Exercises for losing belly fat are challenging, but they can also be some of the most rewarding.
Here are some workouts you can do at home or at the gym to help you accomplish that goal.
Best Fat-losing Exercises
Here's a look at seven such workouts:
The plank is a classic exercise. Whether you love or hate it, you can't deny that it's arguably the best exercise you can do for your core.
Apart from firing up your abs, the plank also places a generous amount of load on the arms, which stabilize the body and legs, keeping you from falling flat.
Here's how you can do a plank:
- Lie facedown on your mat. Place your forearms on the floor and rest your weight on them.
- Raise up onto your toes, and straighten out your body into a plank position. Make sure you keep a neutral spine (i.e., no excessive arching or rounding).
- Hold this position for as long as possible without compromising form — you can set a timer if it helps keep track of time.
To make this exercise easier, lower down till you're resting on just one forearm instead of two or simply use an incline board instead of laying flat on the ground if that's easier. Incline boards typically give more support than lying flat.
You can also modify this exercise by doing push-ups from various heights, such as from knees or toes rather than starting from all fours. These variations will make the exercise more challenging, so try mixing it up every few workouts.
#2 Side Plank
The side plank is a more challenging, unilateral variation of the plank. This version focuses more on the obliques, helping you obtain a classic v-taper and tone up your midsection.
Follow these steps to perform a side plank:
- Lie on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder and forearm.
- Place the top foot on the floor hip-width apart.
- Keep your body in a straight line from the top of the head to the tailbone, engaging the core muscles (think: plank). Hold for 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat.
- To make the move more challenging, raise up onto only one arm before lowering into position.
#3 Bicycle Crunch
The bicycle crunch is a great, semi-advanced exercise that helps work your core.
Here's how you do it:
- Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
- Slowly lift your shoulders off the floor by contracting your abdominal muscles.
- Keep your lower back pressed into the floor as you roll up towards a sitting position by crunching inward at the waistline while keeping both legs straight.
Burpees are a great exercise for targeting the core, chest and shoulders.
To perform the burpee:
- Start in a standing position with your hands on the floor in front of you. You can place them on either side of your body or together in front of you, if that's easier.
- Lower yourself into a squat position with both feet flat on the floor and hands touching the ground between your feet.
- If that's too difficult for you, place one hand on top of each thigh for balance before lowering into a squat. Optionally, you can make it more challenging by doing a push-up at this stage.
- Jump up, and land back into a squat position with both feet flat on the floor.
- Keep your arms straight and next to you while jumping up so they don't collide with any part of your body (including hips/buttocks).
#5 Mountain Climber
Mountain climbers are a great exercise for the core and lower body. They’re an excellent warm-up exercise and can be done anywhere, making them perfect for those with limited space or equipment.
You will notice that mountain climbers engage your entire body, so they are also a great cardio workout. Here's how they're done:
- Get into a push-up position, and flex your core.
- Bend one knee, and bring it inwards. Repeat the same with the other knee.
- Increase your pace, and try to continue at a steady, challenging speed for as long as you can.
#6 High Knee
There are plenty of ways to do high knees. You can do them on a flat surface indoors or outside, or you can get creative and try some on a trampoline.
Just try to get your heart rate up, and keep it up for at least 30 seconds before going back down again. Here's how it's done:
- The exercise is simple. Begin jogging in place, and try to bring your knees to your chest while keeping your momentum intact.
- Do that till your body gives out; take a break, and get back at it for another 30 seconds to a minute.
#7 Knee to Elbow
The knee to elbow is a great exercise for the core. It’s a great way to work the abs, obliques, and lower back. It also works the shoulders and arms as well as the legs.
To do the exercise:
- Get into a push-up positionm and raise your hips.
- Bring a bent knee up to an adjacent shoulder, and try to form a connection between the two.
- Increase your pace, and repeat for reps.
It's never too early to start working on your goal to get healthier and feel great. You can start with these simple workouts today, and as you get more comfortable, you can move on to more challenging ones. Check out some videos online, or ask a friend or family member who might have some good ideas.
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