If firming your abdomen is on your to-do list, you’re not alone. Getting rid of stubborn belly fat is one of the most common goals for people looking to lose weight and get in shape.
And while targeted fat loss in this area is tricky, you can tighten and tone this area—along with the rest of your body—by exercising and eating a healthy diet.
Belly fat is hard to get rid of
Reducing belly fat is often more difficult than losing inches from other parts of the body, because doing so relies heavily on diet, says Caley Crawford, director of education at Row House.
« We often think that if we do enough sit- ups , we will get a flatter stomach; however, sit-ups are also made in the kitchen ,” says Crawford. ” So, if you want to lose belly fat, it’s crucial that you combine a strong, healthy diet with your exercise routine, ” she says.
You will also have to take into account your age and your genes. According to the Mayo Clinic, they may play a small role in where fat is stored. That’s why following a healthy, balanced diet (with little to no processed carbohydrates) along with your exercise program is critical to getting rid of stubborn belly fat.
Strengthening the whole body will activate your core
While it’s true that core-specific exercises are a good way to engage your abs, performing full-body strength-training moves can help you reach your goal of burning fat faster than focusing on abdominal exercises alone .
« Doing core-focused exercises like squats and flutter kicks are always a great way to get more definition in your abs; however, full-body functional movements strengthen and tone the core just as well ,” says Crawford.
For example, doing a squat engages your quads, but it also involves keeping your core stable, which requires your abdominal muscles to contract. Other exercises, such as lunges, rows, and push-ups, also require the abdominal muscles to work in concert with the other muscles being exercised. So, in short, you continue to exercise for the trunk even if you feel it more in the glutes, back or chest.
Home exercises to eliminate belly fat and strengthen the trunk
This is a core workout that you can do at home or in the gym that includes movements that target your upper and lower body. Crawford says to complete each exercise for the recommended number of reps before moving on to the next. For a complete workout, do three sets. For an added challenge, consider adding a set of dumbbells.
Warm-up: Three to five minutes of rowing without the foot straps (this activates the core even more). Start slow and make sure to keep your toes connected to the footrest. If you don’t have access to a rowing machine, warm up with a stationary bike, treadmill, or walking in place.
1. Dumbbell squat
Stand tall with your feet spread wide and your hips turned slightly outward.
Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest while keeping your elbows close to your body.
Bend at the hips, knees, and ankles to squat down.
Continue until your hips are slightly lower than your knees.
To get up, push your feet toward the ground and return to the starting position.
Complete 10 reps, rest, and repeat for a total of two to three sets.
Start on all fours with your hands on the floor, slightly wider than vertical with your shoulders, but in line with them.
The body should form a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles.
Squeeze your abs to the maximum and keep them tight.
Lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor, making sure your elbows are tucked in close to your torso.
Pause and return to the starting position.
Do 20 repetitions.
3. Elbow-knee side plank
Get into a side plank position. With the forearm resting on the ground.
Then bring the elbow, of the arm that you do not support, to the knee. Then stretch that arm over your head and leg. That’s a repeat.
Do 15 reps on each side.
4. V crunches
Inhale deeply as you lift your chest up and lift your legs off the ground. Keep your gaze forward to help align your body.
The arms should be parallel to the ground. Legs raised and trunk slightly back.
Hold this pose as you inhale and exhale 10 times.
Repeat this pose 5 times with 15 seconds of rest in between.
what you need to know
The exercises listed in this article can help strengthen your core and tone your abs, giving them more definition.
However, it is important to remember that they cannot target fat burning . If you want to lose belly fat, chances are you will also lose fat in other parts of your body.