5 Best Belly Fat Exercises You Can Do in Just 10 Minutes a Day
Ready to tackle that excess fat around your midsection and achieve a slim waistline? If so, you're in the right place. In this article, we'll share the five best belly fat exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine. All you need is 10 minutes and a small area to start shedding those extra inches and feeling more confident in your own skin.
Losing belly fat not only boosts your confidence, but it's also good for your overall health. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the more fat you carry around your waist and hips, the higher your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Your risk spikes further if your waist size is larger than 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men.
Fortunately, the following exercises (courtesy of Rachel MacPherson, CPT, an ACE-certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews) are specifically designed to target your abdominal area, helping tone and strengthen the muscles while melting unwanted and unhealthy fat.
"Belly fat will come off your body when you lose overall body fat from a calorie deficit. You can create a calorie deficit by reducing your eating and adding exercise. All exercise helps burn calories, and no specific exercises will burn belly fat better than any other if the total calorie burn is equal. This means 200 calories burned doing crunches will not help you lose any more belly fat than 200 calories spent running," explains MacPherson.
If you can carve out just 10 minutes from your busy schedule and dedicate them to these highly effective belly fat exercises, you'll shrink your stomach in no time. Read on to find out how to do the exercises, then take a peek at The No-Gym Workout To Melt Stubborn Belly Fat.
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), this classic compound movement works multiple muscle groups. These include the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves to strengthen your lower body and help shed belly fat.
Here's how to do the exercise: "Use a barbell placed along your shoulders and traps or hold dumbbells or kettlebells by your sides," says MacPherson. "When you lower, keep your chest up, maintain a tripod foot with the little toe, big toe, heel gripping the floor, and your back straight. Lower as deep as you can without allowing your spine to flex. Ensure you rise leading with your collar bones, not your hips."
Perform two or three sets using a weight that challenges you when doing eight to 12 reps. Stop the set when you feel like you have three more reps left in the tank.
Barbell deadlifts are another traditional compound exercise that targets your entire body, including your abdominal muscles. They will help you build strength and burn calories and also help sculpt a flatter, more toned tummy.
"Engage your lats—pull your shoulder blades back and down as if you are trying to slide them into your back pockets," explains MacPherson. "Then, screw your feet into the floor and rotate your femur (thigh) bones outward in your hip sockets (externally rotate). The outsides of your glutes and thighs should feel activated. This position requires grippy shoes that let you place pressure on their outsides, so a sturdy material is best. Push your hips back and start to lift the bar first. Don't lift your hips until you're lifting the bar, then keep your hips close to the bar, raising it with your chest elevated and the bar close to your body. Reverse slowly, lowering the bar close to your body."
Do two or three sets of eight to 12 reps. Stop the exercise when you can only do three more reps safely before reaching failure.
"Ab rollouts engage the entire core and tighten the deep abdominal muscles for a tighter look," states MacPherson. "They're also quite difficult and use the whole body more than other ab exercises, so they'll burn more calories."
Begin kneeling, place your hands on an ab wheel or stability ball, and roll forward, extending your body as far as possible without losing control. Engage your abs as you roll back to the starting position. Aim to do three sets of five to 10 reps.
"The suitcase carry is an excellent abdominal-strengthening exercise," says MacPherson. "It's a unilateral (one-sided) loaded carry, and so is a functional movement that helps improve daily activity. This exercise helps build spinal stiffness and engages the deep core muscles while burning calories from walking with a heavy load."
Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in your right hand with an overhand grip, and place your feet roughly shoulder-width apart. Walk forward with steady, deliberate steps while contracting your core and keeping your hips level, resisting the pull to the weighted side. Walk for a set distance, then turn around and walk back to the start. Once you reach the start line, switch arms to repeat on the other side. Do this two or three times per side, and watch your waistline shrink.
Kettlebell around-the-worlds are a dynamic exercise that engages your entire core. Since this is an anti-rotational exercise, you're forced to brace your core to resist the rotational force of the kettlebell pulling you side-to-side.
"Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in front of your lower abdomen in both hands with an overhand grip. Brace your core, and pass the kettlebell around your body, switching between hands in the front and the back of your body," instructs MacPherson. Perform two or three sets of 15 to 20 passes.