Exercises to lose belly fat is not about stomach crunches, leg raises, nor planks. More on this later.
What’s fascinating, though, is how a website ranking on the first page of Google is giving the worst fitness advice.
Just have a look at this screenshot. I filled those black squares not to name names.
“Nothing burns stomach fat easier than crunches?”
If you know what really burns stomach fat, you will be cringing too reading this.
“Crunches, according to some fitness experts, occupy the top rank among fat burning exercises?”
Fitness trainers who think that crunches are the top among fat-burning exercises need to go back to health and fitness school and get re-educated about burning fat.
“It is high time you start including abs-crunching exercises to your daily routine.”
Please get advice from someone qualified about nutrition and weight loss. The author of the mentioned article above obviously needed more research and knowledge on the subject. And need to read the following article:
Which exercises to lose belly fat?
Now that we got rid of the fake fluffs let’s dig deep and find out the best workouts to lose your stomach fat.
Firstly, if you want to learn the science behind burning your belly gut or what is the right way to lose stomach fat, click on this article, how to lose stomach fat.
To summarize the article, losing your gut is not about how many crunches you do, it is all about how you burn calories.
The most effective way of burning that fat in your stomach is a good old, long and tiresome, cardio.
Let me explain…
You have 2 layers of fat in your stomach, 1 is visceral fats which covers your organs. The other is called subcutaneous fat, which you can pinch, roll or pat.
The latter is what you need to get rid of if you want to look sexy. The former is what you need to remove to be healthy.
Luckily you can eliminate both with proper nutrition and exercise.
Visceral fats are the most dangerous type of fat. Visceral fats are attached to your organs, slowly discharging substances which can lead to severe illnesses and diseases.
When you do crunches, you are strengthening your core, but you’re not necessarily burning fat. Unless you are doing crunches at the speed which gets your heart pumping towards your fat-burning zone and able to maintain it for 30 minutes, you are not burning stomach fat at all. I covered this in my last article about how to lose stomach fat.
Walking can be a little lax, but it does the job. As long as you are reaching your optimum fat-burning zone, you will see your chiselled abs soon enough.
The benefit of walking is you can do it anywhere. You don’t need a gym membership, and there is no need for a personal trainer.
It would help if you put on your walking shoes, go outside and enjoy the outdoors. If it’s raining, you can stay indoors and walk around the house.
Do you have a small house? Walk on the spot. The important thing is reaching that optimum fat burning zone and maintaining it.
What is your optimal fat burning zone? Well, you can subtract your age from 220 then multiply that by 70% was the old method. This method will do just fine if you are under 50, but if you are over, you could be putting your heart at risk.
A safer, newer option to calculate your optimal fat-burning zone is as follows. First, find out your maximum heart rate by multiplying your age with 0.7 and take it away from 207.
207 – (0.7 x AGE) = Maximum Heart Rate
To find your optimal fat-burning zone, NCBI suggests a 61% to 80% of your MHR will suffice.
61% x MHR = Optimal Fat Burning Zone
If walking around the house won’t let you reach your fat-burning zone, you may need to improvise, which take me to the next workout.
When walking is not enough to put you in a fat-burning state, you can try walking up and down the stairs.
Stair climbing has an added advantage. While burning fat, you are strength training your leg muscles, especially your thighs (quadriceps).
If it is your first time in a long time, you know you will feel the burn so take it easy.
If this is your initiation to working out, you will feel it more in the next few days. More so on the second day.
My sister had the worst case in her beginning phase. It took her legs to recover fully after a week.
Don’t take this as a bad sign; quite the contrary, your body is building muscles.
My advice, if this is your opening, take it easy. Work your way up, gradually increasing intensity.
Additionally, NCBI did a study on the effect of stair climbing on sedentary office workers. They have found there is a correlation in reducing cardiovascular risk as well as weight.
Running is a great way to burn off those calories. I am not a runner, I do have some running shoes, but they are my “walking” shoes.
I prefer walking to running for my left meniscus is fragile. Years of playing basketball led to the demise of my meniscus.
If you prefer to run, it’s a good idea to get geared up properly. Nowadays, there are shoes for everything from tennis, basketball, to running and walking.
The difference between being geared up correctly to just wearing casual shoes can save you from long term injuries.
You are not going to bring a knife to a gunfight, are you?
If you want to accelerate your weight loss, you should consider running as your fat-burning workout. According to NCBI, a study comparing walking to running found running had a more significant impact on weight loss.
Do you want to know more about running? Click here.
Swimming is an excellent fat-burning activity when you have problems with your joints. I can’t play basketball for an extended period before my knee reminds me it is shot.
Treading on water, your shock absorbers (tendons) gets a rest. Swimming is the least impactful workout you can do for your joints.
The only problem with this is access. Either you build a pool, join a pool club or go to your local beach or river.
Swimming helps tone both your upper body and legs while getting your cardio.
Do you want to know more about swimming? Click here.
Cycling is a great cardio workout that helps build your lower muscles, especially your quads. It is also less impactful on your joints compared to running or walking.
Some tips I have if you want to start cycling:
- Protect your head
- Don’t high gear for long
- No headphones
- Head up
- Know the rules
- Use gears
- Get proper bike
Protect your head
Accidents happen, no matter how safe of a rider you are. Wear a helmet, so at least your head will be safe in an incident.
Don’t high gear for long
It will strain your knee over long periods.
This is self-explanatory. You don’t know how many people ride listening to headphones. When riding, rely on every sense you have to keep you from harm.
Look far ahead
Looking far ahead of the road will improve your reaction time to unforeseen incidents. You will also spot dangers like oil on the street, big branches, slippery moss, etc.
Know the rules
Don’t be a hero; follow the rules to keep everyone safe around you.
It’s just like driving a manual car. Use low gear when climbing up a hill to keep your RPM in the optimal range, in turn, less stress on your knees.
Get a proper bike
Would you wear sandals when you run for miles? A proper bike will keep you getting sore, stiff and make you more efficient.
Another great fat burning workout for your potbelly is rowing. Again, it provides less impact on the joints. Yeah, I love to preserve my bones as long as possible.
You don’t need to buy a little dingy or a boat for this. Join your local gym; there’s bound to be a rowing machine you can use. Alternatively, you can buy your own and use it whenever you want.
The following tips are for your safety and for not looking like a noob.
- It’s all about the legs.
- Focus on being steady.
- Don’t grip too hard.
- The only sequence to row.
- Breathe properly.
It’s all about the legs
When rowing, one might think the focus is their back or arms, but you drive with your legs as it has more power. Concentrate using your legs when you are pushing off.
Your butt and quads should feel like they went through a grinder after a proper row.
Focus on being steady
You don’t want to rock the boat and fall off. Focus on concentrated movement not erratic.
Don’t grip too hard
Gripping too hard can make you even more tired, and your arms may go numb. Similar to boxing, you don’t keep a closed fist all the time. You relax with an open fist, then deliver the hook with a tightly closed fist.
The only sequence to row
Don’t mess this up. Legs, hips, arms, arms, hips, legs.
Do you want to know how boxers can last a whole round while punching, evading, defending and getting hit? They breathe. If you think you can last in the ring, try hitting a punching bag for 1 minute non-stop.
Every row, breathe out, forward rest, breathe in. It will be hard at first, but repetition is key.
Jumping is a great workout building your calves while getting good fat-burning cardio. You can do this with or without a jumping rope. I’d suggest just buying a cheap one.
Don’t get tricky with the fancy calorie counter; they are not as accurate as you think. If you are sweating, you are losing fat.
Follow these simple tips to look like a pro when you try to show off to that girl or boy in the gym:
- Use the balls of your feet.
- Get a proper jump rope for your size.
- Don’t swing too much.
- Get into a flow.
- Jump at the right height.
- Repeat the process.
Use the balls of your feet
There are more stress and impact on your knees when you land on your heel. So, use the balls of your feet and be a ninja. Do you know how ninjas walk quietly? They tippy-toe. Oh oh, secrets out.
Also, this is the reason why jumping targets your calves. You will feel your calves burn after a good jump session.
Don’t swing too much
It’s all in the wrist, stop flailing your arms and shoulders like a maniac. You do not impress anyone.
Get into a flow
Jumping is rhythmic, and it’s like a beat to the music. One wrong note will mess everything up. You mess up your jump rhythm; you will trip.
Jump at the right height
Don’t try to jump like Mike (Michael Jordan). You will tire and might get injured. Overextending also can’t maintain the rhythm.
Repeat the process
Okay, I lied. You will not look like a pro from the start, and that person you are trying to impress will think you’re an idiot.
However, with repetition, you will become a pro. Boxers didn’t start crisscrossing or sideswiping from the get-go.
GP riders didn’t start scraping their knee pads turning at 100mph. They all had to start somewhere. Practice. Get good. Get girl or guy.
Workout plan to lose stomach fat – 15-minute circuit
In my workout regimen, I incorporate strength training and cardio within an hour. The goal is 1 hour but meeting that goal seldom happens.
This workout will cut your session in half. You can nail strength training and cardio within 20 minutes doing this; hitting two birds with one stone.
There are many ways you can design a workout circuit. You can follow mine if you are only starting. Feel free to deviate from it whenever you want.
- Jog in place – 2 minutes
- Pushup – 30 seconds
- Rest – 30 seconds
- Squats – 30 seconds
- Rest – 30 seconds
- Bicep curl – 30 seconds
- Tricep extension – 30 seconds
- Lunges – 30 seconds each leg
- Bow and arrow – 30 seconds
- Side crunches – 30 seconds each side
- Rest – 30 seconds
- Calf raises – 30 seconds each leg
- Crunches – 30 seconds
- Inclined pushup – 30 seconds
- Rest – 30 seconds
- Jog in place – 2 minutes
- Superman – 30 seconds
- Jumping jacks – 30 seconds
- Mountain climber – 30 seconds
- Rest – 30 seconds
- Stretch – 30 seconds
Number 14 will be the killer blow.
When you are out of time and want a quick workout, try this 20-minute workout to lose your stomach fat and build muscle.
Contrary to what people believe, workouts like crunches do NOT burn the fat in your stomach. It will build your core strength, but that is all. It is not an effective workout to lose your gut.
So, when someone asks, “what are the exercises to lose belly fat?” You can confidently answer and help them out in their journey to health.
There are many workouts to burn your fat belly. Incorporating them with your clean diet will help you get lean and mean. Maybe not mean, but inevitably lean.
“I have the metabolism of a sloth and a body that hates putting on muscles. This curse motivated me to study weight loss and nutrition. I want to share my experiences and knowledge to help you achieve your ideal body.”— Christian Tanobey