What Exercise Burns the Most Fat?

what exercise burns the most fat

Although theoretically going to the gym to work out is a great way to burn off extra calories and fat, it isn’t always so simple. If you’ve gone any time, surely you will have seen a countless array of different machines and equipment. There’s machines for running, walking, climbing, peddling. There’s machines for lifting, pulling, pushing. In fact, the variety of equipment in the gym can be extremely overwhelming. Although there are many ways to exercise, certain exercises can put your body in a better state to burn fat than others. If you’re looking for what exercise burns the most fat more so than exercises to build muscle, you should choose different exercises from the body builder in the corner looking to bulk up. These exercises vary in intensity and impact, but can have great benefits for you no matter what your fitness level is. In this article we will highlight some of the best fat burning exercises as well as a technique to step your fat-burn game up to the next level.

*** Related: Full Body Workout in Less Than an Hour ***

The Science Behind Aerobic Exercise

As you exercise, your body breaks down its stores of molecules to make energy for your cells. The most efficient way of doing this is through the breakdown of fat, hence why exercise helps you lose weight. However, for the fat breakdown to happen the exercise has to be aerobic in nature meaning that oxygen is being used [1].

  1. Walking

Walking is a great low impact exercise for people who are obese or are simply not in good physical shape. This burns the least fat of the exercises listed here, but is a good choice for beginners and those looking to start getting in shape.

  1. Running

Similar to walking, running quickly puts your body into an aerobic fat burn state and helps shed the fat quickly. It is also good for your heart and overall cardio health.

  1. Cycling

Cycling is another great low impact workout and can be adjusted to fit your fitness level. Whether you are on a normal bike or a stationary one, cycling is an excellent way to burn fat.

  1. Swimming

Swimming is the lowest impact of the exercises listed. This can be a great way to let your body recover from a higher impact workout while still burning fat.

*** Related: How much Cardio Should I Do? ***

The Best Exercise to Burn Fat: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Research shows that this method of training, when implemented with most types of aerobic exercise, is the best way to burn fat. It involves increasing the speed, resistance, and effort of the exercise for a short burst of time then returning to a steady constant rate. This is repeated many times over the course of the workout and increases the amount of fat your body can burn. Best of all, choose whichever aerobic exercise you like best whether it’s running, cycling, walking, or swimming and use this HIIT technique to increase your fat burn [2].

*** Read our guide for High Intensity Interval Training here: High-Intensity Interval Training Not for the Faint of Heart ***

Also, consider adding a fat burner supplement to your High Intensity Interval Training to increase results.



  1. High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss
    Stephen H. Boutcher* J Obes. 2011; 2011: 868305.
    Published online 2010 Nov 24. doi: [10.1155/2011/868305]
  2. Comparable Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training and Prolonged Continuous Exercise Training on Abdominal Visceral Fat Reduction in Obese Young Women
    Haifeng Zhang, 1 , 2 Tom K. Tong, 3 Weifeng Qiu, 4 Xu Zhang, 1 Shi Zhou, 5 Yang Liu, 1 and Yuxiu He 1 , * J Diabetes Res. 2017; 2017: 5071740.
    Published online 2017 Jan 1. doi: [10.1155/2017/5071740]
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