Anyone who has attempted to eliminate obstinate abdominal fat knows it can be a struggle. You may have attempted every diet and exercise program available without success. Fortunately, knowing which exercises specifically promote fat loss can help you banish that bothersome excess around your waistline. We spoke with an expert who shared the eight most effective exercises for reducing abdominal fat, so get set to eliminate that protrusion.
Excess abdominal obesity poses substantial health hazards. According to a study published in Frontiers in Physiology in 2021, it can increase the risk of metabolic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, establishing a consistent exercise regimen and consuming a nutritious, well-balanced diet are essential for losing unwanted abdominal fat. In addition, a second study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that abdominal exercises (such as those listed below) can increase muscular endurance, a key component of fitness and weight loss.
To get you started on the path to becoming leaner and more physically fit, The top eight abdominal exercises, according to Jarrod Nobbe, CPT, a performance coach and certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews. However, it is essential to note that you cannot specifically target the reduction of abdominal fat. “Spot reduction (losing fat in one specific area) is impossible,” says Nobbe. “Therefore, sculpting a six-pack requires more than an arsenal of abdominal exercises. The exercises below require varying degrees of abdominal stability, endurance, and overall strength, with some cardio routines added in to increase calorie burn and fat loss over time.”
Keep reading for the exercises, and when you’re done, be sure to check out these 8 Standing Exercises That Burn Belly Fat Quickly.
This exercise targets multiple muscle groups, fortifying your abs, back, and shoulders while supporting your vertebrae for a stronger, more defined abdominal region. “The plank is a common core exercise found in ab routines because it engages the complete core. It also requires the quadriceps, which contribute to overall abdominal strength, according to Nobbe.
Begin in a tabletop position on all fours with arms extended and palms positioned beneath the shoulders. Step back with your feet, lower onto your forearms, and engage your core, buttocks, and thighs to maintain proper body alignment. Maintain this position with your pelvis neither too high nor too low. Perform four sets of planks lasting between 30 and 60 seconds each.
Climbers who ascend mountains
Mountain climbing is an active exercise that engages the core, limbs, and legs. High-intensity performance of these exercises is a surefire method to burn calories and increase metabolism for a leaner, more sculpted physique. “When performed with proper form, mountain climbers torch the abs and serve as cardio, which aids in the gradual loss of fat.” During this movement, you must move swiftly and with control, according to Nobbe.
Start in a high plank position with your arms extended and your palms directly below your shoulders. Engage your core and bring one knee to your torso, then rapidly alternate legs as if you were horizontally “climbing” a mountain. As you complete the repetitions, maintain an upright body and a lowered pelvis. Maintaining appropriate form, alternate legs as fast as possible with each repetition. Perform four sets of 20 repetitions per limb.
Burpees may not be most people’s preferred exercise, but you cannot deny their fat-burning effectiveness. Burpees increase your pulse rate, burn calories, and develop core, arm, and leg strength for a flatter midriff. Nobbe states, “Burpees are a total-body exercise that requires considerable core strength for proper form.”
Place your palms on the floor in front of you and crouch in a squatted position. Perform a pushup by bending your forearms and lowering your torso to the floor after jumping back into a high plank position. Quickly reverse the motion by leaping your feet back up to your hands and then jumping again as you raise your arms high. After landing gently from the leap, repeat. Five cycles of as many burpees as feasible in 30 seconds.
Windshield wipers target your obliques and engage your abdominal muscles to help you achieve a trimmer waist. Nobbe explains that this exercise is a certified core pulverizer that targets the obliques on your sides and the rectus abdominis, also known as the six-pack muscles.
For stability, lie on your back with your arms extended to the sides. Straighten your legs as you elevate them off the floor by bending at the pelvis. With your legs perpendicular to the floor, lower them slowly to one side until they are almost but not quite contacting the floor. Return your legs to the center, and then lower them to the opposite side. Perform four sets of 15 repetitions, alternating sides between each repetition.
This classic core exercise is popular for a reason: it effectively targets the obliques, improves core stability, and tones the abdominals. This classic abdominal exercise can be performed using only your bodyweight or while gripping dumbbells, kettlebells, or plates. According to Nobbe, the twisting motion engages the abdominals and obliques.
Place your bowed knees and level feet on the floor. Lean back slightly while maintaining an erect back and an upright torso. Hold your hands together in front of you or grasp a weight, then rotate your torso to one side until your hands contact or almost touch the floor. Twist to the opposite side, alternating with each repetition. Four sets of 15 to 20 reps per side should be the goal.
Suspended Leg Raise
Leg raises while hanging target the lower abdominals, improve grip strength, and help eliminate lower abdominal obesity. Nobbe advises, “This movement is more complex than it appears, so continue to monitor your form.” “As you hang from the bar, do your best to avoid swaying back and forth, and avoid using momentum to lift your legs.”
Suspend yourself from a pull-up bar with your arms extended and palms facing outward. Engage your core as you hinge at the hips and straighten your legs until they are parallel to the ground. Avoid swinging or momentum as you slowly descend your legs. If this is too challenging, try positioning up on dip bars or bending your knees as you elevate your legs. Complete four sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
Bicycle stretches should be incorporated into any routine for reducing abdominal obesity. This exercise targets your upper and lower abdominal muscles, allowing you to attain a toned stomach and enhanced core stability. “The bicycle crunch is a great exercise for targeting the abdominal muscles, and as you move each side of your body in different directions, it can also help improve your coordination,” says Nobbe.
Place your hands behind your head and bend your pelvis and knees to approximately 90-degree angles. While rotating your torso and bringing the opposite forearm toward the knee, bring one knee toward your chest. Straighten the first leg while bringing the other knee to the chest and twisting your torso to bring the opposite forearm to the knee. Maintain an engaged core throughout the entire movement. Perform four sets of 15-20 repetitions per side.
Sprinting is one of the most underrated abdominal fat-burning exercises. It is a high-intensity exercise that targets your thighs, glutes, and core to destroy calories and permanently eliminate abdominal fat. “Repeating short sprints on a treadmill or outside is an excellent exercise for burning fat and revving up the metabolism,” says Nobbe. Sprinting, which includes maintaining excellent posture and pumping the limbs while running, also challenges the core.
Find an open area or a treadmill, and run as quickly as possible for a brief distance or a predetermined period of time before pausing and repeating. If you are fresh to sprinting, you should rest more than you labor. Perform 10 cycles of 15- to 20-second sprinting separated by 30- to 45-second rests.