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The Best Exercises To Get Rid Of A Pot Belly In Your 40s, Trainer Says

With these exercises on deck, you'll be able to tuck your shirts in again in no time.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If that unwelcomed, excess fat chilling around your abdomen just won't seem to budge, you're not alone. That dreaded, stubborn belly fat can be a real buzzkill when you zip up your jeans or attempt to wear your shirt tucked. But rest assured, there are ways to get rid of a pot belly in your 40s—you just have to follow the proper tricks and tips, and most importantly, stick to them!

Many individuals have the fitness goal of shrinking abdominal fat—and for good reason. As you reach middle age, extra weight is likely to gravitate towards your belly. Abdominal—aka visceral—fat is associated with a slew of potential health issues, including breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even gallbladder surgery.

In order to get rid of a pot belly, you need to add some key healthy habits to your routine, including eating a healthy diet and getting in regular cardio and strength training. This might sound like a no-brainer, but it can be really easy to fall into the trap of staying sedentary—especially if you work from home. We're here to help with that.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to lose belly fat is prioritizing cardio and crunches. Instead, you should be strength training at least 3 times per week, with an emphasis on compound movements. This is because strength training burns more calories, builds and maintains lean muscle mass, and elevates your metabolism. Of course, cardio and ab exercises have their place but should be more of a supplement than the main focus of your workouts.

Therefore, if you're in your 40s and need help losing your pot belly, I recommend incorporating the following exercises into your routine. Check them out below, and next, be sure to read The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.

Dumbbell Thrusters

trainer doing dumbbell thrusters, demonstrating exercises to get rid of a pot belly
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start this exercise by holding a pair of dumbbells up to your shoulders. Keep your chest tall and core tight, and squat down until your hips are parallel to the ground. Once you've hit that parallel position, drive through your heels, and use the momentum of the squat to press the weights straight up. Flex your triceps at the top, then lower the weight under control back to your shoulders before performing another rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps.

Related: The Most Effective Exercises To Reverse Aging After 50, Trainer Says

Dumbbell Renegade Row

trainer doing dumbbell renegade row, demonstrating how to get rid of a pot belly
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Assume a pushup position with a wide stance and a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, take one hand, and row the weight up by driving your elbow towards your hip and squeezing your lat. Return the dumbbell back to the ground, and then perform a row with the other arm. Complete 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps for each arm.

Related: The #1 Cardio Workout To Speed Up Belly Fat Loss In Your 60s, Trainer Says

Bulgarian Split Squat

trainer doing bulgarian split squat, demonstrating how to get rid of a pot belly
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

From a standing position, rest your back foot on a bench or couch, and step out with your other foot about 2 to 3 feet away from the bench. Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, then start the movement by lowering your body straight down under control so that your back knee almost touches the ground and your front knee is in a runner's lunge. Then, use your weight to drive through your front heel in order to return to standing, flexing your quads and glutes as you rise. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg.

Decline Bench Leg Raise

trainer performing decline bench leg raise to get rid of belly creases
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Position your upper back on a decline bench with your arms holding the handle. Flatten your lower back, then begin lifting your feet towards you. Once your legs are in front of you, kick them up as high as you can. Flex your abs hard at the top, then slowly lower them under control while maintaining tension in your core. Return to the starting position before performing another rep. Complete 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps.


trainer doing stair climber to increase visceral fat burn
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin climbing on the stairclimber. If you're a first-timer, go at a comfortable pace you can maintain for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Once you've built up more endurance (or if you're a bit more of an intermediate), you can crank up the speed, or climb for at least 30 minutes.

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