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Exercise Secrets To Lose That Top Layer of Belly Fat, Trainer Reveals

These trainer-backed tricks will help you ditch that top layer of belly fat.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Did you know that keeping your midsection in shape can actually lengthen your lifespan? Excess belly fat is associated with many health risks, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Needless to say, it's in your best interest to get rid of it and maintain healthy habits, including eating a nutritious diet, strength training, and getting in regular cardio. But for some individuals, fat in the upper belly may be the very last to go. But don't fret, because with hard work and dedication on your side, you'll be taking all the necessary steps to lose that top layer of belly fat.

If you don't know the right fitness tricks to add to your regimen, we have you covered. We recommend performing two to three full-body sessions per week and getting in your cardio either after or in between your workouts. When you're consistent with this routine, the fat will melt away. However, if you're already doing these things, there are some additional tips and tricks you can work into the game plan to help increase the fat loss.

Below are a few exercise secrets that have helped my clients throughout their fat loss journey. Check them out, and get ready to lose that top layer of belly fat. And next up, don't miss The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Incorporate more unilateral work to lose that top layer of belly fat

man performing single-arm press to lose top layer of belly fat

As far as your training program is concerned, you'll need to be incorporating more single-arm and single-leg work. Training one side of the body allows you to focus more on the working limb; it also requires more core strength and coordination. This forces your body to work harder, which can increase your calorie burn and muscle fiber recruitment. Add single-arm presses, rows, and lunge variations to your workouts, and watch that fat melt away.

Related: Get Rid of a Sagging Lower Belly With This Fat-melting Routine, Trainer Says

Perform cardio during rest periods

man in bright green outfit performing weighted jump rope workout

A great way to keep your heart rate elevated and calorie burn constant during workouts is to incorporate cardio-style movements as your rest period in between your main exercises. You'll be active the entire time and will end up torching more fat in the process. The best movements to perform in between sets are kettlebell swings, jump rope, and low-intensity cycling on an exercise bike.

Related: This 10-Minute Workout Will Get Rid of Your Belly Overhang, Trainer Says

Increase your TUT

middle-aged woman doing bodyweight squat outside during walk

Increasing the time under tension (TUT) during a set is a stellar way to get your body to work harder. When lowering the weight during an exercise (the eccentric phase), take two to four seconds to do so. It will make the muscles work harder to stabilize and control the weight coming down, which makes the exercise much more effective.

The awesome part about increasing TUT is that you can do this with any movement you want: squat, presses, rows, etc. Pick a few in your exercise toolbox, and reap the benefits!

Wrap up workouts with a finisher

woman doing lunge exercise to get rid of cankles

If you really want to put the icing on the cake, end your workouts with a high-intensity finisher. This will increase your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which ramps up your fat burn after your session.

Here's a sample finisher you can do. Perform these three movements back-to-back for 3 to 4 sets:

Bodyweight Squat (x15 reps)

Keeping your chest tall and core tight, push your hips back, and squat down until your quads are parallel to the ground. Drive through your heels and hips to come back up to standing, flexing your quads and glutes to finish.

Alternating Reverse Lunge (x8 reps each leg)

Begin this next movement by taking a long stride backward with one leg. Firmly plant your heel down, then lower yourself until your back knee touches the ground. Push through with your front leg to come back up, then repeat with the other side.

Jump Squats (x10 reps)

Begin your Jump Squats by placing your legs about hip-width distance apart. Keep your core tight, and throw your arms and hips back at the same time. Swing your arms forward, and jump up as high as you can. Land softly into a half squat before jumping again.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim