What Form of Exercise Burns More Calories?

Have you ever wondered what types of exercises actually burn the most calories per minute?  This question was looked at in a recent issue of Men’s Journal magazine (April, 2015).  They compared four different activities, using a 5-minute testing period, to look at the highest caloric expenditure.  The four different exercises included: body-weight exercises, jogging, swinging a kettlebell, and jumping rope.  All are great forms of exercises and you need minimal equipment to perform each exercise.

jumprope_routine1You will obviously burn more calories as the intensity and duration are increased and men typically burn more calories than women per minute of exercise due to the difference in lean muscle level.  We are assuming the numbers posted in the article, by Melaina Junti, are for men.

They determined jumping rope was number one, in a 5-minute workout, burning 79 calories while the body weight exercises, consisting of push-ups and pull-ups came in fifth using 51 total calories. Jumping rope is a great training tool to start using prior to your workout. In a previous post, on the benefits of jumping rope, it was reported that 10-minutes of jumping rope was equivalent to jogging for 30-minutes.

Here are their ranking with the amount of calories in ( ):

1. Jumping Rope (79)

2. Swinging a Kettlebell (63)

3. Jogging (53)

4. Push-ups/Pull-ups (51)

Interesting numbers, especially kettlebell swings being higher than pushing and pulling your body weight for 5-minutes. This was probably due to the subject getting more total swings with a kettlebell during the 5-minute period.

Here are some exercises that maybe they could look at next, comparing the effects of 5-minutes of cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing, jogging up hill, HIIT using a bike or rower, and stadium stair running.

The Top 5 Exercises that Burn the Most Calories

calorie-burnSo many people would love to lose body fat. Whether the goal is to burn fat to allow muscles to shine through or you are looking to lose pounds, the key to doing so is cardiovascular exercise. Cardio gets your heart rate up and burns calories unlike any other type of exercise. Although there are many calorie burning exercises out there, you want to do the ones that yield the best results. Here are the top five exercises that burn the most calories.


Cycling is a huge calorie burner. It is basically the ultimate cardiovascular workout. Something as simple as an hour bike ride can burn an impressive 850 calories for women and 900 calories for men. In order to make the most out of this workout try your best to remain at a maximum intensity.


Aerobics is not only an effective way to tone and tighten the body but it is a huge calorie burner. When you are just starting out learning the moves is a bit challenging but the challenging the better. When you get the hang of it you will not only be working your muscles but burning as much as 700 calories. Do not hesitate, sign up for a class at a nearby gym and see your body transform.


If you like to dance and want to burn fat Zumba is perfect. The classes are so fun and are very high energy. After you learn a few moves you will have such a good time that you will forget that you are working out. An hour of Zumba can burn anywhere from 400 to 750 calories.


Swimming is a wonderful exercise to integrate into your routine. If you have a pool you are set. For those who do not, get a membership at a gym that does. Aside from being able to burn an ample amount of calories, about 840 for men and 720 for women, swimming is truly enjoyable. Another advantage of swimming is that you get to remain cool and sweat free during the duration of your workout.

Jumping Rope

Jumping rope can burn an astounding 750 to 850 calories. This calorie burning exercise is a great option for those with kids. You can spend time playing outside with your children while becoming more fit at the same time. Jumping rope will help you drop the pounds and achieve the body you want.

This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards. Now available in Australia.

Is 10-Minutes of Jumping Rope Equivalent to 30-Minutes of Running?

jumprope_routineThere was a report that was previously published that looked at the effects of jumping rope and how 10-minutes of jumping rope could be equivalent to running for 30-minutes.

After doing a little research I found a few research studies that have been published on the benefits of jumping rope; one study was published in The Research Quarterly, a journal of the American Association for Health, Physical Education and Research.

It was a comparative study of rope skipping and jogging, and tried to determine the effects of each on an individuals cardiovascular fitness level.

Led by John A. Baker at Arizona State University, the study divided 92 male students into two groups, half of the group skipped rope for 10-minutes a day, the other half jogged for 30-minutes a day. After six weeks, the men were administered the Harvard Step Test to measure their cardiovascular gain.  Each group showed an equal level of improvement.

Baker concluded that a 10-minute daily program of rope jumping is as efficient as a 30-minute daily program of jogging for improvement cardiovascular efficiency. He went on to recommend that jumping rope, which is less time-consuming than jogging, would be a valuable component of any physical education program geared toward building endurance. He also viewed jumping rope as an option for adults who were unable to jog because of time or space restriction.

In a second study, a group of researchers from Temple University saw measurable gains in cardiovascular fitness in a group of adult men who engaged in progressive rope skipping. In another small study, women who jumped rope for five minutes a day, over a four-week period, were rewarded with lower pulse rates, increased oxygen uptake and a 25 percent improvement in physical work capacity.

Skipping rope has also been found in other studies to reduce tension and raise energy levels. Subjects in experiments at Illinois University’s Physical Fitness Research Center were studied while skipping rope during a 60-minute, five-day a week, for a ten-week period. The study demonstrated that the activity of jumping rope, can help lower pulse rate, blood pressure and increase oxygen consumption. The results were greater leg and knee strength, increased calf size, better jumping ability, and faster running speed. They were also found to be more agile, more flexible, and their hearts were found to have become stronger.

Jumping rope will expend about a 720 calories an hour (at 120-140 turns per minute and depending on body weight) which is the same as running at close to a six-mile pace.  If the intensity is increased (i.e. number of foot taps) one can increase caloric expenditure to 1000 calories or more per hour, again depending on body weight.  A boxer can hit 300 RPM in a minute of jumping rope.

These studies suggest that average people, non-athletes, are able to experience significant benefits from a form of exercise that required only a small time commitment and a minimal investment in equipment. On the opposite end of the spectrum you have the highly trained athlete, like the boxer that was mentioned, who can increase his endurance, improve balance, coordination, agility and quickness through his training. Those attributes are needed for all other athletes and you can take advantage of this training effect as well.

Try adding some jump roping into your training routine especially if you’re doing any type of interval or circuit training work. Start slow and increase your toe taps over time.  As an example, I average about 125 toe taps or RPM for every minute of jumping rope. For more information on adding it into your routine see Ross Enamait’s site.

The following statistics on jump roping were found on the Jump Rope Institute website founded in 1996 by former Olympian Buddy Lee.  According to his site, “research has shown jumping rope for a minimum of five minutes a day can improve physical fitness and when you build to ten minutes of nonstop jumping at 120 RPMs it can provide the same benefits as the following”:

  • 30 minutes of jogging
  • 2 sets of tennis singles
  • 30 minutes of racquet and handball playing
  • 720 yards of swimming
  • 18 holes of golf



Baker J.A. (1968). Comparison of Rope Skipping and Jogging as Methods of Improving Cardiovascular Efficiency of College MenResearch Quarterly. American Association For Health, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 39(2).