The best way to burn belly fat is to first, be calorie deficient, and second, to train the abdominal muscles, using the best exercises to lose belly fat, shown below. For maximum effect, we have to combine, for example, abdominal presses with jumping rope in a superset. In this way, while losing weight, we will speed up the process of burning fat in the abdominal area.
This method is suitable for more advanced trainees and its effect will be stronger if we have a lower percentage of subcutaneous fat. For starters, it can also be effective, but the difference will not be so significant due to the significantly higher presence of subcutaneous fat.
The method of local fat burning has not been proven, but recent research shows that we can make our bodies burn fat locally while losing weight.
A recent study proves that local fat burning is possible. The results show that when we train the upper body, we burn more fat there and the same goes for the lower body. Methods used to measure the results were a Dexa scanner and caliper measurement.
At the same time, both groups burned a significant amount of fat throughout their bodies. The calories consumed by both groups were not changed throughout the study. This shows that this study is the first controlled and accurate study of local fat burning.
Mechanics of local fat burning.
To start local burning, we need to train with high-intensity exercise. They will raise our body temperature, stimulate the release of fat-burning hormones and improve blood flow to the trained muscles. This will lead to the mobilization of fat from the cells. Then we need to perform a cardio workout to oxidize the fatty acids in the muscle cells.
Oxidation can occur in two ways. If we train the whole body and include in our training abdominal exercises with weights and cardio exercises in a superset. The other way is to do abdominal exercises with weights and then go to a treadmill for walking on a slope or something else.
The above two steps, combined with calorie deficit and weight loss training program, will lead to the desired effect. No matter how much abdominal presses you do, how much you run or ride a bike without being calorie deficient, there is no way to burn belly fat.
The bottom line is that it’s worth trying this method if you want to burn belly fat faster. The effect may not be immediate, but it will certainly be there.
In the following lines, I will introduce you to 20 of the most effective abdominal exercises that you can combine for an effective abdominal and cardio workout.
This is one of the best exercises to lose bely fat. There are a lot of variations, starting from different positions, going through weighted crunches, and using different machines for abdominal presses. All this is to make the exercise more difficult.
The most important thing to know about this exercise is that it should be performed strictly, without unnecessary movements, at a slow pace and keep tension in the abdominal muscles. It is suitable for both beginners and advanced. For the purpose of losing belly fat, it is best to perform with a weight on the chest (disc or dumbbell).
Execution – lie on the ground, legs bent at an angle so that the feet are firmly on the ground. The cross should be close to the ground, the arms folded at the elbows, with the palms of the back of the head. From this position, without bending your elbows forward and pushing your head with your hands, bend as much as you can, at a slow pace. Then return to starting position and repeat at the same pace.
These presses are a type of abdominal press. They are suitable for more advanced because they require more body control and strength. They strain both the abdominal muscles and the thighs and arms. This exercise is more intense and effective than regular abdominal presses. It can also perform with a weight that is held in the hands.
Execution – the starting position is lying on your back with outstretched arms and legs. The movement begins explosively, trying to lift the legs and upper body in sync and keep the balance of your buttocks. In the upper position, we try to gather the toes and hands. Then we return to the starting position at a controlled pace. Here we must keep the abdomen tight at all times and not do hyperextension in the waist.
Lifting the leg puts strain on the lower abdomen and thighs, but also trains the upper abdominal muscles. With it, we aim at the most difficult part of melting fat, namely the lower abdomen. There the muscles are most immobile and that is why it always remains for the end. This exercise can be performed with weights, from a height, or lying down. The weight is held in the legs and can be a dumbbell or a ball.
Execution – we lie on our backs and place our palms under our buttocks. The purpose of this is to isolate unnecessary tension in the waist. The legs are straight with toes pointing to the ceiling. We tighten the abdomen and lift the head, then at a controlled pace, we lift the legs together, until they are in a position perpendicular to the ground. Then at the same pace return the legs to the starting position and repeat.
Scissors are a type of leg lift. They mainly load the lower abdominal muscles, but in a different way than lifting the legs. They can be vertical and horizontal, as well as cross. The difference with them is that in addition to dynamic, they load the abdominal muscle with static tension.
Execution – lie on your back and place your palms under the buttocks, similar to lifting your legs. One leg is horizontal and the other is vertical to the ground. Hold in this position for one or two seconds and then swap places on the legs. The movement is performed at a controlled pace.
Lateral abdominal crunches.
They are a basic exercise for the lateral abdominal muscles. They can be performed in different ways, but the goal is the same, namely to have a maximum amplitude of movement. This exercise can be replaced by a side bend with weights in an upright position.
Execution – We lie on one side in a comfortable position. The lower leg is slightly bent at the knee, and the upper one is placed behind the lower one with the knee bent towards the ceiling. The upper arm is behind the head and the lower on the abdomen. We start the movement from the most extended position and at a controlled pace, we contract the abdominal muscles as much as we can, without the help of the lower arm.
Elbows to knees.
This is a good dynamic exercise that puts a full load on the abdominal muscles. We also have a torsional movement, which helps to load the lateral muscles. It can be performed both unilaterally (folding only to one side) and combined.
Execution – we lie on our back on the ground with our hands behind our back. The back and waist are glued to the floor, and the legs are bent below 90 degrees at the knees. We start with a twisting movement, trying to touch the right elbow with the left knee. Then repeat with the opposite elbow and knee, trying to perform the movement dynamically.
Plank is one of the best exercises to lose belly fat. It is a static exercise, which means that we have no movement doing it. It puts a full load on the abdominal muscles, as well as the thighs, shoulders, arms. This exercise is suitable for more advanced.
Execution – We stand on our elbows, trying to keep our elbows under our shoulders and in a comfortable position. The back should be straight and the pelvis forward and locked. In this way, we protect the lower back from pain. The legs are gathered and stretched, the knees are locked.
It loads the lateral abdominal muscles and the whole body. It is a suitable exercise for advanced and can be performed in different variations to complicate the movement. The good thing about this exercise is that it can be facilitated and adapted for beginners by performing it on their knees.
Execution – We stand on the elbow on one side, with the elbow under the shoulder and the palm in front of the body for support. The legs are stretched and locked at the knees, and the freehand can be on the ground in front of the body for extra support. For the more advanced, the freehand may be in the air, holding weights, or performing movements to improve balance and better engage the abdominal muscles.
Squats with weights.
Although this is an exercise for the legs, it puts a lot of strain on the abdominal muscles. When we have extra weight on our shoulders while squatting, the abdominal muscles act as stabilizers and are being trained statically. The greater the weight, the more the abdominal muscles are engaged. This exercise is for the more advanced, especially when performed with a bigger weight.
You can do squats with weights in combination with abdominal presses, for example, so you can take advantage of the spot reduction of fat in the abdominal area. Perform squats dynamically with more repetitions, and do abdominal presses with extra weight.
You can use walking on a treadmill as a cardio workout after a full abdominal workout to increase fat burning in the abdominal area. The good thing about this exercise is that it also puts a strain on the abdominal muscles. If you walk on a slope, you will increase the load on the abdomen. To lose weight and burn fat, walking after strength training should be longer (30-40 minutes) and done in low intensity.
Like walking, the bike can be used for a cardio workout or combined with an abdominal exercise. Cycling is a very good fat-burning workout because it involves the biggest muscles in the body – the legs. Therefore, it burns a lot of calories. To increase its effect, train for a longer time at a lower intensity, similar to walking.
This exercise resembles a plank, but also includes a dynamic element in its performance. It loads the abdominal muscles and the whole body. It can be performed by both beginners and advanced. Combined with an abdominal exercise with weights, it can be a very good abdominal workout.
Execution – We stand on our hands and feet. The arms are outstretched and the palms are under the shoulders, the legs are also outstretched and locked at the knee joints. We bend one leg at the knee and try to move the knee as close to the chest as possible. The other leg is stretched for support. Then we dynamically exchange the places of the two legs and repeat.
This is not a very popular exercise among trainees, but it is quite effective. It is an isometric contraction in which we try to exhale all the air, swallow the abdomen and hold as much as we can. This is one of the best exercises we can do to reduce the circumference of the abdomen. Many people can reduce the circumference of their abdomen, thanks to this exercise in no time.
In addition to these benefits, training this part of the abdominal muscles helps to strengthen them and gives extra strength and stabilization when performing other complex exercises, such as squats and deadlifts. The vacuum press takes time and training but can be quite effective. Perform it as a stand-alone exercise in three sets, initially trying to hold for 20 seconds, then try to increase it in time.
Execution – we stand in an upright position with our hands on our hips. We exhale all the air and swallow the abdomen as much as we can, the chest is open and bulging forward. We hold this position and then relax. When we improve the technique, we can perform it in a sitting or lying position or on our knees.
Medicine ball twists.
This is a dynamic exercise for the abdominal muscles and loads not only them but the whole body. It is suitable for both beginners and advanced. It can be combined with other abdominal exercises in a superset. There are different variations of this exercise, but it is best for beginners to perform it in a sitting position.
Execution – holding the medicine ball in our hands, we stand in a sitting position with legs together and slightly bent at the knees. The back is straight and slightly bent back. We lift our feet two inches off the ground and balance on our buttocks. Start the movement by tilting the ball to one side of the body, twisting the abdominal muscles, balancing with the legs, tilting them to the opposite side of the arms. Then repeat the movement by exchanging the sides of the legs and arms with dynamic movements.
Medicine ball slams.
The exercise is suitable for beginners and advanced. For a better effect, you can combine it with another abdominal exercise in a superset. This exercise is dynamic, trains the whole body, and loads the abdomen in an explosive way. It resembles abdominal presses with weights.
Execution – we take the ball from the ground with a straight back, while squatting. With the help of our hands, we lift the ball high above our heads, then we drive it firmly into the ground. We perform the exercise in time, trying to be faster. We always start with the lightest ball and gradually move to a heavier one.
Thrusters are an exercise for the whole body, and like squats, they also train the abdominal muscles. They are a combination of squatting and hitting a medicine ball because we have movements from both exercises. They can be performed with dumbbells or a bar and are suitable for advanced, but can also be modified for beginners.
Execution – from a squat position with dumbbells on the shoulders, from an upright position, we perform a squat. After standing up from a squat, we immediately lift the dumbbells over our heads, trying to stand up straight and stretch our arms to the top. Then lower the dumbbells to the shoulders and repeat the movement. Combine this exercise with another abdominal exercise.
Kettlebell Turkish stand up.
Quite a difficult exercise, suitable for the advanced trainers. It requires a lot of training but is very effective for the abdominal muscles and body mobility. This exercise trains both the abdomen and the whole body. It can be performed with a kettlebell or other weight. Perform this exercise independently in series and repetitions according to your abilities. The goal is to perform the movement with heavier weight.
Execution – the movement begins in a supine position with one arm straight up and holds the weight, and the other hand parallel to the floor stretched to the side of the body. One leg is bent and the other is straight. The movement begins by lifting the back with the help of the hand that is on the ground and balancing the weight, keeping the back straight and looking up. Then we take the outstretched leg behind us and place it in the knee support. Then we straighten the body and release the supporting arm from the floor. The legs are in an attacking position. From this position, we gather our legs and stand up.
Burpee is a very effective exercise for burning fat, because it trains the whole body, and is quite dynamic. The goal is to combine it with another abdominal exercise to burn locally.
Execution – from an upright position, we make a jump by raising our hands. After landing, we squat and stand in a push-up with outstretched legs and arms, palms under the shoulders. This is followed by squeezing the legs to the arms with a jump and standing up in the starting position.
Bosu ball or semi-ball balance exercises.
These devices are quite useful for exercising our balance. They load the muscles of our body statically, and abdominal exercises with these devices resemble a plank. These exercises are suitable for more advanced trainees. The good thing about them is that while you try to keep balance on the ball, the body activates all the abdominal muscles. This makes these exercises effective for a complete abdominal workout.
Execution – the hands are placed on the handles of the half-ball. The position is like a plank. To increase the difficulty, you can place your hands closer together or use a ball.
Yoga is quite effective for burning fat. Almost all techniques and poses in yoga train the abdominal muscles. In addition, you gain mobility and muscle tone. Yoga training is also quite effective for burning fat and burning calories. It may be suitable for advanced and beginners, but not everyone likes it. You can try and, if you like, practice it in combination with fitness training for optimal fat burning and weight loss.
Local fat burning is not a proven method, but recent promising studies suggest it is possible. My advice is to try it and judge for yourself. Use the methods and the best exercises to lose belly fat shown above. Remember that all this will not be possible without eating a calorie deficit to lose weight.
Learn how to calculate your calories to lose weight HERE.
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