So you’ve grown a belly. It happens. The mid-section spread starts as you head toward middle age or your diet fails you because your gut is particularly susceptible to packing on pounds for men. The good news: Undoing the damage and getting your abs back is possible and there are exercises to lose belly fat that work. The bad news: Losing your belly fat is time-consuming and requires dedication to a good diet and regular exercise.
The diet part is on you (and yes, you know what to do to eat well). But to help you find time for exercises to lose belly fat, we came up with ten 10-minute workouts that will tone those abs like nobody’s business. And because you know by now that you can’t spot-train your body to get buff in one area and not another, we’ve split these workouts into building and burning segments, so you can strengthen the right muscle groups, while also shedding fat from all over.
Belly Fat Exercise #1
Build: Rotating plank. Do 60-second planks facing front (traditional), side, other side, and back (belly-up), with 15 seconds rest in-between.
Burn: Platform jumps. Engage your core while developing explosive power by doing one minute of squat jumps onto a high bench, followed by 30 seconds of rest, 3 times.
Belly Fat Exercise #2
Build: Bridges develop lower abdominal muscles plus overall core stability. Do 5 bridges, holding each for 30 seconds, with 15 seconds rest in-between.
Burn: Burpees raises your heart rate while developing balance and core strength. Do two minutes of jumps, followed by one minute of rest, followed by another two minutes of jumps.
Belly Fat Exercise #3
Build: V-Hold. From a seated position on the floor, lean your torso back and raise your feet and legs straight at an angle in front of you so that your body creates a “V” shape. Hold 60 seconds, relax 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Burn: Step-ups (literally what it sounds like—step up and down on a high bench with one leg) work your abs, glutes, and quads in one movement while improving balance and raising your heart rate. Do 6 x 10 step-ups, alternating sides, with 20 seconds rest between sets.
Belly Fat Exercise #4
Build: Pulses are like reverse crunches. Start sitting on the floor with your back straight, then lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle, and pulse up and down a few inches, engaging your core. Do 3 sets of 20 pulses with 30 seconds rest in-between.
Burn: Mountain climbers (90 seconds on, 30 seconds rest x 3)
Belly Fat Exercise #5
Build: Sit-ups are boring and the movement doesn’t hit all major muscle groups. But they still have a role within your larger repertoire of belly-firming exercises. Aim for one sit-up every two seconds for 60 seconds, then relax 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Burn: Bicycle. Cranking your feet through the air as you lie on your back will engage those deep transverse muscles that stabilize your core and keep you from injury.
Belly Fat Exercise #6
Build: Hinges (opposite knee to elbow sit-ups) work lower back muscles along with all major abdominal groups. Do 3 sets of 20 reps with 30 seconds rest.
Burn: Jump rope. Few things can crank the heart rate up so hard, so fast, as single-bounce jump rope. Go for 60 seconds, rest for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Belly Fat Exercise #7
Build: Leg lifts. Lie on a bench, butt at one end. Extended legs out in front of you. Keeping them straight, raise them up to the ceiling then lower. (You can hold onto the edges on the bench with your hands for support if needed.) 5 sets of 10 reps.
Burn: High-knee sprints. 30-seconds all-out, 30 seconds rest. 5 times
Belly Fat Exercise #8
Build: Russian twists. Start seated, lean your upper body back, hold your arms in front of you, and raise feet a few inches off the floor (knees bent). From here, swivel your torso from side to side, rotating your arms with your torso so hands touch the floor on each side with every twist. 60 seconds on, 20 seconds rest, 3 times.
Burn: One-leg jacks take standard jumping jacks up a notch, alternating opposite elbow to knee as you go. For max core work, lift your knee as high as you can. 60 seconds of jacks, then 20 seconds rest, 3 times.
Belly Fat Exercise #9
Build: Supine oblique ball twist. Lie on your back, arms out to sides, feet in the air with a large beach ball in-between your calves. Slowly drop your legs to the right, then the left, engaging your core to pull legs back to the center each time. 60 seconds on, 20 seconds rest, 3 times.
Burn: Stairs get the heart rate up fast, work your fine motor skills, and engage most major lower body muscles. Dash up a couple of flights (about 30 seconds), then jog back down. Repeat 5 times.
Belly Fat Exercise #10
Build: Swing hammers have you swinging a kettlebell, weighted ball, or dumbbell from one side of your torso, over your head, and to the floor on the other side (bend knees, straighten knees, bend again), is a great obliques move. Do 5 sets of 10 reps.
Burn: Horizontal jumping jacks. Get in an extended push-ups position and jump feet apart and together, keeping your back straight and body in a straight line. 45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest, 5 times.
How to Burn Belly Fat: A Lifestyle Cheat Sheet
Calories In Versus Calories Out
If you’re pounding the Whopper with cheese at lunch, it’s virtually impossible to burn off the calories by jogging around the neighborhood after work. To lose weight, calculate how many calories you need to maintain weight (try this calculator from the Mayo Clinic) and then aim to cut 500 calories from this.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Skipping breakfast should be an easy way to lose weight, but numerous studies suggest that eating breakfast actually helps /prevent/ weight gain. So eat breakfast — but make it a lean one.
Turn Up the Burn
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, should be your go-to workout. In this type of workout, you basically sprint, jump rope, do jumping jacks, or whatever type of cardio you can for 30 to 60 seconds, all-out followed by an equivalent amount of rest to recover.
Strengthen Abdominal Muscles
You can’t spot-pick the geographic location of weight loss on your body any more than you can choose which parts of your head go bald first. But you can work on strengthening the muscles in the abdominal area, which will give your stomach a more toned appearance as the pounds start coming off.