Lose the Hanging Belly Fat and Build Strength and Definitions in Your Core With This Five-move Ab Workouts

Lose side hanging belly fat

This short ab workout will help you lose the hanging belly fat and tone your abs as well as strengthen core muscles.

If you’ve been working to tone up your abs with crunches and sit-ups, some of your abs may need a little more attention.

That’s side abs.

Many popular abs exercises often target the frontal abdominal muscles called, rectus abdominis.

It’s the muscle group that’s responsible for the six-pack abs, and it’s no wonder why a vast majority of ab exercises target the frontal muscles. While working the rectus abdominis is perfectly ok to do, you don’t want to neglect the other parts of the abs that would make up the rest of your core.

Your trunk is actually made up of 5 main abdominal muscles. Of these, three muscles are on the side of your abs, supporting the movement and assisting in posture and core support. It’s also a part of the abs that’s easy to accumulate fat and builds up hanging belly fat.

While you can’t spot reduce the side belly fat, training the side abs can help build definitions that’ll be visible once the fat layer comes off.

Not to mention, working the side oblique muscles can assist with your essential movements like rotating and bending. They are also responsible for keeping the internal abdominal pressure that brings stability to your upper body.

Thankfully, training these oblique muscles is not as complicated as you may think. If you are new to oblique exercises, you can start with this simple five-move side abs workout. When done regularly, it can help reduce your hanging belly fat and tone up the obliques.

Five-Move Ab Workouts to Lose Side-Hanging Belly Fat

Five-Move Ab Workouts to Lose Side-Hanging Belly Fat

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1. Plank

plank - best ab exercise

The traditional plank is an exercise that has stood the test of time. This movement has been popular for decades, and for good reason. Planks help to strengthen the abdominals isometrically and can provide a way to gain a significant level of ab strength.

How to Perform:

  • Start by lying on your stomach.
  • Place your forearms on the ground, with your hands pointed forward.
  • Next, tuck your toes underneath you, with your feet roughly hip-width apart.
  • Lift your body up so that only your forearms and toes are in contact with the ground.
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles and ensure that your back is flat.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can without losing form (aim for 30 seconds and 3 sets).
  • Generally, losing form with the plank includes allowing the back to sag or “piking” your hips up in the air.

2. Side Plank

Side Plank best abs exercises

Much like the traditional plank, the side plank helps to build stability through isometric exercise. However, the side plank tends to emphasize the obliques more than the rectus abdominis. 

How to Perform:

  • Start by lying on your right side, with your right forearm planted flat on the floor.
  • Stack your left foot on top of your right foot and raise your hips off of the ground.
  • At this point, you should essentially have created a straight line from your head down to your feet.
  • Hold this position for as long as you can without losing form (aim for 30 seconds and 3 sets per side).

3. Crunch

Crossed Arm Crunch

Along with pushups, squats, and pull-ups, crunches have been a calisthenic staple for years. This move is simple, yet effective for improving core strength.

How to Perform:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your arms over your chest so that your left hand is on your right shoulder and vice versa.
  • Slowly lift your shoulder blades off of the floor, aiming to “bend” your trunk upward.
  • Next, slowly return to the starting position to complete the repetition.
  • Complete 12-15 reps for 3-5 sets per session.

4. Reverse Crunch

Reverse Crunch abs

As you may have noticed, many abdominal exercises either involve bending the trunk or lifting the legs to stress the core muscles. The reverse crunch is just as it sounds. It is the opposite of a crunch but with the same goal of strengthening the abs.

How to Perform:

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • For some people, it is more comfortable to pad your backside up during this movement with a pillow or with your hands. This is entirely up to you!
  • Lift your feet off of the ground while simultaneously bringing your knees toward your chest and lifting your hips up in the air.
  • Slowly return to the starting position to complete the rep.
  • Repeat this motion for 10-12 reps for 3-5 sets per session.

5. Bear Crawl

Bear Crawl core exercise for six pack abs

Bear crawls are great for both athletes as well as the average client looking to increase total body strength and coordination. Like many of the movements on this list, bear crawls can be modified in a variety of ways. 

In this manner, you can decrease the chances of becoming bored with the movement. Furthermore, varying the bear crawl can also help you to overcome many plateaus that you might reach with bodyweight exercise.

How to Perform:

  • Place both hands and feet on the ground, keeping a slight bend in your knees and elbows.
  • To complete the movement, simply walk forward for 10-15 feet on all fours by alternating arm and leg movements.
    • Aim for 10-12 laps of this distance for 3-5 sets per session.

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Bennett Richardson, DPT, PT, CSCS

Bennett Richardson is a physical therapist and writer out of Pittsburgh, PA. He has maintained certification as a strength and conditioning coach (CSCS) since 2014. He then went on to earn a BS in exercise science and a doctorate degree in physical therapy, both from Slippery Rock University. In his free time, Bennett likes to read and exercise.

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