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5 Best Aerobic Workouts To Lose Weight

Aerobic workouts are a cornerstone of weight loss.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Aerobic workouts are a cornerstone of weight loss, helping to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, and boost metabolism. For my clients looking to shed unwanted pounds, I often recommend adding aerobic workouts to their routines. In combination with strength training and a calorie deficit, cardio workouts can be incredibly effective in achieving your goals. That's why I've put together five of the best aerobic workouts to lose weight, complete with step-by-step instructions to help you get started on your fitness journey.

Incorporate these aerobic workouts into your fitness routine to accelerate weight loss and enhance your overall health. Start slowly, listen to your body, and gradually increase intensity for best results. Whether you prefer running, cycling, jump rope, swimming, or HIIT, there's a workout to suit every preference and fitness level.

Workout #1: Running

When it comes to the best aerobic workouts for weight loss, you can't beat this classic. Running is a staple cardio exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and burns calories quickly, making it an excellent choice for those who want to melt stubborn weight.

1. Interval Sprints

Warm up with a five-minute light jog. Then, sprint at maximum effort for 30 seconds. Recover with a one-minute slow jog or walk. Repeat the sprint-recovery cycle for five to 10 rounds. Cool down with a five-minute jog.

2. Hill Repeats

Find a steep incline or set the treadmill to a 5 to 10% incline. Run uphill at a moderate to fast pace for one minute. Walk or jog downhill for recovery. Repeat the hill climb for five to eight repetitions. Cool down with a five-minute walk.

3. Long-distance Run

woman running

Start with a slow, steady pace for 10 minutes. Increase your speed to a comfortable running pace. Maintain the pace for 30 to 60 minutes. Cool down with a five to 10-minute walk.

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Workout #2: Cycling

Cycling is a low-impact aerobic exercise that can be tailored to any fitness level, providing an effective way to burn calories and improve cardiovascular health.

1. Interval Cycling

Warm up with an easy pace for five to 10 minutes. Increase the resistance, and pedal at maximum effort for 30 seconds. Recover with light pedaling for one minute. Repeat the interval for five to 10 rounds. Cool down with five minutes of easy cycling.

2. Hill Climbs

Choose a route with challenging inclines, or set the stationary bike to high resistance. Pedal uphill at a moderate to high intensity for two to five minutes. Descend at an easy pace for recovery. Repeat the hill climb for three to five repetitions. Cool down with five to 10 minutes of flat terrain cycling.

3. Endurance Ride


Maintain a steady pace at a moderate intensity for 30 to 60 minutes. Focus on keeping a consistent cadence and breathing rhythm. Adjust the resistance as needed to keep the workout challenging but sustainable. Cool down with five to 10 minutes of easy cycling.

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Workout #3: Jump Rope

Jump rope is a simple yet effective aerobic workout for weight loss that can be done anywhere, providing a fun way to burn calories and improve coordination.

1. Basic Jump Rope

jump rope

Start with the rope behind your feet and the handles in each hand. Swing the rope overhead, and jump as it approaches your feet. Land softly on the balls of your feet, and repeat. Aim for three sets of one to two minutes each.

2. Double-unders

Perform a basic jump rope motion, but rotate the rope twice beneath your feet with each jump. Focus on timing and coordination to execute the double-under successfully. Start with three sets of 30 seconds and gradually increase the duration as you improve.

3. High-knee Jump Rope

Jump rope while lifting your knees toward your chest with each jump. Engage your core, and maintain a steady rhythm. Aim for three sets of 30 seconds to one minute.

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Workout #4: Swimming

Swimming is a full-body workout that provides resistance while being gentle on the joints, making it an excellent choice for weight loss.

1. Freestyle Swimming

Swim laps using the freestyle stroke, alternating between moderate and fast-paced intervals. Aim for 10 to 20 laps, depending on your fitness level. Take short breaks between laps as needed.

2. Kickboard Kicking

Hold onto a kickboard with both hands, and kick your legs vigorously behind you. Keep your body in a horizontal position, and engage your core. Kick continuously for three sets of one to two minutes each.

3. Water Aerobics

Join a water aerobics class or perform exercises such as water jogging, jumping jacks, and leg lifts in the pool. Follow the instructor's guidance for a full-body workout that targets weight loss and muscle toning.

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Workout #5: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT combines short bursts of intense exercise with brief periods of rest or low-intensity recovery, making it a highly effective method for burning calories and improving fitness.

1. Burpees


Start in a standing position, then squat down and place your hands on the floor. Jump your feet back into a plank position, perform a pushup, then jump your feet back to the squat position. Explode upward into a jump, reaching your arms overhead. Repeat for three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

2. Jumping Jacks

jumping jacks

Start with your feet together and arms at your sides. Jump while spreading your legs shoulder-width apart and raising your arms above your head. Return to the starting position and repeat. Aim for three sets of 30 to 60 seconds each.

3. Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers exercise

Begin in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Drive one knee toward your chest, then quickly switch legs, alternating back and forth. Keep your core engaged, and maintain a fast pace. Perform three sets of 20 to 30 seconds each.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler
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