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8 Best Strength Exercises for Faster Abdominal Fat Loss that Get Your Heart Pumping

A trainer shares his favorite exercises for those who want to melt belly fat.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Strength and cardio exercise are key when it comes to burning abdominal fat. However, you may find that completing an entire resistance training workout as well as a cardio routine each week is challenging time-wise. The good news is that you can combine your strength exercises into a circuit for higher repetitions to get the best of both worlds—cardio and strength—which can absolutely torch belly fat and help you reach your weight loss and physique goals more efficiently. You're in luck today because I have the eight best cardio strength exercises for faster abdominal fat loss, so listen up and gear up to sweat.

For my clients that are pressed for time, I typically utilize circuit training and HIIT with strength exercises to help them maximize each training session. (And as always, it's important to combine your physical training with a healthy diet and lifestyle for the best results!) The following routine consists of my top eight favorite cardio strength exercises for faster abdominal fat loss. Perform each exercise for either 20 repetitions or a 30-second interval. Rest for 15 seconds, then begin the next exercise. Aim to complete at least three rounds of the circuit twice per week. You can perform additional workouts to speed up your fat loss even further.

Keep reading to learn more, and when you're finished, don't miss out on the 7 Exercises To Slim Down a Thick Waistline in 30 Days.



The burpee is a full-body exercise that brings about the high-intensity requirement necessary for burning belly fat. It helps increase your heart rate and stimulates your metabolism while also working on your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs.

To perform a burpee, start standing with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat, placing your hands on the ground in front of you. Kick your feet back to enter a plank position, keeping your body in a straight line. Jump your feet back toward your hands. Stand up, and jump into the air with your hands reaching upwards. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers illustration

Mountain climbers are excellent for increasing cardiovascular endurance and engaging multiple core muscles at once within a single exercise.

To perform mountain climbers, begin in a pushup position with your weight supported by your hands and toes. Keeping your core engaged and your hands planted firmly on the ground, bring one knee toward your chest. Return the first knee to its original position while simultaneously bringing your other knee up toward your chest. Repeat this action, alternating legs at a brisk pace. Repeat for the target repetitions.


man doing lunges, concept of bodyweight exercises for men in their 40s

The lunge works your glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and core muscles, making it an excellent total-body exercise. They also help improve balance and coordination, contributing to better functional fitness.

To perform a lunge, start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Take a step forward with your right foot, and lower into a lunge, ensuring your knee is above your ankle and doesn't go past your toes. As you lower, rotate your left foot inward slightly to maintain optimal biomechanics. Push through the full foot to return to a standing position. Repeat with the left foot forward and continue alternating sides for the target repetitions.

Kettlebell Swings

fit woman doing kettlebell swings exercise part of 10-minute daily workout to get in shape

Kettlebell swings are an excellent exercise for burning fat, building power, and improving cardiovascular endurance. They primarily work the glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder and back.

To perform a kettlebell swing, stand with your feet hip-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and a kettlebell on the floor about a foot in front of you. Hinge at your hips to lean forward and grab the kettlebell with both hands. Swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height by thrusting your hips forward, keeping your spine straight and your core engaged. Let the kettlebell swing back down between your legs, hinging at the hips and bending your knees. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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Barbell Back Squats

woman doing barbell back squats, resistance training exercises to transform your body after 30

Barbell back squats are excellent for burning fat because they engage multiple large muscle groups, including the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and abs, which leads to high caloric expenditure.

To perform a barbell back squat, position a barbell at shoulder level on a squat rack. If available, set the safety pins just above waist level. Stand facing the barbell, place it evenly across your upper back, grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, and lift it off the rack by straightening your legs. Step back away from the rack, setting your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and hips to lower your body as if sitting down, making sure to push through the full foot. Stand back up to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.


older man working out on rowing machine, demonstrating how to regain muscle mass after 60

Next up on this list of the best cardio strength exercises for faster abdominal fat loss is the seated row. Rowing is a cardio exercise that works on various muscles like the rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, deltoids, biceps, and core. It's not only effective at burning calories but also improving cardiovascular endurance and strength.

To perform rowing, start seated at the rowing machine with your feet on the footrests and your knees bent. Grasp the handle with an overhand grip, arms extended, and back straight. Push back with your legs first, then pull the handle towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Visualize crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades and squeeze at the end range of motion. Remember to avoid shrugging throughout the range of motion. Extend your arms, bend your knees, and return to the starting position. Repeat for the target time.

Hip Thrusts


Hip thrusts target the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. The focus on the glute muscles can help improve posture, increase power, and enhance overall athletic performance, along with aiding in fat loss.

To perform a hip thrust, start by sitting on the ground with a weight bench directly behind you and a barbell over your hips. Lean back against the bench so that your shoulder blades are near the top of it. Begin the movement by driving through your feet, extending your hips vertically through the barbell. As you do this, visualize drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis, and engage your abs. Squeeze at the top for about one second, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.


middle-aged man doing pull-ups

The last of these cardio strength exercises for faster abdominal fat loss is the pull-up. Pull-ups are a fantastic full-body exercise that engages your lats, middle back, biceps, and forearms, promoting upper body strength and an increased heart rate for more effective fat burn.

To perform a pull-up, stand under the pull-up bar, reach up, and grip it with both hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing away from you. Hang onto the bar, fully extending your arms and keeping your body straight. Pull yourself up by squeezing your shoulder blades together and pulling your elbows down toward the floor. As you do this, visualize crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit. When your chin is above the bar, lower yourself back down in a controlled manner. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler