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Working out can be quite challenging if you are not a regular, especially on those lazy days when you just want to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day long.
What makes working out even harder to stick to is seeing no results! I mean, who wants to be going to the gym 3-4 times a week, spending 2 exhausting hours during each session, and see no real benefits?
The truth to the matter is that if you work out regularly, you might be getting some health benefits, but they’re all intrinsic. In other words, your health is getting better, but your shape is not!
In this article, we will list the 8 exercises that can help women burn the most calories in the shortest period of time so that they’ll be improving their health while getting in shape.
How working out helps you lose fat
In the fitness community, there are two major subtypes of exercises: cardiovascular training and weight lifting.
If you ask the gurus of both of these fields, everyone will tell you how their routine is the most effective way to lose weight.
You’ll hear things like “cardio training burns calories like crazy” or “weight lifting helps you lose weight while you sleep.”
The truth is that both statements are correct. Cardiovascular training indeed burns calories at a very high rate, but it has no “after-burn” effect. Meaning that once you finish exercising, that’s it. No more calories are going to get burned.
On the other hand, we have strength training, which involves burning calories during the training session and post-exertion. The reason for this is that lifting weight will put a strain on your muscles, causing damages on the cellular level. For these damages to be repaired, the body needs energy, so it burns extra calories.
This brings us to one common concern women often worry about, “as a woman, I don’t prefer to do strength training because I don’t want to become shredded.”
While this concern is legitimate, it is unlikely to happen because of women’s physiology.
Now I know what you’re thinking, “what about those jacked women who are always on TV?”.
In the case of those women, external steroids and other anabolic substances were used to grow their muscles to that extent. This is because the high levels of estrogen and progesterone in women will prevent muscular growth out of limits.
In addition to that, the extremely low levels of testosterone circulating in a woman’s blood are not sufficient to promote any noticeable muscular growth.
I hope you are convinced by now that by weight lifting, you won’t turn your body into a bulk of muscles, and you will benefit from all the positive metabolic effects of strength training.
8 exercises that burn the most calories for women
As a kid, you probably found jumping rope to be a fun and simple exercise; however, if done correctly, it can lead to an extremely high rate of calorie-burning.
The reason jumping rope burns a considerable number of calories is that you will be using your whole body, especially your lower extremities, which contain the big muscles like the quadriceps and the biceps femoris.
These big muscles require a lot of energy and ATP to contract, and as a result, jumping rope burns 7.6 to 9.8 calories per minute.
This means that you can lose up to 300 calories for every 30 minutes of jumping rope. However, and since doing this exercise for 30 minutes straight with no pause can be exhausting, it is recommended to do an alternation between exercise and breaks.
Jumping rope is so efficient at burning calories that some scientists say doing this exercise for 10 minutes is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging.
This might be the odd one on the list, as most people picture yoga to be a way of relaxation or as a stretching routine after you finish your workout.
However, vinyasa yoga can be a fat-burning furnace. This type of yoga involves a dynamic change in poses with the proper breathing technique.
In fact, vinyasa yoga can burn up to 600 calories every 1 hour in a 150-pound woman. Of course, this number might not be achieved by all women since it assumes constant activity, and for the trainee to have considerable experience; nevertheless, it is still one of the best calorie-burning workouts for women.
This workout is for women who like to kick some butts; while it’s true kickboxing is a sport dominated by men, you can still find some centers and gyms who offer kickboxing training. If that does not work, you can simply train at home.
According to a study done by the American Council of Exercise (ACE), the average woman can burn between 350 to 450 calories in one hour.
It is vital to take pauses every now and then since this workout can be physically consuming, especially for beginners.
This is one of the best (and most exhausting) workouts out there. You have probably heard it from a friend that burpees are the most challenging thing they had to do in their lives or something like that. While this might be an exaggeration, burpees are still a serious calorie-burning exercise.
When doing a burpee, you will recruit every muscle of your body while trying to keep everything coordinated, which results in a huge energy requirement.
In fact, doing burpees for 30 minutes can burn up to 300 calories; that’s one pound every week. Now that might not sound too mind-blowing; however, this exercise burns pure fat, which means that every pound you lose is a pound of fat, and due to the density of fat, losing a couple of pounds can change your entire physique.
If you are the type of person who doesn’t like to work out alone or lack the motivation to do so, then volleyball might just be for you.
While it’s not as intense as the exercises listed above, it’s still a great workout that is extremely fun.
Harvard medical school published a report about the different exercises and how many calories each exercise burns. For volleyball, a 185-pound person can burn up to 133 calories per 30 minutes of exercise.
This number might not seem that high; however, you can integrate volleyball as part of your physical activity routine. For example, planning a game with friends every Saturday.
Using a stationary bike for cardiovascular training can burn a significant number of calories, mainly if you use high-intensity intervals. For instance, you cycle at a very high pace for 5 minutes, then you pace it down for the next 10 minutes.
For beginners, it is recommended to start the high-intensity intervals at this pace: one-minute training, followed by a two minutes recovery.
This workout will improve your cardiovascular health, decrease your risk for many diseases, and burn a whopping 250-350 calories every 30 minutes.
This exercise is an alternative for women who don’t like stationary bike exercise. Sprints are used by professional athletes to stay in shape; they involve running as fast as you can (sprinting) for a short period of time, then deaccelerating to a jogging pace.
This interval training will stimulate the metabolic pathways responsible for burning fat in your body. As a result, you will burn 300-360 calories every 30 minutes of this exercise. That’s absolutely staggering!
Note that warming up before doing sprints is crucial to avoid muscular injuries, as they are very common with this type of workout.
Additionally, and to avoid hurting your knee, make sure to avoid stepping on your heels while running.
As we mentioned earlier, a lot of women avoid lifting weight in fear that it will increase their muscle mass and mess up their physique.
However, doing this type of training is crucial for so many reasons. As we age, our muscles start to atrophy (waste), and our body fat increases as a result. This predisposes us to a wide variety of chronic, debilitating diseases such as diabetes, blood hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and articular problems such as osteoarthritis.
The only way to fight this back is by increasing our lean muscle mass, which will keep us in shape and increase something called the basic metabolic rate (BMR).
BMR is the number of calories your body needs on a daily basis with no physical activity involved; in other words, it is the amount of energy required to keep your organs functional.
What makes strength training unique compared to other workouts is the post-exertional calorie-burning; you see, during weight lifting, your muscles will get teared up on the cellular level, and while it might sound bad, it is actually quite beneficial.
During the repair process, your body will consume more calories, and as a result, you will be burning fat during your sleep.
Additionally, your repaired cells will grow even bigger this time, which will make them consume more energy, increasing your basic metabolic rate, as a result.
In order to stay consistent and keep going to the gym regularly, you need results. For this reason, choosing your workouts carefully is crucial, as it might make the difference between getting the body you always dreamed of and quitting the gym altogether.
The exercises listed in this article will serve as a reference for when you want to try a new routine and burn the highest number of calories at the same time.
Nevertheless, if you have tried any other workouts that delivered positive results, we will be thrilled to read your thoughts in the comment section below.
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for general purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Her Own Health does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Her Own Health are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.