Belly fat can be stubborn and frustrating to lose. While diet plays a key role, targeted exercise is one of the most effective ways to burn belly fat. The key is knowing which workouts are best for slimming your midsection. Here are some of the top exercises for losing belly fat.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
HIIT workouts alternate between bursts of high-intensity exercise and recovery periods. This type of training is one of the most effective ways to torch body fat, including dangerous visceral fat around the belly. Studies show HIIT can reduce belly fat while also building muscle. Aim for 20-30 minutes of HIIT 3-4 times per week. Some great HIIT exercises include sprints, cycling, jump rope, battle ropes, and rowing.
Planks strengthen the entire core, including the abdominal muscles. Stronger abs can help flatten the stomach while also improving posture. Hold planks for as long as possible, resting when needed. Work up to holding for 60 seconds. For added difficulty, do planks with your arms elevated on an exercise ball or try side planks to target obliques.
Mountain climbers are a challenging cardio exercise that doubles as core and abdominal training. Quickly alternate lifting your knees up towards your chest, like climbing a mountain. Shoot for 60 seconds of mountain climbers and take a short break. Repeat for 3-5 sets. Mountain climbers get your heart pumping while working deep abdominal muscles.
A full-body exercise, burpees burn fat and build muscle in the legs, glutes, chest, back, shoulders, and core. Burpees combine a push-up, squat, and jump for intense calorie burn. Do 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps, modifying as needed. Burpees spike your heart rate and are highly effective for belly fat loss when done regularly.
Kettlebell swings work your posterior chain – glutes, hamstrings, back, and core. They help shape and tone the midsection while burning calories. Use proper form – hinge at the hips and swing the kettlebell between your legs. Start with 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps using a challenging but manageable weight. Kettlebell swings are great for belly and back fat.
Combine short cardio bursts with bodyweight strength exercises for an interval training routine that melts fat. Try jumping jacks, jogging, skipping, squats, lunges, push-ups, crunches, and planks. Go hard for 30-60 seconds then rest and repeat for 15-30 minutes. The combination of cardio and strength training provides a major metabolism boost.
What’s the fastest way to lose belly fat?
Combining a healthy diet with HIIT workouts and strength training is the fastest way to lose belly fat. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods and cut back on carbs and sugar. Do HIIT cardio 3-4 times per week along with 2-3 strength sessions. Consistency is key.
How long does it take to lose belly fat?
It depends on your starting point and effort, but most people can lose noticeable belly fat within 4-8 weeks using a combination of diet, cardio, and strength training. Extreme diets may show faster initial results but are less sustainable long-term. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
What exercise burns the most belly fat?
HIIT workouts and compound strength training exercises tend to burn the most belly fat. Think full body moves like burpees, kettlebell swings, and deadlifts. Targeted ab exercises are helpful but not as effective for fat loss as HIIT and strength training.
Should I do cardio or weights first to lose belly fat?
Experts recommend doing cardio after strength training for maximum fat burn. Weights first allows you to put full energy into your compound exercises. Finish with cardio to spike calorie burn when your body is already tired. Just listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
How often should I exercise to lose belly fat?
Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise 5 days per week to effectively lose belly fat. Get in 2-4 days of strength moves plus cardio interval training for 3-5 days. Just be sure to rest and recover to allow your body time to repair and get stronger. Consistency is key.