5 bodyweight workouts that burn the most calories

When it comes to burning calories and building overall body strength, bodyweight workouts are a versatile and efficient option. Not only do they require minimal equipment, but they also engage multiple muscle groups at once, increasing calorie burn. These are the five bodyweight workouts that burn the most calories and promote overall fitness that I always recommend to clients.

Incorporating these bodyweight routines into your fitness regimen will not only help you burn calories but also improve your overall strength, stamina, 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 you prefer the simplicity of bodyweight exercises, these workouts are sure to get results and keep your calorie burn at peak performance.

Keep reading for the best bodyweight workouts that burn the most calories. And when you’re done, be sure to check out these 6 exercises from a 69-year-old fitness trainer that make him look half his age.

Workout #1: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High intensity interval training, or HIIT, is renowned for its ability to burn maximum calories in a short period of time. The combination of intense bursts of exercise and short rest periods keeps your heart rate elevated, causing an afterburn effect known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), where your body returns to normal after a workout. Also continues to burn calories.

Do each exercise for 30 seconds and take a 15-second rest between exercises. Complete three rounds.

1. Jump Squats


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, come into a squat position. Quickly jump upward, reaching your arms overhead. Lower slowly, and immediately move into the next squat.

2. Burpees

illustration of burpees

Start by standing. Come to a sitting position and place your hands on the floor. Return your legs to plank position. Perform pushups, then lower your legs back to a squat position. Take a jump and extend your arms overhead.

3. Mountaineer

illustration of climbers

Start in plank position. Bring one knee toward your chest, then quickly switch legs. Maintain a fast, alternating motion while engaging your core.

4. Plank Jack

illustration of plank jack

Start in plank position. Spread your legs wide, then return to the starting position. Maintain a strong core throughout.

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Workout #2: Tabata

Tabata is another high-intensity workout that alternates between short intervals of intense exercise and short periods of rest. This method not only promotes cardiovascular fitness but also increases calorie burn by increasing the intensity of each activity.

Do each exercise for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Complete four rounds.

1. Jump Lunges

jump lunges illustration

Start in a lunge position. Jump up, and swing your legs in the air. Land slowly, and immediately make the next jump.

2. Pushups

push up

Start in plank position. Bend your elbows and lower your body to the ground. Push back to starting position.

3. Bicycle Crunches

woman doing bicycle crunches

Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Bring one knee toward your chest while twisting your torso. Alternate sides in a cycling motion.

4. From Plank to Squats

Start in plank position. Jump your legs forward, landing in a squat position. Return to plank position.

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Workout #3: Circuit Training

Circuit training combines strength and cardio exercises in an intense sequence, keeping your heart rate up for a longer period of time. This continuous motion targets different muscle groups, resulting in a greater calorie burn.

Perform each exercise for one minute with minimal rest between exercises. Complete three rounds.

1. Jumping Jack

How to Perform Jumping Jacks

Start with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Jump, spread your legs and raise your arms. Return to starting position.

2. Bodyweight Squats

woman doing squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squat position. Stand back up, engaging your glutes.

3. Pushups for Side Plank

Do a standard pushup. Swing into side plank, lifting one arm toward the ceiling. Return to pushup position, and repeat on the other side.

4. Jump rope


Use an imaginary rope or a real jump rope. Bring the rope over your head and jump over it with your feet. Jump rope for one minute.

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Workout #4: Full-Body Metabolic Conditioning

Metabolic conditioning workouts focus on compound movements that engage multiple muscle groups, leading to significant calorie burns. This type of training not only improves cardiovascular health but also increases overall strength and stamina.

Perform each exercise for 45 seconds and take 15 seconds rest between exercises. Complete three rounds.

1. Box Jump

Illustration of box jump exercise to avoid after 50

Stand in front of a sturdy box or platform. Jump onto the box, landing with both feet. Step back and immediately make the next jump.

2. Bodyweight Renegade Rows

Start in plank position. Extend one fist toward your hip while still stabilizing your core. Alternate sides in a controlled motion.

3. Jumping Chin-Ups

Find a horizontal bar. Jump and pull your chin over the bar. Lower yourself with control.

4. Russian Twist

man russian twist

Sit on the ground with your knees bent. Lean back slightly and twist your torso touching the ground on both sides. Repeat.

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Workout #5: Cardio Blast

This high-intensity cardio workout incorporates explosive movements to raise your heart rate and maximize calorie expenditure.

Do each exercise for 30 seconds and take a 15-second rest between exercises. Complete four rounds.

1. Running fast in place

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Raise your knees as high as possible while running in place.

2. Tuck Jump

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Jump up, bringing your knees toward your chest.

3. Fast feet

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. While down, quickly tap your feet while running.

4. Power Pushups

Start in plank position. Perform an explosive pushup, lifting your hands off the ground at the top of the movement.

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