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Fat Burning Workouts for Women That Actually Work!

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By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

fat burning workouts for women

Fad diets, miracle pills and patches, and trendy workout equipment aren't the answer. Try some fat burning workouts for women that actually work instead!

Exercise is one of the most important components of fat loss because it increases lean muscle to burn the calories needed to drop excess fat.

Muscle mass gives you the definition you desire and increases your metabolism, as muscle burns more calories than fat even during rest.

It sounds simple, but to get rid of body fat, burn more calories than you eat on a regular basis.

Eating a healthy diet is just as (if not more) important as exercise!

But you still need to work out. Start with these fat burning workouts for women!

Check out these alternative exercises that will keep you fit — without even realizing you're working out!

Key Components of Fat Burning Workouts for Women

There are numerous key components to keep in mind when creating fat burning workouts for women.

It’s important to have a good mix of the following exercises to stay slim and trim.

Continuous Cardiovascular Exercise

Continuous cardiovascular exercise means you’ll complete aerobic workouts at a continuous, moderate-intensity pace.

Examples of cardiovascular exercises to choose from include:

  • Power walking
  • Walking uphill
  • Climbing stairs
  • Using an elliptical machine
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Jogging
  • Rowing

To maximize fat burning, aim to complete continuous cardio workouts lasting at least 45 minutes in length.

Studies show that this volume of continuous exercise reduces belly fat and improves body composition.

The following list gives you a good idea of the number of calories you’ll burn doing continuous cardio at a moderate intensity for 45 minutes if you weigh 155 pounds:

  • Walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour: 224 calories
  • Walking at a pace of 4.5 miles per hour: 279 calories
  • Biking at moderate intensity: 390 calories
  • Rowing at moderate intensity: 390 calories
  • Low-impact step aerobics: 390 calories
  • Using an elliptical machine: 503 calories
  • Jogging at a pace of 5.2 miles per hour: 503 calories
  • Using a ski machine: 530 calories
  • Swimming the breaststroke: 558 calories
  • High-impact step aerobics: 558 calories
  • Kickboxing: 558 calories
  • Jogging at a pace of 6.7 miles per hour: 614 calories

If you weigh more than 155 pounds, you’ll burn additional calories doing the same workouts at the same intensity.

Learn about the best types of cardio for fat loss and the science behind cardio for WOMEN!

High-Intensity Interval Training

Because high-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise, you can burn the same number of calories as continuous cardiovascular exercise but in less time.

You might sprint for 1 minute followed by 1-minute lower-intensity bouts for a total of 20-30 minutes, instead of longer 45-minute continuous cardio sessions.

Choose biking, jogging, swimming, or rowing, for example.

This 15-minute HIIT workout for women can be done at home with no equipment!

Resistance Training

You can burn a significant number of calories and fat by weight lifting or using your own body weight as resistance.

A 155-pound adult expends about 112 calories lifting weights at a low-intensity for 30 minutes, and 223 calories resistance training at a high intensity for the same amount of time.

Should women lift weights? Discover all of the benefits of weight lifting for women!

Circuit Training

During circuit training, you’ll complete specific exercises for about 1-2 minutes and immediately move to the next exercise with little or no rest periods between sets.

Circuit training burns about 298 calories in 30 minutes if you weigh 155 pounds, but you can expend additional calories working out high intensities.

For example, you can burn about 12-13 calories per minute jumping rope as part of your circuit training routine.

This HIIT circuit workout is great way to prevent weight gain during the holidays (or any time of the year)!

Balance and Flexibility Workouts

To change things up for a lower intensity workout, try balance and flexibility exercises to maximize fat burning, relax you, relieve stress, and improve your overall health and wellness.

Choose yoga, tai chi, or pilates once or twice each week.

Does stretching burn calories and help you lose weight? Learn the truth about stretching and weight loss.

Sports and Fun Activities of Daily Living

Increasing fun activities of daily living can significantly boost your overall calorie expenditure to enhance fat loss.

Examples of everyday activities you might enjoy and the calories you'll burn in 30 minutes (if you weigh 155 pounds) include:

  • Cooking: 90 calories
  • Bowling: 112 calories
  • Dancing: 112 calories
  • Grocery shopping: 130 calories
  • Playing beach volleyball: 149 calories
  • Tai chi: 149 calories
  • Curling: 149 calories
  • Gardening: 167 calories
  • Heaving house cleaning: 167 calories
  • Painting: 167-186 calories
  • Mowing the lawn: 167-205 calories
  • Shoveling: 223 calories
  • Cross country skiing: 223 calories
  • Water skiing: 223 calories
  • Playing soccer: 260 calories
  • Playing tennis: 260 calories
  • Racquetball: 260-372 calories
  • Downhill skiing: 298 calories
  • Snowshoeing: 298 calories
  • Rock climbing: 409 calories

The bottom line is to stay as active as you can all throughout the day, not just during workouts.

Make sure you warm-up and stretch before and after sweat sessions, and sleep at least 7-9 hours nightly to give your body a chance to rest and recover.

Many people wonder “is exercise necessary for weight loss?” Find out the truth!

Examples of Fat Burning Workouts for Women

Below are some workouts for women that burn fat, boost muscle definition, and enhance weight loss to give you the tight, toned body you desire.

Circuit Training Workout 1

Warm-up and stretch: 5 minutes

First circuit: 10 minutes

  • Box jumps: 1 minute
  • Dumbbell squats to overhead press: 1 minute
  • Alternating box toe touches: 1 minute
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Repeat two more times

For dumbbell squats to overhead press, squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor. When you stand back up, immediately press the dumbbells above your head into a shoulder press. Repeat this motion continuously.

During alternating box toe touches, you’ll need the box you used for box jumps. You can also use a weight bench or stairs. Touch the toes on your right foot to the edge of your box, then touch the box with your left foot. Alternate these motions continuously while jumping.

Second circuit: 10 minutes

  • Renegade rows: 1 minute
  • Standing biceps curls: 1 minute
  • Rope jumping: 1 minute
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Repeat two more times

Third circuit: 10 minutes

To complete deadlifts with dumbbells, stand up tall holding your weights with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Slowly bend at your waist and keep your back straight until it's about parallel with the floor. Using your glutes, lift your body back up into a standing position, and repeat the motion.

For lying leg raises, you’ll lie down on your back with your legs up at a 90-degree angle with the floor. Slowly lower your legs (keep them as straight as you can) until they almost touch the floor. Lift them up and repeat the motion continuously.

Cool down and stretch: 5 minutes

Circuit Training Workout 2

Warm-up and stretch: 5 minutes

First circuit: 10 minutes

  • Walking lunges with dumbbells: 1 minute
  • Step-ups: 1 minute
  • Burpees: 1 minute
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Repeat two more times

To complete box step-ups, simply grab a sturdy box (or a weight bench or stairs) and step up with your right leg. Step back down and step up onto the box with your left leg. Repeat these motions continuously.

Second circuit: 10 minutes

Third circuit: 10 minutes

  • Dumbbell squats with alternating rear leg lifts: 1 minute
  • Standing triceps extensions: 1 minute
  • Russian twists: 1 minute
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Repeat two more times

For dumbbell squats with alternating rear leg lifts, hold dumbbells and squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor. As you stand back up, lift one leg behind your body (keep it as straight as you can), squat back down, lift up the other leg behind you, and repeat continuously.

During standing triceps extensions, stand up and hold a dumbbell in your hands directly above your head. Slowly lower the weight down behind your head and neck as far as you can, lift the weight back up using your triceps, and repeat continuously.

Cool down and stretch: 5 minutes

Circuit Training Workout 3

Warm-up and stretch: 5 minutes

First circuit: 10 minutes

  • Dumbbell jump squats or regular jump squats: 1 minute
  • Wall squats: 1 minute
  • Side to side hops: 1 minute
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Repeat two more times

To complete wall squats, find a wall and squat down with your back against the wall. Your thighs should be about parallel with the floor. Hold this position for 1 minute or as long as you can.

Second circuit: 10 minutes

  • Bent-over dumbbell rows: 1 minute
  • Standing lateral raises with dumbbells: 1 minute
  • High knees with alternating elbow touches: 1 minute
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Repeat two more times

During bent-over dumbbell rows, bend over at the waist until your back is about parallel with the floor. Slowly lift your dumbbells up toward your chest, lower them back down, and repeat continuously.

For standing lateral raises, you’ll stand up tall while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your arms as straight as you can and lift the weights up and away from your midsection until your arms are about parallel with the floor and form a “t-shape” with the rest of your body. Lower you arms back down and repeat continuously.

When doing high knees with alternating elbow touches, simply jog in place using high knees and touch your elbow to the opposite knee continuously during the exercise.

Third circuit: 10 minutes

To complete squat kicks with dumbbells, simply hold dumbbells and squat down until your thighs are about parallel with the floor. On your way back up, kick out in front of you with your right leg. Squat back down and kick out with your left leg the next time. Repeat continuously.

Cool down and stretch: 5 minutes

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Continuous Cardiovascular Workout

During continuous cardio workouts, exercise at a moderate intensity for 45-60 minutes.

Choose walking, jogging, biking, stair climbing, or any other favorite cardiovascular exercise.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout

When you’re tight on time, choose a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout using your favorite aerobic exercise.

Try the following:

  • 5-minute warmup
  • 15-20 minutes of alternating 1 minute of high-intensity exercise with 1 minute of a low-intensity bout
  • 5-minute cooldown

Any type of aerobic exercise, such as jogging, swimming, or using an elliptical machine, will do the trick!

Flexibility Workout

For your flexibility workout choose yoga, pilates, or tai chi. Use online workout videos, DVDs, or these popular yoga poses.

Don't forget to stretch before and after all workouts to enhance flexibility and reduce your risk of getting injured.

These home workout tips for beginners will highlight the 3 most common mistakes that are holding you back.

Sample Weekly Workout Schedule for Women

To maximize fat burning results, try the following weekly workout schedule for women by mixing and matching the sample workouts above.

  • Day 1: Circuit training workout
  • Day 2: Continuous cardiovascular workout
  • Day 3: HIIT workout
  • Day 4: Flexibility workout or rest
  • Day 5: Circuit training workout
  • Day 6: Continuous cardio or HIIT workout
  • Day 7: Flexibility workout or rest

This video will help you create your own home workout plan for weight loss and toning!

Get Started with Fat Burning Workouts for Women

When you’re ready to achieve the lean physique you desire, sign up for the Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X)!

You’ll receive custom meal plans and regular fat burning workouts for women, along with motivational support from health experts, recipes, weekly newsletters, and much more!

You'll receive a FREE fat loss diet and workout when you sign up for the Fit Mom 3-Day Weight Loss Jumpstart!

Using the research-backed Fit Mother Project methods with proven results, weight and fat loss has never been easier (regardless of your age).

What do you have to lose? Give it a try today!

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Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on fat burning workouts for women.

 

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