Have you woken up today to see a little extra layer of belly fats that you need to lose quickly via exercise? The festive season has been on for weeks now, and undoubtedly we have all indulged in our favourite foods, be it sweets or savouries, promising ourselves that we’ll hit the gym soon! The ‘soon’ takes a long time to arrive, or doesn’t arrive at all. Has it arrived for you yet? Think about it! Do you want to fit into that gorgeous dress you spent all your savings on for new year’s? Then now is the time to be serious and start doing some exercises to reduce belly fat!
It’s not just about the way you look, it is also about being healthy. Undoubtedly you need a little bit of a lifestyle change to lose the flab around your tummy, and incorporating the precise exercises to tackle it is a necessary step. We show you the exact exercises that you need to rotate in your routine. Work towards a healthier and fitter you! Get serious, and start exercising to lose belly fat!
Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat with Crunches
The best way to tackle that little extra fat around the tummy, without any doubt, is doing crunches. Experts say that it occupies the top rank among the fat-burning exercises (1) and you must include these in your set of exercises.
How to do crunches?
You have to lie down flat on the ground (you can lie down on a yoga mat or any other mat). Bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground. Your feet need to be hip-width apart. You then have to lift your hands and take them behind your head, with your head on your palms or your thumbs behind your ears. Don’t interlock your fingers. Now, inhale deeply in this position. Slowly lift your upper torso off the floor, exhaling at the time. Lift your torso as much as you can without changing the position of any other body part, and then go back to the lying position, inhaling when going back down. You can exhale when you lift your torso again. Try to maintain a three-inch distance between your chest and chin so you don’t strain your neck. The focus should be on the belly, not merely the lift.
Beginners should try to do 10 crunches per set, and do at least two or three sets in a day.
What to avoid: Crunching too high. Focus instead on bringing your ribs to your belly button, that way you will lift up your torso only by a few inches. Try the best you can, and then go back down again. This will target the fat around the stomach.
Tip:You can also do these with your hand crossed over your chest.
Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat with Twist Crunches
The regular crunch has several modifications and variations, all of which help in specifically designed to reduce belly fat. You need to take a couple of weeks to get familiar with the basic crunches and then move on to other variations which are more effective and result-oriented. The first one among these is the twist crunch.
How to do the twist crunch?
You have to lie on your back on a hard surface (mat on the floor) and bend your legs with your feet flat on the ground. The position of your hands is similar to the crunches, under your head. Now comes the difference, instead of lifting your torso, lift your right shoulder towards your left, limiting the movement of the left shoulder. Repeat the action on the opposite side—lifting your left shoulder over your right. This is one complete round. Again, for beginners, a total of 10 crunches per set is effective, and try to accomplish at least two to three sets.
What to avoid: Don’t hold your breath. If you exhale on your way up, you will automatically inhale on your way down. You have to ensure that you don’t deprive your body of oxygen and you pace your breath.
Tip:Use only your abdomen and hips to lift you up for a better stretch on the tummy.
Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat with Side Crunches
One of the other variations of the crunch that helps lose the flab around the belly, the side crunch focuses more on the side muscles. (2)
How to do the side crunch?
Set yourself up for a twist crunch, all parts of the body in the same position as the twist crunch. Then, when doing the crunch, tilt your legs on the same side as your shoulders.
Beginners should aim for two to three sets of side crunches, with 10 repetitions in each set.
What to avoid: Don’t be in a hurry, and ensure your movements are slow and steady. The midsection will hurt if you perform the crunches in haste.
Tip:Have a focal point to look at when doing the crunches so you maintain the distance between your chin and chest.
Exercises to Reduce Belly Fat with Reverse Crunches
The reverse crunch is used on the transverse abdominals, which is the deepest muscle in the stomach. It is one of the most effective moves to lose lower belly fat, especially for women. You can progress to reverse crunches after a few weeks of getting comfortable with the other variations.
How to do the reverse crunch?
Lie down in the position for a crunch, and before doing the crunch, lift your legs in the air—your heels can be up in the air or at your buttocks. Exhale as you lift your torso, and bring your thighs to your chest. Ensure your chin is off your chest. You can also bring your nose to your knees.
What to avoid: Don’t bring your elbows to your knee caps. Try and avoid pulling your bottom up off the floor when doing the crunch.
Tip:You can cross your ankles if you want when lifting your legs up.
Belly Fat Exercise – Vertical Leg Crunch
This is an extremely beneficial crunch that strengthens the core as well while working the muscles around the abdomen. It is a great exercise to lose belly fat. It is effective for the lower back muscles as well. (3) The position of this crunch improves the intensity of the exercise, so it is a good one to progress to after you are comfortable with the basic crunch.
How to do the vertical leg crunch?
Go ahead, lie flat on your mat and extend your legs up in the air till your feet face the ceiling. Your legs should be as straight as possible, basically perpendicular to the floor. Place your hands behind your head, with your palms straight or your thumbs behind your ears. Lift your torso as much as you can, maintain a few inches distance between your chin and chest. Exhale when lifting your torso and inhale when coming back down. Breathe in and then lift the upper body towards the pelvis. Breathe out slowly. Do about 10-12 crunches for two to three sets. Check out the video above on how to do vertical leg crunches.
What to avoid:Don’t lock your knees when lifting your upper body to the pelvis, it will cause a strain.
Tip:This crunch can also be done with your ankles crossed, keeping your legs vertical and facing the ceiling.
Belly Fat Exercise – Bicycle Exercise
Although the name suggests that you need a bicycle for this belly fat reducing exercise, worry not. You can do it effectively even without a bicycle. If you do have access to a cycle, however, go right ahead and spend at least 20 to 25 minutes on it in a day.
How to do the bicycle exercise?
You need to lie on your mat and keep your hands either on the sides or behind your head as you do in crunches. Lift both your legs considerably off the ground and bend them at the knees. Now, replicate the motion of the legs as if you were riding a bicycle. To start off, bring your right knee close to your chest while taking the left leg out straight. Then, while taking the right leg out straight, bring the left knee close to your chest. Repeat 10 to 12 times for each set and at least three sets at a time.
What to avoid: Don’t pull on your neck and make sure to keep your back flat on the floor.
Tip:Make this exercise only part of a larger overall weight loss routine (4) with crunches and other cardio exercises for losing belly fat. Check this video to understand the movements.
Belly Fat Exercise – Lunge Twist
This is a workout for beginners who want to reduce belly fat quickly. It is also a great lower body exercise and strengthens your core. You can also use this as a warm-up exercise to get blood flow to many muscles at one time.
How to do the lunge twist?
You need to stand with your legs hip-width apart. Your knees should be slightly bent. Now, left both your hands in front of you, making sure they are aligned with your shoulders and keeping them parallel to the ground. Get into a lunge position with your left foot forward. Now, twist your upper body to the left with your torso. Next, try to reach your outstretched arms across your left side. Think of pointing to the left from your belly button. Move your arms slowly to the centre and step forward with the opposite foot and twist to the other side. You can use 10 steps for each set and do two sets at the beginner level.
What to avoid: Don’t twist your knee or bend your spine forward. The spine should be kept straight.
Tip:Once you build tolerance with this exercise, you can perform it with holding a weight (like a medicine ball) in your hands.
Belly Fat Exercise – The Stomach Vacuum
The stomach vacuum exercise is a low-impact one, and places greater emphasis on your breath rather than increasing your heart rate. It is a great technique for losing belly fat and is used in a variety of training routines. It works powerfully to train abdomen muscles and improving posture.
How to do the stomach vacuum?
It is effectively a stretch pose. To do a stomach vacuum, stand upright on the floor, and place your hands on your hips. Now, exhale all the air out, as much as you can. Effectively, you should feel there is no air in your lungs. Then, expand your chest, and take your stomach in as much as possible and hold. Try to think what you would do if you wanted your navel to touch your backbone, and do the movement. Try to hold for 20 seconds (or more) if you are a beginner, and then release. That is one contraction. Repeat 10 times for one set.
What to avoid: This exercise has to be done on an empty stomach, otherwise, it will lead to digestive issues. If you are suffering from any heart or lung issues, then you might want to skip this one.
Tip:Once you get the hang of it and master it in the standing position, you can perform it in kneeling, seated, and lying down positions.
Also, take a look at this quick abdomen workout to understand the exercises.
SOURCE : femina