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Top 5 Quickest Ways To Burn Calories

Burning calories quick is a common goal among weightlifters, bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and everyone else who want to burn off fat to look better and be more healthy.

By burning calories, you can leave more room in your diet for food when cutting which will make it easier to stay in a calorie deficit. The hardest aspect of losing fat for most people is sticking to your calories. By doing more cardio, this will allow you to stick to your cutting diet for longer and ultimately make losing fat easier and more enjoyable.

In order to burn calories quickly, you need to be able to elevate your heart rate as high as possible in as short an amount of time as possible in order to place stress on your body. The best way to do this is through cardio. Specifically, anaerobic cardio that forces the body to draw energy from glycogen as opposed to oxygen. This is going to be the best type of cardio to burn calories in a time-efficient manner.

1. Uphill Sprints

The #1 best way to quickly burn calories is to do sprints. By doing sprints uphill, your heart rate becomes elevated in the first 4-5 seconds and stays high for the duration of the sprint.

Sprinting is able to burn far more calories than running on a treadmill or using a bike. For the average person, doing sprints for an hour can burn from 800-1,200 calories. This is an entire meal of food that you could burn off in an hour.

According to this study, just 2.5 minutes of sprinting can burn 200 calories. This amount will vary from person to person but even half that amount in 2.5 minutes is substantial and worth the effort.

This study found that not only does sprinting burn a large amount of calories from the exercise itself, but it also elevates the rate at which your body burns calories by 10% for the rest of the day. This is very helpful for losing fat and will help keep you in a negative energy balance.

2. Stairs

Secondly, another quick way to burn off calories is to run up stairs. This is convenient because most people have access to a set of stairs that can be used for exercise.

For most people, running up stairs for an hour can burn 800-1,000 calories. This means you can burn 65-90 calories every 5 minutes by running up stairs.

Doing stairs is also great for building your legs since it forces them to press your bodyweight up hundreds of times consecutively. Any form of cardio that provides resistance training and burns calories quickly is going to be ideal for losing fat and maintaining muscle.

This study found that going up stairs for 2 months increased VO2 max by 17%. An increase in VO2 max means your body is able to use oxygen more efficiently and train more optimally which will spill over into almost all other fitness areas of your life.

3. Circuit Training

Along with running up stairs, circuit training is a third quick way to burn off calories. Circuit training is a style of training where you combine multiple resistance exercises and do them back-to-back with minimal breaks.

Typically, doing circuit training for an hour will burn 600-1,000 calories.

This number of calories depends on the type of movements you’re doing and the intensity you’re doing them at but around 800 calories per hour is a fairly accurate estimate.

This study found that circuit training for 8 weeks improved muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Since circuit training is resistance exercise based, it is a good form of cardio to keep your gains while shredding fat.

4. Boxing

Another good way to burn off calories quickly is by boxing.

This study by Forza found boxing to provide the highest amount of burned calories of all sports. Boxing for an hour for most people will burn 700-1,000 calories depending on how many breaks you take and how hard you are hitting.

Boxing is also good for working the shoulders since hitting a bag hard repeatedly forces the delts to generate enough force to throw the punch.

5. Rowing

The final exercise to quickly burn calories is rowing.

Rowing can burn off 600-800 calories in one hour. This is around 50-70 calories in 5 minutes if you are rowing vigorously.

Rowing is a great exercise for building the back and will activate the rhomboids, lats, rear delts, and biceps well. Since you have to push yourself back with your legs while doing rows, rowing also trains the glutes, quads, hams. Your core is stimulated as well by this movement because your abs are needed for stability.

Despite burning less calories than sprints and running up stairs, the advantage of rowing is that it is a full body workout. This means that if you had to pick one cardio exercise to always do, rowing would be one of the best options since it offers full body resistance training in addition to a high number of calories burned.


The five best exercises to quickly burn calories are sprints, running up stairs, circuit training, boxing, and rowing.

All these methods of burning calories are effective and time-efficient. The highest amount of calories burned from any exercise is from sprinting. These types of cardio are all great at burning calories because they are able to increase your heart rate in a short amount of time and keep it elevated. Any exercise which is capable of doing this will work for burning calories and can be utilized to make fat loss easier and quicker.

For more on training, such as how cold water affects muscle recovery and the benefits of doing stomach vacuums, click here.