At times, losing belly fat and love handles can seem like an impossible task. It can often feel like, no matter what you do, those stubborn fat areas just won’t go away. 

However, you may be operating off of faulty fat-loss principles (1). 

For instance, you may be following some silly diet plan that is guaranteeing you weight loss with just “one simple change!”

In most cases, these “miracle” diet and exercise plans are giving you false hope. From what we currently understand, the only way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit (2). 

This means eating fewer calories than you expend through exercise. Of course, it’s not quite that simple when you dig into the science, but that is the basic principle.

Therefore, if you’re looking to lose weight, you need to critically examine your diet (with the help of your doctor) and figure out where you can cut calories. 

Additionally, you should incorporate some high-intensity exercise that will torch calories every session.

Also, check out:

10 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat

exercises to lose belly fat

In this article, I’ll provide you with the ten best exercises that you can use to burn as many calories as possible during your workouts.

1. Pushup Burpees

Burpees are one of the best exercises around. They work so many muscles and they can help you get a great sweat going. 

Best of all, you don’t need any equipment or a lot of space to perform them!

How to Perform

  • Start standing, with your feet about hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands on the ground and quickly jump your feet backward so that you are in the up phase of a pushup.
  • Then, perform a pushup.
  • Next, jump your feet back toward your hands and stand up to complete the rep.
  • Perform 15 reps per set, for 3 sets per session.

2. Sit-up/ Twists

Sit-up/ Twists

This exercise is an awesome way to mix up your abdominal exercise routine.

How to Perform

  • Begin by extending your arms above your head. Perform a full sit-up from a lying position, twisting your torso and extending your arms out to the sides while raising your legs.
  • Pause briefly at the top of the movement, then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the movement on the opposite side. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.”

3. Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell workouts have become wildly popular over the past few decades. Specifically, kettlebell swings have become a staple exercise in many fitness programs.

This movement is awesome for increasing core strength, explosive power, and total body fitness.

How to Perform

  • Start standing, with your feet about hip-width apart.
  • Grasp the kettlebell with both hands, keeping your knees slightly bent and your back straight.
  • Next, use your glute muscles to swing the weight forward, up to about chest height.
  • Control the swing of the weight as it comes back down, and repeat the swinging motion for 10-12 reps per set. Complete 3 sets per session.

4. Medicine Ball Slams

Medicine ball slams are considered a plyometric exercise. This motion gets the heart pumping and many muscles of the core, legs, and arms working like crazy.

How to Perform

  • In standing, grab a medicine ball with both hands. 
  • Assume a stance in which your feet are slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Next, quickly raise the ball up above your head and, keeping your spine strong and flat, use your whole body to slam the ball into the ground as hard as you can.
  • Pick the ball up and repeat for 10-15 reps per set, for 3 sets per session.
  • NOTE: be sure that you are using a safe medicine ball for this workout. Check that the ball will not bounce back and hit you and that it is appropriate for performing slams.

5. High Knee Jumps

High Knee Jumps

For some people, jumping exercises can cause joint pain and discomfort. So, if you have joint issues, just perform quick squats, but don’t actually leave the ground.

Otherwise, try to perform these tuck jumps with max effort, jumping as high as you can and tucking your knees to your chest at the top of the movement!

How to Perform

  • Start standing, with your feet about hip-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and sit back slightly.
  • Then, quickly jump up as high as you can, tucking your knees to your chest while you’re in the air. 
  • Land softly and repeat, resting as little as possible between reps.
  • Perform 10-15 reps per set for 3 sets per session.

6. Jumping Jacks

Much like the other plyometric exercises on this list, be sure to perform a modified, lower-impact version of this exercise if you have joint issues.

For those who are going for the full version, be ready to get sweaty with this classic exercise!

How to Perform

  • Start standing, with feet about hip-width apart.
  • Then, jump your legs out to the sides as you simultaneously bring your hands together overhead.
  • As soon as you land with wide legs, jump your feet back together and your hands back to your sides.
  • Complete 15-20 reps per set, for 3 sets per session.

7. Hill Sprints/Walks

Walking (and running) is one of the best forms of exercise there is. The benefits we get from walking can be applied to every system in the body.

Better yet, by simply walking on an upward slope, you can burn exponentially more calories during this activity. 

How to Perform

This one doesn’t require much of an explanation. You may choose to walk on a treadmill with an incline, or you may instead elect to go for a walk outside, in a hilly area. 

You have a lot of freedom when it comes to your cardio walking. If you’re just getting started with exercise, I recommend you aim for 30 minutes of walking per session, at least 5 times per week.

8. Plyometric Lunges

Lunges are essentially a single-leg (unilateral) version of squats. Single leg and arm exercises are great to incorporate into your routine because they tend to require high levels of core muscle activation and they can help to address any asymmetries.

How to Perform

  • Start in a staggered stance, with your right leg a foot or two in front of your left. 
  • Next, bend your right knee and attempt to lightly tap your left knee to the ground.
  • Once you’ve reached the bottom of your range, explode upward, jumping into the air as you switch the position of your legs.
  • Land in a lunge with your left leg forward and continue to repeat this pattern for 10-15 reps per set, 3 sets per session.

9. Plyo Squats

Like all of the plyometric exercises on this list, this one will burn tons of calories and set your muscles on fire. Plyo squats are no different than squats, except for the fact that you explode into the air at the top of the motion.

How to Perform

  • Start standing, with your feet about hip-width apart. 
  • Next, squat down by bending your knees and pushing your hips backward, as if you are lowering into a seat.
  • Then, explode upward and jump as high as you can.
  • Land in a squat and repeat for 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

10. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers have become very popular for their ability to provide both a cardio stimulus and a core workout. This exercise is very difficult as it uses tons of muscles in an explosive manner.

How to Perform

  • Start in a pushup position, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your feet close together.
  • Quickly bring your right knee to your chest, then return it to the starting position. 
  • As you return your right foot to the ground, immediately bring your left knee to your chest.
  • Continue in this alternating manner for as many reps as possible in one minute. Repeat 3 times per session.

Putting It All Together

This workout can be used in any way you want! You can pick and choose exercises you like, or perform all of the movements during a single workout. 

Whatever you do, I recommend that you perform an explosive core workout, like the one described above, 2-3 times per week. Get your diet situated, implement this workout into your routine and, over time, you’ll be sure to lose the extra belly fat!

Works Cited

  1. Koliaki, C., Spinos, T., Spinou, Μ., Brinia, Μ. E., Mitsopoulou, D., & Katsilambros, N. (2018). Defining the Optimal Dietary Approach for Safe, Effective and Sustainable Weight Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)6(3), 73.
  2. Cox C. E. (2017). Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance. Diabetes spectrum : a publication of the American Diabetes Association30(3), 157–160.

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