Losing belly fat can be very challenging for many, it is often the most common goal amongst those getting into fitness. And for many, it is an elusive goal that can be hard to achieve, (however don’t get me wrong not everyone wants to lose weight). Although if you are interested, these 10 best exercises for losing belly fat, will help you achieve your goals.
Why Do People Gain Belly Fat?
Belly fat is a pain, both physically and psychologically.
However, it is also a necessary part of our bodies as it protects our core from bruising and other damage.
But as belly fat increases to excess quantities, it can become overwhelming and disruptive, but understanding why belly fat is gained is imperative to understanding how to lose it.
To give you a better understanding, here are some of the most common reasons why humans gain belly fat.
Are You Overeating?
It can be tough to keep track of all the foods we eat every day, but not impossible. Those looking to lose weight must develop an awareness of what they’re eating, as keeping track of the foods we eat allows us to manage our weight better, thus preventing the gaining of unwanted belly fat.
I too like many suffered greatly from overeating as I would often get distracted because of my surroundings and friends, but about four years ago I realized this was a serious problem that I had to fix.
Taking corrective action I learned how to control my eating and more importantly how to keep track of my calories, both were very important steps that played a significant factor in the amount of fat I lost.
Now it is hard to stop overeating right away. You have to approach it in slow intervals. Just like driving a car, you can’t be going super fast and then all of the sudden slam the brakes, this will most likely result in you crashing.
Yes, Posture Is Important.
Have you checked your posture recently? Well, you should if you haven’t already.
Did you know poor posture is one of the biggest reason for gaining pounds? Knowing how to sit and stand properly is crucial for many reasons.
Not having good posture during our childhood plays a negative impact on our adult lives, one that causes many pains, the most commonly known would be back pain.
However, it is never too late to improve your posture, that is why I strongly advise you to do so. Learn more about how to improve your posture, here.
No Need To Be Stressing So Much.
Everyone has stress in their lives, and nothing in this article is going to change that, but if you can mentally take some of the pressure of yourself it can, in turn, have a positive effect on your physical well-being.
One strategy that has helped reduce my stress would be planning ahead of time. By planning ahead of time, I am able to put my work into small intervals instead of doing it all together.
I started incorporating this strategy my first year in college, I realized that many students would often wait until the very end to study, and end up pulling “all-nighters,” just to “learn,” well that simply isn’t possible, which is why so many students stress out during finals.
By being prepared, I was able to keep my mind clear which allowed me to pay attention to other things like, the foods I was eating, or how active I was throughout the day.
There are many reasons why someone might be stressing, but whenever I run into a stressful time, I encourage myself to ask if it is worth stressing over. If not, I ignore it, and my mind is relieved of an unnecessary stressor.
Like many, I live for happiness, and it is hard to achieve this when we put ourselves in burdens that are beyond our limits.
Weak Metabolisms Are Awful.
I suffer from a poor metabolism. However, I have learned how to optimize it.
I don’t know if it is just me, but I often get jealous when my friends and I go out to eat, and they eat all this fast/junk food but still maintain a flat stomach.
I consider these people who have a high metabolic rate to be lucky, as having a slow metabolism can eventually lead to, if not already, diabetes and more medical concerns.
To make matters worse, our metabolic rates decrease as we become older, this is more common in females than males.
Hormonal changes are more common in women, as they approach the middle years of their beautiful lives, their ratio of belly fat increases compared to body weight.
During the years of menopause, estrogen levels decrease. However, the number of male hormones increase, which can result in gaining fat in the abdominal area.
This is why knowing how to stabilize your hormones is very important.
There are 4 hormones that you must learn to balance:
By harmonizing these hormones, it will help reduce the impacts that getting older will have on your belly fat.
Don’t Forget To Blame Your Genes.
Our genes are what make us different from everyone. This uniqueness is why I take pride in who I am, and as should you.
Unfortunately, though, not everyone will have the ideal genes, or else we would all be perfect, and there is no such thing as a “perfect human.”
Scientists have found that most of the fat cells our body creates is due to our genes. So basically if you descend from an obese or overweight family, the chances of you becoming obese or overweight are the same, but it doesn’t have to be.
I know this may be shocking for some to hear, but it is the cold truth. However, just by reading that don’t get discouraged.
There are many people out there myself included who descend from overweight families, but still manage to defy our odds, and reach the healthy body we desire.
If I can do it, I know you can too. So don’t go around using genetics as an excuse for gaining belly fat, or fat in general.
Now hopefully you have a better understanding as to why you are gaining belly fat in the first place.
Also, I advise you to keep in mind these are just some of the most common reasons as to why you are gaining pounds.
But worry no longer I will now share with you 10 simple exercises that have helped me lose my belly fat.
1. Easy As Taking A Walk.
2. Run, Forrest, Run!
Walking 5000 steps can give you a much-needed push toward losing belly fat, but running can elevate your progress even further.
Running is often overlooked. Many view it as a punishment, or disregard it as an ineffective workout but make no mistake running is critical.
I used to hate running, to me, it is just super annoying. However, being that I played football and wrestling in high school and the fact that my trainer loved to make me run. I soon fell in love with running.
There are two types of running, short distance, and long distance.
A. Short Distance, (Yay).
Short distance running is for those that want to keep the muscle they gain, and still lose the pounds they don’t want.
My trainer would push me in doing short distance cardio because he didn’t want me to lose the muscle I was gaining. Short distance running requires you to push yourself to the end line at a faster rate than long distance running.
One excellent method that my trainer taught me was, doing intervals, from sprint, to jog, and then sprint again. Change speed every 10 yards, and it is ok to start the other way around as well, jog to sprint to jog. Measure out 100 yards of distance, 50 yards is ok if you are a beginner.
Here is a great video that I found, to further explain a similar workout.
B. Long Distance, (Ugh).
Long distance running has always been a pain for me, I never truly enjoyed it, but had plenty of experience with it.
During my time wrestling my coaches would often make all of my teammates as well as me, run one to three miles after practice. To be clear they were not watching us do this, and it was not required. However, I found it in me to run those optional miles, even though it pained me.
Why? Because I wanted to maintain the weight I needed to be, and because I wanted to get better.
Like I mentioned to me it was painful, I would often puke on my runs, but I kept it together and ensured myself that I would complete my run, and not cheat, make excuses, or cut it close.
As months passed, I started running with a friend of mine, who helped push me beyond my limits, as I did the same for him.
There is no real “plan,” for long distance running, start off with running one to two miles, at the pace you are comfortable at. This pace can be jogging speed or fast walking.
Also, I want to emphasize that whatever you do DON’T’ STOP MOVING. This is critical because, the more breaks you take, the faster you will become tired and want to stop running.
I like short distance running more than long distance, but that is not to say that short distance running is better, it depends on what your goal(s) and/or preference(s) are.
However, what does matter is having the right mindset.
Push yourself to achieve your goals, bring along a friend or friends, to encourage you and join you on your expedition to burning fat.
3. Jumping Jacks, Really?
Yes, jumping jacks. Jumping jacks are great for burning fat.
The reason why jumping jacks are more efficient in helping you lose weight is that they are high-intensity cardio exercise. These types of exercises, help burn a significant number of calories at a faster rate, than exercises that build your muscles.
So if you are more interested in a high-intensity exercise rather than growing muscle mass, I would recommend you to incorporate jumping jacks into your cardio workouts.
However, if you want to burn fat while doing jumping jacks, it is important that create a calorie deficit. This is important because it tricks your body into burning the fat it has stored, which will result in you burning more pounds.
For me, my trainer recommended me to cut about 300 to 400 calories for every pound of fat I wanted to lose, for some this may seem like a huge reduction, but it isn’t. It’s as simple as not drinking soda while you eat, or not eating snacks that are heavy in calories.
If you want to know more about how to manage your calories, click here.
Some other exercises that work just as efficiently are:
- Star Jumps
- High Jumper
- Squat Jacks
One jumping jack workout that worked for me was called the Jumping-Jack Pyramid. To begin to start off by doing as many jumping jacks as you can for the next 10 to 15 seconds. Then, rest for another 10 to 15 seconds. Afterward, repeat, do as many jumping jacks as to possibly can, but this time increase the amount of time to 20 to 25 seconds. Follow that with a 20 to 25 seconds of rest. Continue to the same, method but increase the time to 30 to 35 seconds, along with a rest of 30 to 35 seconds. Finally, you have reached the top of the pyramid, and now it is time to go back down. From 35 to 25 to 15, repeat this for five times, however, if you are a beginner try to aim for three sets.
Jumping jacks are easy to do, and to at least me, are fun. They are ideal for me when I want to some cardio, and am running low on time. Jumping jacks are a great exercise that people underestimate, so don’t do that, because the have a lot to offer for someone who wants to lose fat.
4. Oh No! Not Mountain Climbers!
You might think, those mountain climbers are easy, or hard, depending on if you are doing them correctly.
Many people incorporate mountain climbers into their workouts but fail to do them correctly; this may be because they just don’t know how to.
If you are one of those people, check this video out.
I remember, the first time during wrestling when I was called out by one of my coaches for not doing mountain climbers correctly, so you’re not alone if you do them incorrectly in the beginning.
After my coach had called me out in front of the team, he told me the correct way to do them. So I did, and they burned like h*ll. The very first time, it felt like a professional boxer had just punched me in the stomach repeatedly. This feeling hurt, but it also showed that I was burning fat.
Sure my muscles did become sore, but this is normal when you are doing an exercise for the first time or haven’t in a long time. However, my abdominal area was being extremely active, thus burning a lot of the stored fat that I had in my belly.
This exercise has been proven to boost your metabolism and help increase your entire core muscles.
There are different types of mountain climbers you can do, such as:
- Spider Climber
- Diagonal Climber
- Side To Side Climber
However, I just stick to doing the regular mountain climbers exercise.
Every morning I wake up and drink a glass of warm water with lemon. Afterward, I do three sets of twenty mountain climbers. In between each set I take a thirty-second rest. For beginners, it is ok to take one minute of rest. This is great to do in the morning because it gets your metabolism going, so throughout your day you will be burning calories. At the same time, it is an excellent way to wake your body up for the busy day ahead of you.
Mountain climbers are painful, but next exercise is just as painful if not more painful, but it is a very efficient exercise.
5. Please, Not Burpees.
Burpees, to me, are more painful than mountain climbers, but if you want to burn fat it is a must exercise. Burpees are another high-intensity exercise like jumping jacks, and mountain climbers.
What I love the most about the exercise is that it conditions the whole body, it is a great way grow your stamina, endurance, strength, and lose weight.
My trainer loved to make me do burpees like there was no tomorrow. I am going to be truthful with you, I was horrible at burpees, in the beginning, I was slow, weak, and occasionally puking. However, if you are in that situation there is not need to worry, that is normal. Over time, I became more adjusted to the exercise, and now I can do about twenty-five burpees in a minute.
It is crucial you push yourself when doing this exercise, sure it is ok to start off slow in the beginning, but in the long term, this will not yield any results. So aim to go as fast as you can every set, and if it helps bring along a friend for encouragement.
If you don’t know how to do burpees, follow these simple steps.
- The first thing you have to do is get into a squat position with your hands on the floor in front of you.
- Next, kick your feet back and fall to a pushup form.
- (This step is optional, but not required, after you are in pushup position do one pushup.)
- Now it is time to get up and return to the squat position you started with as fast as possible.
- For the best part, jump up as high as you can from your squat position, envision yourself reaching for the stars.
This will get your blood flowing, and make the exercise more efficient. I love doing my burpees in the morning along with my mountain climbers. It is a great way for me to start the day. I do three sets of twenty burpees with a rest of one minute in between. It is ok to start at a lower level like three sets of ten burpees with a rest of one minute. However, once you start to get more used to the exercise, take one day out of the week to do fifty or even one hundred burpees and see how long it takes you, aim to beat your fastest time every time.
Burpees can be exhausting and painful (in a good way) but make no mistake, I don’t hate them and neither should you. They are a great exercise that requires no expensive equipment, all you need is yourself. They have helped me improve as a person overall, not just by losing weight.
6. Yes, Swimming.
I remember my first time in a pool, I almost drowned. It was at a birthday party during my childhood years, I accidentally went into the deep end, and didn’t know how to swim, but as fate would have it, I survived.
From then on to my freshman year of high school I never learned how to swim and was always horrified of the pool. However, my high school made swimming a mandatory part of the curriculum. This ultimately very helpful it allowed me to get rid of my fear of drowning and gave me access a terrific new exercise.
After finishing high school, in college, I would go for a swim in my recreational pool at least two times a week for about an hour. Swimming was a great way for me to burn calories if there was bad weather outside, but for the most part, I would just have a desire to swim.
I usually do five laps, to one end and then work my way back. After I am done with my five laps, I take a small break of about five minutes before doing five laps again, and I continue this process until it has been about forty minutes to an hour.
I realize not everyone has a pool in their backyard, but most people have access to a pool whether they realize it or not. There are many recreational pools out there open to the public. Some schools often open themselves up to the public, like mine. And if all that fails, hopefully, one of your friends is kind enough to let you go for a swim in their pool occasionally.
How ironic, something that once almost killed me has become one of my healthiest activities, but it is true. My favorite part about swimming is that you don’t need to be an expert or an Olympian swimmer, anyone can go to a pool and get an efficient swimming workout.
7. Do You Like To Bike?
Ever since I was a young boy, biking has been a personal favorite of mine. But like most children at the time, I did simply out of desire and didn’t know how great it could be for my health.
My mom always encouraged me to get out of the house and ride my bike, and it’s one of the best things she could have ever made me do.
Then when I was a freshman in high school playing football, we would have training camp in the summer. I was too young to drive to school, and my parents worked so couldn’t drop me off. So I looked to biking to get me where I needed to go.
I would ride my bike to and from practice, giving me an extra workout even when I didn’t want it. Needless to say, the bike ride back after a full practice was the worst. At the same time, what made my journey more enjoyable was the fact that I wasn’t alone. A lot of my friends were also in the same situation, so we decided to bike to practice together, this was a great experience it brought us closer and provided extra exercise as an advantage.
Now that I am done with school, and spring has approached, it is biking season. I go out and bike for at least an hour, I love it.
I usually go on different trails around my town, lengthening from one mile to five miles. You don’t have to do that much biking if you don’t have the time to, but aim to bike at least thirty minutes every day, and you soon start to reap the effects.
Biking helps me get my mind off things that I might be stressing about. It also helps me explore, learn new things, and meet new people.
Biking is going to be the only exercise that requires a form of equipment, a bike. Even though it requires you to have a bike, you can easily ask to borrow a friends bike or buy one from a yard sale. Just go out there on a beautiful day feel the wind blow into your face, and enjoy the benefits of biking.
8. How Long Can You Hold That Plank?
What are planks? Planking is a deceptively simple exercise, but make no mistake it is harder than it looks. The good news is that once you have practiced the art of planking, the general pain that comes along with first time planking is gone, and planking can become a relaxing yet still effective exercise.
Planking can become so relaxing that you don’t even need to set aside workout time to perform it. Planking can be seamlessly incorporated into your free time.
Watching the NBA finals this weekend? (Doesn’t have to be the NBA finals, it can be whenever you are watching tv).
Get off the couch and onto the floor and burn fat in between commercials. Or better yet, hold a plank the whole game, getting lost in the basketball action will help you forget you are even performing a workout. You will be burning belly fat without even noticing.
That is my challenge to you, think you can handle it?
I was first introduced to planking in elementary school gym class, like many, and it was awful. Nothing was relaxing about my stubby prepubescent body collapsing under the weight of basically nothing. As agonizing as it was at first, it was only the beginning. For the next seven years, they never let us off the hook, and planking was a part of every gym class.
However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as every class it got easier until it felt like I was doing nothing at all. By high school no one was intimidated by planking, it became the most natural part of gym class warm-ups.
Now planking is a personal favorite of mine. It is one of the easiest exercises to perform, and every plank can help you strength your core and burn belly fat.
9. Crunches, The Right Way.
One of the more traditional exercises that target the belly is the crunch. Alongside the “sit-up,” we have always turned to the crunch to burn fat and tighten our cores. Crunches are actually one of the most effective fat burning exercises, and there are several varieties of crunches to help you.
Crunches can be ineffective if performed improperly. I used to do crunches the wrong way, and it caused a lot of pain to my neck and back, but once I perfected my crunching technique, they went from being a detriment in my workout to being a centerpiece to my workout.
To do a proper crunch lie down with your feet up so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle to your body. Cross your hands in front of your chest, and make sure there is space between your chin and chest. Then sit up until your chest touches your knees and then slowly come back down and repeat. It is vital that you inhale as you come down and exhale when you come up. Never forget to breathe in any workout.
On top of the conventional crunch, there is a variety of crunch variations that can target specific parts of your body. Whether you are looking to burn fat or tighten up, stay open to crunches and its many variations. If you are interested in learning about the many different types of crunches, click here.
Many people might look at crunches as not being a useful exercise in losing weight, but it is. By doing it the right way, you will burn a lot of calories. There is a reason why when done correctly; crunches are one of the most efficient exercise to burn fat.
10. Do Some Yoga.
Finally, we have the most sophisticated method to burning belly fat, and it is not just an exercise, it is an artform. Like myself, yoga originates from India, but throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century, it has taken the western world by storm.
Not only can yoga help you burn belly fat, but it is also an emotional and spiritual exercise with countless benefits to your mind and body. Doing regular yoga will improve your flexibility, reduce your risk of injury, and increase your energy and vitality.
However, for those looking to lose belly fat one of the most noteworthy side effects of yoga is how it can balance your metabolism. As we mentioned before, your metabolism is one of the key factors in how much fat your body will retain and yoga can get you on the right side of a healthy metabolism.
I incorporated yoga into my everyday life, every Saturday and Sunday are my relaxation days. Being said, in the morning I do yoga for about thirty to sixty minutes, and I feel great afterward. This has allowed me to have a philosophical perspective and not have to stress as much, at the same time it is burning calories.
Here are some great yoga poses that you must try.
It would be impossible to outline the techniques and routines of yoga in this one section. Yoga could be the focus of its own or series of articles. However, if you are looking to find out more about Yoga, click here.
More people need to start doing yoga, as it is something that is often underrated by many. Now you know the importance of yoga and how great it is for the body overall, make sure to sign up for a local yoga class next time you see that poster.
Wrap it up.
With summer officially approaching the time has come for you to start to eliminate all that unwanted belly fat. Whether you are looking to become more comfortable in your skin or making striking impressions on members of the opposing, or same, sex take advantage of these exercises you have access to.
Whether you are looking to become more comfortable in your skin or making striking impressions on members of the opposing, or same, sex take advantage of these exercises you have access to.
Now go out there start incorporating these exercises into your lives. Also, I don’t want to hear any excuses anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
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