Fat around the midsection can be among the most stubborn areas of the body to burn off. Unfortunately, most of us struggle to one degree or another with burning belly fat. With just the right fitness routine at your fingertips, though, you'll be able to get your midsection into much better shape. Today, I'm walking you through the no-gym workout to melt belly fat.
As a personal trainer working with clients for over a decade, I have seen the difficulty associated with shrinking abdominal fat. From my experience, the best approach to slimming down your midsection involves a combination of a healthy diet focused on a moderate caloric deficit, and full-body workouts that target both your abdominal area to improve muscle tone and the larger muscles in your body to boost overall muscular strength and size while burning calories to assist in maintaining the caloric deficit.
If you are somebody who does not have access to a gym or tends to avoid the weight room, don't worry. There are tons of exercise options available you can do with little-to-no equipment at home, at the park, or wherever you like to get your workouts in.
With that in mind, the following is a great workout to melt stubborn belly fat. For maximal calorie burn, perform the routine as a HIIT-style circuit workout. Do 30 seconds of each exercise followed by 30 seconds of rest. Complete three cycles per exercise, then move to the next exercise.
Alternatively, you can immediately move into the next exercise after the first round of each exercise, and complete three total rounds. You can really mix and match in whatever way is most convenient for you. If you want to target muscle growth instead, complete three sets of 12 repetitions or 30-second holds for each exercise. You can hold dumbbells or other weights for added resistance.
Keep reading for the no-gym workout to melt belly fat, and next, be sure to check out the 7 Exercises That Hit & Tone Your Belly at Every Single Angle.
Planks are a fantastic way to engage your entire core, and they work the transverse abdominis, which is the muscle underneath the rectus abdominis. This muscle is essential for stability and posture.
To perform a plank, start by positioning yourself face-down on the floor, resting on your forearms and toes. Your elbows should align under your shoulders and your forearms should be parallel. Engage your core and glutes, keeping your body in a straight line from head to heels. Maintain this position without allowing your hips to sag or your butt to lift too high for your target time. Think about bringing your lower rib closer to your pelvis to enhance the engagement of your abs. Repeat for the target time.
Bicycle crunches are known for their ability to target both the upper and lower abdominal muscles as well as the obliques.
To perform bicycle crunches, begin by lying on your back, with your hands behind your head and your knees bent. Draw one knee toward your chest as you lift your shoulder blades off the ground and twist to bring your opposite elbow toward that knee. Lower back to the starting position, and then repeat the movement with your other knee and elbow. Make sure to squeeze the end range for about a second to maximize the engagement of your core muscles. Continue alternating sides for your target repetitions/time.
Lunges are a fantastic lower-body exercise that also engages the core for stability. They primarily work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
To perform lunges, stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Take a big step forward with your right foot, and slowly lower your body until your right knee is bent to at least 90 degrees. As you do this, rotate your right foot slightly inward, and lower your left knee. This adjustment can improve your biomechanics and provide stability. Push through your full right foot to return to the starting position. Repeat the process with your left leg stepping forward. Repeat for the target repetitions/time.
Mountain climbers are a cardio-focused exercise that also targets the core, in particular the lower abs. This exercise will help increase your heart rate, allowing for increased fat burn.
To perform mountain climbers, start in a pushup plank position, with your hands under your shoulders. Keeping your core engaged and your back flat, bring your right knee toward your chest. Extend your right leg back to the starting position, then repeat the movement with your left leg. Continue alternating legs for your target repetitions/time, maintaining a steady and controlled pace.
Squats are a comprehensive lower-body exercise that works your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Additionally, maintaining a correct squat position also recruits your core muscles, enhancing overall stability and strength.
To perform a squat, stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward. Keeping your back straight and your chest up, lower your body as if sitting back into a chair. Push through your full foot on both legs without lifting your heels off the ground. Keep lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor or as low as your flexibility allows. Press through your full feet to return to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions/time.
Russian twists are a great exercise for targeting the obliques while also engaging the entire core. This helps to improve your overall balance and rotational strength.
To perform Russian twists, sit on the floor with your knees bent, and pull your abs to your spine. Lean back a few inches while keeping your back straight. Interlace your hands in front of you, and then twist your torso to the right, and then to the left, to complete one rep. You can hold a weighted object for added resistance. Keep your feet flat on the floor, or raise them a few inches off the ground for an added challenge. Repeat for the target repetitions/time.
Next up in this no-gym workout to melt belly fat is the jumping jack. Jumping jacks are a fantastic whole-body exercise that gets your heart rate up fast, which helps in burning calories and fat. They target multiple muscle groups including your deltoids, quadriceps, hip adductors, and abs.
To perform jumping jacks, start by standing upright with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Jump your feet out while raising your arms above your head until your hands nearly touch. Jump again to return to the starting position with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Repeat the movements quickly, maintaining a steady rhythm. Repeat for the target repetitions/time.
Pushups are a classic, yet effective bodyweight exercise that engages your core along with your upper-body muscles, specifically the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
To perform pushups, begin in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your body in a straight line, bend your elbows, and lower your body until your chest is roughly an inch above the ground. Maintain a tight core throughout the movement. Push through your hands, extending your elbows to lift your body back up to the starting position. Be sure not to allow your hips to sag or lift excessively during the movement. As you execute the movement, think of crushing a fruit under each armpit at the end range to fully engage your back muscles. Repeat for the target repetitions/time.