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Last Updated on December 15, 2020

12 Workouts to Lose Belly Fat Fast At Home

12 Workouts to Lose Belly Fat Fast At Home

One of the most debated questions in the fitness industry is “can we spot reduce fat in a certain area of the body?” The scientific consensus is that it is simply not possible. The body can’t drop body fat in one area but not the other.[1]

So, how can we lose belly fat fast?

The obvious or most common answer is to do a heap of sit-ups and crunches. I will cover my 12 favorite exercises to get the whole body to adapt and drop fat fast from the comfort of your own home! These exercises help us appear leaner in the mid-section as the ab muscles become fuller and draw water into the muscle, making our abs seem larger and our waist leaner.

The human body is extremely intelligent—far more intelligent than we may ever understand. What I have observed over the last 15 years in fitness is the body will adapt extremely fast. It’s always looking to make our everyday tasks more efficient or easier (creating the path of least resistance). This is an inbuilt evolutionary survival mechanism to preserve energy.

This raises the question, what exercises can we do that will force the body to make these adaptions and make sure one of the adaptations is to drop fat rapidly? It’s this answer that is the reason so many people go to the gym and don’t lose any belly fat. If you are going to the gym and doing the standard bench press, bicep curls, and a few squats, losing belly fat does not make you any more efficient at doing these exercises. Hence, a strong man is usually moderately overweight, yet a sprinter is super lean.

If the body does not need to adapt, it simply won’t. So, we can go to the gym for weeks on end and do the wrong exercises but not drop fat, and we lose all motivation very quickly. The exercises that will create the fastest adaption and, therefore, the fastest drop in belly fat are those that require full-body movement.

Let’s look at the average yoga or Pilates instructor. They generally have the smallest, tightest waistlines yet you could argue a yoga class burns fewer calories and is far less intense than a spin class or gym session. But because these forms of movement require moving the whole body, they do appear to transform our shape the fastest! The body finds it very difficult to do twists and turns and move the whole body’s weight if we are carrying excess fat. Therefore, these types of moves are going to yield the fastest returns on our time investment.

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So, I’ve picked a combination of total body movement and ab exercises that you can do at home that can help you lose the largest amount of weight in the least amount of time! Here are 12 workouts to lose belly fat fast.

1. The Loaded Beast Kick Through

The beast kick through gets the full body working together and tests agility, balance, strength, and endurance if you push past 20+ reps! The reason I like this exercise so much is that it requires total core engagement, and the agility work means the body just wants to be lighter and more nimble.

If you play with your speeds and extend pauses at the top of the kick through, it really enhances the mind-body movement control and takes the core work to another level, working not just the abs but the lower back and obliques, too!

Rep range: 3 sets of 25 reps

2. The Reaching Gorilla Crawl

Much like the previous “animal move,” the gorilla crawl gets the whole body moving, which makes your body adapt by getting you lighter to make it easier to do! By adding the reach component, you also engage your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings—all of which get neglected when we only do crunches, leading to imbalances.

Rep range: 3 sets of 30 seconds

3. Leg Raise Variations

The leg raise is my go-to move for really hitting those lower abs, which are hardest to get popping. By working with the different variations, you balance the exercise by bringing the lower back into play again and working the whole core!

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Rep range: 3 sets of 10 high, 10 low, 10 full

4. DB Press V Ups

This dynamic crunch requires a dumbbell, although a full orange juice or water container may be sufficient. With this specialized workout to lose belly fat, you turn an already dynamic full core move in the V up to a whole new level by adding a shoulder press to the top of the move.

Rep range: 3 sets of 8 reps on each side

5. Scorpion Kick Throughs

The scorpion kick through is another animal move that gets you moving the whole body in a wide range of angles and directions. This is one of the best workouts to lose belly fat because it also has a yoga feel to it. It is great for opening the hips while engaging and working the entire core. Again, the body doesn’t want to hold a heap of weight when moving the body in this way!

Rep range: 3 sets of 6 kick throughs each side

6. Boat Pose

The boat pose is one of the toughest yoga poses that you would want to work towards holding for up to a minute as the core develops. You can almost feel the whole core tightening as you hold this pose!

Rep range: 3 sets of 45 seconds

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7. The Lateral Monkey

The lateral monkey requires you to engage your core and upper body to get your legs up and flinging across the floor with finesse. Again, when we start to throw our bodyweight around, the body naturally wants to adapt to make the move easier. These full-body animal movements burn a lot more calories than traditional ab exercises as they continue to gradually burn calories for the hours after the exercise has been completed.

Rep range: 3 sets of 30 seconds

8. Bear Ab Crawl Crunch

This is another animal variation where you add an ab crunch to the dynamic bear crawl movement. This workout helps you lose belly fat by squeezing your core. If you can really squeeze the core and abs tight at the top of the movement, you will enhance the effectiveness of the workout!

Rep range: 3 x sets of 30 seconds

9. The Sliding Glute Bridge

The slide glute bridge requires a hard floor and some nice thick winter socks. But all sliding moves add a whole new tension to the eccentric part of the move. This exercise mainly targets the glutes and lower back. Remember, a tight core requires working the full 360 degrees, not just the 6 abs we see in the mirror.

Rep range: 3 sets of 10 reps

10. The Sliding Ab Crunch

Another sliding move adding a whole new tension to the eccentric part of the ab crunch is the sliding ab crunch. Like most exercises and moves listed here, this workout activates your entire body while focusing on your core.

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Rep range: 3 sets of 12 reps

11. The Sliding Frog Plank

The sliding frog plank is a great workout for losing belly fat that develops your core strength while also developing your agility and mobility. This works by forcing you to balance the compression work (ab crunches) with decompression work (stretching) to create balance in your body.

Rep range: 3 sets of 12 reps

12. Side Plank Yoga Flow

When I did my yoga course, this was one of the main poses that we worked on, and I certainly noticed a tightening and better shape around my obliques and mid-section. The idea behind side plank yoga flow is that it activates your forearms, fingers, and shoulders to take the load off your wrists, allowing you to hold the post for longer.

Rep range: 1 set of 2-minute flow

Final Thoughts

Of course, abs are built in the kitchen, and we need to create a caloric deficit to drop weight around the belly fast! But by combining these full-body movements with ab exercises, we are creating the perfect recipe for great ab shape.

Moreover, these great workouts to lose belly fat force the body to adapt and drop fat so we can move more efficiently. If you want to speed the adaptation—and therefore, fast loss—remember to track each exercise and make sure you progressively increase the load to force change!

More Tips on How to Lose Belly Fat

Featured photo credit: bruce mars via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Dave Nelson

Holistic Performance Coach, Founder of Flow St8 Method

12 Workouts to Lose Belly Fat Fast At Home

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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

How To Workout Without a Gym And Get a Killer Gym Body

How To Workout Without a Gym And Get a Killer Gym Body

As a general rule, everyone wants to have a sexy and strong body, but no one wants to put in the work. We see a whole lot of excuses being thrown around every time fitness is mentioned, and it’s frightening that only about 3% of people in the US subscribe to the healthy living philosophy.[1]

That being said, have you ever stopped to think about why all these people fail to get in shape? Sure, there are some who are lazy, some with legitimate medical issues, and the readily available cheap junk food doesn’t help, but I think there is something more to it.

People are pressed for time, scared, and confused. Yep, it’s as simple as that. Most people either can’t make it to the gym, don’t have a lot of money to drop on long-term membership fees, don’t feel comfortable exercising around others, or they simply don’t even know what to do when they do get to the gym.[2]

Well, with a few useful tricks, some good information, and a bit of determination, you can create all the right conditions for building an impressive physique without ever leaving the house. Here’s a few things to have in mind:

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Fixing your posture and getting limber

The biggest issue most beginners have when they start working out is the fact that their bodies are so used to sitting scrunched up in front of a screen that they have trouble moving around freely. The human body can be amazingly limber and assume all kinds of positions, but for most people, this is going to require extensive work.

Start by gradually improving your posture over a few weeks, using small exercises, more ergonomic furniture, and just being mindful of how you stand, walk, and sit.[3] You can combine this with a short and sweet stretching routine, done about twice a day, to get your body ready to perform the basic exercises correctly.

Learning the basic movements

While there’s a lot of science behind both getting stronger and getting leaner, it can all be boiled down to a few core concepts and a number of the most effective exercises. Here are the best movements for overall development that you’ll need to master (you can find examples of how to perform all the exercises mentioned here on Bodybuilding.com):

  • Squats: the king of all exercises, the squat builds most of your leg muscles with an emphasis on quads and glutes, if you go nice and deep like you should. It can be a good core and thoracic extension exercise if you hold some weight in front of you, as in the Goblet and Zercher squat variations.
  • Lunges: a great exercise for the quads and glutes that also targets the hip extensors. It also teaches you to keep your balance.
  • Pushup variations:[4] the pushup is so versatile that some call it “the poor man’s gym”. The standard close grip pushup works the triceps, front shoulders, and chest, while wider variations put more emphasis on the chest. Raising your legs pushes the focus towards the shoulders and the upper chest, while the handstand pushup is predominantly a shoulder and triceps exercise.
  • Dips: another great exercise for the lower chest and triceps, this is an incredibly fun movement that can slap mass on you quickly when done correctly.
  • Pull-ups and chin-ups: grab a bar, hang from it with arms almost fully stretched out, and then pull yourself up until your chin raises above the bar. This is a fairly straightforward, yet difficult movement that builds a big back, biceps, and forearms. Position your hands facing the head for more bicep activation, and go a bit wider with palms facing away from you to target the lats better.
  • Rows/inverted row: a horizontal pulling motion that will add slabs of meat to your back and while improving that often lagging back head of the shoulder muscle. It even improves posture by strengthening the spinal erectors to an extent. You can bend over with the back straight and row a weight from the ground, with one or both hands, or you can grab the underside of a horizontal bar, feet on the ground, and pull yourself into it.
  • Glute bridges: a great way to really isolate and work the butt. It also gets the hamstrings, which are often neglected by people working out at home.
  • Floor hip extensions: a good addition that also focuses on the glutes and hamstrings, resulting in well-toned and balanced legs.
  • Calf raises: the calf is a small muscle but an important one, especially for the ladies who want to look great in heels. It’s also easy to just throw in at the end of the workout.
  • Planks, leg raises, and ab wheel rollout: of course, the abs need some attention too, but go for planks, hold for time, side planks, hanging or lying leg raises, and ab wheel rollout for the best results.
  • The Superman: the spinal erectors need to be strong if they are to keep your back healthy, balance out those abs, and keep you nice and tight during most of the other exercises on the list, so definitely give this one a go.

Take a few weeks to just get the form down pat on all these movements and make sure that you are doing a full range of motion and slower, deliberate movements. Don’t just bounce all over the place. Establish and build momentum. You can use a good bodyweight strength training program to make sure you hit all the muscles, keep progressing, and get enough time to recover.[5]

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How to progress on bodyweight exercises

Now, if you want to have a great and lean physique — and this goes for ladies as well — you need to build some muscle to give your limbs that lovely shape you are after, before you can lose the excess flab, and expose that Greek statue of a body. Don’t try to combine endurance work with your strength exercises. Focus on building strength with the exercises above and dedicate some time every other day for things like swimming, jumping rope, or cycling to burn some calories and improve your cardio.

Okay, so the main question is, how does one progress on bodyweight exercises, short of gaining more weight to make them more challenging? Well, there’s a few things you can do. The first thing to do to challenge yourself is to add more reps.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that when you can easily perform 15-20 reps of an exercise and still have a few reps left in the tank, it’s time to make it more challenging by doing one of the following:

  • Add an additional set. If you started at 3 sets of 5-6 reps and you’re now comfortable with 3 sets of 15-17 reps, then you can simply throw in a fourth set into the mix.
  • Do it slower. Busting out 20 quick reps isn’t quite the same as doing 10 slow and controlled reps, where you can even add a short pause when your muscles are fully relaxed before contracting them for the next rep.
  • Shorten the rest period between sets. 60-90 seconds is the sweet spot for resting between longer sets of 10-20 reps, but when things get easy, you can shorten this rest period progressively by 10 seconds, until you are only resting about 30-40 seconds between sets, to make it more difficult before moving on to a more challenging variation or adding weight.
  • Move on to a more difficult variation. When you get comfortable, focus on a variation of the movement that provides a bit of a challenge, e.g. one arm on ball pushups and then single arm pushups, pistol squats, and so on.
  • Add some weight. While you might not have access to barbells, you can always get a fairly inexpensive dumbbell set, a few different sized bags filled with sand, a backpack with some rocks, and even big water bottles and milk jugs will do the trick, just as long as you keep adding weight.

Work hard on your form, then try to go as hard as you can each session without overdoing it. I’d say stop a rep short of failure and rest until you feel you can go for another full set.

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Determining the type of cardio you need to do

Cardio is not that difficult to figure out and it basically boils down to a few simple rules, depending on your shape and goals:

  • If you’re skinny and want to get sexy and muscular: Do light and steady cardio, like a brisk walk for an hour, 5-6 minutes of jump rope here and there, or even just 10 minutes of shadow-boxing or dancing every day. Don’t let it cut into your calories too much.
  • If you’re a little overweight and want to lose 10 pounds or less and build muscle: It’s the same as the previous example, just add 2-4 more intense sessions of running, swimming, circuit training a week into the mix to cut the weight first. Revert to the previous example once you have lost the weight and recenter your focus on building muscle.
  • If you’re seriously overweight and your main concern is cutting 20+ pounds: Again, it’s the same as the previous example, only you can go with even more intense workouts, or daily moderate cardio sessions of about 20-30 minutes for a while. Once you’ve lost most of the weight, revert to the previous example, and then to the first example when you’ve shed all the extra pounds you’d like to get rid of.

You can choose any activity that you like, from jump rope, cycling, and swimming to hiking and and other high-cardio sports.

A look at diets and keeping them reasonable

As far as the diet goes we’ll keep it extremely simple:

  • Try to eat diverse vegetables with every meal
  • Eat fruit, seeds, and nuts instead of sweets
  • Go for lean meats instead of processed meat and cooked food instead of fast and fried food
  • Start counting your macro nutrient intake[6]
  • Cheat if you must, but keep these meals small, few, and far between

As long as you can stick with the program for about 80% of the time, you’ll be on your way to better health and an amazing body!

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DIY home gym basics

Some essentials that can help you get better results at home include:

  • A dumbbell set
  • Pull-Up bar
  • Ab wheel
  • Big ol’ sturdy bags filled with sand

You can do tons of great exercises with these simple tools, but if you can’t shell out for them right now, good alternatives include five gallon milk jugs filled with water, a bunch of books stacked in a backpack, using a friend/partner to lay on you, push, or pull to provide extra resistance, or just lifting heavy furniture and moving it around the room.

It pays to be creative. Look at how certain exercises are performed and on what type of equipment, and try to replicate it using household items. For example:

  • Two chairs = dip station
  • Anything that you can hang off = pull up bar
  • A stack of large blankets on the floor = bench
  • Stick and some rope = forearm exercise machine
  • A towel wrapped on a bar or dumbbell grip = thick grip for hand and forearm strength
  • Car = prowler device for pushing to build endurance and power in the legs

It’s all fairly cheap and you can get as creative as you like, just remember to be consistent with your training in order to see the results you wish to see.

All it takes is a little ingenuity and elbow grease, and you’ll set up a decent home “gym” and adopt some great habits along the way. It’s all about being consistent and trying to progress on each session, or at least each week, as you keep adding reps, using more complex movements, and adding weight, all while eating right for your current goals. Give it a shot and always remember, 90% of all this is your commitment and the intensity with which you attack these positive life changes.

Featured photo credit: Minna Hamalainen via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The Atlantic: Study: Less Than 3 Percent of Americans Live a ‘Healthy Lifestyle’
[2] Men’s Fitness: 6 Not-So-Obvious Newbie Training Mistakes
[3] Perfect Postur: Tips for Improving Posture and Ergonomics
[4] Men’s Fitness: The Top 15 Pushup Variations
[5] Men’s Fitness: 6 Bodyweight Workouts That Actually Build Momentum
[6] On the Regimen: How To Count Your Macros – A Comprehensive Guide

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