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5 Most Effective Gym Workouts To Melt Belly Fat

Kick stubborn belly fat to the curb with a trainer's go-to gym workouts.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Many of my clients are determined to shed stubborn belly fat and reveal a toned midsection. Because of the stubborn nature of belly fat, finding an effective workout routine is essential to dropping pounds around the middle. The following workouts are my top recommendations for highly effective gym workouts to melt belly fat. Incorporate these exercises into your gym routine to accelerate fat loss and achieve a flatter, more defined stomach.

Combine these exercises with a well-balanced diet and consistent exercise regimen for optimal results. With dedication and perseverance, you'll be on your way to achieving your fitness goals and revealing a flatter, more defined stomach. Keep reading for the best gym workouts to melt belly fat, and when you're finished, don't miss the 10 Best Low-Impact Exercises To Melt Belly Fat.

Workout #1: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is renowned for its ability to torch calories and accelerate fat loss, making it an excellent choice for targeting belly fat. This workout alternates between short bursts of intense exercise and brief rest periods, maximizing calorie burn and boosting metabolism long after the workout ends.

1. Sprint Intervals

treadmill sprints

Set the treadmill to a challenging speed. Sprint for 30 seconds. Recover with a slow jog or walk for 60 seconds. Repeat for 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Burpees


Start in a standing position. Drop into a squat, and place your hands on the floor. Jump your feet back into a plank position. Perform a pushup, then jump your feet back to the squat position. Explode upward into a jump with your arms extended overhead. Repeat for three sets of 10 to 15 reps.

3. Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers exercise

Begin in a high plank position. Drive one knee toward your chest, then quickly switch legs. Continue alternating legs at a rapid pace for 30 to 60 seconds. Complete three sets.

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Workout #2: Strength Training

Strength training not only builds muscle but also boosts metabolism, making it an effective tool for melting belly fat. By incorporating compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, you can maximize calorie burn and sculpt a leaner physique.

1. Deadlifts

barbell deadlift

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbells in front of your thighs. Hinge at the hips, lowering the weight toward the ground while keeping your back straight. Engage the glutes and hamstrings to return to standing. Perform three sets of eight to 12 reps.

2. Russian Twists

Russian twist with medicine ball

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet elevated, holding a weight or medicine ball. Twist your torso to one side, then to the other, tapping the weight on the ground each time. Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps per side.

3. Plank Rows

dumbbell renegade row

Start in a high plank position with your hands gripping dumbbells. Perform a row with one arm while stabilizing with the other. Alternate arms, and perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps per arm.

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Workout #3: Cardio Workouts

Cardiovascular exercise is essential for burning calories and reducing overall body fat, including stubborn belly fat. Incorporating cardio workouts into your gym routine can help you achieve a calorie deficit necessary for fat loss while improving heart health and endurance.

1. Stair Climbing

illustration of stair climber

Use the stair climber machine. Climb at a brisk pace for 20 to 30 minutes. Increase intensity by taking two steps at a time or adding resistance if using a machine.

2. Cycling


Use a stationary bike or attend a cycling class. Cycle at a moderate to high intensity for 30 to 45 minutes. Incorporate intervals of increased resistance or speed for added intensity.

3. Rowing Machine

illustration of man rowing

Sit on the rowing machine with your feet secured in the foot straps. Grab the handle with an overhand grip, arms fully extended. Drive through the legs, then pull the handle toward your chest. Extend the arms, and lean back slightly before returning to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 500 meters with a one-minute rest between sets.

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Workout #4: Core Workouts

Strengthening the core muscles is crucial for achieving a toned and defined midsection. Targeting the core with specific exercises not only helps improve posture and stability but also contributes to reducing belly fat by building lean muscle mass.

1. Bicycle Crunches

bicycle crunches

Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and legs lifted, knees bent. Alternate bringing your opposite elbow toward your opposite knee while extending the other leg. Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps per side.

2. Leg Raises

leg raise

Lie on your back with your legs extended and your hands under your glutes for support. Lift your legs toward the ceiling, keeping them straight. Slowly lower your legs back down without touching the ground. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

3. Plank Variations

illustration of plank leg raise, floor exercises to change your body shape after 40

Start in a forearm plank position, engaging the core and glutes. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Complete three sets, incorporating side planks and planks with leg lifts for an added challenge.

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Workout #5: HIIT with Weights

Combining high-intensity interval training with weightlifting maximizes calorie burn and promotes muscle growth and fat loss. This workout utilizes compound exercises with added resistance to target multiple muscle groups while elevating heart rate for maximum fat-burning benefits.

1. Kettlebell Swings

kettlebell swings

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell with both hands. Hinge at the hips, and swing the kettlebell between your legs. Drive through the hips to swing the kettlebell up to chest height. Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps.

2. Dumbbell Thrusters

dumbbell thrusters illustration

Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing inward. Squat down, then explosively press the dumbbells overhead. Lower back into the squat position. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

3. Medicine Ball Slams

illustration of medicine ball slams

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a medicine ball overhead. Slam the ball to the ground with force, engaging your core and lower body. Catch the ball on the bounce, and repeat. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

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