Are you finding it difficult to fit into your little black number? Is belly fat giving you sleepless nights? If your answer is yes, you need to make some lifestyle changes to get the figure of your dreams. No doubt, belly fat looks aesthetically displeasing. It can assume serious proportions and affect long term health, if not curbed at the right time.
Dieting and exercise go hand in hand. If you thought that only dieting will burn your belly fat, you are wrong. If you really want to lose weight, you need to include an hour of exercise in your daily routine for targeting and reducing belly fat. Here, we have compiled a list of 16 exercises that can help you reduce belly fat faster than you thought it would take:
Best Exercises To Reduce Belly Fat:
Nothing burns belly fat faster than crunches, which occupy the number one position in fat-burning exercises. Now, it’s time that you start performing this exercise.
How To Do
Lie down flat on a mat with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Alternatively, you can also lift your legs off the floor at a 90-degree angle. (See picture).
Lift your hands and place them behind your head, or keep them crossed on your chest.
Inhale deeply, and as you lift your upper torso off the floor, exhale.
Inhale again as you get back down, and exhale as you come up.
Do this for 10 times as a beginner.
Repeat another two to three sets.
Dumbbell crossover punch, shoulder press and side crunch, butterfly crunch.
While performing crunches, instead of entering the full sit-up position, just raise your back a few inches from the ground. This ensures you don’t hurt your back.
Also, don’t jerk your head forward while doing crunches. This will put pressure on your neck and result in pain. Just hold your hands above your head and perform the exercise.
As you lift your torso, do not sit up straight. Your back should make an angle of 30-40 degrees with the ground. Only then you will feel pressure on your abdominal muscles.
This is same as the twist crunch exercise. The only difference is that you need to tilt your legs to the same side simultaneously with your shoulders. The side crunch focuses on the muscles on your sides.
Make sure you keep your movements steady and slow. The midsection, being a complex area, could hurt if you perform the twists in a hurried fashion.
This is a workout for beginners who want to reduce belly fat quickly.
How To Do
Stand with your legs hip width apart. Keep your knees slightly bent.
Lift both your hands in front of you, aligning them with your shoulders and keeping them parallel to the ground.
Lunge forward as shown in the picture. Take a big step forward with your right leg, and sit down as if on a chair so that your knees make a 90-degree angle with the floor. The left leg should be positioned backwards, supported by the toes.
The spine should be kept straight. Don’t bend your spine forward.
Twist your torso (just the torso, and not the legs) to the right and then to the left.
Stomach vacuum exercises are low-impact exercises that place greater emphasis on breathing instead of increasing your heart rate.
How To Do
a. This is similar to what we call the cat stretch pose. This is also known as the four-point, transverse-abdominal stomach vacuum. Follow the steps mentioned below to do this exercise for reducing belly fat:
Go down to the ground on all fours, supporting your body on your hands and knees.
Inhale deeply and loosen your abdomen.
As you exhale, tighten the abdomen muscles.
Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
Repeat the process.
Another type of stomach vacuum exercise is elevators. Here’s how to do it:
Sit on a chair. Imagine your belly to be an elevator that’s moving up.
Now inhale deeply using only your nose and think that it’s the first floor.
Breathe out using your mouth and simultaneously push your belly towards your spine, imagining that you are going up to the fifth floor.
Breathe out fast five more times, squeezing your abs every time you exhale.
Repeat the same five more times.
You can try standing pelvic tilts. This is another form of stomach vacuum exercise.
Stand with your legs hip width apart and bend your knees slightly.
Inhale deeply through your nose and push your belly inwards towards your spine, and at the same time, roll your hips out in the front.
Do five to six sets.
Seated stomach vacuum, functional stomach vacuum.
If you are suffering from any heart or lung ailment, it is best to avoid performing this exercise.
This exercise must be performed only on an empty stomach, as doing otherwise might lead to indigestion.
This is yet another perfect exercise for reducing belly fat.
How To Do
Stand erect with your feet together and keep your hands to the sides.
Keeping your legs grounded, bend your body to the right as much as possible till you feel a strain on your left waist. As you do so, ensure your right hand is on the right hip, and the left hand is raised upwards. Stay in the position for 15 seconds.
Return to the original position.
Now bend to the left, and retain the position for another 15 seconds.
Slowly, you may increase the holding time to 30 seconds.
Cardio is one of the most effective ways to burn calories and shed unwanted flab from your body. Cardio exercises are immensely helpful in reducing belly fat. Doing cardio on a regular basis will offer you other health benefits such as reduction of stress, an increase in your lung capacity, better sleep, and a sense of overall well-being.
One of the very first cardio exercises to reduce belly fat is walking. Surprised? Do you think it’s too simple to be effective? Well, then you should know that walking is a great and effective way to burn away that ugly belly fat. In fact, it is an excellent fat burner for your entire body. If you follow
a healthy diet
along with walking at a steady pace for 30-45 minutes for at least four to five days every week, you will witness a gradual decrease in your weight.
This low-impact exercise increases your metabolism as well as your heart rate. A heightened metabolic rate will burn away calories at a faster pace, thus helping to eliminate the fat accumulated around your belly. In fact, walking decreases the risk of injuries and is considered to be a good workout for beginners.
You have to prevent your body from getting used to any fixed workout routine. Hence, you can switch occasionally. Try running for a change. It is an effective way to keep your heart rate up, burn calories, and lose belly fat.
If you don’t like running, try jogging instead. Research suggests that jogging is more effective in breaking down unwanted fat when compared to weightlifting. This is a form of aerobic exercise that is extremely useful for fighting obesity and staying fit.
With swimming, you get the benefits of cardio – from losing weight to toning your body – all at the same time! The strokes you choose should be up-tempo and strenuous in order to
help you burn more calories
. You can start by going for a swim once or twice every week.
And here we have a video showing you the top 5 exercises from this list!
Follow these effective and simple exercises to reduce belly fat. You can easily do most of these exercises at home without the help of any personal trainer. All you need is determination and a lot of stamina. Reducing tummy fat is no longer an elusive dream!
Other Ways To Reduce Belly / Abdominal Fat
1. Eat Right:
Reducing abdominal fat is 80% about eating the right food. Have a healthy and balanced diet with adequate macro and micro nutrients. Most importantly, skip takeaways and fast foods. Eat food prepared at home. Don’t have time? Go for raw fruits or veggies, or steam cooked veggies instead.
2. Drink Water:
Many get confused if they are thirsty, tired, or hungry, and end up nibbling sugary or fatty food. Always carry a water bottle, and make sure you keep sipping water throughout the day. One needs to drink six to eight glasses of water, though this depends on your weight and lifestyle. Calculate accordingly, and make sure you consume enough water.
3. Short Bursts:
According to recent studies, instead of working out for hours or running a few miles, doing short bursts of active exercises is very helpful in reducing stubborn fat. For example, if you are walking on a treadmill, randomly increase the speed for a few seconds and get back to walking.
4. Say No To Sugar:
Sugar is one thing you should greatly reduce, if not omit from your daily platter. There are many sources of hidden sugar, so it’s a good idea to reduce sugar. Use alternatives like honey, palm sugar, and licorice extract.
5. Reduce Sodium Intake:
Of course, you need to add salt to your food. Instead of sodium salt, you can consider using potassium, lemon, and sea salts. Also, adding a few herbs and spices like pepper helps in reducing the salt requirement.
for the secretion of carnitine, a compound that helps the body convert fat into energy. Besides, it also helps block cortisol, a hormone that is secreted by the body under stress. A spike in the cortisol levels is the main reason for abdominal fat.
7. Include Fat Burning Foods:
There are many natural ways to reduce fat. Garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne pepper, cabbage, tomato, and spices like cinnamon and mustard are some of the fat reducing foods. Consuming a few cloves of raw garlic and a one-inch piece of ginger every morning is good for fat metabolism.
Having a glass of warm water with lemon juice and honey in the morning is a popular option for weight loss. Similarly, there are many other ways to include
fat burning foods
in one’s diet.
8. Include Healthy Fats:
When trying to get rid of bad cholesterol, the addition of good cholesterol can be helpful. Avocados, olives, coconut, and nuts are few sources of good cholesterol.
. On the contrary, skipping breakfast is a major blunder. It increases bloating and pushes your body into starvation mode, a key for abdominal fat gain.
Latest studies reveal that having smaller and frequent meals is the key to maintain a healthy metabolic rate, which is important for weight management. So, reduce the size of your meals and make up for it by snacking healthy. You could consider having dry fruits and nuts, raw veggies or fruits, and steamed veggies.
10. Get Proper Sleep:
Wondering why we are talking about sleeping here? Adequate sleep is very important for weight management. Everyone needs six to eight hours of sleep. According to a recent study, too much of sleep or the lack of it can lead to weight gain.
Now that you know the different kinds of exercises and other methods to reduce belly fat, let’s check out what factors cause it in the first place.
Why Do You Get Belly Fat
Some amount of belly fat is normal – it helps to cushion the bones and organs and provide protection. Well, excess fat might become a cause of concern. Don’t worry. You can cut any type of fat by exercising and following a strict low carb diet. There are a number of reasons for belly fat in teens and adults.
Scientists have discovered that the number of fat cells you will develop depends entirely on your genes. If your parents or grandparents had excess belly fat, you too might have the same. Yes, it is true that genetics is a determinant of how the fat is distributed.
You may have an apple-shaped or a pear-shaped body structure. Accumulation of fat occurs differently for different people, it actually depends on the body structure. For those whose bodies are pear-shaped, the fat tends to accumulate in the lower part of the body, like the buttocks. But for those whose bodies are apple-shaped, your body tends to store fat around the middle section, thus resulting in fat accumulation around the belly. You must know that there are two types of belly fat – visceral, which accumulates around the abdominal organs, and subcutaneous, which occurs between the skin and abdominal wall.
with age and this causes belly fat. Women are more prone to develop belly fat than men. Weak metabolism is yet another reason.
You must have noticed that some of your friends eat a lot of sugar-based foods, fried foods, or cold drinks. Yet, they manage to have a flat stomach, the reason being they have a very high metabolic rate. If your metabolism is not good, you may have a bloated stomach. Thyroid conditions, diabetes, and other medical conditions can be the reasons for slow metabolism.
c. Hormonal Changes:
You might have heard the term ‘middle-age spread’. This means, as women progress towards their middle years, the ratio of body fat increases compared to the body weight. During menopause, when the levels of estrogen go down, and the amount of androgens or male hormones increase, then there is an increased risk of fat accumulation in the waist. Hormones actually regulate the fat concentration in the body, and your figure depends entirely on it!
d. Stress And Hypertension:
Stress increases the levels of cortisol in the blood, and it leads to fat accumulating in the body.
Women suffering from diabetes, breast cancer, sleep apnea, colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease and hypertension, stroke, and metabolic syndrome have fat accumulation in the belly.
f. Sagging Muscles:
If the muscles around your abdominal area are saggy, they may lead to a fat belly. All you need to do is tone your belly to get slimmer waistline.
g. Poor Posture:
Slouching is the main reason for fat accumulation in the body. Learn to sit straight right from your childhood. Sitting with a curved back or spine may result in fat accumulation around your stomach area.
h. Sedentary Lifestyle:
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the major causes of occurrence of belly fat. If you don’t indulge in any physical activity, and spend most of the time sitting, watching T.V., reading, etc., it is known as a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of regular exercise, or not exercising at all can lead to fat storage around the belly area. In other words, being a couch potato will make you fat.
If you eat too much, it can also lead to weight gain and belly fat. Coupled with a sedentary lifestyle, it can have major consequences.
Belly fat is, in fact, the colloquial term for abdominal fat. According to medical experts, belly fat can be potentially dangerous. Excess of it can lead to a number of health problems including heart diseases, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, a decrease in the level of HDL or good cholesterol, and can even lead to strokes or sleep apnea. You need to combat this problem before it gets too late.
Measuring Belly Fat
Earlier, belly fat was considered healthy; it was perceived as a reservoir of adipose tissues that could be utilized when a person needed extra energy. With time, the views have changed. Researchers state that excess belly fat triggers chronic cardiovascular diseases. So, it is important to measure belly fat and check how much you need to reduce. Here are some parameters to measure your waistline.
a. Body Mass Index:
This is ratio of weight in kilograms to the square of height in meters. This parameter helps doctors judge whether the person will suffer from heart disease or strokes. Those having a BMI of 25-29.9 are considered overweight and those with a BMI of 30 are considered obese. However, this parameter is not always accurate in measuring belly fat. In fact, you can measure your belly fat with a measuring tape in front of the mirror, and set your own targets to reduce belly fat. Looking at the mirror and checking regularly will motivate you to lose the unhealthy fat lining your abdomen.
b. Waist To Hip Ratio:
Keep a calculator handy. To calculate your waist-to-hip ratio accurately, measure the narrowest point of your waist and the broadest part of your hip. Divide the values you obtained from the measurement and you have your ratio. The waist-to-hip ratio is a more accurate parameter to measure BMI. Those with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.8 are susceptible to cardiovascular disease and stroke.
c. Waist Circumference:
As said before, measuring your waist with the tape is the easiest way to check belly fat. Measure your torso at the level of your navel. As per the official guidelines, measure your abdomen from just above the hip bone or the iliac crest, just where it intersects the line dropping down from the middle of the right armpit. Breathe normally while taking the measurement, and don’t hold the measuring tape too tight against the skin. Those with a waist size more than 33 inches are at risk of developing chronic heart disease.
Belly fat is something that makes you look really bad and it is also very unhealthy. A sedentary lifestyle and wrong food choices are responsible for belly fat. However, not to worry, you can always do some
core strengthening exercises
to get the desired washboard abs. Here are some expert tips to show you the way to shed those extra pounds from your belly.
3 Best Exercises To Reduce Belly Fat – Experts Roundup
1. Kerry P. Taylor
Try these exercises to get a flat belly you always dreamed of:
Half Turkish Get Up:
Melt your belly fat with this core strengthening exercise that works wonders for your abdomen, back muscles and hamstrings. It is the most complete exercise.
Ab Wheel Roll Outs:
This is done using exercise wheels to strengthen all the core muscles. This is a great way to ab-crunches which automatically helps to shed weight.
Standing Band Rotations:
Stand sideways to a cable band with feet hip-width apart, pull the cable close to body at the height of your chest. Keep your hands in the middle and use all your core muscles to brace your torso.
Do three sets of AB Circuit and repeat it 10-20 times. Each exercise is meant for the abs to complete the movement and the focus shouldn’t be on the legs.
Bend knees and shift weight to that side. Squeeze the oblique’s and rock the hip to lift the other leg (should have some resistance through the toe to allow to “flicking” up off the ground). You should do 10 reps each side, then 10 again (total of 20, alternating after 10)
Start with basic abs tuck (standing crunch). For that you have to lift one knee using the abs, and bend the other knee to sit slightly on the ground. Bring the rib cage to the bellybutton so that the spine is in C-curve position. Simultaneously, squeeze the oblique on one side to crunch while reaching down for the opposite foot. Do 10 repetitions for each side, then do 10 again (total of 20, alternating after 10).
One foot placed slightly in front of the other with body facing the corner. This should resemble the movement of wringing a towel while taking knees further “inward” and opening body in the opposite direction. Start with knees bent and straighten with the twist by lifting the hip and leading it to the opposite corner.10 reps each side, then 10 again (total of 20, alternating after 10)
Doing ab crunches and following a crash diet is not the right way to lose belly fat. If you really want to flaunt a well-toned belly you have to eat a balanced diet with all the good fats rather than starving yourself. You should also exercise for three to five times a week.
1. The side plank exercise is the best way to reduce belly fat. There are only two points of contact with the floor which helps the core muscles to contract even harder. Lie on your side with your legs top of each other, rest on your lower forearm that is bent on the elbow. Force your upper body off the floor by using your forearm and place other hand on your hips. You should resemble a diagonal line from head to toe. After you lift your bodies just hold it for 30-60 seconds.
2. Burpees are tough compared to side plank but it is also a great way to lose belly fat. For this you have to first stand and then with a quick movement contract your abs and go into a side plank position with your bottom tucked in. Do the push-up and jump back to the standing position. Do 30 repetitions and add 10 more as you progress.
3. Doing Bicycles not only help to melt belly fat it also works on the muscles of your upper body. For this you have to lie on your back and raise your legs at 90 degree, then bend your legs to 90 degree and hold it. Keep your hands under your head and slowly raise your head and shoulder off the ground. Now with a fast movement bring your right elbow to your left knee and extend your right leg in the front. You have to switch sides fast to create the cycling effect. Use your core muscles to keep your head and shoulder above the ground throughout the exercise. Do 20 repetitions and add 10 as you become stronger.
1. Bicycle Crunches are a great ab exercise and work the abs from every angle. It’s a combination of the regular crunch, a side-to-side motion that hits the oblique muscles and a reverse crunch that targets the lower abs. You can change the difficulty level by increasing or decreasing the range of motion used and the speed of movement as well as the intensity of the crunch by holding and squeezing.
2. Ab Plank is a great exercise to really challenge your entire core and build up your strength and endurance. The Plank works the lower abdomens, the oblique muscles and your lower back. It takes focus and concentration plus some upper body strength. Start with holding the plank position for 30- 40 seconds and build your way up. You will be amazed at how strong your cores will get by doing this exercise regularly.
This is done using a treadmill or running or outdoors. I get clients to run as fast as they can for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds rest and will repeat this between 10-15 times depending on fitness levels. HIIT training stands for high Intensity Interval Training and is very effective way to burn calories and fat.
I let my clients do boxing as I feel that it’s a great way to pump up your heart rate and increase sweating. Higher the heart rate the more calories they’ll be burning. Usually I instruct my clients to do one minute of punches or combinations usually on boxing pads but can also be done on a punch bag followed by 30 seconds rest. Usually I repeat this exercise several times until my clients are fit. Then I let them hold the plank in between rounds as an active rest.
Tabata is another form of interval training and involves 8 rounds of 20 seconds exercise followed by 10 seconds rest. Sounds easy enough but exercise should be done at a high intensity. This exercise can be done using rowing machines, dumbbells or thrusters. This is a tough exercise and is best for those who have very less time in their hands.
This type of exercise is your key to melting belly fat fast. HIIT is highly effective for all over weight loss, particularly removing stubborn belly fat. If you are not eating right, you have reached menopause or you are not losing weight you should do these exercises. Don’t let the name scare you as it is you who determines the intensity. It is your perceived exertion that counts.
There are different types of HIIT but an easy one to begin with is to simply warm up for 3 minutes on an elliptical machine or by walking. Then work out for 30 seconds so that at the end of the exercise you feel satisfied. Reduce the speed to slow down to a moderate pace. Do this 7 more times or for total 8 intervals. Start with one interval and as your body is ready to take more increase the intervals. Studies show that HIIT to be the absolute premier cardio for weight loss and optimal health as compared to longer, traditional cardio.
This is one of the best exercises for flat, well-defined abs. Lie on the floor with just your fingertips touching the back of your head. Bring your right elbow to your left knee as you straighten your right leg. Switch sides and continue to pedal. Do 1-3 sets with 15-25 repetitions.
Exercise Ball Crunch:
This is one of the most effective ways to strengthen and flatten abs. Studies show this exercise is 40% more effective than regular ab crunches as it targets smaller muscles for flat toned abs including the oblique’s for a small waist and the outermost muscles that your typical ab crunch may miss. To begin, lie down on the ball positioning it under the lower back. Place arms behind your head. Tighten your abs as you lift your torso off the ball while keeping the ball stable. Lower back down and repeat 15 times with 1-3 sets.
Leg raises are great ab exercise. They are the best way to reduce belly fat.
Spider crunches for that desirable abs. For spider crunches, start in a push-up position. Now, lift your left leg and bring it close to your left arm. Return to the starting position and repeat with right leg.
These three exercises are great way to get a strong core:
This is a simple body weight core strengthening exercise that also improves muscles of your arms. It is done using a hanging bar.
Decline Bench Sit Up Ceiling Touches:
This great exercise works on your shoulder, abs and lower back. Sit on the bench with the weight on your lap. As you move backwards, lock your arms and raise the weight above your body. Touch your back to the bench and use your abs to sit up. As you sit up you should keep your arms and weight pointed to the ceiling.
Prone Slider Toe-Ins:
Go into a prone or plank position, your body should be horizontal or parallel to the floor. The legs should be straight and toes should be in. You have to use a slider to move back and forth. This is best done at a gym where all gym equipment is available.
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