Weight Loss

Best Exercises For Reducing Belly Fat At Home And Expert Tips

Reviewed byMerlin Annie Raj, Registered Dietitian
by Charushila Biswas
ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
Best Exercises For Reducing Belly Fat At Home And Expert Tips Hyderabd040-395603080 December 5, 2019

Belly fat is the most unhealthy, stubborn fat. The AARP warns that people with belly fat are at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers (1). That is why you must change your lifestyle and start exercising. Listed below are a few things you can start doing to reduce and manage belly fat.

15 Best Exercises To Get A Flat Belly

*Warm up for 10 minutes before starting these exercises. After your muscles are warmed up, take a 10-second break and start with the following exercises:

1. Lying Leg Raises

Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do
  1. Lie down on a mat. Place your thumbs under your hips, palms flat on the floor. Lift your feet off the floor a little, look up at the ceiling, and engage your core. This is the starting position.
  2. Raise both your legs to 90 degrees and slowly bring them back down.
  3. Right before touching the floor, raise your legs again. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

What Not To Do – Do not place your feet completely on the floor or push your hips up with your hands to lift your legs.

2. Leg In And Out

Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do
  1. Sit on a mat. Place your hands behind you, with the palms flat on the mat. Lift your legs off the floor and lean back a little. This is the starting position.
  2. Tuck both your legs in. Simultaneously, bring your upper body close to your knees.
  3. Go back to the starting position. Do 2 sets of 20 reps.

What Not To Do – Do not place your hands too wide apart at the back.

3. Scissor Kicks

Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do
  1. Lie down on a mat. Place your palms under your hips.
  2. Lift your head, upper back, and legs off the floor. This is the starting position.
  3. Lower your left leg. Just before it touches the floor, lift your left leg and lower your right leg.
  4. Do this 12 times to complete one set. Do 3 sets of 12 reps. Take a 20-second break before moving on to the next exercise

What Not To Do – Do not do this exercise quickly or hold your breath while doing it.

4. Crunches

Target –Lower and upper abs.

How To Do
  1. Lie down on a mat, flex your knees, and place your feet on the floor.
  2. Place a thumb at the back of each ear. Hold the back of your head with the rest of the fingers. Lift your head off the floor. This is the starting position.
  3. Initiate the movement by curling up and trying to reach your knees with your head.
  4. Go back to the starting position.
  5. Make sure you inhale while curling up and exhale while going down. Do 2 sets of 12 reps.

What Not To Do – Do not tuck your chin in.

5. Bicycle Crunches

Target –Upper abs, lower abs, obliques, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do
  1. Lie down on a mat, flex your knees, and lift your feet off the floor.
  2. Place a thumb at the back of each ear. Hold the back of your head with the rest of the fingers. Lift your head off the floor. This is the starting position.
  3. Push your left leg down and extend it straight. Simultaneously, curl up and twist to your right. Try to touch your left elbow with your right knee.
  4. Curl back down and bring your left leg back to the flexed position.
  5. Do the same with the other leg. Do 2 sets of 12 reps. Take a 10-second break before doing the next exercise.

What Not To Do – Do not hasten to complete the sets, and do not tuck your chin in.

6. Half Seated Reverse Crunch

Target – Lower abs, upper abs, and glutes.

How To Do
  1. Sit on a mat, flex your knees, and place your feet flat on the floor. Lean back and support your body on your elbows. This is the starting position.
  2. Lift both your legs off the floor and bring your knees almost close to your nose.
  3. Slowly, bring your legs down to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.

What Not To Do – Do not scrunch your shoulders or curve your lower back too much.

7. Sit-ups

Target – Lower and upper abs.

How To Do
  1. Lie on a mat, flex your knees, and place your heels on the mat. Engage your core and place your hands at the back of your head. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and look at the ceiling. This is the starting position.
  2. Use your core strength to lift your body off the floor and come to a sitting position.
  3. Go back down to the starting position slowly. Do 2 sets of 12 reps.

What Not To Do – Do not get confused between sit-ups and crunches. You need to literally sit up and go back down to the starting position to do sit-ups. Do not bring your elbows close while sitting up.

8. Heel Touch

Target – Obliques and upper abs.

How To Do
  1. Lie down on a mat. Kee your legs flexed, feet wider than shoulder-width apart, and flat. Keep your hands by your side, chin up, shoulders relaxed, and core engaged.
  2. Bend sideways and try to touch your right heel with your right hand.
  3. Bend toward the other side and try to touch your left heel with your left hand.
  4. Do 20 of these to finish one set. Do 3 sets of 20 reps. Take a 20-second break before moving on to the next exercise.

What Not To Do – Do not place your feet too close to your hips.

9. Jackknife Crunch

Target –Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do
  1. Lie down on a mat. Extend your hands over your head. This is the starting position.
  2. Keeping your back and neck in the same line, lift your upper body. Simultaneously, lift both your feet off the floor.
  3. Try touching your knees with your hands.
  4. Get back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.

What Not To Do – Do not rest your head on the floor completely between repetitions.

10. Russian Twist

Target – Obliques, upper abs, lower abs, and glutes.

How To Do
  1. Sit on the mat, lift both your legs, keep your knees flexed, and lean back a little. Join your palms to balance your body. This is the starting position.
  2. Twist your upper body to the left and then to the right.

What Not To Do – Do not hold your breath while doing this exercise.

11. Lying Alternate Toe Taps

Target – Lower abs, upper abs, obliques, and glutes

How To Do
  1. Lie on the mat and lift both your legs. Extend your hand up, lift your head and upper back off the floor, and engage your core. This is the starting position.
  2. Curl up and try to touch your left foot with your right hand.
  3. Curl back down.
  4. Curl up again and try to touch your right foot with your left hand. Do 2 sets of 15 reps.

What Not To Do – Don’t worry if you are not able to touch your foot. Try reaching beyond the knee and as close to the foot as possible.

12. Crossbody Mountain Climbers

Target – Lower abs, upper abs, glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

How To Do
  1. Get into a plank position. Make sure your elbows are directly below your shoulders. Keep your neck, back, and hips in a straight line. Do not pike up and curve down. This is the starting position.
  2. Lift your right foot off the floor, flex your knee and bring it close to the right side of your chest.
  3. Place the right foot back to its starting position. Now, lift your left foot off the floor, flex your knee and bring it close to the left side of your chest.
  4. Speed up and do it as if you are running! Do 2 sets of 25 reps. Take a 20-second break before doing the next exercise.

What Not To Do – Do not place your palms too far away from your body, and do not droop your neck or lower back.

13. Burpees

Target – Full body workout that also targets your abs.

How To Do
  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend your knees and place your hands on the floor. Let’s call this the “frog” position for clarity.
  3. Jump and push both your legs back and get into a plank or push-up position.
  4. Hop and get back to the “frog” position.
  5. Jump vertically and extend your hands above your head.
  6. Land softly on the floor.
  7. Get into the frog position again, then go back to the plank position. Do 3 sets of 8 reps. Take a 10-second break between the sets. Also, take a 20-second break before moving on to the next exercise.

What Not To Do – Do not set unachievable goals. Burpees are tough to do. The number of burpees you do does not matter. What matters is how many you do while maintaining correct posture.

14. Plank

Plank Pinit

Shutterstock

Target – Upper abs, lower abs, shoulders, biceps, and glutes.

How To Do
  1. Kneel down on a mat.
  2. Place your elbows on the mat.
  3. Extend your right leg back, then your left leg.
  4. Keep your neck, back, and hips in the same line. Keep your core engaged.
  5. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds. Do 3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold.

What Not To Do – Do not place your palms far away from your shoulders. Do not droop your lower back or pike it up.

15. Side Plank

Side Plank Pinit

Shutterstock

Target – Abs, shoulders, biceps, and glutes.

How To Do
  1. Get into a side half-lying pose on your right. Place your left foot across the right foot and on the floor.
  2. Place your elbow right below your shoulder and your left hand on your waist.
  3. Lift your pelvis off the floor. Your back should be in line with your neck and head.
  4. To make this a little tough, open your left hand wide.
  5. Hold this pose for 30-60 seconds. Keep breathing.
  6. Lower your body. Take a 10-second break, change sides, and do the same on the other side. One set of this exercise is enough for beginners. You may increase the time and sets as you progress.

What Not To Do – Do not droop your pelvis.

To make it more effective and quick for you, here’s advice from 8 fitness experts. Scroll down!

Helpful Advice By 8 Fitness Experts


Sarah

Sarah Pinit

Doing ab crunches and following a crash diet is not the right way to lose belly fat. If you really want to flaunt a well-toned belly, you have to eat a balanced diet with all the good fats rather than starving yourself.

You should also exercise three to five times a week. Do burpees, side planks, and bicycle crunches.

Sarah: tabatalive.com


Laura London

Laura-London Pinit

To lose belly flab, your go-to exercises should be V-ups, planks, and bicycle crunches.

Laura London: lauralondonfitness.com


Lori L. Shemek

Shemek Pinit

HIIT is highly effective for all over weight loss, particularly removing stubborn belly fat. If you are not eating right, you have reached menopause, or you are not losing weight, you should do these exercises. Don’t let the name scare you as it is you who determines the intensity. It is your perceived exertion that counts.

Lori L. Shemek: drlorishemek.com


Kelly Rennie

Kelly-Rennie Pinit

Practice plank, leg raises, and cross body mountain climbers.

Kelly rennie: busymumfitness.com/


Anthony Trucks

Anthony-Trucks Pinit

Practice hanging bicycles, decline bench sit-ups, and prone slider toe-ins.

Anthony Trucks: truckstraining.com


Lee Brogan

Lee-Brogan Pinit

HIIT sprints work wonders. Also, boxing and Tabata are great for shedding belly fat.

Lee Brogan: gymfreetrainers.com


Doonya

Doonya Pinit

Nothing beats Flick step, sweep, and twist exercises when it comes to losing belly fat.

Doonya: www.doonya.com


Kerry P. Taylor

Kerry P. Taylor Pinit

Try half Turkish get up, ab wheel rollouts, and standing band rotations to get a flat belly you always dreamed of.

Kerry P. Taylor: www.212healthandperformance.com


Last, but not the least, here are some other ways/tips that you may follow to reduce belly fat.

Lifestyle Tips To Reduce Belly Fat

  • Eat Right

Reducing abdominal fat is 80% about eating the right food. Follow a healthy and balanced diet with adequate macro and micronutrients. Most importantly, skip takeaways and fast foods. Eat food prepared at home (2) .

  • Drink Water

Always carry a water bottle, and make sure you keep sipping water throughout the day (3).

  • Short Bursts Of Exercises

According to recent studies, instead of working out for hours or running a few miles, doing short bursts of active exercises is very helpful in reducing stubborn fat (2), (4) .

  • Say No To Sugar

Cut down on sugar to reduce belly fat (5). Use honey or jaggery instead.

  • Reduce Sodium Intake

Consuming a lot of salt causes water retention in the body (6), (7). Reduce your sodium intake to see a difference in your belly fat.

  • Increase Intake Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for the secretion of carnitine, a compound that helps the body convert fat into energy. It also helps block cortisol, a hormone that is secreted by the body under stress (8). A study conducted at Yale University suggests a potential link between spikes in cortisol levels and abdominal fat (9).

  • Consume Fat Burning Foods

You can consume the following foods to burn fat by boosting metabolism.:

    • Garlic: A study conducted on mice found that garlic helped in reducing body weight (10).
    • Ginger: Ginger has been found to reduce feelings of hunger and, thus, have the potential to aid in weight management (11).
    • Cayenne pepper: The capsaicin found in peppers boosted metabolic rate modestly in a study conducted on mice (12).
    • Cinnamon: Cinnamon has the potential to prevent metabolic syndrome, which is often characterized by excess body fat around the waist (13).
  • Include Healthy Fats

Include polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) into your diet. PUFA help reduce inflammation in the body (14), thereby lowering the chances of accumulating abdominal fat.

  • Do Not Skip Breakfast

Many people think that skipping breakfast helps with quick weight loss. On the contrary, skipping breakfast is a major blunder. It increases bloating and pushes your body into starvation mode, a key for abdominal fat gain (15).

  • Get A Good Night’s Sleep

Adequate sleep is very important for weight management. Everyone needs six to eight hours of sleep. According to a recent study, too much sleep or a lack of it can lead to weight gain (16).

Conclusion

Hope you now have a clear idea on what you need to do to reduce belly fat at home. It is tough but not impossible. Follow the experts’ advice, do the exercises, eat right, and you will see a difference in your waistline. Cheers!

16 sources

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Charushila Biswas

Charushila Biswas is a Senior Content Writer and an ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist. She is an alumni of VIT University, Vellore and has worked on transgenic wheat as a part of her Masters dissertation from NRCPB (IARI), New Delhi. After completing her Masters, she developed a passion for nutrition and fitness, which are closely related to human psychology. And that prompted her to author a review article in 2015. She has written over 200 articles on Fitness and Nutrition. In her leisure time, Charushila loves to cook and enjoys mobile photography.