No doubt, belly fat looks annoying. To get the figure of your dreams, you need to make some changes in your life. If you are one of those who is worried about their extra belly fat or belly fat is giving you sleepless nights, making certain lifestyle changes like diet modification, stress management, and regular exercise can make a huge impact. Weight gain and obesity if not curbed at the right time, can create serious problems and affect long-term health.
Exercise and dieting go hand in hand. Both are meaningless without each other. Only dieting cannot burn your belly fat. If you really want to shed those extra pounds, you need to strictly follow an hourly exercise plan. Read on to find a list of general as well as specific exercises that you can add to your exercise schedule. These exercises can help you burn extra fat and stimulate metabolism faster than you thought it would take.
General Exercises to Lose Belly Fat
Run On An Incline
Running is essential for stimulating metabolism and thus burning fat. Running on a flat surface is relatively easy, however running at an incline has been shown to consume more calories by as much as 50%.
Whether you are on an inclined treadmill, at the gym or hiking outside on a hill, start out your workout with walking for five to ten minutes, then jog. As you pick up your pace, your heart rate should rise quickly. Spend five minutes running, then lower your pace for jogging. Continuing 5-10 minutes of jogging with a short spell of running results in a boosted metabolism that helps you lose your stubborn belly fat quickly.
Use The Rowing Machine
Workout on a rowing machine is known to be a fat-blasting cardio workout. It not only gives a spike in your heart rate, which helps accelerate blood flow and boost metabolism but also works muscles in your arm, shoulders, legs, back and core to help you burn more calories and fat. This workout is great for beginners and professionals alike. Start with 15-20 seconds of rowing (that will give you fat-blasting cardio) followed by 10 seconds of rest, and don’t forget to count meters you traveled in that time. Repeat this multiple times and try to beat your previously covered distance each time.
Add HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) To Your Workout Routine
High-intensity training is an intense and fast-paced workout that is much more effective than steady-state workouts. HITT is best for maximum fat burning and body-sculpting. These workouts are also known for their “post-burn” effect, where a person continues to burn calories even after his workout. Following are some high-intensity workouts that involve intense bursts of fast-paced exercise followed a brief period of low-intensity rest or complete rest.
- Jog and Sprint
- Walk and Sprint
- Infinite Pushups
- Push and Squat
- Infinite Squats
- Push and Squat
- Kettlebell swings
- Single-arm rows
In fact, there are several workouts to try. Choose any of your favorite ones and make sure you alternate between them to target different muscle groups. The short spells of these high-intensity workouts are a great option to burn belly fat quickly and stay in shape in 20 minutes or less.
Lift Heavier Weights
If you are lifting moderately heavy weights but still want to lose belly fat, it’s time to increase the intensity using heavier weights and reduce rest time between repetitions. Lifting heavy objects is where you see the most “afterburner effect”. Make sure your technique does not suffer as your weight increases, which can lead to injury. If you are new to bodybuilding or sculpting fat, following are some best moves to start
- Overhead Squat
- Hammer Curls
- Single Leg Split Squat
Walk To Lose Belly Fat
Yes, you read that right. Walking can go a long way to help lose belly fat. It seems very simple, but 30-45 minutes of daily brisk walking can boost your metabolism exponentially. Plus, it makes sure that you don’t overwork, which causes overproduction of a stress hormone called “cortisol” that contributes to the deposition of belly fat. In fact, walking helps you relax after a stressful day’s situation or work through emotions that would otherwise be muddy and stressful, there is a possibility that it helps to lower the levels of cortisol, which in turn can keep belly fat under control. And a brisk walk is an efficient way to lose weight, including the abdominal fat that hides the abdominal muscles. Interestingly, one hour of brisk walking a day can result in the loss of 1 pound of fat per week.
Of course, practicing yoga won’t stimulate as much metabolism as a Barry’s Bootcamp class or a hilly run, but it can help reduce the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that widens your belly. In a recent study, women who practiced yoga for 35 minutes a day for 12 weeks had fewer levels of cortisol in their blood than women in the control group. The benefits of low cortisol in your system are two-fold: not only can it help prevent the build-up of abdominal fat, but also help develop mindfulness, an ability that could help you realize over-eating.
Many gyms offer beginner classes of yoga, and there are also specific yoga studios that offer more personalized sessions. After having a solid foundation, you can even practice yoga at home with the help of exercise transmission services or YouTube videos.
Specific Exercises To Lose Belly Fat
Aforementioned generalized exercises and techniques have their own importance and can help you boost metabolism and lower cortisol levels. On the other hand, a specific set of exercises that only target abdominal muscles are also of great importance when it comes to reducing belly fat and getting your tummy in perfect shape. Following are some examples of belly specific exercises.
Crunches occupy the top-notch position in belly fat burning exercises and are one of the fastest ways to burn belly fat. This exercise has multiple variations and each has its own benefits.
How To Do?
- Lie on a carpet or a mat with your knees half-bent, hands behind your head and your feet on the floor. Keep your hands crossed on your chest.
- Lift your upper torso off the ground while inhaling. Make an angle of 30-45 degree and stop for a second or two. Now exhale.
- Inhale again while descending back to your original position.
- As a beginner, do this for 10-12 times and repeat another 2-3 set with a brief period of rest in between.
While lifting your torso, make sure that you don’t sit up straight and make an angle of 30-45 degrees. You should apply pressure on your abdominal to reduce your fat.
To get even more effective belly workouts, you need to modify the basic crunch exercise after getting used to it.
How to do?
- Similar to regular crunches, lie on the ground with your hands behind your head. Bend your knees so that your feet come in contact with each other (as you would while sitting).
- Lift your upper torso similar to the regular crunches, but with a little twist. Bring your right shoulder to the left while lifting your upper torso, keeping the left side on the ground.
- Alternate this position with the next rep i.e., bring your left shoulder to the right while lifting your upper torso, keeping the right side on the ground.
- Repeat 10 times
Another variation of simple crunches with more variety.
How To Do?
- This exercise is a modified version of regular and twist crunches and requires more stamina. It’s the same as the regular and twist version. The only thing that you need to do is move your upper torso and tilt your legs on the same side. The exercise focuses on the lateral contraction of abdominal muscles and thus helps keep them in shape.
Keep your torso movements slow and steady otherwise, it could hurt if you perform it quickly.
Another modified version of abdominal crunches with its own benefits. This is very similar to the twisting crunch. The basic difference is that you have to raise and tilt your legs towards the chest. This is an excellent exercise to burn belly fat.
How To Do?
- Lie face up on the floor with your hands at the side and your palms facing down.
- Raise your legs simultaneously and crunch them inward towards your chest. Your buttocks should be off the ground.
- Pause for a while, then bring your legs back slowly towards the ground.
- Repeat 10 times.
While performing the exercise, make sure to keep your back straight, as arching it towards the chest can result in pain and even injury.
Vertical Leg Crunch:
Start by doing a few repetitions of vertical leg crunches, as overdoing it initially can make you feel sick.
How To Do?
- Lie flat on the mattress, mat or floor and hold your hands behind the head. Now cross one knee over the other and extend your legs upwards (towards the ceiling).
- After correctly positioning your body, do exactly the same as you would have done in the case of reverse crunches, i.e., lift your upper torso towards the pelvis and breath in. Hold yourself in this position for at least 3-5 seconds.
- Bring yourself down while breathing out slowly. This is one complete rep.
- Do three sets of at least 10 to 12 reps each.
It is one of the most crucial exercises for burning belly fat and abs growth because it involves a movement of all body muscles. It not only targets abs but also core muscles and lower torso. You don’t need a bicycle for doing bicycle exercise. Here’s how you can do it.
How To Do?
- Lie on the ground with your face facing upward and keep your hands behind your head.
- Raise your legs off the floor and bend them at the knees towards the chest. Bring your left knee close to the chest so that it touches your right elbow.
- Repeat it alternatively, i.e., bring your right knee close to the chest and make sure it touches your left elbow (as if you are paddling a bicycle).
- Keep alternating diagonally for 10-15 reps and don’t forget to take a break if you need to.
This is a workout that strengthens your core & abdominal muscles and burns fat. It is an ideal exercise for beginners who want to cut off belly fat quickly.
How To Do?
- Stand still with your legs hip-width apart.
- Lift your hands parallel to the ground shoulder-width apart, keeping them in front of you.
- Lunge forward and with your one leg, take a big step forward (assuming that you are sitting down on a chair). Make sure your knees are vertical with the floor, i.e., making a 90-degree angle. The other leg should remain backward, supported by the toes.
- Keeping your spine straight, twist your upper torso to the right.
- Now twist it towards the left.
- Alternate your legs and repeat the whole movement for 15 reps.
The Stomach Vacuum:
Stomach vacuum is also called “cat stretch pose”. It is a low-impact exercise that helps you shrink waist and get flat abs, thus reducing belly fat effectively. Instead of increasing your heart rate, it places greater emphasis on breathing.
How To Do:
- Go down to the floor on your forearms and legs (cat stretch pose), such that supporting your body weight on your knees and hands.
- Now contract your abdominal muscles while breathing in deeply and hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
- Exhale while loosening your muscles and repeat the process.
You are advised to avoid practicing this exercise if you are suffering from any lung or heart ailment.
You should perform this exercise on an empty stomach, doing so otherwise can result in indigestion.
This is another amazing exercise to shed belly fat and get your tummy in shape. To perform this exercise, all you need is a chair or parallel bars.
How To Do?
- Sit on the chair or place your forearms on parallel bars with your shoulders relaxed and spine straight.
- Keep both hands facing downward on the sides of a chair or on the bars.
- Raise your legs up parallel with the ground such that your knees arch towards your chest. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Don’t arch your back or bend forward.
- Bring your legs down to the original position and repeat for 10-12 reps.
iHealth Concern Verdict
You have to remain consistent with these general exercises or targeted workouts for several weeks. To get better results, you should increase the difficulty by adding weights, time, repetitions, distance, or a combination of all four. You must train five days a week and keep your weekends free i.e., designate two days as active recovery.
We must emphasize that any weight loss program must include a healthy diet, minimal or no alcohol consumption, no smoking and an active lifestyle during the weekends of outdoor activities or sports that complement your work.