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The Best Exercises To Melt Away Your 'Santa Claus' Belly

Try these moves to burn a ton of calories and get leaner during the holidays.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

We all know Santa Claus's trademark appearance: a jolly face, snow-white beard, and, uh, very large belly. But while it looks cute on greeting cards, having a large gut in real life can hurt your overall health. If you want to look and feel your absolute best, it's vital that you melt your belly. So we're here to sleigh the day with the best exercises to lose your large belly. Consider them our Christmas present to you!

With the holidays here—and all that plentiful and tasty food—it's even more important you combat any weight gain with the best methods to get lean. Read on for the best exercises that not only burn a lot of calories, but also target your midsection so you lose your Santa belly while building strong muscles in your entire core. And next up, don't miss The Best Exercises To Get Rid of Holiday Weight Fast, Expert Says.

Reverse Lunges

man demonstrating reverse lunges exercise to lose your large belly

The lunge is one of the best total-body exercises to torch calories and fat. Because you target each leg at a time, it also challenges your stability, which forces your midsection to work harder.

Start this exercise by taking a long step backward—long enough so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom—and pull yourself back up with your forward leg. Repeat on the same leg until you finish all your reps; then switch legs.

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man doing chin-up exercise

This is an amazing move to strengthen your traps, shoulders lats, and arms. To increase your core work, keep your legs completely straight or extend them in front of your body so you make an "L" shape.

Grab a pullup bar with your palms facing away, squeeze your shoulder blades together, pull yourself up, and lead with your chest. If you can't do a bodyweight pullup, wrap an exercise band around the bar and then put one of your knees through the bottom loop so the band supports you throughout the movement.

TRX Pushups

TRX pushups

Regular pushups are already great, but doing them on a suspension trainer adds more instability so your core and shoulder-stabilizing muscles work even harder!

Get in a pushup position with your hands in a TRX about shoulder-width apart. Keep your lower back flat and don't let your hips sag. Lower yourself, and keep your elbows close to your body as you descend. Push up, and repeat.

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Dumbbell Overhead Press

dumbbell overhead press exercise to lose your large belly

Believe it or not, overhead presses work your core tremendously, too! You have to tense your body from the ground up to stabilize yourself and push the weight.

Grab two dumbbells and hold them by your shoulders. Keep your core tight and glutes squeezed, and push the dumbbells directly overhead. At the top, your biceps should be next to your ears. Don't lean back or arch your lower back.


blue stability ball on yoga mat

The last of these exercises to lose your large belly is stir-the-pot. While abs are "made in the kitchen," if you want to show off a six-pack, you still need to target those muscles. And this is one of the simplest and most-effective moves to strengthen your whole core.

Get into a plank position on a stability ball. While keeping your torso still, move your forearms in a circle. Then, switch directions. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and don't let your lower back sag.

Anthony J. Yeung
Anthony J. Yeung, CSCS, is a fitness expert featured in Esquire, GQ, and Men’s Health and the founder of GroomBuilder, the destination for men who want to transform their bodies for their weddings. Join the free 5-day course to burn fat and build muscle for the big day! Read more about Anthony