4 min read

This One Exercise Is the Best for Burning Fat

Content Editor & Certified Trainer
Lisa studied journalism and is a certified fitness and health trainer, as well as a meditation coach! She spent many years working for different lifestyle and fitness magazines, and she writes articles for us on the topics of working out, fitness, lifestyle and mind.

They’ll have you sweating like a pig and swearing like a sailor. They’ll leave you flat on the floor when they’re over. But they’ll also leave you feeling extremely accomplished and torch some fat stores in the process. If you want to get the absolute most out of your workout, you can’t skip this one move. What is it? Burpees! You read us right. If you want to go all out to burn fat, you’ll have to face this final boss sooner or later. Burpees are the ultimate cardio and strength combo exercise that will push you to your limits and melt fat.

Just imagine it. 100 burpees a day (ouch!!) and your fat deposits will be history once and for all! Well, it’s not quite that simple. Doing only a single exercise will bring you tons of progress in the short term, but sooner or later you’ll reach a training plateau. If you want to lose fat sustainably, train regularly with a full-body or split plan and continuously increase the workload. Plus, make sure you have a balanced diet and build up a healthy calorie deficit. No matter how many calories each workout burns, if you want to lose weight but aren’t fueling right, it’ll be slow going. Read more with our Weight Loss Nutrition Plan.

Support your body with our Shape Shake 2.0 – the premium meal replacement for weight loss*. Also available: Vegan Shape Shake!

Burn Fat With This Exercise: How to Do Burpees

A thin white woman in sports bra and leggings does burpees to burn fat on a wooden floor with a corrugated light blue wall behind her

When asked which exercise is the most efficient to burn fat, there’s only one answer: burpees! A classic burpee is a combination of three exercises:

  1. Squat
  2. Push-up
  3. Stretch jump

How do you do a burpee? Start in a deep squat, then place your hands on the floor and jump your feet backwards into a plank position. From here, do a push-up, hop your feet forward again, stand up, and finish with a stretch jump. Ideally, you’ll combine all these stages into one flowing movement – and do it as often as possible. For optimal recovery after your burpee workout, use our Recovery Aminos!

Burpees work not only the muscles in your legs, core, and upper body, but also your fitness, speed, and coordination. And – not to be forgotten – the fat burn effect!

But don’t get too excited: Burpees are extremely challenging, and it takes some practice to get good at a clean one. Here’s the good news, though. You can find a variation for every fitness level.

Let’s start with classic burpees:

  1. Start in an upright stance with your feet hip-width apart. From here, sink into a deep squat, pushing your butt out behind you. Keep your back straight and your gaze pointed forward.
  2. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and press your palms firmly into the mat. Jump your feet back to land in a high plank position. Your legs should be extended behind you, your core and glutes engaged, and your body forming a straight line.
  3. Bend your arms to do a smooth, controlled push-up down to the floor. Press right back up into a plank again.
  4. Bend your knees slightly. Jump your feet back to your hands into a squat position.
  5. Send a burst of power through your legs. Don’t just stand: Lift yourself into a jump into the air. Raise your arms above your head. Land (gently, if you can!). That’s one done. Now repeat it.

Watch out: Get your technique down before you add speed! Make sure you’ve got a clean burpee in your muscle memory before you think about increasing speed or reps.

What even are burpees? We wrote you an article on what the exercise is good for and how many calories it burns.

The Best Burpee Variations to Burn Fat

Find the classic burpee is a bit too hard for you? Or, on the other side, is it a bit too easy? Here are three variations for beginners and pros that can bring spice to your burpee workout.

Half Burpees

For a Half Burpee, you don’t do the push-up. That is, after jumping backward from the squat to the plank position, you immediately come forward again with your feet for the stretch jump.

Burpees with Tuck Jump

Want more? Then replace the stretch jump at the end of the burpee with a tuck jump. When you’re in the air, bring your knees up toward your chest as you jump. Land directly in the squat position, ready to do the next burpee.

Devil’s Burpee with Dumbbells

Push it to your absolute limit with this devilish burpee variation. Talk about a final boss. Find a pair of dumbbells and place them on the floor in front of you. Start your squat as usual. When you put your hands down to plank, grab the dumbbell handles. Do the push-up with your hands on the dumbbells. Then jump back into your squat. Now, instead of a stretch jump, straighten up (keep your core engaged!) and press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling. Return the weights to the floor – staying in control – and repeat the Devils Burpee. But don’t say we didn’t warn you!

More healthy living facts from foodspring:

*Weight loss with Shape Shake 2.0: Replacing two daily meals with one Shape Shake 2.0 each contributes to weight loss as part of a low-calorie diet. Replacing one meal helps you maintain your weight. The product fulfills the intended purpose only in the context of a low-calorie diet. A low-calorie diet must also include other foods. Be sure to drink enough fluids every day. Ensure a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Article sources
We at foodspring use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.