Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat
What are the BEST exercises to burn belly fat? We’ve scoured the internet to find the best suggestions from a ton of different trainers.
1st – 6 exercises done 4x a week on alternating days based on a study from the University of Oxford. The study did identify groups that incorporated diet in with exercise made more improvement than the group only exercising.
- Forearm or on knees plank – done for 20- 30 seconds
- Sit ups – Lay on your back with your knees bent. To avoid cranking on your neck and turning this into a bad neck pulling exercise either cross your arms across the front of your chest or place on the front of your head. – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Knee high crunches – lay on your back and bring your knees off the ground to 90-ish degrees. Place your hands on the sides of your head (your palms are on or near your ears) then sit up until your elbows touch your legs. – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Basic crunch – lay on your back with your knees bent. Chicken wing your elbows away from your head, but still keeping your hands away from the back of your head (to avoid cranking your neck.) With the crunch only sit up until your shoulder blades are off the ground, pulling your belly button down towards your spine. – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Sit up to Twist – at the top of the sit up rotate. If you were rotating to the right, your right elbow would go towards your left knee. Alternate which side you twist on each rep. – 3 sets of 10 reps
- Supermans – lay face down with your arms out in front of you thumbs pointed towards the ceiling. Slowly exhale and lift your arms and legs off the ground. This is a low back exercise. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds at the top doing 3 sets of 10 reps.
Moving onto expert number two on burning stubborn belly fat.
Dr Oz suggests the following:
Walk 30 minutes a day every day to start getting your metabolism going. [side rant, if you want to track how efficient your metabolism is and how it’s improving over time check out the Lumen.] For breakfast they suggest scrambled eggs with hot salsa.
Expert three. 5 minute ab routine.
Not to be confused with 5-ish minute abs. This expert [Officialthenx] says he does both HIIT and core on 2 different days. He says this is for beginners to advanced, but I’ll say this falls into the intermediate to advanced group. Grab a medicine ball. Here’s the routine – 30 seconds of work per exercise with no rest inbetween
- Leg flutters – while holding medicine ball. Sit on your butt in a V-ish position, with legs out kick them up and down
- Russian twists – essentially in the same position as the leg flutters twist from side to side bouncing the medicine ball off the ground on each twist
- Laying leg raises – on your back extend your arms and legs out. Lift your legs up and bring your arms towards your legs. You can also keep the arms extended fully back lifting only from the legs.
- Sit Ups with the ball – at the top of the sit up toss the ball into the air, catch, then go back to the ground before repeating.
- Jumping Jacks – get up off the ground and do some jumping jacks.
- Knee Taps – also known as high knees, bring your knees up and tap them to your hands which are at roughly waist level
- Side to Side Planks – From a standard elbow plank position bounce your hips from side to side
- Side Plank with Hip Raises – From elbow side plank position dip and raise your hip
- Mountain Climbers – From a push up position (make sure your hands, arms, and shoulders are all aligned from top to bottom) bring your knees in towards your arms then back out alternating legs
- Bicycles – on your back bring your legs in and out as you crunch twist
If you are a beginner I would substitute in some of the ab exercises from the Oxford study into this routine. It would look something like this –
- Sit ups with ball = Sit ups
- Side to side planks = Plank
- Side plank with hip raise = side plank
- Bicycles = Sit up to twist
I’d leave the mountain climbers in for the cardio aspect and the flutter kicks could be subbed with a hold. A flutter kick hold would essentially be a hollow hold (which is part of my 5-ish minute abs program.)
3 different experts (who aren’t me), multiple ab routine options with different timings (reps vs timed HIIT style) and suggestions to eat healthier and move the body. The biggest takeaway here is you need to move.
My personal programming suggestions would be around doing the walking 30 minutes a day, tracking your metabolism and calorie intake, and doing some of these ab exercises at least every other day. Make them part of your morning routine. Make going out for a walk a family thing before dinner. Give yourself a break from the stressors of the work day and decompress before sitting down for the evening.