Skip to Content

10 Best Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss

10 Best Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss

We all want to be healthy and look good physically — it’s totally natural. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to forget our habits and slowly pack on the pounds. We really have to take the initiative to reverse weight gain and achieve our fitness goals. This includes challenging ourselves with activities like eating well and practicing the best cardio exercises for weight loss.

Take a second to think about it. How much are you willing to give to improve your health and physical appearance? Are you willing to say goodbye to your easygoing routine in exchange for a better looking and healthier body? You’ll need to tap into your inner resources for this journey, it’s true. But it’s imperative that you get started right away and help to stop this epidemic.

Obesity is one of the most common issues that people around the world face. In the United States alone, nearly 40% of individuals over the age of 18 are considered obese. That comes out to over 130 million people! There are myriad risks that come along with obesity, including debilitating ailments like diabetes and heart disease. The worst part? They’re all preventable with a little weight loss.

Thus, it’s about time to step up, even if you don’t have the budget for expensive exercise equipment such as a cross trainer yet. Start living a healthy lifestyle and get rid of your excess fats by trying the best cardio exercises for weight loss today. We’re here to help you along the way.

First of All, What Is Cardio?

Cardio, AKA cardiovascular exercise, serves as a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. Practicing cardio entails physical movement that gets your heart pumping, your lungs working, and your body regulating its circulatory (or cardiovascular) system. 

Circulatory System

Just like you work out your muscles to grow stronger, you must work out your circulatory system to improve it. Any old exercise isn’t enough; it must be focused and appropriate for your goals. That’s where the best cardio exercises for weight loss come in. These exercises get your body amped up and energized to the point where you burn calories for fuel. And when there’s a calorie deficit, there’s weight loss.

But what is the best cardio to burn calories and lose weight? Read on to find out!

The 10 Best Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss

Here we list our favorite workouts for shedding weight fast. The great thing about these cardio exercises is that you don’t need expensive equipment (or a gym membership) to complete them and start getting results.

We typically recommend that you take these exercises easy at first and increase the time and intensity as you get stronger. To start, try one out for 3 to 5 minutes and see how it feels. Pay attention to your body, and only do what feels appropriate for your current fitness level.



Image by Ziga Plahutar / Canva Photos

You may not be familiar with the term, but burpees can help you burn over 100 calories in just 10 minutes! However, you need to be passionate and dedicated to pursue this full-body exercise, as it takes a lot out of you. Burpees are a combination of push-ups and squat jumps, and they develop your strength and lean muscles while burning calories.

What we love the most about this full-body exercise is that it keeps the body burning calories, even after you’ve completed the workout.

How to Do Burpees for Weight Loss

❶ To slay this exercise, squat down and put your hands on the ground. ❷ Then, kick your feet back to go into the push-up position. ❸ After doing a single push-up, hop back to the squat position, stand up straight, and jump high into the air with your hands up! ❹ Continue this pattern, increasing the speed as desired.

If you’re a beginner, try to do this routine three to four times before taking a breather.


Cross Crawl

Cross Crawl
Image by Andrey Shevchuk / Canva Photos

Cross crawling is one of the most straightforward cross-lateral exercises, and it focuses on improving the back and abdomen muscles. Cross crawling is similar to power walking, since it involves using a handful of different muscle groups. By improving your body’s coordination and balance, you can enhance your breathing as well as your stamina.

How to Do Cross Crawl for Weight Loss

❶ Start by standing up straight, with your feet apart and your arms by your side. ❷ Then, raise your arms in front of your, bring your left knee up to touch your right elbow, and return to standing position. ❸ Repeat this with your right knee and left elbow, always coming back to the standing position. ❹ Experiment with the exercise by speeding it up or holding positions for a few seconds at a time.



Image by Aleksandar Georgiev / Canva Photos

Did you know that dancing is one of the hottest cardio exercises today? Well, believe it or not, dancing is an excellent workout that everyone should try. Dancing can help you burn calories and develop a talent that you’re sure to enjoy, regardless of age. And just as there are different kinds of cardio exercises, there are also different forms of dance for burning fat.

Some good options include Zumba, belly dancing, aerobic dance, salsa, and even hip-hop hustle. You can also try other dance forms to release your stress and lose weight. A moderate-intensity 30-minute dance can help you lose up to 300 calories.

How to Dance for Weight Loss

❶ For a simple dance move that’ll get your heart pumping, start with both feet together, standing up straight. ❷ Then, step over to the right and bend your knees, holding for a few moments. ❸ Return to center and repeat on the left side. ❹ Continue this sequence, increasing the tempo and moving your body to the beat.


Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks
Image by Canva Photos

This exercise is one of the most extensive cardio workouts since it involves the entire body. In fact, 10 minutes of jumping jacks is enough to burn up to 100 calories.

Doing jumping jacks can help you increase your metabolism as well as your heart rate. At the same time, increasing your metabolism means burning more calories, so physical enthusiasts really love including jumping jacks in cross-training routines and aerobics. Jumping jacks are also easy to do anywhere, making this the best cardio for weight loss at the gym, at home, or in the great outdoors!

How to Do Jumping Jacks for Weight Loss

❶ Start by standing straight with your feet together and arms at your side. ❷ In one fluid motion, jump up, swing your legs to opposite sides, and arc your arms outward (horizontally) then above you, joining them in a thundering clap above your head. ❸ Reverse the cycle to land back in the starting position, standing straight with your arms by your side. ❹ Pick up the pace to increase the challenge.


Leg Pendulums

Leg Pendulums
Image by Sophie Walster / Canva Photos

If you’re seeking the best cardio to burn belly fat, you’ve found it!

This lower-body cardio exercise is indeed one of the best workouts to help you lose weight. Whether you’re in the gym or at home, you can do pendulums to lose excess fats and tone your abs, butt, and legs. Since leg pendulums combine the power of cardio workouts with core strengthening routines, this exercise can help your body burn calories even after you’re done with the workout.

Aside from these benefits, you can also improve your flexibility and increase your heart rate while improving your body’s posture and balance.

How to Do Pendulums for Weight Loss

❶ Start by laying flat on your back, arms out in a cross position. ❷ Slowly, lift your legs up and stretch them out, toes pointing forwards in a 45° to 90° angle towards the ceiling, whatever feels manageable. ❸ Then, begin rotating your legs to either side, keeping your head and torso straight. ❹ Continue back and forth as you work your obliques and core region.


Walking Lunges

Image by Leonid Yastremskiy / Canva Photos

If you want a cardio workout that helps you lose weight and improve flexibility, then walking lunges may work best for you. As one of the best cardio workout for weight loss, walking lunges can help you strengthen your core stability while toning your abs, butt, quadriceps, and hamstrings, all while stretching your body’s muscles and tissues. You can do lunges at home or at the gym to improve your posture and balance.

How to Do Walking Lunges for Weight Loss

❶ Start by standing straight with both your hands on your waist and your feet apart. ❷ Take a big step forward with your right foot, and lower your left knee until it’s hovering just above the ground, maintaining your posture the entire way through. ❸ Then, step forward and return to starting position. ❹ Repeat on the other side as you continue walking forward.


Skipping Rope

Skipping Rope
Image by Canva Photos

Believe it or not, skipping rope is effective cardio for weight loss, and it can be as exciting for adults as it is for kids! That’s because jump rope can help you burn up to 220 calories in a mere 20 minutes. It is also one of the most popular cardio workouts worldwide, and even famous boxers incorporate it into their exercise and conditioning regimens. Jump rope exercises help to tone the muscles in your lower body, including your butt and legs.

The best thing about this exercise? You can do it anywhere you want — all you need is the jump rope and a good pair of shoes.

How to Skip Rope for Weight Loss

❶ Stand up straight, with one end of the jump rope in each hand and the rope behind you. ❷ In a circular motion, move your arms to bring the jump rope up above your head, then down towards your feet. ❸ Do a little hop to jump over the rope as it approaches, and continue along, increasing the speed as you see fit.


Jogging in Place

Jogging in Place
Image by Ekaterina Kholyavskaya / Canva

Also known as indoor jogging or spot jogging, this exercise is among the best cardio for weight loss at home. You don’t even need to go leave your bedroom to do this exercise! You can do it anywhere you want, and it can help you burn up to 270 calories in just 30 minutes. Of course, jogging in place focuses more on toning your leg muscles, but it also reduces your risks of heart problems.

How to Jog in Place for Weight Loss

❶ Stand in one place and start moving your body as though you were walking, exaggerating each movement, but remaining in the same square. ❷ After a minute or so, break into a jogging motion, with a little hop in each step. ❸ Increase the speed and gradually raise your knees higher and higher until you reach a comfortable yet challenging tempo.


Squat Jumps

Squat Jumps
Image by Kaspars / Canva Photos

Included in all types of cardio routines, this calorie-burning exercise is a popular choice for folks seeking the best cardio for fat loss. Squat jumps help tone your leg muscles, including your calves, hamstrings, and quadriceps, by increasing your strength and burning fats.

Perhaps most importantly, this cardio workout helps prevent injuries (especially if you’re into sports) since your balance and flexibility improve over time.

How to Do Squat Jumps for Weight Loss

❶ This simple exercise begins with you in the squat position, glutes down low and hands in front of you. ❷ Remain here for a moment, then jump up high before returning to the squat position. ❸ Rinse and repeat.


Stair Running

Stair Running
Image by Artem Varnitsin / Canva Photos

Stair running is exactly what it sounds like — running up and down the stairs to burn calories and work out those leg muscles. But don’t let its simplicity fool you, as stair running is a plyometric exercise that doubles as the best cardio to lose weight. With stair running, the muscles are forced to work extremely hard in a short period of time (each stair hop). These will kick your butt and build those glutes and quads fast.

How to Do Stair Running for Weight Loss

❶ To start, take it nice and easy. Don a supportive pair of shoes, find a set of stairs, and walk up and down them for a few minutes. ❷ Once you’ve got a short warmup under your belt, break into a mild jog and begin speeding things up. ❸ Carefully, increase your speed until you find a nice rhythm, up and down, up and down.

Best Cardio Exercises for Weight Loss: The Training Begins

Experiment with the best cardio exercises for weight loss to find which ones work best for you. Don’t worry too much about choosing one that burns the most calories or targets the entire body. It’s more important to find something that you enjoy doing and will stick with over time. After all, that’s when you’ll really start to see the fruits of your labor.

So, what are you waiting for? That cardio isn’t going to do itself!

If you need extra support or reminders, feel free to bookmark this page and subscribe to our newsletter below. Happy training!

Further Reading

Best Ab Rollers
The 7 Best Ab Rollers
The Best Cardio Exercise for Bad Knees
Best Cardio Exercise for Bad Knees
How to Use a Yoga Wheel
How to Use a Yoga Wheel in 8 Different Ways
The Benefits of Circuit Training
The Benefits of Circuit Training: Pros, Cons, and How to Start
Best Hand Grip Strengtheners
The 6 Best Hand Grip Strengtheners
Best Yoga Wheels
The 5 Best Yoga Wheels