorie burn by increasing the intensity of each movement.
Do each exercise for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest. Complete four rounds.
1. Jump Lunges
Start in a lunge position. Jump, and switch legs in the air. Land softly, and immediately go to the next jump.
Start in a plank position. Lower your body to the ground by bending your elbows. Push back to the starting position.
3. Bicycle Crunches
Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Bring one knee toward your chest while simultaneously twisting your body. Alternate sides in a cycling motion.
4. Planks in Squats
Start in a plank position. Jump your feet forward, landing in a squat position. Jump back into plank position.
Exercise #3: Circuit Training
Circuit training combines strength and cardio exercises in a quick sequence, keeping your heart rate up for long periods of time. This constant movement targets different muscle groups, resulting in a higher calorie burn.
Do each exercise for one minute with little rest between exercises. Complete three rounds.
1. Jumping Jacks
Start with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Jump, spread your legs and raise your arms overhead. Jump back to the starting position.
2. Bodyweight Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squat position. Stand back, engaging your glutes.
3. Pushups on Side Planks
Perform standard pushups. Twist into a side plank, lifting one arm toward the ceiling. Return to the pushup position, and repeat on the other side.
4. Jump Rope
Use an imaginary rope or an actual jump rope. Bring the rope over your head, and jump over it with your feet. Jump rope for one minute.
Workout #4: Full-Body Metabolic Conditioning
Metabolic conditioning workouts focus on compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups, creating a significant calorie burn. This type of training not only improves cardiovascular health but also improves overall strength and endurance.
Do each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest between exercises. Complete three rounds.
1. Box Jumps
Stand in front of a sturdy box or platform. Jump on the box, land on both feet. Go back down, and immediately go to the next jump.
2. Bodyweight Renegade Rows
Start in a plank position. Row a fist on your hip while bracing your core. Alternate sides in a controlled movement.
3. Jumping Chin-up
Look for a horizontal bar. Jump up and pull your chin over the bar. Lower yourself with control.
4. Russian Twists
Sit on the ground with your knees bent. Lean back slightly and twist your body, touching the ground on both sides. Repeat.
Workout #5: Cardio Blast
This high-intensity cardio workout incorporates explosive movements to get your heart rate up and maximize calorie expenditure.
Do each exercise for 30 seconds with 15 seconds of rest between exercises. Complete four rounds.
1. Sprint in Place
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Raise your knees as high as possible while running in place.
2. Tuck Jumps
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Jump up, bringing your knees toward your chest.
3. Quick Feet
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Quickly tap your feet while running while staying low.
4. Power Pushups
Start in a plank position. Perform an explosive pushup, lifting your hands off the ground at the top of the movement.
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