Skip to content

7 Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat & Build Muscle Without Equipment

You can achieve an impressive workout transformation through bodyweight exercises alone.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you've struggled to lose belly fat and build muscle because you hate going to the gym, we have some good news to share. Burning fat and gaining muscle is entirely possible without equipment. Of course, you will need to stick to a healthy diet for fat loss, engage in good lifestyle habits that support weight loss, and consistently perform a solid workout routine. However, if spending hours at the gym training with free weights just isn't your cup of tea, do not despair. We've put together seven of the best exercises to lose belly fat and build muscle without equipment. You can easily do them at home, and they're seamless additions to your day.

Get excited, because you can achieve an impressive workout transformation through no-equipment bodyweight exercises alone. Simply follow the below bodyweight exercises to lose belly fat and build muscle, and you'll be on the right track. Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds before moving on to the next exercise. Ideally, you will perform three or more rounds of this circuit at least three times per week for maximal results. Again, be sure to keep your diet in check as well, since you won't be able to out-train poor eating habits.

Keep reading to learn more, and for more belly fat loss inspiration, check out 6 Tips for Women To Lose Belly Fat & Keep It Off.


fit woman at the bottom of a pushup, concept of exercises to lose belly fat and build muscle

Pushups reign supreme if you want to burn fat and build muscle in a simple and effective way—no equipment is required. Pushups build upper-body strength, improve your core stability, and burn a fair number of calories, ultimately contributing to the loss of belly fat. They also build muscle in your chest, shoulders, and triceps.

To perform pushups, begin in a pushup plank position with your hands under your shoulders. Brace your core, and keep your spine in a neutral position. Lower toward the ground by bending at the elbows and shoulders. When your chest is one inch above the ground, push evenly through both hands to return to the starting position. Do not allow your hips to sag throughout the movement. Repeat until you reach 45 seconds.


woman doing squats leg-strengthening exercises in the park

If you're looking for the best exercises to lose belly fat and build muscle without equipment, you sersiouly can't skip squats. The squat is a great lower-body exercise that helps strengthen your leg muscles, improve core stability and balance, and increase overall calorie burn, aiding in the reduction of belly fat. Plus, squats beef up your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which contributes to a solid physique.

To perform squats, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly turned outward. Begin by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, as if you are sitting in a chair. Keep your chest up, your back straight, and your core engaged throughout the movement. Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground or as far as your mobility allows. Stand up by engaging your glutes and quads to return to the starting position. Give your glutes a nice squeeze contraction at the top. Repeat for 45 seconds.

7 Top-Recommended Compound Exercises To Melt Belly Fat

Russian Twists

woman demonstrating Russian twists

The Russian twist is a core rotational exercise that targets the obliques and abdominals, giving you a solid 3D core appearance, functional rotation strength, and of course, tacking on some calorie burn as well. You don't need equipment for these, but you can hold a small object for added weight if you want.

To perform Russian twists, sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight, and lift your feet off the ground, balancing on your sit bones. Hold your hands together at chest level. Rotate your torso to the right, and tap your hands on the ground beside your right hip. Reverse the motion, twisting your torso to the left and tapping your hands on the ground beside your left hip. Keep your core braced throughout the exercise. Repeat for 45 seconds.


woman performing burpees step-by-step

The burpee is a full-body, high-intensity explosive exercise that burns major calories, improves your cardiovascular fitness, and helps you develop full-body power. Burpees don't build as much muscle as other exercises, but they do increase the fat-burning effect of your workout through the metabolic boost.

To perform burpees, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and drop into a pushup position by placing your hands on the ground in front of you. Immediately jump your feet back into a low squat position. Explosively jump upward, reaching your arms overhead, then land softly to return to the starting position. Repeat for 45 seconds. (Optional: Do a pushup after your drop into the plank position.)

7 Simple Daily Exercises To Shrink Hanging Belly Fat

High Knees

man doing high knees

High knees is an intense plyometric exercise that engages your core muscles, improves balance and coordination, and helps you burn belly fat when performed as part of a HIIT circuit like this workout. This is effectively a "sprint in place" exercise.

To perform high knees, stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms in a braced position at your sides. Quickly lift your right knee as high as possible while driving your left arm forward and right arm back. Immediately switch legs, lifting your left knee and driving your right arm forward and left arm back. Maintain an upright posture, engage your core, and continue alternating legs at a fast pace. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Mountain Climbers

top view of woman doing mountain climbers

The mountain climber is a high-intensity exercise that targets your abs and hip flexors, while also working your shoulders, triceps, and chest isometrically since you are holding the plank position.

To perform mountain climbers, begin in a pushup plank position with hands under your shoulders. Bring your right knee toward your chest. Keep your toes off the ground roughly one inch as you bring your foot and knee forward. Quickly and explosively switch legs, extending your right leg back and bringing your left knee toward your chest. Maintain a tight core, and keep your hips level throughout the movement. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Get Rid of Hanging Belly Fat With This Cardio & Strength Workout


fit woman doing lunges butt-toning exercises for women

The lunge is excellent for building leg and glute strength, improving balance and coordination, and increasing your overall calorie burn. Additionally, this exercise improves your gait abilities, which means you walk and run more efficiently and effectively. Lunges primarily hit your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. The following is the technique for lunging in place, although you can perform alternating lunges walking forward as well.

To perform lunges, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips or clasped in front of your chest. Take a large step forward with your right foot. Keep your torso upright, and engage your core. Lower your body by bending both knees, allowing your right thigh to become parallel to the ground and your left knee to hover just above the floor. Rotate your left foot inward slightly as you drop for the best biomechanical motion. Push through your right foot to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement with your left leg, and continue alternating your legs for 45 seconds.

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