22 Best Exercises for Weight Loss

There’s no argument exercise can help you lose weight, especially paired with a healthy diet.

Exercising burns calories and builds lean muscle mass, which is essential for increasing your metabolism and losing weight.

In fact, muscles contribute to as much as 20-25 percent of your total metabolic rate (metabolism). So it’s clear having more muscle tones can help you burn more calories and shed off pounds faster (1).

These 23 “best exercises for weight loss”, target your legs, butt, abs, arms, and shoulders.

They work your entire body and help build the lean muscle mass that contributes to a faster, more permanent weight loss.

So get ready to rev up your metabolism, torch calories, and lose weight with these best weight loss workouts. 

Pick one or two, even three of these 23 best exercises for weight loss to add to your workout routine. You can also try the 15-Minute weight loss workout at the bottom of the page. 

1. Burpees

Burpees best exercise for weight loss

Burpees are a full body-weight exercise that involves a jump, push-up, squat, and another jump.

This multi-move exercise makes the burpee one of the “best exercises for weight loss”, and best fit for improving your overall health, including your cardiovascular fitness and stamina.

In fact, you can burn as much as 10 calories per minute doing burpees.

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms down by your side. Lower into a squat position with your hands flat on the floor in front of you. Kick your legs backward into a press up “push-up” position and lower your chest to the floor.

Push your chest off the floor back up to the press up position and thrust both feet forward so you are back in the squat position. Jump up and raise both hands over your head. Do 10 reps.

2. Jump Rope

Jumping rope is an excellent aerobic exercise for weight loss. It burns calories while also conditioning the heart and body. According to Live Strong, a 125-pound person can burn about 300 calories jumping for just a few minutes.

To start, hold the ends of a jump rope and stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Push off with the balls of your feet and point your toes downward, while making small circles with your wrists.

Land softly on your toes, and immediately push off again. Focus on jumping over the rope as quickly as possible.

3. Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks is another great cardio-based bodyweight aerobic exercise you can do anywhere and anytime to burn calories and condition your whole body.

The exercise is simple and almost requires no exercise experience to perform. Performing this exercise regularly can help you lose weight and fat.

Start with your legs together. Engage your core as you jump your legs apart and bring your arms overhead. Hop your legs back together and bring your arms down to return to the start. Repeat for 30 to 60 seconds.

4. Skaters


Cross your right leg behind your left leg as you bend your left knee into a half-squat position. Extend your left arm out to the side, and swing your right arm across your hips.

Hop a few feet directly to the right, switching the position of your legs and arms. That’s one rep. Continue hopping from side to side without pausing or resetting your feet. Do 10 reps.


Lunges are one of the best strength training exercises you can do for your lower body. They come in many different variations—bodyweight for beginners, and weight for added resistance. They’re great for strengthening, toning and shaping the legs, and butt.

You can see all the different lunge variations here in this article.

5. Basic Bodyweight Lunge

Basic bodyweight lunge

Palms facing each other, hold your hands straight down next to your sides. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and brace your core. Step backward with your left leg.

Then lower your body into a lunge. That’s one rep. Do all your reps and then repeat on your other leg.

6. Dumbbell Lunge

Start by holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides with your palms facing each other. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, and brace your core.

Step backward with your left leg. Then lower your body into a lunge. That’s one rep. Do all your reps and then repeat on your other leg.

7. Alternate Split Lunge Jump

Alternate Split Lunge Jump

The jump lunge combines two exercises “lunge” and “jump” into one to help build both cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength.

“This unilateral exercise also improves stability and balance throughout the body” (2).

To begin, start in a split stance position with your hands on your hips, your torso upright, and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Push your chest out and lower your rear knee toward the ground in a lunge while keeping your front shin as vertical as possible.

With your core engaged, push explosively off the ground, jumping and switching the position of your legs mid-air, landing into the lunge position with the opposite leg forward. Repeat, switching legs on each jump. Continue alternating from side to side until you do 10 reps on each side.


Another exercise that can help you lose weight quickly is “squats”.

Squats are a type of strength training exercise that works the legs, butt, hamstrings, calves and your core. It’s a great exercise to add to your weight loss workout because squats work the body’s large muscle group “the legs”.

Working these muscles will not only increase the amount of calories or energy your body uses, but you’ll also increase lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be, and faster you therefore burn calories and lose weight.

 Your muscles contribute to as much as 20 to 25% of total resting metabolic rate (metabolism). 

8. Basic Bodyweight Squat

Squat exercise

Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees.

Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. Do 10 reps.

9. Jump Squat

Jump squat

To begin, stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed slightly out. Keeping your chest upright and your abs tight.

Bend your knees and sit your hips back, extending your arms straight in front of you at your shoulder height. Press through your heels to jump as high as you can off the ground, swinging your arms behind you. 

Land softly and immediately lower into your next squat. That’s one rep. Continue for 10 reps.

10. Bulgarian Split Squat

Bulgarian split squat

Bulgarian Split Squat is just like the regular squat except you do it in a split stance with your foot elevated on a bench or a secured chair. It’s a great exercise for shaping your rear end and toning the thighs.

To perform the Bulgarian Split Squat, you need to grab a chair or box for your back leg. Be sure to secure the box, so it will not move during the exercise. 

Start by placing your right toes on a bench, box, stair or chair, which keeping your left leg straight. Make sure your left foot is out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle.

Bend your left knee, squeeze your right glute and lower your body toward the ground. Press your left heel into the ground to straighten your left knee. This completes one rep. Do 10 reps before switching legs.

11. Dumbbell Squat to press

This exercise is awesome—you’ll work your legs, core, arms, and shoulders. It also strengthens the upper and mid-back muscles. Squat to press is a great exercise to get a full-body workout that burns both calories and fat, while also strengthening and toning your entire body.

To start, grab and hold a pair of dumbbells at your shoulders, elbows bent, and feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and squat down until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor. As you stand, press the weights overhead until your arms are straight. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 10 to 15 reps per set.

12. Glute Bridge

Glute bridge exercise

Glute bridges are not only a great exercise for weight loss but they also tone and shape your butt muscles. They’ll strengthen your core, improve posture, and reduce risk of lower back pain.

Lie flat on your back, bend your legs to bring the calves close to the thighs and place your hands on the floor next to your body.

Contract your abs, and lift your hips off the floor as high as you can. Squeeze the butt muscles at the top for 1-2 seconds then slowly lower the butt to the floor and repeat. Do 10 to 15 reps.

13. Single-leg Deadlift

Single-leg Deadlift

Stand tall with your feet together. Keep your weight on your heels. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand.

Bend forward and lower the weight towards your front foot. While doing it, raise your other leg behind to maintain balance. Be sure to keep your back straight while bending. Use your grounded foot to return to your starting position.

Once the weight reaches mid-shin level, return to start. That’s one rep, do 10 repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.

14. Dumbbell Renegade Row

Renegade row exercise

Grab a pair of 8 to 10-pound dumbbells and get into a high plank position with your hands on the weights and your feet hip-width apart. Bend your right elbow and raise the dumbbell until your elbow passes your torso, pressing the left dumbbell into the floor for balance.

Lower your arm and repeat on the other side. Continue alternating for 10 reps.

15. Push-ups


Push-ups are the perfect upper-body exercises. They do everything a plank does and more. They work the arms, shoulders, and core; even your legs have to work during a push-up. In-fact it’s been said you can drop down and give 10, you are considered to be in a good shape.

To start, get into a push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your body forming a straight line from your shoulders to your ankle. Keep your core engaged and back flat.

Lower your body to the floor so your chest grazes the ground. Push back up to high plank position. Do 10 reps.

16. Single-Arm Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

Single-Arm Dumbbell Bent Over-Row

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand, bend your knees, and lean forward from your hips.

Brace your abs and pull the weight up to chest height without rotating your torso. Return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. 

17. Dips


For many people especially women, arms are one of the first places you’ll start to lose weight, which is a good thing. But as this happens, you’ll want to tighten the arm muscles a bit, and there is no better exercise to tone the arms than the “dips”. 

In-fact this move is scientifically proven as one of the best “arm exercises” to target the arm flab (3).

Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with your knees bent and your feet on the floor in front of you. Place your palms face-down next to your thighs. Keep your arms straight, scoot forward until your hips and butt are in front of the seat.

Bend your elbows to lower your hips until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push back to start. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as possible with good form. Aim for 10-15 reps if you can.

18. Side-Plank Leg Lift

Place your right elbow on the ground. Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line. Balance on the outside edge of your right foot. Flex both feet and reach your left hand to the ceiling.

Keeping your spine lengthened and your abs engaged, lift your left leg up just higher than your top hip. Then slowly lower it back to your bottom leg.

Keep your waist up and lifted, and don’t sink into your bottom shoulder. Do three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

19. T-Plank


Start in a plank position. Contract your core, then rotate your torso to the right, raising your right arm toward the ceiling as you roll onto the outside of your left foot.

Pause, then reverse the movement to return to start. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps each.

20. One-Leg Plank

Single leg plank

Get into a modified plank position, with your forearms on the ground, elbows directly under your shoulders, and legs extended straight behind you, feet hip-width apart. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, and your core should be braced.

Keeping your hips parallel to the floor, squeeze your glutes to raise your right foot a few inches into the air. You can hold that position for the entire—30 to 90 seconds, then lower your foot. Switch legs and repeat.

21. Reverse Wood Chop

Reverse wood chop

This exercise not only will trim your waistline it will also work your entire body including your legs, abs, core, arms, and shoulders. Which can help you burns extra calories and shed off pounds!

To start, squat and holding a medicine ball next to your right hip. Keep your core engaged and your arms straight, raise the ball up and across your body until you’re standing and the ball is above your left shoulder. Lower back to start. That’s one rep.

22. Diamond Sit-Up

Diamond Sit-up

Technically considered a situp, this move works the abs through a larger range of motion, which adds some functional fitness training to the exercise.

Lie on your back and open your legs into a diamond shape (aka butterfly legs), with the soles of your feet pressed together and knees out wide. Extend the arms overhead.

Inhale to curl the torso up, and tap the floor in front of your feet to stretch your glutes a bit.

15-Minute Weight Loss Workout

Weight loss workout

There you have it!

15-minute weight loss workout for women. This workout is simple. It requires no equipment, just your bodyweight as resistance.

So give it a go and let me know how you like it in the comment below. 

Misato Alexandre


After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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