Best Exercises to Target Belly Fat

A woman doing a workout with weights.

Having some fat on your belly is normal – after all, fat serves to protect and insulate your body. However, as you get older it becomes increasingly more common for belly fat to collect along the waistline.

Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is a great way to burn off unwanted belly fat. We have created a guide of the 7 best exercises for belly fat burning that are suitable for all abilities.

How to Reduce Belly Fat

Reducing belly fat is essential for overall health and will improve both wellbeing and fitness. Belly fat burning can be achieved with hard work, dedication and a mixture of good diet and exercise. Choosing a variety of exercises that combine cardio, strength, and core will help you stay on track to achieve your goals whilst remaining motivated.

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Diet is an essential part of helping to reduce belly fat. Making small changes to your diet or embarking on an OPTIFAST weight loss plan using nutritional meal replacement products can have a huge impact on your ability to lose belly fat.

Increasing soluble fibre intake will help to regulate bowel movements and help you to feel fuller for longer. Having a high protein intake can also help to reduce cravings and lead to increased muscle mass and strength.

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7 Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat

1. Cardio

Completing at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise in your daily routine can help reduce belly fat. It is important to make sure the exercise you are engaging in is something you enjoy doing, helping you to look forward to exercising and will keep you motivated.

There are a variety of cardio exercises you can get involved in, whether you choose to go solo or join a group fitness class – walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling are a few great options.

A woman jogging outside on a sunny day

2. Resistance Training

Resistance band exercises for belly fat burning involve bicep curls, lunges, squats, tricep kick-backs, and many more. Resistance training helps to build muscle, which is important as muscle burns more calories than fat when the body is at rest. It will also help muscle toning, reducing your belly fat and creating a smoother appearance.

3. Step Back Burpees

Burpees work the core, chest, shoulders, and quads. The explosive movement helps to get your heart pumping and calories burning.

How to: Stand with feet shoulder width apart and lower to squat position. Lean forward and place hands on the floor outside of your feet, then step your feet back so you are in a high plank position. Then step your feet back in towards the outside of your hands and explosively jump upwards with your arms above your head. To increase the intensity of this exercise as your fitness levels increase, you can jump your feet back into the plank position instead of stepping.

4. Plank

Abdominal exercises help to tone and flatten the stomach, targeting the belly fat that sticks to the waistline.

How to: Start on all fours with hands directly underneath your shoulders. Then lower your chest and place your forearms on the ground, with elbows at a right angle and directly underneath your shoulders. One foot at a time, extend the legs backwards and ensure feet are hip width apart, your back needs to remain straight and ensure your pelvis is in line with your body. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.

A woman standing in a plank in her living room.

5. High Knees

High knees are perfect for burning calories, strengthening core muscles, and improving cardiovascular endurance.

How to: Stand with your feet hip width apart and start marching on the spot, bringing your knees up towards your chest as high as you can, one leg at a time. Repeat and increase speed to increase the intensity of the movement.

6. Russian Twists

This core exercise improves oblique and core strength. Usually performed with a weight, like a medicine ball or plate, but it can be done without an object by gripping your hands together.

How to: Sit tall on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent. Hold medicine ball, or preferred object, in your hands at chest height. Lean backwards, holding at a 45-degree angle and keeping your arms a few inches away from your chest. Then turn your torso right, pause before returning to centre, then turn your torso to the left and repeat.

7. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are excellent at improving core strength and agility. You can do this exercise slow and controlled to help target belly fat, or choose to increase the intensity by completing the movement at a higher speed.

How to: Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Make sure to tense your stomach, pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Drive your right knee towards your chest and then return to plank position. Then drive your left knee towards your chest and repeat.

These belly fat burning exercises are the perfect physical activity to do whilst on your weight loss journey as reducing your belly fat will improve your overall health and fitness. To help you stay on track, explore our weight management products and discover our blog with plenty of advice and top tips to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

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Unsure when to fit these exercises into your day? Check out our guide on how to make time to exercise here:

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Health & Nutrition Expert

Health & Nutrition Expert

Writer and expert