How Many Calories Do Lunges Burn?

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There are many ways to start using up more energy. Find out how many calories lunges burn during the workout and whether there is more to this exercise.

Some rough estimations are that the average person burns around 56 to 97+ calories while doing bodyweight lunges for 15 minutes.

This duration comes down to about 300 individual lunges or 150 pairs.

These calorie-burning amounts do not only look small. Lunges are not that great for burning calories during the workout itself.

However, you need to keep in mind that one of the benefits of lunges is building nice amounts of muscle mass.

This will increase your long-term calorie burning to the point where you can still consider doing more lunges for this purpose.

I will also go over other details that influence how many calories you burn with lunges, more in-depth estimations, and how to see the most long-term results.

Biggest factors in calories burned with lunges

You need to know that even just accurately predicting the number of calories you will burn during a lunge workout is hard to do. This is another reason why methods like calories in calories out are not ideal.

That being said, making your estimations somewhat more accurate can still be helpful. One way to do this is by learning about what things influence how many calories you burn with lunges a lot.

Knowing about these things also makes it easier to get more results out of your lunge workouts.

A few factors that influence the number of calories burned with lunges a lot are:

  • Body weight: Calories are basically energy that your body uses to do things like move around. Heavier people tend to need more calories to fuel their movements.
  • Weighted or bodyweight lunges: Lunges are an exercise where it is easy to add external weights. Doing this will increase the number of calories you burn per repetition.
  • Lunge speed: It may not always be ideal for building muscle but doing lunges faster tends to burn more calories per minute.
  • Body composition: Two people can weigh the same but have different ratios of tissues. An amount of body fat tends to burn fewer calories during lunges than the same weight in muscle mass.

Hidden calorie burning from lunges

On top of all the details above, you want to know that the calorie-burning results you get from lunges do not only happen during the workout itself.

More specifically, lunges are a great bodyweight exercise for building muscle mass in areas like your quadriceps (front thighs), glutes (butt), and hamstrings.

Since these are relatively big muscles, you can add nice amounts of healthy weight.

In turn, this extra weight will make you burn more calories throughout the day.

Additionally, heavy resistance training workouts can cause afterburn. This is where you burn more calories than usual even after the actual lunge workout.

The results of these more long-term effects can add up nicely but are hard to put into exact numbers. Partly because to what extent lunges cause these things can vary so much from person to person.

In simpler words, if you find a cardiovascular exercise that burns the same number of calories as lunges during the workout, lunges should be more effective in the long term.

Chart of lunges calorie-burning estimations

The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention has a cheat sheet where they simplify the number of calories burned with vigorous lunges into more than 7 calories per minute (1).

You can also get more useful estimations by using these things called MET values. These numbers indicate how intense certain workouts and activities are for your body.

In turn, you can use the MET values in the formula below to get calorie-burning estimations for different body weights and amounts of time.

Calorie burning formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

This formula is far from perfect but it does allow you to get a rough idea of how many calories lunges burn.

In the table below, you can find the formula results of using an MET estimation of 3.8 for moderate-effort calisthenics exercises like lunges (2).

Time
Weight Person
1 Minute5 Minutes15 Minutes30 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds
(56 kg)
4 calories19 calories56 calories112 calories224 calories
155 Pounds
(70 kg)
5 calories23 calories70 calories139 calories278 calories
185 Pounds
(83 kg)
6 calories28 calories83 calories166 calories332 calories
215 Pounds
(97 kg)
6 calories32 calories97 calories193 calories386 calories
Calories burned with lunges

How many calories do 50 lunges burn?

It is typical to implement certain repetition and set ranges when doing resistance training exercises. This can lead to routines like 100 lunges a day and other amounts.

You may wonder how many calories these amounts of lunges burn.

Let’s assume the average pace is about 20 individual lunges (so 10 pairs) per minute.

In that case, a 155-pound (70 kg) person would only burn around 12 calories while doing 50 lunges (or 25 pairs).

With the same intensity, the same 155-pound person would have to do about individual 431 lunges to burn 100 calories during the workout.

Again, these amounts don’t include any extra calorie burning you get from building muscle mass with lunges.

Ways to burn more calories with lunges

How many calories you burn with lunges is not a static thing. In simpler words, you can increase this number per minute and repetition.

Doing weighted lunges is arguably the most effective way to do this.

This will not only increase the muscle growth potential of advanced lifters. Weighted lunges will also burn more calories per repetition than the bodyweight version.

Secondly, you can also build some muscle mass in other areas with other resistance training exercises.

Lastly, doing your lunges faster would also burn more calories per minute.

However, you likely want to skip this last strategy since it can reduce how much muscle mass you gain with lunges.

Man doing lunges to burn calories

How long does it take to see results from lunges?

Burning more calories with lunges may sound nice but you are likely interested in what actual weight loss results you can expect.

It is true that lunges can help you lose weight but there are still conditions. More specifically, your habits in areas like your diet need to be good enough too.

That being said, if you assume there is a 155-pound (70 kg) person who is currently at a weight loss plateau and only implements more lunges, you can get some rough estimations.

This person would burn around 279 calories or about 0.08 pounds (0.04 kg) during three 20-minute lunge workouts a week.

Doing the same lunge exercise plan for a month (four weeks) would mean burning an extra 1116 calories or about 0.32 pounds (0.14 kg) of body fat.

One of the many things you want to keep in mind is that any extra muscle mass you build shows up on the scale too. In simpler words, you could be losing more body fat than this tool implies.

Are lunges good for burning calories?

Lunges are not that good for burning calories if you only look at the results during the workout.

That being said, if you implement good sets and reps of lunges, this exercise can help you build nice amounts of muscle mass.

This extra muscle mass makes your daily activities and other workouts slightly more effective in terms of burning calories. The small results of this can really add up over time.

For that reason, doing lunges in a way that builds muscle can be a good idea if you are trying to burn more calories.

This especially applies to resistance training beginners who still have a lot of room for muscle growth in their legs.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.