You're about to discover 36 exercises for belly fat...
Do you secretly hate doing crunches?
You’re not alone.
While crunches seem to be the favorite exercises for belly fat among junior high Physical Education teachers and military PT exams, no one actually likes doing them.
In fact – if you’re a woman who has had a kid or two, or you’ve had a significant amount of belly fat at any point in time – chances are good…
…that doing crunches is one of the worst possible exercises for belly fat that you can possibly do!
In fact – if you fall into either of those categories, there’s a very good chance doing crunches can actually make it harder to get the tight, toned midsection you want so badly.
Crunches can actually make it harder to get flat abs.
Never fear – that doesn’t mean that flat abs are a thing of the past if you’re a woman in your 40s or beyond.
In fact - there are a number of easy-to-do exercises for belly fat that really do work. And you’ll get the skinny on all of them right here.
But before I start telling you all about them, I want to give you a little more info. It has to do with why, if you’re in one of those two groups I mentioned earlier, doing crunches can actually hurt your ability to get skinny.
Why You Should Check This 1 Thing Before Starting Any Exercises for Belly FatMany women who have been pregnant a time or two have experienced a natural separation of the rectus abdominis – diastasis recti.
It’s a very common cause for that dreaded “mommy pooch,” and it can heal on its own. But if it hasn’t healed, certain exercises for belly fat can actually make it appear worse! (Note – this is just a quick little test you can do at home. If you think you might have experienced a diastasis recti, check with your doc for an actual diagnosis next time you go in.)
Really – it’s a good idea for anyone who wants a flatter belly to begin building muscles correctly – from the inside out.
How to Start Exercising Your Abs Safely
Getting the flat belly you want is all about the corset.
And I’m not talking about a lovely piece of lingerie!
You have a natural built in corset in the form of your transverse abdominal muscles. These muscles hold your internal organs in place and are absolutely essential for a trim look.
Here are some simple but surprisingly challenging exercises for belly fat that will build the support you need for an amazing, flat and toned midsection.
36 Exercises for Belly Fat
1. Layer-by-Layer Strengthening
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Breathe in expand your belly. Then breathe out and draw your belly button in toward your spine. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Do 10 repetitions.
2. Seated Ab Contractions
Use a bench or a chair to sit down and rest your feet flat on the floor. Put one or both hands on your abs to make sure you’re breathing correctly. Breathe in and feel your belly expand. When you breathe out, contract your muscles, pulling your belly button toward your spine. Hold for 30 seconds, then release. Do 10 repetitions.
3. Head Lift
Lie down flat on your back, bending both knees while leaving your feet flat on the floor. Breathe in, expanding your belly, then breathe out, contracting your belly and focus on pulling your belly button toward your spine. Raise your head off the floor, tucking your chin. (Don’t raise your shoulders off the floor.) Hold for a 2 count then release. Do 10 reps.
4. Seated Squeeze
Some exercises for belly fat can be done using every-day objects! While seated on a bench or chair, contract your belly muscles, bringing your navel halfway toward your spine to begin. Then bring your belly in even farther. Hold for 2 counts, then release for 2 counts. Start with 10 reps but build your way up to 100 or more!
5. Wall Push Up
This is one of those unexpected exercises for belly fat. Stand in front of a wall, approximately 1 arm’s length away, and rest your palms against the wall. Breathe in, filling and expanding your belly, then breathe out, contracting your belly and engaging your transverse abdominal muscles. Keep your belly contracted as you come closer to the wall. As you push back up, draw your belly button even tighter toward your spine. Do 10 repetitions.
6. Wall Squats
Using your walls to help with exercises for belly fat is an easy way to get fit.
Stand with your back against the wall and your feet slightly in front of you. Breathe in and expand your belly, then breathe out while contracting your belly and drawing your navel in toward your spine. Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your belly muscles contracted during your squat. As you rise up and straighten your legs, contract your belly muscles even tighter. Do 20 repetitions.
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7. Squat With Squeeze
Still standing with your back against the wall and your feet slightly in front of you, tuck a small pillow in between your knees. Breathe out and contract your belly muscles. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor while squeezing your knees together and contracting your abs even more tightly toward your spine. Squeeze 20 times.
8. The Anti-Crunch Twist
Sit on a mat and lift your legs off the floor. Cross your lower legs and lean back so your legs and upper body make a V.
Sometimes you gotta push push push when doing exercises for belly fat.
Holding a weight (start with 5 pounds) in your hands, turn your upper body to the right, then back, then to the left, then back. Make sure to maintain the same angle (forming a wide V) between your thighs and upper body.
9. The Cross Body Scissor
Lie on your back and bend your right knee, keeping your right foot flat. Extend your left leg upwards. Reach up with your right arm, keeping your left arm down by your side..
Swing your raised leg to the left and raised arm to the right (opening the “scissor”). While focusing on your midsection, bring your leg and arm back to the center (closing the “scissor”). Do this 10 to 12 times before changing sides and repeating the reps.
Note - once you’re sure you’re sure you aren’t worsening a separation of your rectus abdominis, you can do more traditional core exercises for belly fat. Give these a try for your most awesome midsection ever.
10. The Reclining Ab Blaster
This one targets your corset and six-pack.
Lie on your back with your feet in the air and your knees directly over your hips. Bend your knees 90 degrees so your shins are parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your head and contract your ab muscles. Keeping knees directly over your hips, inhale while expanding your belly, then exhale and contract your abs. Lift your head and neck off the floor (not a full crunch). Then extend your legs out and hold for 3 seconds while contracting your ab muscles. Repeat 10-15 reps.
11. Rowing Pushups
You know how to do a proper pushup, right? Take a classic exercise further to push the boundry of exercises for belly fat! From the up position, bring your right hand up toward your chest in a rowing position – without twisting your torso. Return your hand to the floor and do the same thing with your left hand. (For added strengthening, do this with a pair of dumbbells.) Work up to 10 reps with weight.
12. Compact Push Ups
This move is no joke! But it is a kick-booty move that burns fat like crazy while building your transverse abdominals at the very same time. One of the top rated exercises for belly fat. Win-win-win!
Get on the floor or your yoga mat on all fours and tuck your toes under. Make sure that your back remains flat. Tighten your belly muscles and draw your navel in toward your spine while lifting both knees about 2 inches off the ground. Hold for 2 counts and release slowly.
13. Compact Push Ups – Take 2
Start with the Compact Push Up as above. While your knees are off the ground and while you keep your abdominal muscles engaged, bring right knee up toward your nose. Then kick that same leg back while contracting your gluteus maximus muscle, otherwise known as your butt. (Oh yeah – keep your belly contracted nice and tight too.) Repeat 10 times then switch legs.
14. Reverse Leg Crunches
Lie on your back on a yoga mat. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Then grab a 3-pound dumbbell and put it right between your feet. Put your hands under your hips, right under your sitz bones.
As far as exercises for belly fat are concerned, this one will test you!
Contract your belly muscles and use those muscles to bring your knees toward your chest, then go back to the position you started from. Repeat 10 times. b
15. Belly Fat Melter
This is one, of many, fantastic exercises for belly fat.
a. On your yoga mat, lie on your back and bend your knees toward your upper body. Hold a small dumbbell in your hands.
b. Take your left leg out and hold it 45 degrees off the floor while still bending your right knee. Bring your head and shoulders up off the mat. Twist your torso to the right and bring the dumbbell to the right side of your right knee.
c. Bring in your left leg so it’s next to your right leg. Bring the dumbbell high up toward the ceiling without letting your shoulders and head touch the floor. Now switch legs, keeping your left knee bent and bringing your right leg out.
Do 8 complete reps (working both sides in each rep).
Lose Belly Fat
16. Arm Curl With Squats
Who knew arm curls could be one of those helpful exercises for belly fat?!
Holding a set of dumbbells, let your arms hang at your sides, palms forward. Bend your elbows and curl your arms up toward your upper arms. At the same time, push back with your hips, moving into a squat position. Then straighten your legs and stand upright, raising your arms above your head. Bring your arms back down to your sides to complete the first rep. Do 10 reps.
17. Advanced Lunges
Holding a set of dumbbells, let your arms hang at your sides with your palms facing in toward your sides. Step forward and across your leg so that your front foot is now in front of your back foot. Keep your abs contracted tight throughout the move. Bend both knees until your front knee is at least at a 90 degree angle. Hold for 2 counts, then return to the starting position and do the same move with your other leg.
18. Row the Boat
Grab a resistance band and step on it with 1 foot for less resistance, 2 feet for more resistance. In each hand, hold one end of the band approximately shoulder length apart and with your arms fully extended down. Bend at the waist so your upper body is parallel with the floor. Keeping your abs contracted, squeeze your shoulders together while you stretch the band up to your shoulders. Return to the starting position, then repeat for 12 reps.
19. Squat Thrust With Weights
Grab a pair of weight and stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Hold the weights at your sides, turning your palms in to face your legs. Lower yourself into a deep squat and bring the weights to the floor. Kick your legs backward so you are in the up position of a pushup. Jump back to the squat position and then bring yourself back to the starting standing position.
20. Split Squat
Stand with your legs slightly less than shoulder width apart and with one foot in front of the other. Keeping your core engaged, push your hips back and lower yourself into a squat until the thigh of your front leg is parallel with the floor. Hold for 2 counts then rise back into your starting position. Do 12 reps then switch legs. Challenge yourself with these exercises for belly fat.
21. Plank Tucks
Start in a plank position (the up position of a pushup). Slide your left foot forward and try to get it all the way next to your left hand, while keeping your abs tight and your hips stable. Hold for 2 counts, then return to your starting position and repeat with the other foot.
22. Step Over and Up
(You’ll need a step approximately knee height for this exercise for belly fat.)
Hold a pair of weights while standing to the right of a step approximately knee height. Keep your belly muscles contracted. Step over and up with your right foot and stand on the step. Pause for 2 counts, then return to your starting position. Repeat 12 times on the right, then switch legs.
23. Hip Raise
Use exercises for belly fat to work your hips too!
Sit on the floor, back against a solid chair. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Without removing your back from the chair, contract your transverse abdominal muscles and your butt, and raise your hips until they’re level with your body. Hold for 2 counts then lower back to the floor.
24. Reclining Overhead Reach
Lie on your mat with your knees and hips bent at 90 degrees. Your feet will be in the air and your lower legs should be parallel to the floor. Contract your transverse abdominals, making sure your low back is flat against the mat. Holding a weight in each hand, raise your arms up toward the ceiling. Then swing your arms overhead and gently tap the weights on the floor just above your head. Keep your belly contracted so your low back remains flush on the mat during the move. Bring your arms back overhead to finish. Do 15 reps.
25. Overhead Circles
Hold a 5 to 8 pound weight overhead in both hands, with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Circle the weight to the left while using your abdominal muscles to keep your upper body still. After 8 circles, switch directions (circle to the right) and do 8 circles to the right.
26. Play Ball
Who says you can't play when doing exercises for belly fat?!
Lie on your back holding an exercise ball with your arms extended overhead and your legs 45 degrees off the floor. Inhale, extending your belly, then exhale and contract your abdominal muscles. Inhale again, bringing your arms and legs close enough to pass the ball from your hands to your feet, then lower your limbs again. Bring them back, then pass the ball back to your hands. Repeat for 15 reps.
27. Crab to Pike
Start by sitting on your exercise mat with your hands behind you, approximately 8 inches or so. Bend your knees slightly and make sure your legs are about hip-width apart and your feet are about a foot in front of your hips. Breathe in and lift your hips up, making your upper body parallel with the floor. Hold for 2 counts, then breathe out and lower your hips, straightening your legs so your hips are just above the floor. Hold for 2 counts, then push back into the crab position.
Exercises for belly fat get more and more interesting!
28. Seated Twist (one of the great exercises for belly fat!)
Sit on an exercise mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, approximately 12 inches from your hips.
Keeping your back straight, lean back, holding a weight approximately chest height. Contract your transverse abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button toward your spine and turn toward the left, while keeping your arms close to your chest. Inhale and turn back to the center and then repeat (toward the right) before returning to the center.
29. Resistance Band Flutter Kicks
Using resistance bands when doing exercises for belly fat kicks things up a notch!
Lying on your back on an exercise mat, loop each handle of your resistance band around a foot and hold the middle of the resistance band in your hands.
Contract your abdominal muscles by drawing your belly button toward your spine. Lift both legs so they’re 45 angles from the floor, then do an alternating scissor or flutter kick, moving slowly through the range of motion. Do three sets of 15.
30. Planks (including elbow variation)
When it comes to exercises for belly fat here's one that has become popular in recent years...
Planking – or remaining in the up position of a pushup – is a great ab exercise. To make it even more challenging, push off the floor and rest on your elbows, rather than your hands.
31. The Leaning Tower
I'm talking about exercises for belly fat here, not the tower in Italy! haha.
Kneel up on a cushiony mat so your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Hold a single weight in both hands in front of your chest. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight, lean back, pivoting from your knees and keeping your torso in a straight line with your thighs, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
32. Standing Belly Roll
Stand in front of an exercise ball with your legs 3 feet apart. Put your hands on the ball and walk it forward so your hips are in line with your ankles and your back is straight. Lean forward, placing your forearms on the ball. Use your abdominal muscles to return to a standing position. Repeat 12 times.
This is a one of those under-rated exercises for belly fat.
33. Plank and Lift
Doing exercises for belly fat never burned so good! hah.
From a plank position and with a dumbbell in each hand, lift one hand to the ceiling while rotating your upper body. It’s okay for your hips to rotate also, but just keep them level. Bring your hand back to the floor and switch hands to repeat on the other side. Repeat 12 times.
34. One Leg Reach
Many exercises for belly fat will put you to the test and this is one of them!
Stand on one foot, using your deep abdominal muscles to help you balance. Reach your arms forward, lifting your other leg and extending it behind you, parallel to the floor. Hold for 2 counts, then lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat 10 times, then switch to the other side.
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35. Overhead Weight Side Bend
Adding dumbells to your exercises for belly fat will speed your progress. Stand with your feet about 3 feet apart. Hold a dumbbell over your head in both hands. Use your upper arms to squeeze your ears. Tighten your core muscles as you bend slowly to one side, lengthening your spine. Return to the midline position, then bend to the other side. Keep your hips still throughout this exercise.
36. Twisting Row
Hold a weight in your left hand and perform a shallow squat. Pull your elbow back in a rowing motion, activating your core and bringing your shoulder blades together while twisting to the left side. Return to the center and repeat 12 times before changing sides.
There you have it...
36 exercises for belly fat!
You can skip the crunches – and still get flatter abs.
Pretty fabulous, right?
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