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Get Toned Quick With the 7 Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

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Many of us dream of a flat stomach and six-pack abs. But many of us also know the struggles of trending diets, ineffective exercise routines, and seeing minimal change on the scale.

So, what can you do to lose belly fat?

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Don’t panic. We cover the 7 best exercises to burn belly fat and everything you need to know to achieve your weight loss goals in the article below. Read on for more information. 

How Do You Lose Belly Fat?

Let’s start with the number one question on almost everyone’s minds—how do I lose this stubborn belly fat?

Not only does excess belly fat affect your confidence and mental health, but it can wreak havoc on your health. Too much body fat can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, inadequate hours of sleep, and other health complications. 

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But you’ve probably tried everything from diet pills, trending exercise routines, or even random tech tools in your quest for a flat belly.

Fortunately, a few things remain true—regular exercise, calorie deficits, and a healthy diet are the keys to less belly flab. Before we break into the best fat-burning exercises, let’s go into the difference between anaerobic and aerobic exercises.

Aerobic Exercises

You’ve surely heard of the term aerobic exercise, but what is it actually? 

Aerobic training is probably what comes to mind when you think of cardio exercises. The term translates to “with oxygen,” meaning your breathing and heart rate increase, helping your body produce energy. 

It typically involves cardiovascular exercises in the moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity exercise zones. These zones are roughly 40–85% of your maximum heart rate. Some cardiovascular exercises include the following:

Aerobic exercise is sustainable, meaning you can do it for long periods of time. This helps you burn body fat and improve overall markers of health, like blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart rate. 

Anaerobic Exercises

Anaerobic training translates to “without oxygen,” but does this mean you’re not breathing during this training method? 

Not quite. Anaerobic exercise requires short, fast bursts of energy that don’t require you to use oxygen like cardiovascular exercises. Instead, these movements break down glucose into energy. Some common forms of anaerobic training include the following: 

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Full-body exercise
  • Strength training
  • Calisthenics 
  • Circuit training

Aerobic exercise can turn into anaerobic exercise, depending on your intensity. Regardless, this type of resistance training can benefit endurance and muscle mass and help you lower your waist circumference. 

It’s a critical component to losing body fat and should be included in your weekly workout routine.

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The 7 Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat

1. Burpees

Burpees are a full-body exercise perfect for improving heart health and burning calories. There are a few variations, but each option helps you shed calories and works the whole body. Burpees will challenge your core strength, stamina, and coordination, making them ideal for a weekly workout routine.

Here’s how to do a Burpee:

  1. Start by standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Then, lower your body into a squat position, stopping when your quads are parallel to the floor.
  2. Once you’re in the lowest position of the squat, place your hands on the ground, straightening your legs backward. Now, you should be in a position similar to a push-up.
  3. Lower your chest to the floor as if you’re doing a regular push-up, and quickly pull your legs back in, reversing to the squat position.
  4. Stand up straight and jump, raising your arms straight up. That counts as one repetition.

You can include burpees in your full-body workout or circuit to get your heart pumping. We suggest doing three sets for 30 to 60 seconds each.

2. Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers are fantastic abdominal exercises for conditioning the body and shedding pounds. This movement works several muscle groups, including shoulders, hamstrings, triceps, and oblique muscles. It will get your heart racing and works fantastic in circuit training routines. 

How to do the Mountain Climber:

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  1. Start by taking a high push-up position, making sure your hands are firmly on the ground right under your shoulders. Maintain your feet hip distance apart, and have your shoulders a little higher than your hips.
  2. Activate your shoulder muscles, abs, and glutes to create tension throughout your whole body. Maintain a neutral head position by looking directly at the floor.
  3. Now, lift one knee up towards your chest like you’re running in place. Then, put the leg back in its starting position and repeat the same movement with the other leg.
  4. Keep switching legs, continuing the alternating pattern.

This can be an intense workout, depending on your pace. Just don’t forget to maintain control and proper technique. Perform three sets of mountain climbers for 30–120 seconds each.

3. Abdominal Crunch

One of the best core exercises is the Abdominal Crunch. As far as exercises for belly fat, the crunch is a must-have in your weekly workout routine. It will challenge your lower abs, helping you get toned and burn calories.

Here’s how to do the Abdominal Crunch:

  1. Lie flat on a mat, bend your knees, and rest your feet on the floor.
  2. Put your thumbs behind your ears, and use the rest of your fingers to hold the back of your head. Lift your head off the floor to begin.
  3. Start the movement by curling up and attempting to touch your knees with your head.
  4. Return to the starting position.
  5. Remember to breathe in as you curl up and breathe out as you go back down.

Remember to pace yourself and practice control. Pausing at the top of the movement can make the exercise more difficult and challenge your endurance. We recommend completing three sets of 10–12 reps.

4. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle Crunches are fantastic exercises for belly fat. This movement targets the entire abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps. Include this movement into your weekly workout routine to burn additional calories and improve cardiovascular health.

How to perform the Bicycle Crunch:

  1. Lie on a mat and bend your knees while raising your feet off the floor.
  2. Put your thumbs behind your ears, and use the rest of your fingers to support the back of your head. Lift your head off the floor to get into the starting position.
  3. Lower your left leg and straighten it out while curling up and twisting towards your right side. Aim to touch your right knee with your left elbow.
  4. Return to the starting position by lowering your head back down and bringing your left leg back to its bent position.
  5. Repeat the same sequence with your other leg.

Like all other exercises, it’s essential to practice control and ensure you’re using the correct technique. We recommend performing three sets of 10–15 reps.

5. Reverse Crunches

If you’re after six-pack abs, you should include the Reverse Crunch in your weekly workout routine. It’s less stressful on the back compared to other variations and fits perfectly into a 30-minute exercise routine. 

Here’s how to do the Reverse Crunch:

  1. Sit on a mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lean back and use your elbows to support your body. This is the starting position.
  2. Raise both of your legs off the floor and bring your knees close to your chest.
  3. Gradually lower your legs back down to the starting position. That’s one rep.

Avoid rolling your shoulders forward or curving your back when performing the reverse crunch. Aim to complete three sets of 10–15 reps.

6. Russian Twist

The Russian Twist is one of the most common core exercises for losing weight and developing the abdominal muscles. It’s suitable for conditioning, but the wrong form won’t yield effective results. You can perform this movement with or without weight, depending on your goals and circumstances. 

Here’s the correct Russian Twist technique:

  1. Begin by sitting on the floor with your knees bent.
  2. Raise your upper body until you’re at around a 45-degree angle.
  3. Stretch out your arms in front of you, holding an optional medicine ball or weight plate.
  4. Start rotating your torso towards one side, making sure your shoulders turn in that direction. Touch the floor with the weight, then rotate towards the other side, facing the opposite direction.
  5. Keep going back and forth between the two sides, continuing this alternating motion.

It’s essential to focus on rotating your torso with control. Complete the exercise by taking your time, controlling the movement, and keeping your core tight. Aim to complete three sets of Russian Twists for 30–60 seconds.

7. Squat

No one can deny the benefits of Body Squat. It’s a compound exercise, meaning it engages significant muscle groups, burns tons of calories, and improves strength. Tightening your core will help you feel the burn in your abdominal muscles, helping you lose excess body mass.

Here’s how to do the Squat: 

  1. Stand tall with your feet placed in a way that feels comfortable for you. The distance between your feet and the angle at which your toes point can be different for each person, so take your time to find the position that feels most comfortable for your body.
  2. Stretch your arms straight out in front of your body to act as a balance. Start the movement by gradually lowering your pelvis downward.
  3. Go down as far as you can comfortably while keeping your back straight. Once your quads are parallel to the ground, stand up again to go back to the starting position. That counts as one repetition.

Pausing at the bottom of the movement can challenge your core muscles, helping you develop strength and stability. We recommend completing three sets for 12–15 reps.

Other Exercises

There are other ways to lose belly fat besides bodyweight exercises. Let’s take a look at some other methods you can use to induce a calorie deficit and lose excess body fat.  

Walking

Walking may not seem like much, but it’s one of the best low-impact exercises for increasing your physical activity and shedding calories. 

It doesn’t take much to see results either; walking one mile burns anywhere from 85 to 100 calories on average. That’s around 2,000 steps. 

Besides going for 10–15 minute walks throughout the day, there are excellent methods to get more steps in throughout your daily activities:

  • Park farther away at the grocery store than you usually would
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Give your dog an extra walk throughout the day
  • Stand up and walk around every hour or two if you work a desk job

These are just a few ways to increase the number of steps you get each day. You might not seem like much at first, but every additional step counts towards your goal of losing body fat and acquiring the body you desire.

Running

Running is close relative to walking. It’s a higher-impact exercise that gets your heart pumping, body sweating, and calories burning. Running doesn’t just have benefits for weight control; it can improve heart health, cardiovascular endurance, blood pressure, stress levels, and overall well-being.

It’s easily one of the best exercises you can do to benefit your overall well-being.

The American Heart Association recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week, so running is a great way to hit these goals.

But if you’re strapped for time, one to two runs a week can help you a lot on your goal towards a fitter and leaner body.

Weight Training

It’s easy to believe that cardio is the most essential thing for achieving your weight loss goals, but this is a misconception. Weight training, building muscle mass, and strengthening your body are critical for your health and fitness goals.

Lifting weights will help you retain muscle mass while you are in a calorie deficit, as long as you’re eating enough protein. It will keep you primed and ready to hit the gym after you achieve your weight loss goals; well, I’m sure you are still flexible and coordinated.

They’re countless exercises you can do besides the bodyweight training options listed above. 

You can engage in high-intensity interval training to spike your heart rate, get your blood pumping, and shed tons of calories.

Or you can engage in heavy compound exercises like the squat, kettlebell swing, and deadlift to work your entire body and build functional strength. 

Either way, it’s essential to include 1–2 strength training days into your week while you’re on your weight loss journey.

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Additional Tips to Reduce Belly Fat

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Six-packs are made in the kitchen.” Well, this isn’t just some cliche or a platitude to encourage you to buy avocados. 

There are several factors that go into minimizing belly fat and losing weight. Diet choices, how much you eat, your sleep, and your activity levels all affect your progress. Let’s take a look at some tips you can use to achieve your weight loss goals faster. 

Use a Calorie Deficit

One of the most important aspects of losing weight is your calorie expenditure. It’s essential to go into a calorie deficit or a state where you burn more calories than you consume. More calorie burn requires your body to use fat for fuel, helping you shed excess body mass.

You can quickly determine your calorie expenditure with online calculators—just provide your information and define a healthy weight loss range. 

Eat Healthy

Besides consuming fewer calories than you burn, it’s critical to eat a balanced diet of whole, minimally processed, and nutritious foods. Poor diet habits can quickly lead to unintentional weight gain. 

Processed junk foods, sugary drinks, and fast food can negatively impact your health. These foods will increase your sodium intake and don’t offer much nutritional value, which can negatively impact nearly all health markers.

Instead, maintain a consistent diet routine. Starting small, like swapping to sugar-free carbonated water from soda, is an excellent option for people starting out. You can continue to cut out poor diet habits until you’re satisfied with your results.

Increase Your Activity Levels

Another way to support your weight loss efforts is to live an active lifestyle. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, like working at an office job, it might be more challenging to cut belly fat. 

Living a more active lifestyle can start with easy changes, depending on your fitness level.

You might start by including a walk in your day activities or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You can incorporate new hobbies, like hikes or sports, to increase your activity levels Regardless, it is critical to adjust your daily routine to support weight loss, heart health, stress levels, and overall well-being. 

Get Enough Sleep

Adequate sleep is non-negotiable, regardless if you’re in the best shape of your life or you want to lose 10 pounds. 

Your body and mind can’t function as effectively without adequate sleep. Cortisol levels can increase, causing stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Your body won’t recover as well, negatively impacting your performance in the gym.

Not to mention, less sleep can make it easier to give into poor diet habits and take a day off from your consistent exercise routine. Instead, aim for 7–9 hours of sleep every night.

You can disable screens and technology 1–2 hours before bed to make it easier to sleep. Reading, drinking tea, and going for a late-night walk can be fantastic options for people looking for a way to wind down. 

Stay Consistent

By now, you understand you can burn fat with exercise, but hitting the gym once a month isn’t enough to yield significant results. Instead, you need to develop a consistent exercise routine.

Whether you’re doing simple cardio exercises three days a week or training five days at the gym, consistency is critical.

A consistent exercise routine will ensure you’re getting enough physical activity throughout the week to meet your goals. It’s essential to track your results, like weighing yourself first thing in the morning or checking off the times you went to the gym on a calendar.

This way, you’re constantly moving forward and keeping yourself accountable. Just remember that mistakes will happen. You might miss a day or eat something outside your diet routine—this happens and is perfectly normal; just hop back on the horse as soon as possible.

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How Much Time Until I See Results?

One question on everyone’s mind when starting something new is, “How long will this take until I see results?” 

As you know, most things of value in life take time, and weight loss is no exception. Time frames will vary significantly, depending on your fitness level, training program, diet habits, and other factors.

That said, it’s safe for most adults to lose 1–2 pounds per week or 4–8 pounds per month

So, if you want to lose 10 pounds, it might take you 5–10 weeks. In most cases, 2–6 pounds each month is a realistic goal for most individuals. Again, this will depend on several factors, and your mileage will vary. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Exercises Burn the Most Belly Fat at Home?

Exercises that get your heart pumping and blood sweating will burn the most calories. Bodyweight options, like burpees, squats, mountain climbers, and crunch variations, can be great options for a circuit routine.

What Burns the Most Belly Fat?

Intense exercise that gets your heart pumping will burn the most belly fat. Some options include running, swimming, cycling, and HIIT workouts. It’s best to train at least 30 minutes per session, at least five days per week.

How Can I Reduce My Tummy in 7 Days?

If you’re looking to lose weight quickly, it’s best to cut out junk food and prioritize whole, minimally processed, and nutritious options. Incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise for five days each week. Minimize your sodium and alcohol intake and drink plenty of water.

About

Julien Raby is the owner of BoxLife. He owns a bachelor in literature and a certificate in marketing from Concordia. He's Crossfit Level 1 certified and has been involved in Crossfit since 2010. In 2023 he finally made it to Crossfit Open Quarterfinals for the first time. LinkedIn Instagram Facebook

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