Most of us dream of a magic solution requiring minimal time and effort when sculpting a more defined midsection. Unfortunately, no such quick fix exists. But on the flip side, incorporating targeted exercises into your routine can reduce your gut without spending hours at the gym. According to Jarrod Nobbe, CPT, a certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews (who chatted with ETNT to share his top belly-burning exercises), you can achieve noticeable results in minimal time. Today, we're here to share seven exercises to burn belly fat you can do in 10 minutes or less.
Doing gut-shrinking exercises offers a multitude of benefits beyond a slimmer waistline. For example, these exercises target and strengthen your core muscles, including the abdominal, oblique, and lower back muscles. Also, having a solid core can boost your overall stability and posture, reducing the risk of injuries and enhancing athletic performance, Harvard Health Publishing explains. In addition, a 2021 study found that regularly doing core exercises can help improve digestion and gut health by stimulating the muscles surrounding the digestive organs, resulting in a more efficient breakdown and absorption of nutrients.
Combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, these gut-reducing exercises will help sculpt a more defined waistline and boost your confidence. So keep reading for seven effective exercises to burn belly fat that will fire up your core. (And when you're finished, check out The 5-Minute Daily Workout for Women To Melt Hanging Belly Fat.)
Medicine Ball Slams
Grab a medicine ball, and get ready to slam away that belly fat. This exercise activates the muscles in your core while providing an excellent cardio element.
"Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a medicine ball with both hands. Lift the ball overhead, and fully extend your arms. Next, engage your core as you forcefully slam the medicine ball down toward the floor in front of you, allowing your arms to extend down as you do so," instructs Nobbe. Repeat this explosive movement for four sets of 10 to 15 reps, focusing on engaging your abs and using your entire body to generate power.
Squat jumps are excellent for torching calories and sculpting your lower body. This dynamic movement will target your core while working your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. "If you're looking to burn calories, the squat jump is a great option that does double duty to strengthen the lower body at the same time," states Nobbe.
Begin in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower yourself into a deep squat, then explosively jump up, extending your arms overhead. Land softly into the squat position, and repeat for four sets of 10 to 12 reps.
V-ups are effective for targeting your abdominal muscles and strengthening your core.
"Lie on a mat or a flat surface with your legs extended and your arms stretched overhead, resting on the floor," instructs Nobbe. "Engage your abs to lift your legs and upper body off the floor simultaneously, keeping them straight the entire time and reaching your hands toward your toes. This should make your body create a 'V' shape. Contract your abs at the top of your range of motion, then slowly lower your torso and legs back down to the starting position." Do three or four sets of 15 reps for a solid blast to your belly.
Unleash your inner fighter and melt away your midsection with shadow boxing. This high-intensity cardio exercise helps you burn calories and engages your core as you twist and turn.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, fists clenched, and start throwing punches in the air as if sparring with an imaginary opponent. Incorporate punches like jabs, hooks, and uppercuts while keeping the intensity high for one or two minutes.
"Shadow boxing is a great way to burn calories," says Nobbe. "While learning the punches and combinations may take a tutorial or two, this do-anywhere move is a convenient calorie-burner that also helps with coordination."
Sprinting is a stellar way to boost your metabolism and burn fat, including that pesky gut. Find an open space, or head to a track and sprint as fast as possible for 30 seconds. Take a 30-second rest, then repeat for five to seven sprints. The short bursts of intense effort during sprints engage your abdominal muscles and help you shed excess fat, all while improving your cardiovascular fitness. In addition to the fat-burning benefits, a 2018 study found that sprinting can also improve overall running performance to help you run longer to torch more calories ultimately.
"Sprinting helps build lower-body muscle, cardiovascular strength, and upper body if you involve your arms. Your form is important here, but the nuances of a perfect sprint are easy to find on virtually any running website or forum," says Nobbe.
"The rowing machine has long been a go-to cardio option for cross-training athletes, and that's because it packs a serious cardio punch without taxing the joints," explains Nobbe. "Rowing burns plenty of calories, and pre-planned workouts are widely available online. If you only have 10 minutes, opting for a sprint workout would be the way to go." Rowing is a low-impact, full-body exercise that targets your core muscles and boosts your cardio.
Jumping rope isn't just for kids; it's one of the best exercises to burn belly fat and torch calories.
"You don't need to jump high when jumping rope—only about an inch or two off the ground, depending on your rope and style of jump roping," says Nobbe. "Also, maintain good posture as you jump rope. Your spine should be neutral, shoulders back, and look straight ahead to keep your neck in a neutral position. Ensure you keep your knees slightly bent to avoid overtaxing your joints." Aim to jump for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat this circuit for five to 10 minutes.