How to lose belly fat — try these 10 exercises: Many people want to lose belly fat not just for looks, but also for better health. Having a big belly is linked to issues like heart disease and diabetes. Just doing lots of crunches won’t give you the abs you want. It’s more about things like eating well, sleeping enough, regular exercise, and managing stress. Instead of just doing sit-ups, it’s better to do exercises that mix cardio and strength training, focusing on your core. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are 10 great exercises to help you lose belly fat.
Let’s talk about burpees first, and it only gets easier from here. Even though you might not like them, burpees are a great exercise. They work your core, chest, shoulders, lats, triceps, and quadriceps. Burpees also make your heart beat faster and help burn calories. If you don’t like burpees, here’s another full-body exercise you can try. Learn how to do burpees correctly here.
- Start standing with your feet hip-width or shoulder-width apart
- Place your hands on the ground, then jump both feet back into a high plank position
- Lower your chest to the floor into a body weight push-up
- Explosively push the ground away and straighten your arms, lifting your hips and chest as one unit. Try to avoid arching your lower back
- Jump your feet forward just behind your arms, then explode back to standing, raising your arms above your head and jumping into the air.
2. Russian Twists
Here’s another exercise that might seem simple but really works your muscles – Russian twists. They focus on your obliques and abs. These twists involve rotating your body, making them especially helpful for athletes like tennis and baseball players. If you want to make it tougher, try holding a dumbbell. Learn how to do Russian twists and find out what happened when one person did 50 Russian twists every day for a week.
- Start sitting on the floor and press your sit bones into the floor
- Raise your feet so they are hovering off the floor and lean back into a boat pose
- Think about creating a V shape with your torso and your legs and keep your back straight
- Reach your arms out in front of you, interlacing your fingers
- Using your abdominal muscles, twist your torso to the right, then back to the center, then repeat on the left side.
3. Kettlebell Swing
Here’s a full-body exercise that combines cardio with strength training – the kettlebell swing. It works many of the major muscle groups in your body. If you don’t have a kettlebell, you can use a milk carton filled with water (make sure the cap is securely screwed on!) or a dumbbell as an alternative. Learn how to do a kettlebell swing and try out some variations. If you want more kettlebell ideas, check out these 5 beginner-friendly kettlebell exercises and a 25-minute kettlebell workout that will work your whole body.
- Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you
- Bending at the knees and hinging at the hips, bend forward to pick up the kettlebell and pull it back between your legs to create momentum
- As you swing the kettlebell forwards, drive your hips forward and think about squeezing your glutes to keep your back straight
- Don’t let the kettlebell raise above your head. That’s one rep.
4. Medicine ball slam
Here’s an exercise that might not be appreciated by your neighbors below, and it’s better suited for the gym. It’s called a medicine ball slam. For this workout, you’ll use a medicine ball and a protective mat to prevent floor damage. Medicine ball slams target your shoulders, triceps, calves, back, and core.
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bent at the knees and lift the medicine ball above your head
- Bend at the waist and engaging your core muscles, throw the ball into the floor (aim for about a foot in front of you to avoid injury)
- Try to catch the ball on the way up and repeat.
5. Tuck jumps
Here’s an exercise that burns calories quickly – tuck jumps. You may remember them from your PE classes. Tuck jumps are a powerful, explosive movement that boosts muscle strength and raises your heart rate.
- Start with your feet a little less than shoulder-width apart
- Bend your knees as if you’re dropping into a squat, then jump up into the air
- Drive your knees up to your chest as close as possible
- Keep your back straight, and think about landing as softly as you can on the way down.
6. Jumping jacks
Here’s an exercise you might remember from school – jumping jacks. They are a fantastic cardio workout you can do anywhere. Jumping jacks raise your heart rate, burn calories, and improve your stamina.
- Start standing with your legs together and your arms by your sides
- Bend your knees and jump into the air
- As you jump, spread your legs shoulder-width apart and raise your arms above your head in a V shape
- Jump back to the starting position.
7.Walking on an incline
Walking uphill burns more fat than walking on a flat surface because you’re putting in more effort. According to one study, walking on an incline of 16-18% at a speed of 3 mph burns 70% more fat than running on a flat surface. To avoid getting injured when walking on a treadmill on an incline, think about engaging your core as you walk, and avoid leaning forwards. Try and keep your stride fast and short, rather than overstretching into longer strides.
8. Jumping lunges
Jumping lunges are a quick exercise that burns a lot of calories. They mainly target the muscles in your lower legs, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and calves. If you find jumping lunges too intense, you can do regular body weight lunges but aim to move quickly, alternating between your legs. As you become stronger, you can progress to jumping lunges, even if you start with just 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 by your side
- Shift your weight forward as you lower your right knee to the floor
- Jump up, quickly, switching the position of your legs in the air so your right leg is forward and your left knee is lunging toward the ground
- To help keep your balance, propel your arms into the air as you jump
9. Squat jumps
Just like a regular bodyweight squat, a jumping squat focuses on your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and hips. However, it also significantly elevates your heart rate, aiding in calorie burning. If you’re concerned about the impact on your knees, you can choose to do standard squats, ensuring you move through the repetitions swiftly to increase your heart rate.
- With your feet shoulder-width apart, lower your hips back and down, so you’re in a squatting position
- Use your arms to propel yourself upward as you jump out of the squat
- As your feet hit the ground, immediately squat back down again. Your thighs should start to burn pretty fast
10. Mountain climbers
Another great core exercise that speeds up your heart rate while engaging your shoulders, hamstrings, and quads is the mountain climber. Try moving through them quickly to burn calories and target your abdominal muscles.
Here’s how to do mountain climbers and some variations to try.
- Start in a plank position and think about keeping your core as tight as possible, with your belly button sucked in towards your spine
- Bend your left knee in towards your chest, as if you’re trying to make it touch your left elbow
- Return your leg back to its starting position and bring your right knee into your chest