I see you…
Laying on the dirty gym mat, crunching away with your fingers locked behind your head in an effort to lose belly fat around your mid-section.
And you there, doing hanging knee raises to tone and tighten that lower abdomen that just doesn’t seem to do anything other than hang over your waistband.
As tempting as it is to just live with it, that extra fat around your mid-section is not just subcutaneous fat below your skin, it is also an indicator of visceral fat around your organs.
This dangerous condition can lead to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and premature death.
There is a better way to lose belly fat fast without cranking your neck doing crunches or flailing around on a bar.
Instead of struggling through ineffective ab workouts, give these exercises a try to lose that pooch and work your way to better health.
1. Mountain Climbers
Better than hanging knee raises and more effective than a plank alone, mountain climbers are a total body workout that strengthens your core and busts belly fat.
Start from a plank position, legs straight, arms perpendicular to the floor and alternate moving one knee to your chest then the other.
Not only do your shoulders stabilize your upper body, but your back and belly have to stay engaged in order to perform the movement.
For a variation, try bringing your knee to the side, touching your knee to your elbow, alternating sides. Start with 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest repeated in three sets.
Sure, a front leaning rest plank is more effective than crunches, but poor form will prevent you from seeing the results you are looking for.
Instead, opt for a side plank to work those obliques and perfect your form.
Lay on your side with your elbow bent, parallel to your shoulder.
Stack your feet one on top of the other and raise your hips off of the floor.
Hold for 30 to 45 seconds and then repeat with the other side.
3. Russian Twists
Not only do Russian twists give you the isometric hold of a crunch without cranking on your neck, it gives you the movement you need to work all of your abdominal muscles.
Sit up with your feet flat on the floor.
Lean back and lift your feet off of the floor so your body forms a v-shape.
Holding a medicine ball, twist side to side for 30 seconds or until your form begins to break down.
Rest for 30 seconds and repeat the set twice more.
4. Horizontal Cable Wood Chop
This resistance exercise is an ideal way to work those abs and lose belly fat without getting down on the floor.
Adjust a cable pulley to shoulder height and grab the handle with both hands.
Place your feet perpendicular to the machine and shoulder width apart.
Keeping your arms straight and your core engaged, twist away from the machine like you are shopping down a tree.
Repeat with the other side.
Or forgo the machine and chop down an actual tree!
Either way, the results are the same.
5. Flutter Kicks
There is a reason why flutter kicks are a good ol’ basic training favourite to lose belly fat.
They work both your upper and lower abdominal muscles without straining your back or neck.
Lay flat on the floor with your legs and arms straight, your palms on the floor.
Lift your legs six inches off the ground and scissor kick for 30 seconds.
Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat the set three times.
Gradually work your way up until you can do one minute of flutter kicks at a time then yell “Hoo-hah!” when you’re done!
6. Pull Ups
At first blush, pull ups seem more like an arm and back work out than a workout to lose belly fat.
However, considering the amount of core strength needed to make it up to the bar, there are few ab exercises that can rival what consistent pull ups can do.
**Note: If you are pull up challenged, grab a resistance band for added help until you can crank them out on your own.
7. Up Downs
This move incorporates both an elbow plank, a straight arm plank and the total body workout that comes from moving between them.
Starting from a straight arm plank position, bring your body into an elbow plank by bending one arm at a time.
Once you are planking on your elbows, move back up to the straight arm plank one arm at a time.
Repeat 10 times with each arm, being careful to maintain your form with your belly engaged and your back straight.
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Don’t worry, burpees hate you too!
More precisely, they hate belly fat.
If you haven’t done a burpee before, now is the time to start.
Even 30 burpees a day for 30 days have the power to rev up your metabolism, strengthen your core and burn belly fat.
Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart.
Place your hands on the ground in front of your feet and jump your feet back into the plank position.
Perform a push up with your chest meeting the ground and returning to plank.
Then, jump your feet back to your hands and jump straight in the air.
Repeat in 3 sets of 10, working up to 30 in a row.
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In conclusion: While these exercises will help you lose belly fat fast, it is important to remember that exercise is only half of the equation.
Dialing in your nutrition will also help your body burn stubborn fat in your midsection, making these 8 ab-shredding exercises even more effective!
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