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Losing belly fat is one of the most common fitness goals out there—who doesn’t want washboard abs, right?
What To Take To Lose Belly Fat
In addition to being an aesthetic goal, losing belly fat is a good way to improve your overall health: Research (opens in new tab) has linked a larger waist size to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
How Long Does It Take To Lose Belly Fat?
That said, doing hundreds of crunches every day won’t get you the abs of your dreams, and there aren’t any specific exercises that can ‘target’ belly fat. Instead, losing weight from your midsection is all about a combination of healthy eating, limiting the number of calories you eat and increasing the number of calories you burn.
So, instead of spending hours at the gym doing sit-ups and crunches, it’s better to focus on cardio and strength work, as well as exercises that target your heart. Not sure where to start? Here we have found 10 best exercises to lose belly fat.
We’ll get that out of the way first, because it’s only going to get better from here. Sure, you probably hate them, but burpees are a brilliant plyometric movement that targets your core, chest, shoulders, lats, triceps, and quadriceps. They also increase your heart rate and burn calories. (Not a fan of burpees? You can do a full-body workout instead.)
Starting with your feet shoulder-width apart, come into a squatting position. From a deep squat, place your hands down on the floor inside your feet and jump your legs back behind you so you’re in a plank position, and do a push-up with your chest touching the floor. Raise your back into a plank on your hands, then jump your legs back under your chest. Jump your feet out over your hands and as you stand up, jump up with your arms in the air. Aim for 10 repetitions.
How To Lose Belly Fat Ebook By Luis Bryan
Another one that looks easy on paper, but delivers a serious burn, the Russian twist targets your obliques and your abdominal muscles. Because they require you to perform rotational movements, they are very beneficial for many athletes, including tennis and baseball players.
Start sitting on the floor and press your sit bones into the floor. Raise your legs so they are hovering off the floor and lean back into boat pose. Think about making a V shape with your torso and your legs and keep your back straight. Reach your arms out in front of you with your fingers interlaced. Using your abdominal muscles, twist your torso to the right, then back to center, then repeat to the left. This is a representative. Aim for 20 repetitions, 10 on each side. To make the exercise harder, hold a dumbbell.
Another full-body exercise that mixes cardio with strength training, the kettlebell move targets most of the body’s major muscle groups. If you don’t have a kettlebell, a milk carton filled with water (and the cap screwed on securely!) or dumbbells will work just fine.
Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Bending at the knees and hinged at the hips, bend forward to pick up the kettlebell and pull it back between your legs to build momentum. As you swing the kettlebell forward, drive your hips forward and think about squeezing your glutes to keep your back straight. Do not let the kettlebell lift above your head. This is a representative. For beginners, try kettlebell swings for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds and repeat three times. If you’re more advanced, move on to 90 seconds on, 15 seconds off.
How To Lose Belly Fat
It won’t make you popular with your downtown neighbors, and you might want to save up for a gym workout, but the medicine ball slam is another exercise that combines cardio with strength. To perform this exercise, you need a medicine ball and a protective mat to avoid damaging the floor. Medicine ball slams work your shoulders, triceps, calves, back and core.
What it says on the tin. Start with your feet shoulder width apart and bend at the knees slightly and lift the medicine ball above your head. Bending at the waist and engaging your core muscles, throw the ball to the floor (aim about a foot in front of you to avoid injury). If you can, catch the ball going up and repeat. If not, pick it up and return to the starting position. Aim for three sets of 5-10 repetitions.
Another exercise that burns calories really fast – tuck jump. You may not have done it since your PE classes at school, but the tuck jump is an explosive, plyometric movement that helps build your muscle strength as well as get your heart rate up.
Starting with your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart, bend your knees as if you’re going into a squat, then jump into the air, tucking your knees as close to your chest as possible. Keep your back straight, and try to land as gently as possible when descending. Try to do as much as you can. Aim for 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
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Another one you may not have practiced since school, but jumping jacks are a really great cardio exercise that you can do almost anywhere. Like a plyometric workout, jumping jacks will get your heart rate up, burn calories, and increase your endurance.
Start standing up with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Bend your knees and jump into the air. As you jump, place your feet shoulder-width apart and raise your arms above your head in a V shape. Return to starting position. Aim for 10-20 repetitions and repeat 2-3 times.
Walking on inclines burns more fat than walking on flats, because you work harder. One study found that walking on a 16-18% incline at 3 mph. Burns 70% more fat than running on a flat surface. Need inspiration? Find out what happened when we tried the viral TikTok 12-3-30 treadmill workout.
To avoid injury when walking uphill on a treadmill, consider engaging your core as you walk and avoid leaning forward. Try and keep your stride quick and short rather than longer and longer.
How Long Does It Take To Lose Belly Fat?
This is another quick move that will push through the calories. Jumping lunges primarily work the lower leg muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and calves. If you’re not comfortable with the effect of jumping lunges, just do normal bodyweight lunges, but alternate between legs as quickly as possible. As you get stronger, work up to jumping lunges, even if you only manage one or two on each side.
Starting with your feet shoulder-width apart, step the left leg forward, keeping your core engaged and your arms at your sides. Shift your weight forward as you lower your right knee to the floor. By rotating your leg position in the air, quickly step up so that your right leg is forward and your left knee is bent toward the ground. To maintain your balance, push your arms into the air as you jump. Aim for 5 to 10 repetitions on each leg.
Just like the bodyweight squat, the jumping squat will target your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and hips, but it will also raise your heart rate and help you burn more calories. If you’re worried about the impact on your knees, you can, of course, choose regular squats but move through the repetitions as quickly as possible to get your heart rate up.
With your feet shoulder-width apart, drop your hips back and down so you’re in a squatting position. Use your arms to lift yourself up as you jump out of the squat. As soon as your feet hit the ground, immediately squat down again. Your thighs should start burning very quickly. Aim for 10 to 15 repetitions.
How To Lose Belly Fat: Exercise And Food Tips To Lose Fat Fast
Another great core exercise that will get your heart rate up and your shoulders, hamstrings and quads are mountain climbers. Think about going through this as quickly as possible to really burn calories and work your abdominal muscles.
Start in a plank position and think about keeping your core as tight as possible by tucking your stomach into your spine. Bend your left knee toward your chest, as if trying to touch your left elbow. Return your leg to its starting position and bring your right knee into your chest. Repeat. Aim for three repetitions of 10 repetitions on each side.
Jane McGuire is Tom’s Guide’s fitness editor, which means she covers all things fitness-from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jen has been testing and reviewing fitness products for the past four years, so she knows what to look for when looking for a good running watch or a pair of shorts with big enough pockets.
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