The #1 HIIT Workout for Belly Fat
If you're looking for a dynamic and time-efficient workout to level up your fitness and melt belly fat, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more suitable form of exercise than high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Despite having shorter training sessions, studies have found HIIT to be an effective calorie-torcher. That's why we chatted with Kate Meier, CPT, a certified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews, who shares her #1 HIIT workout for belly fat that will help you sculpt a toned midsection.
Before diving in, it's critical to note that targeted fat loss in one specific body area isn't possible. However, this HIIT workout can help promote total fat burning, including your waistline. "After a HIIT workout, your metabolic rate can stay high for hours, burning even more calories," Meier explains. "The following workout follows the principles of HIIT—short, intense bursts of work alternated with rest—and includes moves to help ensure your belly is toned once fat loss reveals the muscles beneath. These exercises also promote core strength, which is important for avoiding injuries and performing other exercises and daily movements with proper form."
To perform the following workout, Meier advises warming up with five to 10 minutes of light movement, such as jogging, walking, or jumping jacks. Once warmed up, begin the workout. An excellent cool-down routine is also essential, so spend five to 10 minutes with light movement or stretching to slowly bring your heart rate down and help ward off muscle tightness as you recover.
"Perform the following exercises for 40 seconds, followed by a 20-second rest before moving to the next exercise. Once you've completed each exercise once, rest for one to two minutes until you catch your breath, then repeat the circuit. Aim to complete the circuit three to four times, depending on how much time you have and your fitness level. Change the pace or modify the movements to suit your fitness level," says Meier.
Read on for the #1 HIIT workout for belly fat. And next up, don't miss the 3 Best Workouts To Melt Belly Fat for Beginners.
Squats are a killer addition to any HIIT workout—especially for promoting fat-burning while increasing lower-body strength. This compound movement engages your core while working multiple muscle groups, boosting your metabolism and promoting fat loss.
"Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward, and posture perfect," Meier instructs. "Hinge at the knees and hips to lower yourself, allowing your hips to shift back. Keep your chest forward and back straight as you lower down, and stop once your upper thighs are parallel to the floor or lower. Push through your heels to return to the starting position."
Jump lunges are a dynamic exercise that elevates your heart rate and torches calories. This explosive movement engages your core and lower body, helping to sculpt and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Plus, the cardio element promotes fat burning, making it a fantastic addition to your belly fat-busting routine.
"Stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Then, take a big step forward with your right foot, and plant it on the floor. Bend your front and back knees to lower down into the lunge, then jump up explosively, switch legs midair, and land softly into a lunge with your left foot forward and right foot back. Alternate with each jump. Make sure you stay controlled with any plyometric movements, and land lightly to avoid overtaxing your knees," says Meier.
Dumbbell Renegade Rows
Renegade rows are a game-changer for targeting the core and obliques. Adding dumbbells to the mix works your upper body and forces your core to stabilize, contributing to a slimmer waistline. This exercise is a must if your goal is a stronger, leaner midsection.
"Start in a high plank position—ankles, hips, and shoulders aligned—with a dumbbell in each hand," Meier explains. "Keep your body stable as you row one of the dumbbells up to your hip, then lower it back to the floor. Repeat with the opposite arm, and alternate with each rep. Maintain a straight line with your body throughout the movement. If performing this movement in a full plank is too difficult, try performing it from your knees or on an incline to make it less difficult."
Alternating Toe Touches
Alternating toe touches are fantastic for working the obliques and tightening your core since they target those hard-to-reach areas around your waist. Plus, the rhythmic motion adds a cardio component, making it an effective move for burning belly fat and strengthening your core.
Meier tells us, "Lie on a mat with your legs extended and arms reaching straight overhead. Engage your core to lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously to touch your left foot (or as close as you can get). Lower your leg and arm back down, then alternate sides with the next rep. Continue to alternate with each rep. Move slowly and with control to keep the tension on your abs throughout this exercise."
Kettlebell swings are a classic HIIT movement for good reason. They engage your entire body, focusing on the posterior chain (backside), including the core. The explosive hip hinge movement burns calories and elevates your metabolism, contributing to belly fat loss.
"Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell by the handle with both hands," says Meier. "Slightly bend your knees, and hinge at the hips, letting the kettlebell swing back slightly through your legs. Drive your hips forward to bring the kettlebell up to about shoulder height. During this movement, don't let the kettlebell swing too far back, and make sure you also engage your shoulders to control the kettlebell at the top of the movement."