These are the top fat-burning gym exercises for men and women

Looking to lose the lockdown weight once you're back in the gym? Here's the most efficient exercises for men and women

Fat-burning exercise comparison between men and women
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Now the coronavirus pandemic is finally easing, we're able to get back to the gym once more. Many of us adapted quickly to working out at home over the last year, using the best adjustable dumbbells and buying the best exercise machines to lose weight for home use. However, thanks to the coronavirus vaccine programmes rolling out across the world, we're about to have the gym back, along with its full arsenal of fitness tools. 

But between the various different kinds of machines, and exercise classes, that are available at the gym, which are the most efficient for getting you back into shape in record time? Ocean Finance used a Harvard University study to determine the average weight loss during exercise for both men and women when examining eight common forms of gym exercise. In doing so, they've found the most efficient ways to lose weight once you're back to the gym. 

Surprisingly, the study found 30 minutes of treadmill running was the most efficient way to burn fat for both men and women, beating out contenders such as the elliptical machine and high-impact aerobic classes. Simple running, in an era of high-tech HIIT and cross-training, is often maligned, but treadmills allow you to adjust your gradient and speed in a way running outdoors doesn't quite match. 

Check out the full list of exercises below:

Woman on exercise bike

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Top fat-burning gym exercises for women

  1. Treadmill (7.5 mph). Can burn 465 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 3.5 hours
  2. Elliptical trainer (normal impact). Can burn 391 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 4.5 hours
  3. Stationary bike (high impact). Can burn 372 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 4.5 hours
  4. Step aerobics (high impact). Can burn 353 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 4.5 hours
  5. Ski machine (normal impact). Can burn 335 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 5 hours
  6. Rowing machine (high impact). Can burn 316 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 5.5 hours
  7. Circuit training (high impact). Can burn 298 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 5.5 hours
  8. Aerobics (normal impact). Can burn 260 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 6.5 hours

A Peloton Tread running session

(Image credit: Peloton)

Top fat-burning gym exercises for men

  1. Treadmill (7.5 mph). Can burn 555 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 3 hours
  2. Elliptical trainer (normal impact). Can burn 466 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 3.5 hours
  3. Stationary bike (high impact). Can burn 444 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 4 hours
  4. Step aerobics (high impact). Can burn 422 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 4 hours
  5. Ski machine (normal impact). Can burn 400 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 4 hours
  6. Rowing machine (high impact). Can burn 377 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 4.5 hours
  7. Circuit training (high impact). Can burn 355 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 5 hours
  8. Aerobics (normal impact). Can burn 311 calories per 30 minutes, torches around 1lb in 5.5 hours

Why use a treadmill?

Some people might ask: why use a treadmill instead of just going for a run? Well, the treadmill offers several key advantages. For one, it offers a flat surface to one on, allowing you to fine-tune your gradient, speed and difficulty level, so you're able to toggle metrics you'd never have control over in the great outdoors. 

For another, it's obviously indoors. You can run in any weather, even when it's hailing or icy out. The springy, soft belt is friendlier on your joints than unforgiving concrete or tarmac. 

However, that's not to say running outdoors doesn't have its advantages: you're forced to adapt to the elements, and the mental health benefits of getting outdoors are more vital than ever after a year in lockdown conditions. The best treadmills are there to supplement your training, rather than take over. 

Matt Evans
Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Channel Editor at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health and Red Bull, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. 

Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.