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20 Exercises That Burn 500 Calories

If weight loss is your goal, there is a simple, tried-and-true formula: burn more calories than you consume. So when you work out, you want to focus on exercises that will burn maximum calories. We've compiled a list of 20 exercises that can help you burn a whopping 500 calories, listed in reverse order from lowest calorie burn to highest.

The total number of calories you actually kill depends largely on your current weight, so we've included a guide based on body weight in pounds to help you determine exactly how long you need to perform each exercise in order to get to 500 calories.

20. Yoga

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When it comes to burning calories, yoga is not the most efficient. However, this depends on the type of yoga you do - for example, power yoga will burn more than vinyasa flow. Nevertheless, yoga is a fantastic exercise for strength and flexibility, and practicing yoga still takes out far more calories than sitting on your bum.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 210 minutes 180-lb. person: 140 minutes 240-lb person: 105 minutes

19. Pilates

Woman On Pilates Machine
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Like yoga, Pilates ranks lower on the scale for calorie burn, but can do an amazing job at sculpting your body and gaining strength.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 150 minutes 180-lb. person: 100 minutes 240-lb person: 75 minutes

18. Aqua Aerobics

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Aqua aerobics is an excellent choice for those with joint pain as you gain an efficient cardiovascular workout with little to no impact on your joints. Not to mention, it's fun!

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 131 minutes 180-lb. person: 88 minutes 240-lb person: 66 minutes

17. Strength training - Maximum Rest

Man Helps Woman Dumb Bells Work Out Gym
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Whenever you strength train, with or without weights, you need to rest between sets to give your muscles time to recover. Strength training can burn many calories during a workout, but the shorter your rest time, the more calories you will burn.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 110 minutes 180-lb. person: 73 minutes 240-lb person: 55 minutes

16. Walking - 3.5 miles/hour

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Simple, effective and convenient, walking can help you burn calories to help you on your weight loss goals. However, a leisurely stroll isn't going to quite cut it. Pick up the pace - 3.5 miles per hour would be considered a brisk walk, though not a power walk. If you want to burn more, walk faster.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 107 minutes 180-lb. person: 71 minutes 240-lb person: 53 minutes

15. Tennis

na li competes 2013 us open
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If competitive sports with a partner is more your bag, tennis might be for you. Naturally, your workout level depends on how much you run during a game, so choose a partner at the same level as you so you can return each others balls in a consistent manner.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 79 minutes 180-lb. person: 52 minutes 240-lb person: 39 minutes

14. Hiking

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If you live near a hiking trail, put on a backpack and get going. The hills and dips challenge your muscles and keep your heart pumping - and calories burning.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 78 minutes 180-lb. person: 52 minutes 240-lb person: 39 minutes

13. Boot Camp Workout

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Boot camp class can be hardcore - which is one of the reasons it's so popular. The instructor will lead a series of interval workouts, alternating between aerobic and strength training exercises. Interval training burns lots of calories and can get you in shape quickly.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 78 minutes 180-lb. person: 45 minutes 240-lb person: 31 minutes

12. Cycling - Outdoor

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Outdoor cycling is another highly effective way to annihilate calories - just make sure you're not going downhill the entire time. Coasting doesn't burn calories - but pumping the pedals does.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 75 minutes 180-lb. person: 50 minutes 240-lb person: 38 minutes

11. Ice Skating

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Ice skating is for people who hate working out. It's fun and brings back memories of childhood, so it hardly feels like exercise. Skating burns calories efficiently and works your legs and butt.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 75 minutes 180-lb. person: 50 minutes 240-lb person: 38 minutes

10. Swimming Laps

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Swimming laps provides an amazing cardio workout and works nearly every muscle in your body. It's also a no-impact exercise, so those with fragile joints will appreciate this benefit. You can get tired quickly, so remember to pace yourself, but don't rest for too long.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 71 minutes 180-lb. person: 47 minutes 240-lb person: 35 minutes

9. Zumba

Zumba
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There are numerous weight loss stories attributed to Zumba. This fitness craze is perfect for those who love to dance and have an appreciation for Latin moves and music. It barely feels like exercise if you're having a blast.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 67 minutes 180-lb. person: 44 minutes 240-lb person: 33 minutes

8. Boxing - Heavy Bag

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Punching and kicking a heavy bag for a duration of time gives you incredible power and strength. And if you do it right, you'll burn a ton of calories. It can also be a terrific stress reliever if you imagine the bag to be someone or something you'd like to beat the crap out of.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 66 minutes 180-lb. person: 44 minutes 240-lb person: 33 minutes

7. Stregnth Training - Minimal Rest

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Strength training with maximum rest clocked in at number 17 on our list - but the same workout with minimum rest jumps up 10 notches. Your ideal rest period will depend on your own body, but if you're just beginning to train, start out with longer rest periods then gradually decrease them. Here's a helpful guide.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 64 minutes 180-lb. person: 43 minutes 240-lb person: 32 minutes

6. Elliptical Trainer

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The ellipitcal trainer is one of my faves, so I was pleased to see it come in the top 10. I love it because it works your arms and legs and is a low impact workout so it saves your knees. Make sure you choose a resistance that challenges you - you should break a nice sweat after 20 minutes.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 61 minutes 180-lb. person: 41 minutes 240-lb person: 31 minutes

5. Stair-climbing Machine

stair climber
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Working out on a stair climbing machine is a fantastic means of helping you achieve your weight loss goals because the calorie burn is so high. When you're stepping on revolving stairs like these, you have no choice but to keep up. Not to mention, it's great for your buns.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 61 minutes 180-lb. person: 41 minutes 240-lb person: 31 minutes

4. Martial Arts

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A vigorous martial arts practice is a full body workout that destroys calories along with your opponent - and keeps you on your toes. Go for more active forms like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Taekwondo rather than more meditative forms like tai chi.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 53 minutes 180-lb. person: 35 minutes 240-lb person: 26 minutes

3. Jogging - 6.5 miles/hour

Woman Running By Ocean with Headphones

It's old school, but it works! Best of all, you need no equipment except a good pair of shoes. Individuals who jog regularly are usually in fantastic shape - and you get to enjoy the scenery as you work out.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 53 minutes 180-lb. person: 35 minutes 240-lb person: 26 minutes

2. Cycling - Spinning Class

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Anyone who has ever tried a spinning class can attest that this is a killer calorie burner. By the time class is over, you'll be dripping sweat and feeling amazing. The instructor tells you exactly what to do with your bike so there's no guesswork and being in class among others keeps you motivated.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 53 minutes 180-lb. person: 35 minutes 240-lb person: 26 minutes

1. Running - Interval Sprints

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And here it is! The most efficient calorie burner on our list is interval sprints. Taking down 500 calories in 12-24 minutes sounds like a deal to me. To perform these, get on a track and sprint at your highest speed for half the track, then walk the other half. Repeat. You can also do interval sprints on the beach, on the street or on a treadmill. Doing these on the regular combined with a healthy diet will send you on your way to dominating your weight loss goals in no time.

Minutes to burn 500 calories:

120-lb. person: 24 minutes 180-lb. person: 16 minutes 240-lb person: 12 minutes

Sources: myfitnesspal.com, breakingmuscle.com

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