If you’re looking for the best exercise to lose weight in your stomach, then you’ll want to hear this. Losing belly fat is probably one of the hardest things to do. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a flat stomach, but I still have some pieces of advice I can share with you.
What is Belly Fat?
Abdominal fat, or belly fat, can be either subcutaneous fat or visceral fat; the first form can be seen, and the second is found deep within your abdomen and around the organs. Even if you are not overweight, you can have visceral fat. It is important to lose belly fat because of the risk it poses to your health. This includes an increased chance of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. If the circumference around your waist measures more than 102 cm in men and 88 cm in women, this is considered abdominal obesity. Losing weight will help to improve blood vessel function, lower cholesterol levels, and increase overall well-being.
Best Workout for Belly Fat
Trying to lose belly fat is a common problem for both men and women. It is a particularly harmful fat, leading to an increased risk of diseases and adversely affecting your health. The good news is that this can be achieved with hard work, dedication, and a mixture of good diet and exercise. The 10 minute fat-burning morning workout by fitness guru and YouTube vlogger Rowan Row will help you transform your body. The routine involves several steps, which are bound to make you sweat but will do the trick; they can also be adapted depending on your fitness level.
If you don’t regularly work out, there is no better time to start than today, but you need to build up your fitness level and strength first. You do not want to overdo it on day one, as this can make you hate your workout and cause injury. You can do a third of the exercises that Rowan Ro demonstrates in the video for the first five days for beginners. The following five days, you can increase this to half of what it did, and the five days after that, increase it to two-thirds of the workout. This will help build up endurance and keep you motivated. Several exercises are featured in the video, but the basics of the workout are as follows:
45-sec high knees (15-sec rest)
45-sec low to high plank (15-sec rest)
45-sec half burpees (15-sec rest)
45-sec toe touch (15-sec rest)
45-sec squat jumps (15-sec rest)
20-20 sec side plank each side (15-sec rest)
45-sec alternate lunges (15-sec rest)
45-sec jumping jacks (15-sec rest)
45-sec hip thrust (15-sec rest)
45 sec but kicks (15-sec rest)
Best Exercises for Losing Belly Fat
For many people, their waist is their problem area, and although there is no one routine that will work for everyone, there are important steps that you can take to help you lose weight and tone your midsection. Some exercises can help you achieve your goals, including burpees and jumping jacks. Keep reading for a breakdown of what each of these entails.
1. High Knees
High knees are fantastic for burning calories, strengthening your abdominal muscles, and improving your cardiovascular endurance. To do these exercises, you need to stand with your feet hip-width apart and bring your knees to your chest, one leg at a time. Continue alternating between legs.
2. Low Plank to High Plank
The low plank to high plank workout is an exercise that is bound to get all the muscles in your body working. Planks work your core but can also help to strengthen your abdominal muscles and spine, which in turn benefits posture. Start on all fours, and move into a low plank position, alternating between low and high for an effective workout.
3. Half Burpee
A half-burpee does not require you to do push-ups, making it an excellent choice for even beginners who are still building strength and endurance. Burpees are great for burning calories and increasing your metabolism and can help to build strong muscles.
4. Toe Touches
Toe touches can help with flexibility in the lower half of your body. You can also do them lying down and reaching upwards by keeping your legs at a 90-degree angle. It is an important way to stretch, even if you are not able to touch your toes. Toe touches can help prevent cramps and muscle spasms.
5. Squat Jump
Squat jumps are an important workout that requires a lot of power. These explosive movements help to improve strength and burn calories. They can also make you move faster and facilitate your take-off speed and movement when playing sports.
6. Side Plank
Side planks are a fantastic core exercise, helping strengthen your muscles and tone your shoulders, legs, and obliques. In addition to helping you burn calories and shrink your waist circumference, it can also help with lower back pain.
7. Alternate Lunges
Alternating lunges require you to bring different legs forward, hence the name, so you are swapping between left and right. It is a fantastic lower body exercise to help strengthen your leg muscles and glutes. It will also help to burn calories.
Why is a strong core so important?
As mentioned, it pays to look beyond aesthetics and the idea of a ‘flat stomach’ when building up core strength – it’s also a crucial factor in maintaining good overall health and mobility of your body. ‘Some of the strongest people in the world don’t have six-packs, but they can lift a lot or perform tremendous feats of athleticism,’ describes Klika.
A strong core is a major factor in staying free from injury – particularly in the hips and knees, says Michelle Arent, director of training and conditioning at Rutgers Center for Health and Human Performance in the US.
However, and this is important, the core is more than the muscles running alongside the front of your stomach. In fact, the core itself is a 3-dimensional ‘box’ shape that includes:
- Your abdominals
- Your glutes
- Your lower back muscles
So, when we talk about building a strong core, we’re actually talking about building a strong ‘trunk’. Capice?
I’m a beginner: What are the best stomach exercises for a beginner?
If this is the first time you’re focusing on abdominal exercises, you should gradually increase the intensity of the movements you do. Basically, you shouldn’t be attempting any single-arm plank variations if you’re falling to your knees within 10 seconds when doing a standard plank.
If the move is too difficult or advanced for you, the chances are that your body will overcompensate elsewhere and throw your form off. Not good.
Instead, try and get to grips with these basic moves before progressing onto the trickier exercises:
- Dead bugs
- High plank – with knees on the floor
- Forearm plank – with knees on the floor
What is the best exercise to burn belly fat?
Let’s get one thing straight, right away. You can’t spot reduce belly fat – when you lose body fat, you’ll lose it from all over, not one specific place. Similarly, no one exercise is going to torch stomach fat specifically. Your diet, stress levels and sleep play just as (if not more) important role in your body being able to effectively lose fat.
Regular movement, including these exercises, will keep your body strong, build muscle and burn calories – all-important building blocks in losing fat. The old adage is true though: you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, so be mindful about how you’re fuelling your fat loss too.
Tarik Belalij, personal trainer and nutritionist at Everyone Active Leisure Centre suggests focusing on the following food groups:
- Nutrient-rich vegetables: kale, spinach, collard greens
- Lean protein: turkey, chicken or tofu
- Unprocessed carbohydrates: potatoes, bananas, rice and quinoa
How can I get a flat stomach or make my stomach flatter?
First off, if you’re looking to make strength gains you probably don’t want a flat stomach. Strong abdominals – if your body fat is low enough – have a naturally muscular look.
However, and this is an important point to make – strengthening your stomach muscles alone won’t help you achieve the strong and lean aesthetic you’re after.
That comes down to lowering your body fat percentage to a point where abdominal muscles are visible – that’s between 14 –24% for women. However, common thinking suggests that most women should not dip below 18% body fat, at the risk of interfering with their hormones.
Also, if abs come at the cost of your mental health or you find yourself feeling preoccupied with fat loss, take a step back and ease off for a little while. Fuelling your body well with regular exercise, enough sleep and minimising stress is far more important than any body fat percentile.
We’ve collated a mega list of both bodyweight and weighted stomach exercises for women… keep scrolling for the best tummy exercises with and without weights, then watch the video at the top of the page for more.
Best stomach exercises and belly exercises without equipment
Try adding the following stomach exercises onto the end of a lower-body workout or, if you’re after a core-based session, compile them into the stomach workout of your wildest dreams.
1. Scissor legs
a) Lie flat with your legs together and arms by your sides (don’t get too comfy) then roll your legs overhead until you can place your palms flat against the back of your lower back.
b) Balance evenly on the backs of your shoulders and reach your right leg forward on a high diagonal and left leg back in opposition without lowering then roll back down and repeat on the other side.
2. Straight-legged sit-up
a) Lie on your back and put your hands behind your head. Engage your core by tensing, as opposed to sucking in.
b) Slowly lift your upper body off the floor, keeping your back flat, until you reach upright. Return to laying and repeat.
3. Suitcase sit-ups
a) Lay back on your mat with your knees at a 90-degree angle off of the floor and hands placed either side of your ears.
b) Extend your legs out straight as you lower your upper body to the floor, then crunch them back in again, bringing your knees towards your chest.
4. Supine leg circles
a) Lie flat on the mat with arms by your side.
b) Lift your legs up to 90 degrees and, using your abdominal muscles, perform slow, controlled circles. Remember to keep your lower back in contact with the floor.
5. V-sit hold
a) Sit up straight with your knees bent, feet on the floor and arms extended in front.
b) Lean back and extend your legs up so your body creates a V shape. Hold. And yep, hold some more…
6. Bicycle crunch
a) Lie down with your head and shoulders raised, hands behind your head and legs in a tabletop position.
b) Bring your right elbow to meet your left knee while straightening your right leg at a 45-degree angle, keeping your lower back in contact with the ground at all times.
7. Reverse crunch
a) Lay flat on your back with your legs bent and hinge your knees towards your torso.
b) Bring your legs back down to straight without dropping your feet to the floor, keeping your lower back in contact with the floor.
8. Dead bug
a) Lie on your back with your arms above your shoulders and legs in a tabletop position.
b) Keeping your arms straight, stable and strong, alternate lowering and lifting each leg, ensuring your lower back remains melted into the floor.
a) Lie face up legs extended and lifted off of the ground and arms stretched out behind you.
b) Crunch your legs towards your chest and bring your arms forward to travel past your feet.
c) Lower back and repeat.
10. Bear crawl
a) Begin in a wide push-up position then, keeping the distance between your hands and feet, walk your left hand and right foot forward at the same time. A bit confusing, we know.
b) Do the same with your right hand and left foot. Growl.
11. Plank reach
a) Starting in the forearm plank position raise and straighten your right arm, and hold it so that it’s parallel to the rest of your body.
b) Lower to the starting position, then repeat with the other arm raised.
12. Forearm plank
a) From a push-up position, bend elbows and rest your weight on your forearms.
b) Keeping your body in a straight line, brace your core and hold for 30 seconds. That’s one set.
13. High plank
a) Get into a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders, core braced, bum tight and feet together.
Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat
Try These Exercises to Shed Belly Fat More Quickly
Are you looking to lose belly fat? Some of the best exercises for getting rid of extra belly fat are listed below.
Elm and Rye Fat Burner Supplements
Elm and Rye is a natural fat burning supplement that can boost metabolism and help people lose weight. Anybody trying to shed extra belly fat might want to use this supplement to burn more calories while exercising. Dr. Diana Rangaves, PharmD, states that the eight ingredients in Elm and Rye are scientifically proven to aid with weight loss. This product has also received positive reviews by Discover Magazine and Consumer Health Digest.
Elm and Rye should not be used as a substitute for diet and exercise. However, it can is an excellent supplement.
Some people might scoff at the idea of doing burpees to lose weight. However, they can be highly effective for removing extra belly fat.
The average person burns around ten calories every minute by doing burpees, which translates to 600 calories every hour. So, you will burn around 50% more calories doing burpees than most people burn with most forms of moderate exercise.
Lying Leg Raises
Lying leg raises can help you lose weight during periods when you would otherwise be sedentary. They are good exercises to burn extra calories when you are watching TV. They can also help strengthen your leg muscles, which will boost your metabolism.
These exercises are relatively easy to perform. The only tool that you need is a mat. A regular yoga mat will suffice.
To get started, you will need to lie down on your mat. Press your palms on the floor and tuck your thumbs underneath your hips. Raise your feet a few inches off the ground and point to the ceiling. Make sure to engage your core. Slowly lift your legs to 90° and return them to their original position.
Tai chi might not seem like the best exercise for losing weight. However, studies have shown that it can be surprisingly effective, especially among people over 50.
The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published a study from Hong Kong on the benefits of tai chi. The study tracked 380 people over 12 weeks. The research showed that tai chi helped people lose a little bit more weight than traditional exercise.
One of the benefits of tai chi is that it can help burn calories without putting a lot of stress on your muscles, ligaments, and joints. As a result, you can do tai chi on top of other exercises without worrying about suffering from overuse injuries.
You can also try brisk walking on top of doing other exercises. You can burn an extra 150 calories a day by brisk walking for just 30 minutes. Of course, you can burn more calories by walking at a faster pace or for walking longer periods of time.
Walking is an excellent exercise for people that don’t want to put effort into highly strenuous activity or want to burn extra calories without overexerting themselves. On top of shedding excess belly fat, brisk walking can be great for stress management.
Pilates are great weight loss exercises that can be performed out of the comfort of your own home. A meta-analysis study published in Frontiers in Physiology showed that pilates dramatically reduces body weight, BMI and body fat percentage. In addition, they appear to be most effective for adults that are overweight or obese.
You don’t have to invest in a lot of equipment or fancy classes to lose weight doing pilates. The only thing that you need is an exercise mat to protect your bones and joints.
To perform a pilate, you must lay flat on your back and stretch your legs and arms 90° to your side. Next, you must stand up and stretch to the ceiling without touching it. If you are touching the ceiling, then you need to move to a different room with a higher ceiling where you can perform this technique without doing so. You need to inhale slowly through your nose and inhale through your mouth while contracting your abdominal muscles.
Yoga is a popular activity. Over 36 million people in the United States and around 300 million people worldwide practice yoga.
While yoga is a fun activity, it also has a number of health benefits. People practice yoga to manage stress, improve muscle tone and lose weight.
Yoga might not seem like the best weight loss activity since it is not a high-impact exercise. However, research has shown that it is surprisingly helpful in reducing excess body weight. For example, one study published in the journal Obesity showed that participants lost an average of over 8 extra pounds over the course of six months.
Yoga is particularly effective for older adults that struggle to participate in higher intensity weight loss activities. It is also a useful weight loss activity for people engaged in other exercises that don’t want to worry about overuse injuries.
BOSU Ball Planks
BOSU ball planks are relatively easy exercises that can be done out of the comfort of your own home. Of course, you will need to purchase a BOSU ball to do these exercises, but they are otherwise easy exercises to perform.
You will need to put the ball on the ground with the flat side facing down and the blue rubber side facing up. You will need to lower your body towards the floor as if you were about to do pushups. Your feet should be tucked together. You will need to tighten your core and ensure your hips are level with each other.
You will need to hold your body in the same position for the entire set. You will burn energy and strengthen your muscles by supporting your body weight with your arms, feet, and the BOSU ball.
Stair climbing is another great weight loss activity for people that don’t want to pay for a gym membership or invest in fancy, expensive equipment. Last year, Sonakshi Kohli, an author at HealthShots, shared her story of losing weight while climbing stairs during the pandemic. She said this experience helped her realize that she didn’t need to go to the gym to get a good workout.
You can burn between two and five calories for every flight of stairs you climb. Of course, the number of calories that you burn will depend on the steepness of the stairs, the number of stairs, your body weight, and how quickly you climb. However, on average, people lose about 235 calories for every half hour they spend climbing stairs.
In addition to burning more calories, climbing stairs has other health benefits. You will improve your cardiovascular health. You will also strengthen your leg muscles, which will increase your metabolism and further help with weight loss.
“Mountain Climber” Plank Exercises
Many different types of plank exercises can help with weight loss. Mountain climbers are one of the most popular.
These exercises are relatively easy to learn. To get started, you need to lower your body into a high plank position. Your wrists will need to be positioned directly beneath your shoulders. Next, you’ll need to tighten your core and pull your stomach inwards. Once you are in this position, you will need to pull one of your knees towards your chest and then lower it back to your original position. You’ll need to alternate sides and keep repeating this pattern.
Before starting this exercise, you will want to familiarize yourself with different plank positions. In addition, you need to keep your form correct to avoid placing too much stress on your back, wrists and elbows.
Leg In And Out
You can also perform a simple exercise that involves moving your legs in and out. This is an easy way to burn extra calories while watching TV or lounging around at home when you don’t feel like going to the gym or putting effort into another strenuous activity. In addition to helping with weight loss, it can help strengthen your lower and upper abs, hamstrings, glutes, and quads.
You will need a comfortable mat to sit on. Put your hands slightly behind your back, face down on the ground. Then raise your legs from the floor and lean back slightly. Pull your legs inwards while lowering your upper body towards them. Return to your original position. You’ll want to do about 40 repetitions while taking a break after the first 20.
You must ensure your hands are not placed too far apart. This mistake could put too much strain on your back and elbows, which could lead to an injury.