Melt Your "Jelly Belly" With These 7 Easy Exercises
Burning fat around the midsection can be among the most stubborn aspects of trying to tone up your body. Whether you've done hours of cardio or tried every crash diet on the books, you've probably experienced how frustrating it can be to melt off a "jelly belly" and achieve lasting results when it comes to a killer set of six-pack abs. While we cannot deny that burning belly fat is a challenging process, we do have some good news to share. Picking the right exercises to melt belly fat makes it straightforward to tone this key area and achieve the body of your dreams. When combined with a sustainable fat-loss diet and healthy lifestyle, getting the body you want can be far less complicated than many sources would have you believe. So read on to learn all about seven of the best exercises to melt your jelly belly and get into shape.
Perform each of the below exercises for three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, and rest for 90 seconds between each set. Perform the workout one to two times per week, splitting it up as needed to make it manageable. And when you're finished reading, be sure to check out the 7 Exercises That Hit & Tone Your Belly at Every Single Angle.
A well-known, but highly effective exercise, bicycle crunches are perfect for torching belly fat and building core strength. This dynamic exercise works the rectus abdominis, the external and internal obliques, and the hip flexors.
To perform a bicycle crunch, start by lying flat on your back on a comfortable surface. Place your hands behind your head, and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground. Lift your head, shoulders, and feet off the ground, keeping your lower back in contact with the floor. Rotate your torso to bring your right elbow to your left knee while simultaneously extending your right leg straight out. Alternate sides, bringing your left elbow to your right knee and extending your left leg out. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Barbell Back Squats
The squat is a compound exercise that recruits multiple muscle groups, including the quadriceps, glutes, and, importantly, the core muscles for stabilization. For the barbell back squat, position a barbell at shoulder level on a squat rack. If available, set the safety pins just above waist level.
To perform a barbell back squat, position yourself under the barbell, ensuring that it is resting evenly across your shoulders. Stand up to un-rack the barbell, and step away from the rack, standing with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at the knees and hips, lowering your body as if you were sitting down while keeping your chest up and your back straight. Push through your full foot to return to the standing position. Repeat for the target repetitions.
The plank is an isometric exercise that strengthens the entire core region. It engages the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and the muscles of the lower back and hips.
To perform a plank, begin in a pushup position with your forearms flat on the ground and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core by visualizing drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis, and hold the position. Make sure your body remains straight.
Keep your head in line with your spine, and your eyes looking at the floor. Avoid sagging or raising your hips too high. Hold for the target time.
Another one of the best exercises to melt your jelly belly is the pull-up. The pull-up is a fantastic upper-body exercise that recruits your lats, biceps, trapezius, and core muscles. As you perform this exercise, visualize crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades and squeeze at the end range of motion.
To perform a pull-up, grasp a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you, hands a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Engage your core, and pull your body upward until your chin is above the bar, ensuring that your shoulder blades are retracted. Lower your body in a controlled manner to the starting position. Avoid shrugging throughout the range of motion. Repeat for the target repetitions.
This exercise targets your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and core, providing a total lower-body workout. Rotate your left foot inward slightly as you lower your left knee for optimal biomechanics. The same applies to the right knee when it's in the back position.
To perform a reverse lunge, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Take a step back with your left foot, lowering your body so your right knee is at a 90-degree angle and your left knee is hovering above the floor. Push through your full right foot to return to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat for the target repetitions.
The glute bridge targets the glutes, hamstrings, and core. As you perform this exercise, visualize drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis, and engage your abs.
To perform a glute bridge, lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart. Lift your hips off the ground by pressing through your full foot until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. At the top of the movement, squeeze your glutes for about one second. Lower your hips back to the ground in a controlled manner. Repeat for the target repetitions.
The Russian twist wraps up this list of exercises to melt your jelly belly. Sit on the ground with your knees bent, pull your abs to your spine, and lean back a few inches while keeping your back straight. Hold your hands at your chest, and twist your torso to the right, then to the left to complete one rep. Ensure you're moving with your full torso and not just your shoulders. If you only move your shoulders, you won't engage your abs as much. Engage your abs tightly for a brief pause when you twist, then return to the front. Repeat for the target repetitions.