20 Best Weight Loss Exercises For Women

By on March 8, 2014

They say that weight loss is eighty percent nutrition and twenty percent exercise but, that said, you’d be surprised just how important that twenty percent is. Seriously, without it those extra pounds are going no where. But (and I’m sorry to have to tell you!) doing any old exercise and hoping for the best just isn’t enough. Not all exercises are equal when it comes to helping you lose weight – in fact, a lot of exercises simply burn more of your time than they do calories, meaning you’re not losing weight, you’re wasting the day and, ultimately, you’re likely to become demotivated and quit. That’s why it’s important to focus on doing the right exercises (don’t worry, they do exist!) – one’s that will help you tone up, slim down and drop the pounds. Interested? I though you might be! Here’s the twenty best weight loss exercises for women and why they’re great for you…


1. Tennis


Calories Burned Per Hour: 800

Tennis is a great sport for helping you to burn off calories. You do so much running around it’s great for shaping your legs too! Because it’s a social sport, you’re likely to find yourself wanting to work at it longer too, giving you an even better workout. Plus, it’s harder to bail out of if you’ve made plan with a friend too whereas a gym session you can easy skip.


2. Dancing


Calories Burned Per Hour: 600-800

If, like me, you can’t resist dancing in your chair when your favourite song comes on then maybe dancing may be the best way for you to lose weight. It’s so easy and ridiculously fun too. No, I’m not talking about you joining a class (though it’s always an option), simply get your favourite CD turned up high and dance around your room. It’s fun, it’s great for helping you to lose weight and it’s also a great stress reliever. Where’s the downside?


3. Trampolining


Calories Burned Per Hour: 400

This is officially my favourite exercise on the list. Trampolining is ridiculously fun and is great for helping you lose weight and tone up. It’s so easy too, all you have to do is bounce and you’ll be burning off calories. If you’re feeling adventurous then you can always try and learn a few tricks too – just be careful if you do!


4. Elliptical Trainer


Calories Burned Per Hour: 600

Okay, so this may not be the highest burning calorie exercise on the list but it’s definitely one of my favourites. And, I’d like to point out that while it burns an average of 600 calories per hour, I’ve known myself burn off between 800 and 900 calories in an hour so, as with everything, it depends a lot on you. Anyway, the elliptical trainer as fab for building lean, strong legs and is incredible at toning your stomach. If you’ve got some music to listen to or a TV in front of you you’ll be surprised at how lost you get in the moment, meaning you’ll go for longer and that weight will come off even quicker. I will say, when I was new to the elliptical trainer I found it hell at first – seriously, just ten minutes was a killer. After a handful of sessions though I was going at it with the best of them and burning calories like there was no tomorrow!


5. Bicycling


Calories Burned Per Hour: 500-1000

Depending on how fast you go, you can burn between 500 and 1000 calories per hour just by cycling. It’s a great leisure exercise too, especially if you have some beautiful countryside in your area. As you can imagine, cycling is great for toning your legs but so long as you’re burning calories you’re helping your entire body. If you’re not much of an outdoor chic, there’s adverse weather, you have nowhere outdoor to go or you’re simply time restricted, you can always invest in a static bicycle. They’re not quite as good for you as the real thing but seeing as we can use them while watching TV we’re not complaining! If you’re a gym member, changes are they’ll have a static bike that you can use so why not check it out? One major plus with static bikes is that a lot of them will measure roughly how many calories you burn so you can keep track too.


6. Exercise DVDs


Calories Burned Per Hour: 300-500

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering about exercise DVDs and how well they work. For any dieter they just look like such an easy fun option, right? Well, they are but the truth is they are what you make of them. You have to put all your effort into perfecting the moves or else you’re going no where. My best recommendation is to get some form of high energy DVD like a dance or cardio one – you’ll burn more calories and see results quicker.


7. Running


Calories Burned Per Hour: 500-600

Running may just be one of the best exercises out there for you. As well as helping you to burn calories it tones your legs like few other things do, it tightens your abs, it helps you get a healthy heart and lungs and it’s also an amazing stress reliever. You get so much thinking done while you’re jogging and can take your stress out with every footfall.


8. Horse Riding


Calories Burned Per Hour: 200-600

How do you fancy toning your abs, butt and thighs, all while burning calories and enjoying nature? Sounds good, right? Well, by simply hopping on a horse you’ll be doing just that. You don’t have to go often (especially seeing as ‘often’ isn’t achievable for a lot of us), simply visiting your local stables once a week will be a great way to kickstart your weight loss.


9. Swimming


Calories Burned Per Hour: 800

Swimming is another fab exercise to help you shed those extra pounds. Again, it depends on how fast you swim but you’re likely looking at burning 800 calories per hour if you stick to doing lengths of your local pool. As well as helping you to burn off loads of calories, swimming is one of the best exercises for helping you to tone your entire body. It works all your muscles, even the ones you rarely use, so as well as helping you to lose weight it tones you too. Even better? If you’ve got enough time after you’re done, you can lounge about in the steam room – talk about motivation!


10. Zumba!


Calories Burned Per Hour: 500

If you’re not disciplined enough to simply dance around your house like I mentioned earlier then why not sign up to a Zumba class? Even if you’re uncoordinated, it’s still incredibly fun and burns off a tonne of calories too! Take a friend along and you’ll find it even more enjoyable.


11. Yoga

56583a3e56d969d37e1dc0219b97ff23 Calories Burned Per Hour: 150-200

Okay, so you don’t burn off many calories while doing a yoga class but that doesn’t mean it’s not good for helping you to lose weight. Stretching with help to increase your flexibility and strengthen your muscles and yoga really does help ease any anxiety you may have and relieve stress too.


12. Kickboxing


Calories Burned Per Hour: 600

This exercise is so much fun when it comes to losing weight and you feel like such a bad ass when you’re doing it. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard work and you’ll feel exhausted when your session is up but you’ll feel all the better for it. Few things feel as good as a decent workout and kickbozing does just that.


13. Rowing


Calories Burned Per Hour: 500-600

I love rowing! Firstly because it’s so much fun and secondly because of the wonderful things it does for my arms and abs. If there’s a rowing club near you, I highly recommend you pop down and give it a go. Joining a club is a great way for you to socialise and get fit at the same time too! If that’s not an option then you can always just hop on a static rowing machine. Sure, the benefits aren’t quite as good but you’ll still burn loads of calories and tone up too!


14. Step Aerobics 


Calories Burned Per Hour: 800

That’s right, you don’t have to read that again, step aerobics can burn up to a whopping 800 calories per hour! Step aerobics is great for targeting your bum, hips and thighs – in other words, all those problem areas we could do with seeing shrink! Even better, not only is step aerobics great for helping you to shed the pounds, it’s also incredibly fun too. Get some good tunes on the radio, start your session and you’ll find the minutes ticking by quicker than ever. To see the best results, I recommend doing an hour per day but if that sounds like a bit much for you then try breaking it down into two half hour sessions – even four fifteen minute sessions will get the calories burning.


15. Football 


Calories Burned Per Hour: 400

Move over men, football is for the ladies too! I love having a kick-about even if I don’t take it too seriously. That said, playing football is a great way to tone your legs and burn calories. You don’t have to join a clue or anything too serious, just grab a couple of friends and hit the field or even take your kids down and chase after them while they play. You’ll feel exhausted by the end but you’ll have had a great time too.


16. Weight Training


Calories Burned Per Hour: 200

I know, I know, you don’t want to look bulky so why would you weight train. First off, forget that notion. Weight training makes you look lean, not bulky. Secondly, muscle burns off calories faster than fat so tell me, why wouldn’t you want to lift a few weights? While you can burn 200 calories per hour, it’s worth noting that it’s only recommended that you do 35-40 minutes three times per week so you don’t over do it.


17. Housework 


Calories Burned Per Hour: 200

Well, we may all hate housework but that’s not to say it’s not without it’s benefits. The next time you’re lugging the hoover around or getting frustrated as you pick up everyone’s mess from the floor, just think about all the calories you’re burning while doing it! Housework may not be glamorous but at least it’s helping you to shape up.


18. Gardening 


Calories Burned Per Hour: 350

Gardening is so therapeutic and it’s great for helping you to lose weight too. Think about all the hard work you’re doing while you’re planing those tasty fruits and vegetables? You’re burning calories and growing yourself a nice healthy meal!


19. Walking


Calories Burned Per Hour: 300-400

Walking is one of those exercises that may well burn more time than calories but all the same it’s still great for helping us to lose weight. Not all of us are up for a gym session or are even sporty in the slightest for that matter so a brusque walk is a great alternative. It’s leisurely and it’s something that most all of us can fit into our daily routines. You don’t have to venture out on a long walk or hike, simply walking to work or the shops is an easy change you can make that will also help you with your weight loss goals.


20. Hiking


Calories Burned Per Hour: 400-450

If gentle walking isn’t adventurous enough for you then hit the hills and head out for a hike. Tackling steeper hills will help you to burn calories faster and will help to shape and strengthen your legs. As well as being good for you, hiking is a great way for you to get out, clear your head and see some amazing views. Why not check out what hiking trails are near you and find out what wonders you can see?


So there you have it, ladies, 20 of the best exercises to help you to lose weight. Now all there is to be done is to go out there and do them. Best of luck and enjoy!

(all images sourced via pinterest.com)


  1. Avatar

    Shelley dudley

    April 24, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    For any woman who wants to lose weight, exercise must take center stage in your order of events. I believe this does not have to be rigorous as one can also have fun while exercising. You have mentioned Tennis, this is a great sports to get you agile. I love your combination here as it blends fun and exercise. This means one can shake off some fat while they have some fun. Great piece you have here, thanks for the share.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:38 am

      We are really glad that you enjoyed it–you obviously have a great attitude toward working out! The most important exercise is the one that you do, so something fun is always better than a rigorous, difficult workout plan.

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    April 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I love the idea of “hidden calorie loss”…when you’re doing things around the house and the calorie loss is adding up, like housework and gardening. If you are an avid gardener, skip the water hose and use a watering can instead…great for your arms! Horseback riding was a new one, but yeah, anytime I’ve done it, I’m sore so it makes sense.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 3:05 am

      Horseback riding is probably my favorite, but it is so hard to do if you do not own a horse! I wish I could just steal someone’s horse for a long ride over some mountain trails. I am glad that you share my love of the outdoors, gardening and horses!

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    Jada S.

    April 24, 2014 at 10:02 am

    I had been struggling to lose weight from long time, tried all kinds of diets and exercises. I only lost a few pounds.After reading this article I decided to follow these exercises in combination of a healthy diet. Glad I got my curves back!!

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 3:06 am

      It can be so hard to lose weight. Although one pound is supposed to equal 3,500 calories, it rarely does in reality. You should be congratulated for starting the long, rewarding process toward becoming a better you. Great work, Jada!

  4. Avatar


    April 24, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Wow I didn’t realize so many household chores burn that many calories, an incentive to spruce up the house! Also lots of useful information about calories burnt. Any woman would want to know that!! Thanks for all the tips again and exercises that I wouldn’t have imagined doing. Maybe it’s time for a gym membership!

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 3:11 am

      I love getting to think about how much of a workout I am doing while I clean house. In a way, you could almost save money on your gym membership by just doing household chores and gardening. I am happy that you found this article to be a helpful read. Thanks!

  5. Avatar


    April 22, 2014 at 1:09 am

    I have been wanting to try tennis for a long time now, but worry that I wouldn’t be very good at it. But at 800 calories an hour…who cares how good I am!! I mostly run now, but want to try switching things up to get a good variety and work different muscle groups. One exercise that I can never get rid of? Housework! 🙁

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 3:18 am

      For you to stick to a sport over the course of your entire life, it has to be fun and enjoyable–being good at it does not really matter. I am glad that you have already realized the benefits of just having a workout that you really enjoy!

  6. Avatar

    Purvi Kantariya

    April 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    WOW! It’s awesome…
    All the activities which are described above are awesome. I swim everyday at least for an hour. Also I walk in morning approx. 2 km which makes me feel great whole day..

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 3:20 am

      That is so wonderful that you do all of those exercises each day! I am really amazed that you are able to find the time. I always want to workout that much each day, but I am almost never able to get it together and actually do it. Nice job, Purvi!

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    April 21, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Oh Zumba! I always wanted to try it. It looks a lot of fun. A dear friend of mine actually started with it some years ago and really lost a lot of weight. So i guess it really pays off if you are determined enough. But maybe i will just stick to the gardening. 😉

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 3:22 am

      I agree–I have really been wanting to try Zumba for a long time. I find that mixing dancing into my workout routines is a really great way to make sure that I am actually working out. Gardening is another great way to get in shape. Plus, the fresh vegetables and fruit can really give your diet a boost!

  8. Avatar


    April 21, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I can’t tell you how happy I am to see gardening on this list! It’s my favorite summer hobby. And now that my grandsons are 3 and 4 years old I was planning to put in a trampoline for them, so I’m actually excited to see it’ll be good for me, too.
    We own quite a few acres, so I do hike fairly regularly. Not on inclines so much as very uneven terrain, but still, I do it. When people ask if I exercise my first instinct is to say ‘no’ because it’s not regimented, but looking at this list, I feel like I can honestly say “yes” and feel good about it!

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:45 pm

      Gardening is one of my favorite activities as well. In addition to being really healthy for your body, it is such a great way to encourage children to eat vegetables! I agree with you completely about hiking–I always forget to count exercise activities that are not part of a stereotypical workout.

  9. Avatar


    April 21, 2014 at 1:50 am

    I LOVE swimming, but sometimes feel like it is not as effective for weight loss as running or other “more intense” workouts, but this shows it burns even more calories per hour than running if you keep up the intensity! That’s awesome! Even more awesome is “Trampolining” – I would have never considered that a workout since it is so fun!

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Swimming is such a great workout for your body. I have noticed that it does not seem to be the same level of intensity as well, but that could be just the way that I swim. Trampolining would also be a great workout plan. The goal is to pick a workout that you will actually stick with–so choose a workout that you have fun doing.

  10. Avatar

    sarah evanston

    April 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Kickboxing has always been my go-to exercise. It helps me lose weight, stay tone and blow off some steam. Everyone should try it, it is very empowering.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      Kickboxing is a great exercise as well because you can do it at home! As long as you have a couple of kickboxing videos for your DVD player, you can get a high-quality workout for free. At the same time, you will also get to brush up on your self-defense skills.

  11. Avatar

    Jane White

    April 19, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    No doubt there are lots of benefits associated with exercise. I have a trampoline at home, but I never knew it can be used for exercise. Hum, I know better now. As a result of my busy schedules, I have not had time for exercise, however, I will sure create time for this. Thanks, this is informative.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Getting a gym can be rather difficult. Between finding time to work out and making the drive to and from the gym, a daily workout goal can be quickly forgotten. One of the best ways to make sure that you workout is to pick at-home workout plans. It saves you time and money while ensuring that you will actually end up working out!

  12. Avatar

    Nicole Hilton

    April 16, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I don’t know about all these exercises but I can confirm that kickboxing and especially Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is great for weight loss. Many women think that it is difficult to practice such sport but that’s not true. With a proper trainer you can get some amazing results in short period.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Muay Thai is such a fun martial arts! Basically all of the martial arts are really good for your body–plus, they are such a great way to learn about self defense.

  13. Avatar


    April 15, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    The good thing about this list is that most of these activities are FUN. I hate feeling like I’m working out just to work out.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      I agree completely with you. There is nothing worse than sitting on a treadmill and watching your iPod to see if time is actually passing by. All of the items on this list are much more enjoyable and are generally cheaper as well.

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    April 15, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    The list is quite impressive. Moreover, as you have mentioned the calories burned per hour with each workout, this makes the article all the more impressive. I never knew that gardening and housework too can burn calories. Today onwards,I will never scream on my kids for not keeping their things in place 😉

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Good luck with not screaming at your kids! 😉 But, really, it looks like your kids have been doing you a favor! Housework and gardening are actually excellent ways to stay in shape. How cool is that?

  15. Avatar

    Mandy Williams

    April 14, 2014 at 5:48 am

    This was a great article. I like this list!

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      I am really happy to hear that you enjoyed the list! Thanks!

  16. Avatar

    Laurie A.

    April 14, 2014 at 5:45 am

    If housework burns that many calories, I should be a lot thinner. Then again maybe I would be a lot bigger if I never cleaned!

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      That is certainly one way to look at it! Sometimes, I get depressed when I do not start to lose weight right away when I begin working out. Then, I realize that my workouts are also stopping me from gaining weight. It might not be quite as motivating, but it is still a positive benefit of getting a workout in each day.

  17. Avatar


    April 14, 2014 at 5:43 am

    I am so glad it is hiking season again where I live. It’s on exercise I don’t get bored doing.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      I agree with you, Christina. I hate winter because there are not any outdoor sports or activities that I really like to do. With the weather finally changing, it is time to go outdoors and get in shape!

  18. Avatar


    April 14, 2014 at 5:41 am

    I was really ready to be mad at this article. I expected to see all the things I hate like crunches, planks, and burpees. But I actually enjoy everything listed here- especially kickboxing. Woohoo!

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Thank you for your feedback, Carina! I am glad to see that you enjoyed the list! Kickboxing was one of my favorites–did you check out the calories burned from housework and trampolining? We received a lot of comments about all three of those topics.

  19. Avatar

    Annie Marie Peters

    April 13, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Wow! Awesome list. Thank you for including the calories burned per hour. That’s really helpful. I recently started doing Yoga. Although it doesn’t burn as much as kickboxing, it’s still a challenging and worthwhile way to exercise.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      Yoga burns less calories, but it is still a lot of fun. Plus, you need aerobic exercises and strength training. The resistance in yoga is a type of strength training, and it is actually really good for your body. Keep up the great work, Annie!

  20. Avatar

    Mary M.

    April 13, 2014 at 3:01 am

    Kickboxing is a great workout for weight loss! Where I train we do a lot of high intensity interval training workouts that are so intense you feel like you just want to collapse into a puddle of sweat.

    • web admin

      web admin

      March 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      I agree completely, Mary! Kickboxing is a really intense workout that is designed to really help you shed the weigh. Plus, it is a great way to get some self defense training in. I am glad to hear that we have another fan of kickboxing! Thanks for the feedback, Mary!

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