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6 Belly Fat Exercises You Should Start Doing in Your 30s

Don’t wait to add these amazing moves to your workout routine.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

No one wants a lot of fat covering their midsection. It's not only incredibly frustrating to deal with, but it's also surprisingly bad for your health and longevity. Many studies show that too much body fat—especially the kind around your belly—is linked to higher rates of big problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. And "middle age" is the time when this potential problem can take a big turn. That's why today we're sharing some of the best belly fat exercises that slim down your midsection and help you get lean in your 30s and beyond.

The ironic thing about the below exercises is none of them are direct core exercises. Why? Because the absolute best and time-tested way to shed fat in your midsection (and all over your body) is to use "complex" exercises—exercises that move across several joints. That way, you target more muscles and get a far greater effect. In addition, you may already know that "spot reduction" is a myth. So if you want to lose fat in a certain area of your body, you need to follow healthy habits for overall fat loss, which in turn will help you get that particular area into shape.

If you aren't doing the below belly fat exercises in your 30s, you should definitely consider them! Keep reading to learn more, and next, be sure to check out the 7 Exercises That Hit & Tone Your Belly at Every Single Angle.

Trap Bar Deadlifts

woman doing belly-shrinking workout with trap bar

Deadlifts are easily one of the best exercises of all: They work practically every lower-body muscle as well as your back, core, and arms! Then, by using a trap bar instead of a barbell, it makes the exercise easier on your lower back because you stand in the center of the weight instead of behind it. The deadlift is also one of the most productive belly fat exercises you can do in your 30s and beyond.

Stand at the center of a trap bar with your feet hip-width apart and your toes straight ahead. Keep your knees soft and bend at your hip, grabbing the handles. Keep your shins perpendicular to the ground and your lower back flat. Push through your heels to stand straight up. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Reverse the movement to lower the weight.

Split Squats

woman doing walking or forward lunges, concept of belly fat exercises

If you haven't heard by now, squats are great for burning calories and building strong legs. But doing them one leg at a time, you actually enhance the benefits. You can strengthen your hip stabilizing muscles, fix any asymmetries, and take the stress off your lower back during the exercise.

Grab dumbbells in both hands. Stand with one foot about three feet in front of the other so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom. Drop straight down, and drive with your front heel. Don't let your front knee drift past your toe.

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muscular man doing pushups, concept of belly fat exercises

It doesn't matter your current physique: Pushups are incredible for your body. They build tons of strength in your upper body—including your abs—and crank up your endurance so you can burn fat, increase your metabolism, and get great results.

Get into a pushup position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keep your lower back flat, and don't let your hips sag. Lower yourself, and keep your elbows close to your body as you descend.


chin-up exercise

Chin-ups are the unsung hero of bodyweight exercises. Just get a pull-up bar and—voilà—you have an amazing workout on your hands. These target your upper back, shoulders, arms, and grip at in one motion.

Grab a pull-up bar with your palms facing toward you, and start by squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pull yourself up, and lead with your chest. If you're new to chin-ups, wrap an exercise band around the bar to pull you up or use an assisted chin-up machine.

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Kettlebell Swings

woman doing kettlebell/weighted swings, concept of quick daily exercises to melt body fat

Kettlebells aren't a "fad"; they've been used for centuries to get fit. This exercise blasts your glutes, increases your lower-body explosiveness, and packs a cardio punch as it builds your anaerobic endurance and power.

Start in a deadlift position with the kettlebell a few feet in front of you. Then, hike the kettlebell back between your legs like a center in football, and explosively drive your hips forward. Imagine propelling the kettlebell to a target in front of you. Keep your arms relaxed.

Steady-State Cardio

fit woman running outdoors, best running shoes concept

The last of these belly fat exercises to start doing in your 30s is steady-state cardio. When it comes to losing fat, many people go high intensity all the time. But the reality is aerobic training (i.e. "steady state" or "traditional" cardio) is still a fantastic way to burn lots of fat without pounding or stressing your body. Specific aerobic training is also great for your heart health, brain health, stress levels, and overall longevity.

Do activities like biking, jogging, hiking, swimming, rowing, or even bodyweight circuits. Just keep your heart rate between 70 to 80% of your maximum heart rate for 30 to 45 minutes for all the benefits.

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony