Planning the best fat-burning exercises you can do at home is a great way of speeding up your fitness results.
Workouts are only as good as the exercises that make them. Choose the wrong ones and you’ll see little progression. Get the decision right though and you’ll smash your way to greater strength, better athleticism and a leaner physique.
Maybe right now you don’t want to hit the gym. You might not have the time or the confidence to mix it up in the weights room just yet. That’s where a home workout allows you to smash your goals – in the comfort of your own front room.
Wanting to burn fat, tone your muscles and improve your fitness without a gym membership?
In this article we’ve pulled together the expert knowledge of our coaches and trainers to rank the most brutally-effective top 15 fat-burning exercises you can do at home. If your goal is to get fitter, slimmer or stronger, you’re definitely in the right place…
Exercise 1: Stair step-ups
The best thing about any home workout is being able to use your household space to create challenging exercises.
Stair step-ups target your glutes, thighs and calves to create a great lower body toning workout. And what’s more, you can progress easily by speeding up your step rate or going from one to two steps at a time.
As you step-up, place your full foot on the step and drive your body upwards using your butt and legs. Try and get tall and really use your arms to assist.
Try taking two steps at a time to increase intensity or turn stepping into hopping.
Exercise 2: Burpees
You either love them or hate them (for most people it’s hate), but there’s one thing you can’t deny… burpees are hugely effective fat burners.
Designed by American Physiologist Royal H. Burpee in the early 1900’s, this full-body exercise works both your upper and lower body, as well as your core. It’s also great for boosting heart rate and metabolic burn too as more muscle means more energy expenditure.
Burpees need to be done properly.
Although they’re low impact, they can place strain on your lower back and knees if you don’t do them with great form.
Aim for sets of 10-15 reps and enjoy the pure intensity of this brilliant exercise.
Exercise 3: Mountain climbers
Mountain climbers are pretty similar to burpees really. In fact, they’re kind of a hybrid between air cycling and single leg burpees and a great exercise to throw in if burpees hurt your back or are too hard.
As a full body exercise, mountain climbers are great for training your core, legs and arms. After a few reps you’ll understand just why we’ve added them to our list of fat-burning exercises you can do at home – they’re tough!
To begin with, alternate legs slowly and under control until you nail the technique. Try to keep your hips flat throughout and don’t arch your back.
As your form improves, speed up so that you’re effectively jogging on the spot in a press-up position. This is a great way to add some intense high-intensity cardio into the mix.
Exercise 4: Squat Jumps
This is a real booty builder exercise with the added incentive of burning maximum fat stores.
Squats jumps are a fantastic way to turn up the intensity and add an element of velocity to your lower body workout. Hitting your glutes, thighs and calves, jump squats require coordination, speed and power. They’re more advanced than standard squats… but they’re worth the trouble.
Aim to jump as high as you can, but land as quietly as possible. Think ninja or cat burglar – being able to absorb your own body weight upon landing will soon build up the leg muscles.
Exercise 5: Bear crawl
This is a truly testing full body exercise that challenges athleticism, strength and motor skills. It’s great for your arms, chest, abs and back.
The bear crawl is a foundational pattern in many ‘movement literature’ courses. Animal flow work and even kid’s exercise programming uses this complex exercise to improve overall stability and fitness. And with so many muscles working away, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most effective fat-burning exercises you can do at home.
The aim is to keep low – as though you’re trying to crawl under an imaginary fence. Maintain a flat back and coordinate your arms and legs to guide the movement. If you feel your butt stick up in the air, bend your knees more.
Exercise 6: Jumping jacks
Jumping jacks are an all-out cardio blasting exercise for your legs and arms. They burn fat at an astonishing rate, purely down to the intensity of every rep.
Named after the jumping jack children’s toy, the exercise involves jumping from a wide leg position with your hands above your head, to a narrow position with your arms by your sides.
Once you’ve nailed the movement, jumping jacks are an effective way to build your heart rate, raise your metabolic rate and improve your fitness. It’s an easy exercise to perform, but don’t let that fool you. It burns tons of fat and is easily one of the best fat-burning exercises you can do at home.
Exercise 7: Walking lunges
Walking lunges add a completely different dimension to leg day. Not only are you targeting your glutes, thighs and core – you’re doing so in a way that also ramps up heart rate and calorie burn too.
Start by taking a long stride out, maintaining a wide base of support to help with balance. As you lunge down, bend your knees but keep the front foot flat on the floor. Lower your torso until your back knee is an inch or two above the ground. As you stand back up, bring your ankles together briefly before moving into the next rep, using the opposite leg.
It requires good balance, but it’s worth it once you master the movement.
Walking lunges are a favorite weights room exercise for pro athletes… and you can see why.
Exercise 8: Skater squat
A great alternative to standard squats and lunges, skater squats hit your inner thighs and butt. They really do crank up the difficulty dial to 11.
Start in a standing position with your back straight, knees slightly bent and legs at hip-width apart. Sit back on the heel of your right leg, while moving your right leg behind it. Get as low as you can.
Focus on pushing your hips backward and descend until your right thigh hits parallel. Immediately return to the start position and move to the opposite side without rest.
Skater squats are a fantastic accessory movement to help more traditional squats. It’s easier on your knees than other single-leg exercises and builds both fitness and strength.
Exercise 9: Jackknife crunches
It’s time for a serious ab burn with jackknife crunches – an advanced tummy exercise guaranteed to help shift that excess layer of fat. Okay, core work on its own won’t lead to a slimmer waistline – but in conjunction with a healthy diet and some of the other exercises on this list, it’ll have you wearing washboard abs in no time.
Start completely flat on the floor, with your legs and arms outstretched.
Lift both legs, while at the same time reaching out towards them with your arms. At the top of the movement, only your butt should be in contact with the floor.
Try and touch your toes with your fingertips.
It’s hard, it’s brutal, but most of all, it’s effective.
Exercise 10: Push-ups
You can’t beat a good old push-up – one of the most well-known, well-loved upper body fat-burning exercises you can do at home.
Great for developing upper arm and chest strength, as well as unbreakable core stability, the push-up is more effective than people give it credit for.
Place your hands just wider than shoulder-width and shift your weight back onto your heels. Your elbows should be straight but not locked out. Create an imaginary line that passes through your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
Stability is key.
Lower yourself down so that your upper arm is parallel with the floor. From there, drive your upper body back to the start position without your hips sagging.
Can’t do a full push-up just yet? Try placing your hands on a raised surface such as a step and chair. The shift in gravity will make it much easier to crank out some good-quality reps.
Exercise 11: High knee sprints
High knees combine sprinting on the spot with squat jumps. It’s a hugely effective fat-burning exercise you can do at home as they’re part cardio, part strength.
Jog on the spot with as much pace as you can… but really exaggerate how high you drive your knees.
Keep your back straight and eyes looking forward as you do. Use your arms and pump them as fast as you can to assist the movement.
Aim for 10-20 second sprints with plenty of rest between sets to get the most from this fat-melting strength exercise.
Exercise 12: Pike push-ups
A variation on standard push-ups for your arms and shoulders, pike push-ups are both an advanced progression and an awesome strength-builder.
It’s definitely one of our favorite upper body fat-burning exercises you can do at home.
Start by placing your feet on a raised step or box. With your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart, stick your butt in the air so your legs and arms are straight, and your body is in an upside-down ‘V’ shape.
Similar to a shoulder press movement, bend your elbows until your head is just above the ground. Your legs should be straight as you descend. At the bottom, push your hands into the floor and drive your upper body back to the start position.
If you find this one too hard in the beginning, place your knees on the box instead of your feet.
Exercise 13: Renegade row
There aren’t many fat-burning exercises you can do at home to target your upper back and core at the same time. The renegade row provides all the benefits of a plank, while hitting your trapezius and rhomboids – muscles that sit around your shoulder blades.
Get into a push-up position and widen your stance to provide a wide base of support. Brace yourself and raise one arm up (similar to a rowing action) until your elbow passes your waist. Try to do this without moving the rest of your body. Slowly lower back to the start position, then change sides.
To make this exercise harder, use dumbbells if you have any laying around the house.
Exercise 14: Inchworm
Think part plank, pike push-up and leg curl. That’s what an inchworm offers – strength work for your upper body, core and legs.
It’s a low impact, low speed exercise that you can really feel burn away the calories.
Start in a position where your legs are straight, and your hands are in contact with the floor. Walk your hands out under control until you’re in a push-up position. From there. simply walk your legs until your reach the start position.
Sounds easy… but it’s a killer exercise for overall body fitness.
Exercise 15: Goblet squat
For this exercise you’ll need a weight.
It doesn’t have to be a dumbbell or kettlebell – household items such as shopping bags, tins, bags of rice or even a small child (they’ll probably enjoy it too).
Goblet squats are great for building up muscle tone in your glutes and legs. Start with a shoulder-width stance and hold a weight close to your chest. Squat down until you reach parallel and then drive your heels into the ground and push up until you reach the start position.
The key thing is to keep your back as upright as possible and resist the weight from pulling you forwards.
It’s more than possible to burn away the blubber with these fat-burning exercises you can do at home.
And with so many options, you’ve now got endless opportunities to string these exercises together into mini workouts that suit your own specific goals.