There are certain areas where unwanted fat likes to hang around. For women, it’s usually around the stomach area, and that age-old question still remains: “How do I reduce belly fat?”
Here’s the honest truth: To lose belly fat, you need to burn more calories than you consume, ideally through a healthy diet and a combination of core-strengthening exercises and calorie-burning exercises. The strengthening exercises will help build and tone, while the calorie-burning exercises will help reduce overall fat, including your stomach area. There is no such thing as spot reduction, meaning you can’t just target one specific section of your belly. You must work your whole core to see progress.
Below you’ll find the eight best exercises to help you achieve the flat belly of your dreams. These exercises will have your core muscles burning and your forehead sweating – especially if use them together in a workout. These exercises focus on the whole core and are a combination of strength-builders and calorie-burners.
Crunches are old school, but the key to using them is to keep going until it burns!
Lie down on your back with your knees bent at a 45-degree angle. Place your hands across your chest and crunch upward, lifting only your upper back off the ground. Leave your lower back on the ground. Then come back down, but just before your shoulders touch the ground, crunch upward again. Throughout the movement, do not relax your abdominal muscles but keep them consistently tense.
2. Mountain Climbers
The faster you do mountain climbers, the more calories you will burn!
Start in a high plank position (pushup position), with your hands under your shoulders, toes on the ground, bottom down and your body rigid. Bring one knee in to meet the opposite elbow and then the other knee to meet the other elbow. Pick up the pace and do this exercise as fast and controlled as possible.
3. Oblique Crunches
Like crunches, the key to oblique crunches is to keep going until it burns!
Lie down on your side so that one leg is on top of the other. Bend your legs slightly and prop yourself up on one elbow. Then start to crunch upward, bringing your knee to meet your elbow. Make sure to tense your oblique muscle throughout the whole movement. Then swap sides.
4. Crossover With Reach
The faster you reach, the more calories you burn!
Start by lying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Then lift your upper back off the ground and curl your torso to the right, extending your arms by reaching across your body to your right foot. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
5. Reverse Crunch
Do not allow yourself to rest between sets. Keep the burn!
Start by lying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your ears. Then slowly bring your knees in toward your chest and at the same time lift your shoulders and upper back off the ground. Return to your original position.
The Benefits of Core Exercises
Core exercises not only help build a great-looking midsection but also help your overall body. There are many benefits, including balance, posture and pain reduction. Check out some of these other benefits discussed by Mayo Clinic:
– Improve balance and stability
– Can be done at home without any gym memberships or equipment
– Tone abs
– Make you stronger, making it easier to do other physical activity