The 25 Best Heart Thumping Calorie Burning Exercises

by TaylorR

Over the past few years I have shared several “variation posts” here. I’ve done everything from 30 Burpee Variations to Advanced Ab Moves and many more in between.

All in all, I’ve shared more than 200 different exercise GIFs!

That’s a lot for a person to have to go through to get some fun ideas for a workout. Am I right?

So I thought I would make it as easy as possible and share my 30 favorite heart bumping, fat burning moves. My challenge to you is to take 15 of them and do the workout that is at the bottom.

Are you in? 


The 25 best Heart Thumping Calorie Burning Exercises


Jump Over Burpees

Note: Your “hurdle” does not need to be this high. Make it a height that you are comfortable doing because as you get tired, it will become more challenging.

Double Burpees

Make it even more of a challenge by adding 2 of everything. I.e. 2 push-ups, 2 thrusts, and 2 squat jumps!

Twister Squats

The #1 issue I see with this move is: Clients lowering their shoulders towards the ground instead of their butts. Push your hips back as you lower your tush to the ground to explode up.

Split Squats

Make sure to keep that front knee over your ankle. That might mean wiggling your foot with the first few reps to get it where you want it. That’s okay!

Squat With Forward Kick 

It might seem slow, but make this exercise extremely effective by going as fast as possible. Keep the chest up and back straight. You DO NOT NEED A KETTLEBELL for this move.

Squat Jump

Giant Mt Climbers

AKA: Low Lunges. These are killer. Keep the shoulders right over your hands throughout.

Lunge Jumps

Lateral Lunge Jumps

Slowly move to the side as you lunge jump. Keep proper form throughout the move by keeping the head looking forward, chest up and back straight. Work on making your lunges big!

Side to Side Lunges

It might be difficult to see, but you’re lunging from 10:00 to 2:00. Pretend your the center of a clock.

Football Throws

Why are these hear? Because they are a great workout for not only your triceps but also shoulders, core and even your butt. Keep the entire body engaged throughout the “throw”.


Terrible name, I know. But it’s a half burpee. A burpee with no push-up.

Mt Climbers

Lizard Push-ups

Engage your core. Work to make sure you don’t arch your back as you move your hands back and forth between push-ups.

Commando Push-Ups

A killer move! This is a fast variation of a push-up where you lower all the way down to the floor for reps. Make sure to push your thighs and chest up off the ground at the same time. Avoid doing a “roll up”.

Plyo Step-Up Push-Ups

The top of a step box works really well for this move. If you want to try it but can’t do it on your feet, it works well on knees too.

V-Sit With Press

Lock your knees, squeeze your core and push through those shoulders! And no, you do not need a kettlebell. A medicine ball, plate or dumbbell work just as well.

Weighted Cherry Pickers

Just like above, you are not required to use a kettlebell. Even no weight will work the core and raise your heart rate as you quickly go through the reps.

Rollover V-Up

Aim to avoid letting your feet hit the ground for the ENTIRE set.

Plank Jacks

Plank Toe Touch

Alternate sides. Right side then left side. Go as quickly as possible but make sure the butt doesn’t climb up.

**For the following kettlebell moves, these are optional and recommended only if you’re completely comfortable with kettlebell training. 

Kettlebell High Pull

Concentrate on driving the elbow up high. The bottom of the kettlebell should be pointing to the wall in front of you at the top of the move. With you arm, push the weight towards the wall at the end of the move.

Kettlebell Deadlift

If you’re comfortable with the deadlift, then make sure you’re using a weight heavy enough to challenge you!

Kettlebell Snatches

 The DIY Workout

Your challenge is to now design your own workout. From each of the colored sections choose 1-2 exercises. 1 if you’re a beginner, 2 if you’re more advanced.

Order the exercises so that no exercises of the same color are side by side.

  • Round 1, complete each move for 45 seconds (5 seconds rest). 
  • Round 2, complete each move for 60 seconds (10 seconds rest).
  • Round 3, complete each move for 45 seconds (15 seconds rest).

Are there any moves that you would like to add? 

To be honest, I think kettlebell swings should be added as well however I don’t have a GIF! I know, it’s crazy!


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim @ Roaming Raspberry April 17, 2014 at 6:44 am

Bookmarking this one! Great moves/reminder for me while training my clients! Fabulous as always!


TaylorR April 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

Thank you ma’am!


Abi@AbsofSteel April 17, 2014 at 7:02 am

I love that the majority of these moves are burpee or pushup related, painful but effective !


TaylorR April 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

The burpee is related to everything! Plank, squat, thrust, push-up. Ahh its killer!


Jojo @ RunFastEatLots April 17, 2014 at 7:06 am

Great list of moves! Thanks for sharing


TaylorR April 17, 2014 at 10:25 am



Sheena April 17, 2014 at 7:55 am

Oh man, Easter was supposed to be my rest/indulge weekend but now I wanna workout :D


TaylorR April 17, 2014 at 10:25 am

Enjoy Easter weekend! Just add a few reps here and there for fun!


Heather (Where's the Beach) April 17, 2014 at 8:45 am

Awesome collection of exercises! Love the idea of the burpee with the jump over. And the 180 degree squat twists are always killer. They sneak up on your quads LOL. Thanks for putting this together.


TaylorR April 17, 2014 at 10:25 am

Those squats are killer for sure! I love them! Perhaps a 360 should be tossed in! haha


Katie April 17, 2014 at 9:52 am

With football throws do you need to be worried about your shoulders? I thought with tricep extensions you wanted to keep your elbows in to protect your shoulders? (I know this isn’t a tricep extension, but I just don’t want to add something to a workout that could do some harm). Thanks!


TaylorR April 17, 2014 at 10:24 am

As long as you are keeping the core tight where a lot of the rotation and most of the movement comes from you should be fine. Start with a light weight to perfect the move.


Dan April 17, 2014 at 11:25 am

I also want to add to Taylor’s remark… Don’t go heavy with that exercise it’s not meant to be heavy. Also listen to your body… if your shoulder feels pain at all… stop.


Samantha @ The Faithful Runner April 17, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Totally bookmarking this, too! Thanks for sharing this!


TaylorR April 17, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Great Samantha! No problem! Enjoy :)


lindsay April 17, 2014 at 5:01 pm

i love them all.. no really! plank jacks… ouch hurt so good


TaylorR April 17, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Haha, I believe you! And Plank Jacks, done right, are killer!


GiGi Eats Celebrities April 18, 2014 at 12:53 am

WHEW! And I am done…… Watching you in those GIFS was enough of a work out for me! LOL!!!!!!!!!! And I cannot do a burpee to save my life. Not even a 1/2 of one!


TaylorR April 18, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Haha, I don’t think you give yourself enough credit Ms Gigi! I bet you can rock a few burpees!


Kim April 18, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Some of my favorite posts are when you share a list of moves/exercises – you always have some great ones and new ones for me to try!!


TaylorR April 18, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Thank you lady! I love seeing your moves too, I’ve learned a lot from you!


Ruth April 21, 2014 at 11:21 am

Awesome! Thanks! I think I will call the half burpees hapees, seems a nicer name, but very deceptive if you think you will be happy doing them, just happy with the results. Lol


TaylorR April 21, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Yes that is a much better name for them! Great idea.


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