15 Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running

By on October 1, 2015

Running is probably the most performed form of exercise. But even though running has a lot of benefits, it is not ‘for’ everyone. It does burn calories but it’s not the most efficient method. The average person burns an average of 10 calories per minute while running.

For many of us, running isn’t really our forte or most favorite exercise to do. If you are one of those people who would rather eat rocks than go for a jog, you’re in for some good news.

There are a ton of other ways to burn calories in a much faster rate than running. On this article, I gathered a couple of both indoor and outdoor exercises that will definitely make you burn calories.


1. Burpee


Burpee can be done both indoor and outdoor but due to certain reasons, especially weather, it’s preferrably done indoor. Burpees burn tons of calories. As a study done by the American College of Sports Medicine found that a 180 pound man can burn almost 1.5 calories for each burpee done. The figures get even better when you ramp up the number of burpees you do in a short timeframe. Aim for at least 10 burpees in 60 seconds.

(Read my article about Burpee: Variations, Benefits and Reasons To Do It)

2. Jumping Rope

woman-with-jump-ropePhoto: She Knows

Same as burpee, jumping rope can be done just about anywhere. But for the same reason, it’s preferrable indoor. As a child, this is one of my favorite games to play. Not knowing it is one of the best exercises out there. Jumping rope also torch a lot of calories. Depending on your pace and intensity, it can burn about 670 calories an hour. Shoot for at least 100 skips per minute to get the most bang for your bounce.

3. Boxing

boxing-2Photo: Muscle Mind Motivation

As you can see, there’s not one boxer that’s not fit, or else they shouldn’t be in boxing. The average boxing session burns about 727 calories per hour. Want to burn more? Simply do another round but just make sure your body is still capable or else you might get an unwanted injury.

4. Battle Ropes

battle-ropePhoto: The Silver Ink

These special rope workouts really seem to be key to ramping up fitness. In a recent College of New Jersey study comparing various workout styles, battling-rope exercises came in first in terms of total oxygen consumption and an average calorie burn of 10.3 calories per minute.

5. Kettlebell Swing

woman-kettlebell-swingPhoto: The Strength Academy

These exercises are perfect for torching calories and sculpting a lean figure. They easily amp heart rate for every rep of pure explosive power. According to a research done at the University of Wisconsin, participants burned 20.2 calories a minute and their average heart rate was 93% of the max during a 20-minute workout.

6. Dancing


Wether it’s tango, boogie, zumba or hip-hop, dancing makes you sweat. And when you sweat you burn calories. An hour of dancing can burn you up to 443 calories. So go ahead and put the music on and dance your calories off to the beat.

7. Staircase Running

48f63168-1f27-11e4-_747975cPhoto: The Times

This can be done just anywhere as long as you have stairs. All you gotta do is run up and down it. This is technically as painful as running but more practical in so many ways. It burns 300 more calories than running on  a flat ground. Do it for an hour and you’ll burn 852 worth of calories.

8. Swimming

Swimming Clubs 1_920x550Photo: Leisure Centre

This can be both indoor and outdoor but usually when it’s an outdoor pool, you’re on a vacation. You can’t lose with breaststroke (585 calories per hour), backstroke (540 calories per hour), or butterfly (784 calories per hour) at a moderate to vigorous pace.

9. 4-Minute Tabata

Tabata_MainPhoto: Ace Fitness

In an Auburn University at Montgomery study, participants did eight rounds of all-out jump squats following the Tabata protocol of —20 seconds of all-out work, separated by 10 seconds of rest—burned 13.4 calories per minute and doubled their post-exercise metabolic rate for at least 30 minutes.  So after their 4 minutes of exercise, their metabolism continued to work for up to 30 minutes after.

One great thing about this workout is you can associate it with certain exercises like squat jumps, burpees and even battle ropes. All you gotta do is follow the Tabata protocol.


10. Cycling

istock_000009408475smallPhoto: Back Experts

This is both indoor and outdoor, however, I’d prefer the the outdoors. Pedaling on a stationary bike can burn just as many calories as jogging (398 calories) — even though you get to sit down while you do it. Dust off your old mountain bike or take a vigorous indoor cycling class, and you’ll incinerate even more calories: Both burn about 483 per hour, depending on your speed and resistance.

11. In-line Skating

inliner_grPhoto: Wander Hotel

Granted, it’s like running on wheels. But even if rollerblading didn’t burn 426 calories per hour, it’d still be more fun than jogging. Even though it might seem easy, and yes, it’s fun, skating also doubles as an intense calorie burning exercise that’s an excellent alternative to running.

12. Jet Skiing

jet-ski-mimiPhoto: Tropical Sailing

You’ll never guess how many calories you burn just by driving a jet ski: 398 in an hour! (For the record, that’s 86 more calories than you’d burn horseback riding, which is sorta, kinda similar.) Experts say the water sport engages your core, quads, hamstrings, and upper body because it requires constant balance and effort to keep your body upright.

13. Rowing

4037882-3x2-940x627Photo: ABC Au

While rowing may sound like a low-key, sit-on-your-butt-while-you-sweat kind of sport, it’s actually enormously effective. Because you actually row with your arms and your legs, it seriously puts your body through the wringer, burning about 682 calories in a 60-minute, high-intensity session.

14. Rock Climbing

Rock-Climbing-Feature1Photo: Foot Sloggers

Yes, this is a little dangerous but if you’re into adventures and extremes, this one’s for you. You’ll burn about 454 calories per hour on your way up and 284 per hour on your way down.

15. Walking Uphill With A Load

how_to_start_hiking_uphillPhoto: Cody App

With or without a load, walking uphill will surely burn calories. The good thing about having a load is that it makes your every step heavy and firm, making you burn more calories without a load. You’ll burn about 415 calories per hour at a regular walking pace (usually about four miles per hour) — that’s 57 more than you’d burn on a standard stroll without the baggage.

Whatever it is that you prefer to do, do it. What’s important is that you will do something to stay fit and healthy.

You can also check out my post about: 25 Fun Ways To Lose Weight




About Mike

I've been a fitness enthusiast for a long time now and I always love to research a lot of ideas about health and fitness. I always follow healthy fitness regimen and I just finished my journey to a healthy lifestyle for 6 months. I used to stand in the mirror and check my abs instead of my face which is kinda funny but true. So, instead of doing that everyday I decided to share my ideas online. And I guess the best way to do it is by writing on a health and fitness blog and I'm glad to be writing for FormulatedFitness.

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