Sooner or later, we all think about getting in shape. Whether it be for medical reasons, an upcoming event, or you’re just trying to lose those last pesky 10 pounds it can be difficult to pick a workout that will get you the results you want. We’ve put together, what we think, are the 5 best workouts for weight loss.

Think about where your body is now. There are different workouts based on whether you need something low impact or if your joints are up to a more rigorous workout.

MOST people should be able to attend a workout session with a coach and do modified regular workouts, so don’t think if you’re in bad shape you NEED a low-impact workout.  If you think you might need to do low impact, check with your doctor first. There are so many benefits to getting interval training, it doesn’t hurt to check and see what they recommend, also organized workouts like Crossfit have instructors who can modify workouts for you if you do have limitations. 

With all of that being said….For people with minimal mobility or health issues here are some low impact workouts for weight loss are swimming or using elliptical machines.


Elliptical machines are specifically designed to be gentle on knee joints but still provide a workout with enough cardiovascular activity to burn calories. Using ellipticals are also a nice way to change up your routine. Today, there are stair climbers, ski machines, recumbent bicycles, and rowing machines. All are gentle enough for a full workout yet will provide the desired weight loss effect.

Average calories burned per minute: 6


Another low impact option is swimming. Swimming involves your whole body in large body movements that burn calories. The weightlessness that swimming provides is the perfect weight-loss workout for someone who is older or has arthritis. You can swim laps, walk the length of the pool, even jog in place for a low-impact cardio boost.  

For MOST people, the best types of workouts are those that are high intensity and full body.  Three great ones are Crossfit, interval training, and boot camp. All three get the heart going and burn calories but have a different appeal for different people.

Average calories burned per minute: 7


Crossfit is great for someone who likes a varied workout and like to GO to a gym. As a Crossfit goer myself, I would say the most beneficial thing about Crossfit is that you’ll have someone helping you to get and maintain proper form and a community of people cheering you on.  If you’re not  in the best shape, it can be intimidating, but give it a try you might be surprised how many people are like you.  If you like it, you’ll like it! Crossfit typically starts with a warm up period, followed by a skill/strength exercise-my personal favorites are the Olympic lifting, then you do the WOD (work out of the day) and end with a cool down and stretch.  Obviously different Crossfit boxes have different schedules, for instance at my box Thursdays are all about stretching and mobility.  Curious about the exact types of workouts you’ll do?  At Crossfit they mix up kettle bell swings with jumping rope one day and the next day switch to front squats and box jumps, so you’ll never really know what you’ll be doing and you’ll never get bored, that’s for sure.

Average calories burned per minute: 17

Interval Training

Interval training is all about increasing and lowering your heart rate regularly. While there are lots of options for interval training my favorites are Tabata or HIIT. These workouts are honestly similar to the WOD in Crossfit in a lot of ways, but they’re also easier to do at home because they’re typically more common movements. Like squats, or lunges.  You also can pick the movements you’re comfortable doing on your own.  If you’re not into HIIT or Tabata you can also find interval training sessions in cycling classes. This is not your mother’s cycling though! These are exciting, full-body workouts. Often called spin class or spinning, cycling has come a long way since stationary bikes!

Average calories burned per minute with Tabata: 15

Average calories burned per minute with HIIT: 13

Average calories burned per minute with Spin: 12


Boot Camp

Boot camp sounds daunting, but can be a lot of fun and great for those who need help staying motivated. Boot camps are typically arranged by a gym and set for a period of time (for instance “summer beach body boot camp”). Boot camps are typically target towards people who want to workout, and haven’t been going to the gym, but need instruction. I’m honestly not a huge fan of boot camps because I feel like they encourage short term success or instant gratification-much like fad diets.  However, if you’re someone who already workouts regularly, Boot Camps can be a great addition to your workout to help you get closer to your goals. Boot camps can also help you find new types of exercises that you like and meet new people.  Boot camps typically involve a combination of basic movements being done in rapid succession to help you see fast results. 

Average calories burned per minute: 11

So, there you have it. The five best workouts for weight loss. A little bit of something for everyone at every skill level. Don’t forget. Before you start any weight-loss routine, check with your physician to make sure you can participate safely.  And don’t focus on the numbers on the scale. Just get moving, have fun, and feel great!