Movement requires energy, and energy burns calories. Technically speaking it's not that simple, but if your main objective is to burn calories during exercise, movement is key. Walking, running, dancing, and weightlifting are all ways in which your body burn calories. The activity you choose is up to you, but if you're looking to maximize how many calories you burn, we recommend incorporating strength training into your routine.
The amount of calories you'll be able to burn is contingent upon a variety of factors according to Pratik Patel, MS, RD, CSSD, CSCS, director of performance nutrition, and assistant strength and conditioning coach for the New York Giants. "The longer the session, the greater number of sets/reps, and higher the intensity — the more calories that will be burned," Pratik said. In order to get a greater burn, Pratik advises doing "movements that recruit more groups of large muscle mass (compound exercises)" to elicit a great energy expenditure compared to isolated, smaller muscle movements (bicep curls).
Exercises like squats, deadlifts, rows, and push-ups are all examples of compound movements that will allow your body to burn more calories. If you aren't sure how to design your own weighlifting program, try this 4-week beginner's weightlifting program or take one of the following workouts with you to the gym.
- A Weightlifting Workout Plan to Build Muscle and Burn Fat
- A 45-minute full-body workout
- A 60-minute lower-body workout