When people start to work out, they will have goals to go along with it. Usually at the top of the list will be to lose belly fat and to get a flatter stomach.
This is a great goal for not only improved appearance but for improved health and it is achievable. If you’re new to working out or have been working out for a while, learning some of the best exercises to lose belly fat will help get you on your way.
There are a ton of exercises, and variations, that might confuse you, but this article will look at how to take the right approach to get fit and healthy, burn belly fat, and flatten your stomach.
Before we discuss exercises, here are a few lifestyle recommendations for those who want to lose belly fat and get a flatter stomach:
Start In The Kitchen
The first big approach when you want to lose belly fat is to make sure your diet is under control. You can do all the belly fat exercises in the world, but if your diet is out of control, it will be too hard to see them.
Everyone has abs, it’s just how much they are covered up with belly fat. When you lose more midsection fat, it’s not only a healthier approach, but it also helps to reveal the abs you have underneath.
Combine this with belly fat exercises and you have what’s called a double-reducing effect, and it’s why exercise is so important.
Watch What You Drink
So the first thing you need to do is see where you can clean up your diet. One of the biggest changes you can make right away is to stop drinking your calories. This means cutting out things like soft drinks, fruit juices, specialty coffees, and sports drinks. These things are like drinking a chocolate bar and the liquid sugar leads to quick rises in blood sugar.
This results in an insulin release and it’s important to recognize that insulin is the fat-producing and storing hormone. With nothing to slow digestion, these liquid calories have a good chance of ending up as body fat. The other problem is they lead to blood sugar crashes and can cause cravings for more sugar and quick-acting carbohydrates.
This is a vicious cycle and can lead to you gaining fat, especially belly fat, a lot quicker. So swap out those drinks for regular, or sparkling water. Add in some fresh lemon or lime to give it more flavor.
Cut Out Anything White
This is one of the other big changes you can make to reduce belly fat. It’s like the liquid calorie issue and has to do with refined carbohydrates and sugar. These are the highly starchy carbs that can also lead to putting on more belly fat. They are the high glycemic foods that also cause those quick rises in blood sugar.
The more your blood glucose levels are elevated, the more inflammation you will have in your body, and added belly fat results from it. So you want to look to cut out:
- white bread
- white flour
- white pasta
- white sugar
- white rice
Doing this will help you steer clear of this inflammation.
So looking at the best exercises to burn belly fat it will be a combination of specific ab exercises and different forms of cardio.
Here are 5 different and simple belly fat exercises:
1. High-Intensity Interval Training
High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, is a way for your body to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. It’s a simple approach and involves doing a short burst of a high-intensity exercise followed by a longer-paced recovery period. A good example of this is using a stationary bike. You would start with a 5-minute warmup to get the heart rate and blood flowing to the muscles.
Next, you would turn up the intensity on the dial to around a 7 and go for a full sprint for 20-30 seconds. You would then turn the intensity back down to around a 2 and go at a lighter pace for 90-120 seconds. You can then repeat this process 3-8 times.
If this is new for you, you would want to start with just a few rounds, but the whole workout will not take you too long. In this example with the bikes, you may look at one that has a different gauge to adjust the intensity. Some will have a dial marked out from 1 to 10 and some may just have a lever. You want to increase the resistance to around a perceived 7 out of 10 if there’s nothing that shows that.
The big thing with this type of exercise is it will burn more calories in a short period than an hour of steady-state cardio. Not only that it helps improve different hormone levels in your body. It can boost your natural growth hormone levels and this is involved with burning off body fat. HIIT training also improves your insulin sensitivity which is your body’s ability to handle glucose.
This means when you consume higher sugar items your body is better equipped to deal with it and less likely to turn it into belly fat. Last but not least doing high-intensity interval training leads to an “Afterburn” effect. This type of training not only burns a lot of calories while doing it, but you also continue to burn calories long after the workout is done.
You can still burn calories 24 hours after you perform one of these workouts. It’s not something you want to do every day as you need proper recovery time but you can include it 2-3 times a week. You can also do this on a rowing machine, elliptical machine, or even outside running a sprint followed by a walking recovery.
Planks are one of the best core exercises you can do and a great way to tighten your midsection. It is also a full-body exercise to reduce belly fat as it requires more effort to perform. You want to be balanced on your forearms with your feet shoulder-width apart and your head and your back straight resembling a plank.
Focus on keeping your abs tight throughout the exercise to engage them properly. Hold it for as long as you can with proper form and you can do 2-3 rounds of this.
3. Bicycle Crunches
This is another great exercise to get rid of belly fat as it takes a lot of effort and coordination by the body making it a great calorie burner.
- Starting on your back keep your lower back flat on the floor and your head and shoulder slightly above it
- Keep your hands at the side of your head
- Keep one leg out and bring the other one in while twisting with the opposite elbow to meet it
- Reverse the motion meeting the elbow to the other knee and then get into a smooth motion alternating sides until you’ve done ten repetitions per side
- Do 3 sets of ten
4. Circuit Training
This is like HIIT training and another of the best belly fat exercises. This is because it will burn a lot of calories, help you shed fat, and flatten your stomach at the same time. Circuit training is excellent because you can do it with body weight and don’t need a gym or special equipment. It involves taking 3 to 4 exercises and doing them all in a row for 30 seconds each.
You would then rest for around 45 seconds and do another round and you can go up to five rounds. The good thing is every workout can be different and you can always swap around exercises to keep it fresh. Here are some of the best exercises you can choose to get fit, burn body fat, and strengthen your abs:
- Bodyweight squats
- Jumps squats
- Mountain Climbers
- Bicycle crunches
- Jumping Jacks
So if you pick four exercises to do all in a row for 30 seconds the whole round will take you 2 minutes. As you get your fitness up, you can do them for 45 seconds each and up to a minute.
5. Leg Lifts
These are tough, but that’s why they are one of the best exercises to burn belly fat. You start by lying on your back and it helps if you can have something solid behind your head you can place your hands on to brace yourself better. Keep your legs straight and your ankles together and lift them upwards to about a 45-degree angle.
You will then lower them under control but stop just before your feet touch the ground. Aim for 12-15 repetitions of these, but if they are tough at first, just do as many as you can and aim for 2-3 sets.
Losing belly fat and flattening your stomach is a combination of a few things. It starts with the diet and then involves adding in some forms of cardio like high-intensity interval training along with some belly fat exercises.
When you combine all this, it sets you up for success. You need to be patient at first, but eventually, it will all come together.