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Do These 7 Exercises in Your 40s To Melt Hanging Belly Fat

These moves make shedding belly fat far less difficult than it needs to be.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Getting rid of hanging belly fat is undoubtedly one of the most stubborn and frustrating fitness goals that many individuals desire. Especially as you reach the end of your 30s and enter your 40s, it seems like the weight can creep up, often more quickly than you'd like! While it's certainly true that age plays a factor in your ability to get rid of belly fat, the great news is that the right approach to exercise can make shedding abdominal fat far less difficult than it needs to be. That's where we swoop in with seven exercises to melt hanging belly fat in your 40s.

Focusing on compound movements that work a variety of muscle groups is typically the best approach to keeping belly fat at bay and melting off any that has accumulated. The combination of muscle building and calorie burning associated with compound exercises is generally the most reliable approach for keeping your body fat levels down over the long run. Furthermore, the functional strength you build also helps prevent injury and keep you mobile and active, which further compounds your long-term ability to maintain a fit physique into your golden years.

The following are our top seven exercises to melt hanging belly fat you should be doing in your 40s. You can perform them as a single full-body workout, or incorporate them into your existing exercise routine. If you are doing them as a standalone workout, complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions per exercise. Rest for 90 seconds between sets, and perform the workout twice per week.

Read on to learn more, and next up, be sure to check out The Only 7 Belly Fat Exercises Worth Doing at the Gym.

Barbell Back Squats

middle-aged woman doing barbell back squats

A classic staple compound movement, the barbell back squat is vital for targeting your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. This multi-muscle movement not only strengthens your lower body but also promotes calorie burning and metabolism boosting, which are both crucial for trimming down hanging belly fat.

To perform a barbell back squat, stand in front of a squat rack with a barbell positioned at shoulder level. Position the safety pins just above waist level, if available. Step under the barbell, placing it on the trapezius muscle, a bit lower than the neck. With your feet shoulder-width distance apart, unrack the barbell by straightening your legs. Take a few steps back, and ensure your feet are slightly turned out. Bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position by pushing through your full foot on both sides. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Seated Cable Rows

close-up of seated cable row

The seated cable row targets the muscles in your back, specifically your latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and trapezius. By strengthening these muscles, you improve your overall body composition, which in turn can help reduce belly fat.

To perform a seated cable row, sit at a low pulley cable station with a V-bar attached. Place your feet on the platform with your knees slightly bent, and hold the V-bar with both hands. Keeping your back straight and your chest out, pull the V-bar toward your waist. Visualize crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades and squeeze at the end range of motion. Pause for a second at the peak contraction, then slowly release the V-bar to the starting position. Avoid shrugging throughout the range of motion. Repeat for the target repetitions.

The 5-Minute Daily Workout for Women To Melt Hanging Belly Fat


middle-aged man doing barbell deadlifts

The deadlift is a comprehensive exercise that engages multiple muscle groups, including the hamstrings, glutes, back, and core muscles. It's an effective way to improve your body's metabolism, promoting overall fat loss.

To perform a deadlift, stand with your feet hip-width apart, with a barbell on the floor in front of you. Bend at the hips and knees, and grasp the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, lift the bar by extending your hips and knees, pushing through your full foot. Once you're standing upright, hold for a moment before reversing the motion, lowering the bar by bending at the hips and knees. Repeat for the target repetitions.


woman doing forearm plank exercises to stay lean

The plank is an effective isometric exercise that targets the core, particularly the transversus abdominis muscle. This muscle is often referred to as the body's natural weight belt, keeping your waist tight and preventing belly sag.

To perform a plank, begin in a pushup position with your forearms on the ground and your elbows directly under your shoulders. Keep your body straight from your head to your toes. Engage your core, drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis. Maintain this position, and remember to breathe normally. Hold for the target time.


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

Lunges are great for working your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings, while also engaging your core for stability. The functional movement burns substantial calories, aiding in reducing hanging belly fat.

To perform lunges, stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with your right foot, and lower your body toward the ground. Rotate your right foot inward slightly as you lower your right knee for optimal biomechanics. Both knees should bend, but ensure your front knee doesn't cross your toes and your back knee hovers just above the ground. Push through your full foot to lift your body back up to the starting position. Repeat on the other side, stepping forward with your left foot this time. Repeat for the target repetitions.

The 5-Minute Strength Workout To Lose Belly Fat & Gain Abs


middle-aged man doing pull-ups

Pull-ups engage your lats, rhomboids, trapezius, and biceps, and also stimulate your core to a significant extent. Strengthening these areas improves posture and helps you achieve a leaner, more defined physique, including reducing belly fat.

To perform pull-ups, stand under a pull-up bar, and grip it with your palms facing away from you, hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Hang from the bar, pulling your shoulder blades down and back, keeping your chest up. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, visualizing crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades and squeeze at the end range of motion. Lower yourself in a controlled manner back to the hanging position. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Glute Bridges

illustration of wrong and right ways to do a glute bridge

Lastly on our list of the seven best exercises to melt hanging belly fat in your 40s is the glute bridge. Glute bridges specifically target your glutes and hamstrings, while also activating your core muscles. This focus on the posterior chain helps increase your metabolism, aiding in the process of fat loss, including melting hanging belly fat. You can add weight to your lap for added resistance.

To perform glute bridges, lie down flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your arms at your sides, palms facing down. Push through your full foot to lift your hips off the ground, creating a straight line from your knees to shoulders. Visualize drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis, and engage your abs. Squeeze your glutes at the top for about one second, then slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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