If you're like me and many of my clients who want to burn belly fat, you may plan to work out on a given day with the best intentions. You have your routine all planned out with a belly fat-melting workout, your schedule is lined up, and you're set to go. However, by the time it's noon, your day has been torpedoed by meetings, family obligations, unexpected chores, or any number of other factors that prevent you from hitting your exercises as planned. We've all been there, and we all get it. If this story rings true to you, it's time to consider the best morning workouts for belly fat loss.
Working out first thing in the morning offers multiple advantages over pushing it off until the evening. These include feeling energized, a sense of accomplishment early on in your day, and setting the stage for an overall healthy lifestyle. That being said, the biggest benefit of morning workouts is by far the fact that nothing else in your day can take your workout away once it's done. Come whatever may, you've put in the hard work, and your body's fat-burning machine has been activated.
The following are my top five morning workouts for belly fat loss. Each workout has its own specific focus, including direct core training days, HIIT routine days, and strength training. The full routine will get you through each day of the week with a solid foundation, addressing every aspect of fitness you need to absolutely torch your belly fat and transform your physique. Be sure to take at least two days off. If you find the routine overwhelming, skip workout #4, and take an extra day of rest.
Whatever you do, don't cancel out your workouts by eating junk food throughout the day. A healthy diet combined with your workout routine is by far the best way to get top-notch belly fat reduction results.
So keep reading to learn all about the five best morning workouts for belly fat loss. And when you're finished, don't miss out on The Only 5 Yoga Exercises You Need To Shrink Your Belly.
Workout 1: Core Kickoff
1. Bicycle Crunches (3 sets of 15 reps per side)
Bicycle crunches are an excellent way to engage both the rectus abdominis and the obliques simultaneously. The twisting motion provides a comprehensive core workout.
To perform bicycle crunches, lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your legs lifted off the ground. Bring your right elbow toward your left knee while extending the right leg out. Swiftly switch to the other side, bringing the left elbow toward the right knee. Continue alternating sides in a pedaling motion. Repeat for the target repetitions.
2. Planks (3 sets of 20 seconds)
Holding a plank is an isometric exercise that strengthens the entire core, including the rectus abdominis, obliques, and lower back muscles.
To perform a plank, start in a forearm position with your elbows under shoulders. Engage your core, and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels. Keep the hips aligned, and don't let them sag or lift too high. Breathe evenly throughout the hold. Repeat for the target time.
3. Russian Twists (3 sets of 20 reps)
This exercise is particularly effective for the obliques, giving a toned appearance to the sides of the abdomen.
To perform Russian twists, sit on the floor, leaning back slightly, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Hold your hands together in front of you. Rotate your torso to the right, and touch the ground beside you. Rotate back to the center and then to the left side. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Workout 2: Fat-Burning Fusion
1. Jump Squats (3 sets of 12 reps)
Jump squats are a plyometric exercise that boosts your heart rate while working the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. The explosive movement also engages the core for stability.
To perform jump squats, start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Engage your core, and push through the full foot to jump upward. Land softly, absorbing the impact by going back into the squat position. Immediately jump again. Repeat for the target repetitions.
2. Pushups (3 sets of 10 reps)
Pushups not only work the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but they also require core engagement for stabilization.
To perform pushups, begin in a plank position with your hands under your shoulders. Engage your core, and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels. Lower yourself by bending the elbows until your chest is about an inch from the ground. Push evenly through both hands to return to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.
3. Burpees (3 sets of 8 reps)
Burpees are a full-body exercise that elevates the heart rate, promoting fat burn. They work the chest, legs, and core.
To perform burpees, start in a standing position. Drop into a squat position, and place your hands on the ground. Kick your feet back into a plank position. Jump your feet back toward your hands, and then leap up into the air. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Workout 3: Strength Surge
1. Barbell Back Squats (3 sets of 12 reps)
Barbell back squats are a compound exercise that engages the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. The added weight increases calorie burn.
To perform barbell back squats, position a barbell at shoulder level on a squat rack. If available, set the safety pins just above waist level. Step under the bar, place it on your upper back, and lift it off the rack. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and descend into a squat, pushing through the full foot. Return to the starting position. Repeat for target repetitions.
2. Lunges (3 sets of 10 reps each leg)
Lunges target the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. They also require balance, which activates the core muscles.
To perform lunges, start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Take a step forward with your right leg, and lower into a lunge. Rotate your left foot inward slightly as you lower your left knee for optimal biomechanics. Push through the full foot of the right leg to return to the starting position. Repeat with the left leg. Repeat for the target repetitions.
3. Dumbbell Rows (3 sets of 12 reps per side)
Dumbbell rows target the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and biceps. They also engage the core for stability. Visualize crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades.
To perform dumbbell rows, stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Bend at the hips, and place your left hand on a bench or table for support. Pull the dumbbell up to your hip, keeping the elbow close to the body and squeezing at the top. Lower the dumbbell back down without fully extending the arm. Repeat for the target repetitions, then switch sides.
Workout 4: High-Intensity Interval Blast
1. Jumping Jacks (3 sets of 30 seconds)
Jumping jacks are a full-body cardio exercise that elevates the heart rate, promoting fat burn throughout the day.
To perform jumping jacks, begin in a standing position with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Jump your feet out to the sides, and simultaneously raise your arms overhead. Quickly jump back to the starting position, bringing your arms back to your sides. Continue in a rapid, rhythmic motion. Repeat for the target time.
2. High Knees (3 sets of 30 seconds)
High knees are a great cardio move that also targets the core, especially the lower rectus abdominis.
To perform high knees, start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart. Quickly drive your right knee toward your chest, then swiftly switch to the left knee. Continue alternating legs, pumping your arms in rhythm. Engage your core, and keep a brisk pace. Repeat for the target time.
3. Skaters (3 sets of 30 seconds)
Skaters work on the legs and the obliques, giving a toned appearance to the sides of the abdomen while also providing a cardiovascular benefit.
To perform skaters, begin in a standing position, and take a leap to the right, landing on your right foot. Simultaneously swing your left foot behind the right leg, and swing your left arm across the body. Push off with your right foot, and leap to the left, switching the positions of your legs and arms. Continue to alternate sides in a fluid motion. Repeat for the target time.
Workout 5: Total-Body Burnout
1. Squat to Press (3 sets of 12 reps)
The last of these morning workouts for belly fat loss is all about total-body burnout. It begins with the squat to press. This compound move engages the legs, core, and shoulders, offering a full-body workout.
To perform a squat to press, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Lower into a squat, pushing through the full foot. As you stand up, press the dumbbells overhead. Lower the dumbbell back to shoulder height as you return to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.
2. Renegade Rows (3 sets of 8 reps per side)
Renegade rows are a compound movement that engages the back, biceps, and core, providing a comprehensive upper body workout. Visualize crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you row.
To perform renegade rows, begin in a plank position holding a dumbbell in each hand. Row the right dumbbell to your hip while balancing on the left dumbbell. Avoid shrugging throughout the range of motion. Lower the dumbbell back to the ground. Repeat on the left side. Continue alternating for the target repetitions.
3. Dumbbell Cleans (3 sets of 10 reps)
Dumbbell cleans are a dynamic full-body movement that targets the legs, back, and shoulders while also challenging coordination.
To perform dumbbell cleans, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs. Lower into a half squat, and then explosively stand up, using the momentum to pull the dumbbells up to shoulder height. Rotate your wrists, and catch the dumbbells at shoulder height in a front rack position. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position in a controlled manner. Repeat for the target repetitions.