The Worst Exercises for Weight Loss, Ranked (Plus 1 That Actually Works)

It’s no secret that if you want to lose weight, you’ll reach your goals much faster if you exercise regularly. But it’s not always that simple — in fact, some exercises don’t burn fat or torch as many calories as you might think.

Moving your body is always healthy, so no exercise is a total waste of time. But if you want to shed pounds, there are a few workouts you should avoid (wait till you see what made No. 1) — and one that has been proven to be effective.

5. Yoga

black woman doing yoga

Yoga won’t do the trick. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Yoga has a lot of health benefits. Sadly, losing weight isn’t one of them — at least not quickly. While yoga can lead to changes in your wellness that can promote weight loss (more mindful eating, better rest, etc.), it doesn’t burn enough calories to stimulate your metabolism and torch calories.

Next: This popular workout isn’t as effective for weight loss as it seems.

4. CrossFit

Workout Regimen With A Fiercely Loyal Following

As intense as CrossFit can be, the chance for injury is high. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

When it comes to CrossFit, there are a lot of myths, one of which that it’s a guaranteed way to lose weight. While CrossFit does burn calories and build muscle, there’s an extremely high risk of injury, which will put you out of commission for awhile. Also, if you’re just beginning your weight loss journey, you won’t have the strength to do a lot of the most intense (and effective) exercises.

Next: Sometimes you’ve got to leave home.

3. (Some) home workouts

woman exercising crunches

Be mindful of what home workouts you choose to try. | iStock.com

Working out at home can be extremely effective, but only if you find something that works for your specific needs and fitness level. Some home routines might be too easy, while others might be way too challenging for beginners. Do your research before you buy. And keep in mind there’s no accountability with home workouts, making it much easier to skip them.

Next: Save the bike rides for the great outdoors.

2. Indoor cycling classes

All that time on the bike might not pay off. | iStock.com

While indoor cycling classes like spinning are great for veterans, novices can get injured easily. Also, some celebrity trainers are opposed to it because they believe it’s too hard on the joints and connective tissue, not to mention painful and repetitive.

Next: Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race.

1. Jogging

Compettive runners may have a lighter ideal weight

Slow jogging isn’t as great as you’d think. | iStock.com

Jogging is another exercise that has numerous benefits, and if you truly enjoy it, it’s worth the effort. But jogging alone isn’t strenuous enough to create the oxygen deficit needed to burn a lot of calories. If you want to lose weight fast, interval running is much better.

Next: Here’s the workout you need to lose weight.

What you should be doing? HIIT workouts

woman with ponytail workout leg swing doing yoga

Find a good HIIT workout, and get to work. | iStock.com/undrey

So what is the single best exercise you can do to lose weight? According to many experts, that would be HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. They’ve got all the necessary elements for fast fat loss: They combine cardio and strength, there’s a lot of variety, and interval training uses the body’s reserves of energy and elevates the metabolism even after the exercise session is over.

HIIT workouts are available online, though if you’ve never done any of the recommended moves, you should meet with a trainer first. And make sure you read up on tips to make the workouts especially effective.

Next: Here’s one more thing to remember.

And always mix things up

Beautiful young woman in sports wear is holding a yoga mat and a bottle of wate

Try a little of everything for the best results. | iStock.com/GeorgeRudy

Before you start any workout regimen, remember one thing: Variety is the spice of life. So even if you begin a routine and start dropping pounds, you’ll want to mix things up frequently. Repetitive workouts can end up working against you because you can overuse certain muscles and ignore other muscle groups entirely.

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