10 Best Exercises to Burn Belly Fat Fast (Done at Home)

If you’re looking for the best exercises to burn belly fat, then you’ve come to the right place. Belly fat can be the most frustrating area to lose stubborn fat, and it seems like it’s always the last to go.

It’s frustrating to figure out what exercises really work for losing belly fat. Sit-ups and crunches only add muscle to your abdominals, but they won’t burn off your belly fat since spot reduction doesn’t work very well.

Doing more cardio, like walking and jogging around the neighborhood, isn’t going to get you the fast results you want. If you want to lose belly fat fast, then you’ll need to “level up” with the exercises below.

In my nearly 20 years as a personal trainer, I’ve compiled this list of the most effective exercises for losing belly fat. So, keep going to discover the top 10 best exercises you can do today to burn your belly fat the fastest.

How to Burn Belly Fat With Exercise

exercises that burn stomach fat before after

Belly fat can not only make anyone feel self-conscious, but it’s also linked to serious chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.1,2,3 So getting rid of it isn’t just for looks and vanity, but it’s also critical for your health too.

Spot reduction training is when you try to lose fat in certain areas of your body by exercising them. For example, if you want to lose belly fat, most try to just do more sit-ups and crunches.

But this method doesn’t work very well at all, and just doing sit-ups every day isn’t going to get you the quick results you want. You can still do ab workouts to help tone up your stomach area, but you shouldn’t expect the excess fat to come off your abs by doing them.

This study found that six weeks of abdominal training had no effect on waist circumference or the amount of fat in the participants’ abs.4 Another study found that regular cardio exercise produced the most reductions in stomach fat, but higher intensity exercise offered superior results.5

You’ll need to use more effective methods to burn the fat off your belly. You’ll get the best and fastest results by using a combination of higher-intensity exercises with area-focused strength training.

To burn belly fat, you’re going to have to do three things:

  1. Put your body into an energy deficit
  2. Increase total body fat-burning
  3. Use specific & effective exercises to tone up the area

Why It’s So Hard to Lose Belly Fat

why is it so hard to lose belly fat

There are different kinds of belly fat, known as subcutaneous and visceral. You’ll usually lose the visceral fat before the subcutaneous fat.

Subcutaneous fat is fat right underneath your skin that you can pinch with your fingers. Visceral belly fat is the deep fat that builds up around your stomach and organs. This is the dangerous kind linked to heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

Men tend to have higher amounts of deep visceral belly fat than women (the beer belly). Women tend to have more subcutaneous fat, especially in the menopausal belly, caused by hormonal changes in the body.6

If you can pinch your belly fat between your fingers and “roll it”, then that’s the less dangerous subcutaneous fat. But if you have a more rounded protruding belly that can’t be pinched with your fingers, then this is a sign of deep visceral fat.

Most people aren’t able to burn stomach fat because they’re just focused on weight loss (and not fat loss). If you just lose weight, you could also be losing muscle mass, which won’t change your body fat composition (muscle-to-fat ratio).7

This can result in you losing some weight, but you’ll still be stuck with the flabby stomach fat. This is why some people can appear to be skinny, but they still have a pot belly.8 You want to lose excess fat while maintaining and/or building some muscle too.

Improving your body composition by reducing your total body fat percentage is key. This will prevent the “skinny fat syndrome” while reducing belly fat and toning your whole body (including your stomach area).

Weight loss will only get you part of the way, but it’s not going to be the solution to losing those last stubborn pounds of fat. You need to lose excess fat while strengthening your body and abdominal area with the best training exercises.

The Exercise That Burns the Most Belly Fat

burn stomach fat exercises

The number one exercise to lose belly fat the fastest is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Studies have found it’s more effective for fat burning around the abdominal area.9 It will also increase your heart rate which boosts your overall fat-burning.

This meta-analysis in the Journal of Obesity found that High-Intensity Interval Training was more effective for losing belly fat.10 The exercises below are effective at burning stomach fat as they cause an Afterburn Effect on your body.

The Afterburn Effect is when your body continues to keep burning fat well after you finish the workout. This will allow you to burn more fat not only off your belly but from the rest of your body as well.

It’s known as EPOC or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. Your metabolism gets a boost as your body uses up more oxygen to bring itself back to its pre-exercise state. One study found that it can cause your body to burn fat up to 48 hours after you finish your workout.10

Slow-go traditional cardio isn’t the best method for burning off belly fat. While walking is better than sitting all day, it’s hardly the most effective for getting fast results. You’d have to walk for hours per day for many weeks to really see your waistline slimming down.

If you only have 20 or 30 minutes to work out, then go with HIIT exercises. They’ll give you the biggest bang for your buck for combining fat-burning and lean muscle-building. Plus, they’ll create an Afterburn Effect so your body can keep burning fat for hours after you’ve finished working out.

Make sure you stay consistent with the exercises below to keep your belly fat off. This study found those who kept exercising better were prevented from regaining the belly fat that they had lost.11 Consistency is key!

With the exercises below, you’ll notice they use weight resistance combined with cardio. You’ll be challenging multiple muscle groups in your body while elevating your heart rate. This creates the optimal fat-burning condition in not only your abs but your entire body.

10 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat

The belly fat burning exercises below use a combination of:

  • Resistance Training
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Abdominal training

HIIT is essentially a combination of resistance training and cardio. But the “secret sauce” is to also use exercises that involve abdominal training. This creates the ideal combination for not only fat burning but also for toning the abdominal core area.

Burpee Presses

burpee presses
  1. Begin the standing position. Squat down until your hand touches the floor in front of your toes.
  2. Shoot your feet back rapidly from the push-up position as you bring your chest to the ground.
  3. Press yourself back up while rapidly shooting your knees back up to the starting position. Then, jump up and press the dumbbells over your head.

Kettlebell Swings

kettlebell swings
  1. Grab a kettlebell that is a challenging weight for you, and place it between your legs about where your toes are. Squat down, grab the kettlebell, and lift it up off the floor. Bring it into the standing position, keeping your back straight at all times.
  2. Then slightly lean forward until your upper body reaches a 45° angle. Then rapidly shoot your hips forward to propel the kettlebell up. As the kettlebell begins to come back down keep your back straight, abs tight, and repeat the process.
  3. If you don’t have a kettlebell then you can use a heavy dumbbell instead. Hold it from one end and swing it the same as you would the kettlebell.

Squat Thrusts

squat thrusts
  1. Start off in the push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and your body straight with your abs tight.
  2. Rapidly shoot your knees forward until they nearly reach your elbows. Then shoot your feet rapidly back to the starting position. This is one repetition.
  3. You can also use some Valslides or towels underneath your feet for less impact on your joints.

Incline Sprints

treadmill incline sprints
  1. Raise a treadmill to a 20 or 30° angle. Turn up the treadmill until it reaches a level that is about an 8/10 on your difficulty scale.
  2. Sprint on the treadmill for 20 to 40 seconds before grabbing the handrails and lifting yourself off to the side while you rest. When your rest time is over lift yourself back off the sides of the treadmill and began sprinting again.
  3. Be careful with lifting yourself up and down as it could become easy to slip and you could definitely end up injuring yourself.
  4. Better yet you could find a hill outdoors and sprint up that instead. There is a local park near my house I’ll sprint up 10 times as fast as I can. It’s the best belly fat burning workout you could ever get.

Jumping Rope

jumping rope
  1. Find a jump rope that is of adequate length so you don’t end up hitting your feet or shins too easily while jumping.
  2. Jump up off the ground so your feet go 1 to 2 inches into the air. Swing the jump rope around you so clear your feet with each revolution around your body.
  3. Try to go for a minute on with the jumping rope with a minute off for rest.

Dumbbell Punches

dumbbell punches
  1. Grab a pair of light dumbbells and punch them into the air over your head crossing over your body. Keep your abs tight throughout the movement.
  2. You can also find a punching bag and began punching it for rounds of 30 seconds. The work involved with punching a punching bag repeatedly for 30 seconds will be a lot harder than you think.
  3. You’ll be breathing hard and your heart will be racing after a couple of rounds of 30 seconds of punching.

Battling Ropes

battling ropes
  1. Find Battling Ropes that you can anchor to the wall so you can move them up and down rapidly. Although there are many gyms that don’t have Battling Ropes there are more and more today getting them.
  2. My favorite way of using the Battling Ropes is to alternate your arms and to do both together at the same time. Make sure your knees are slightly bent throughout the movement. Bring the ropes from above your shoulder to down by your knee each time.

Clean and Press

dumbbell clean and press
  1. Find either a barbell or pair of dumbbells for this exercise. Start with the bar or dumbbells at your hips and begin to lower it until it reaches right above your knees.
  2. Keep your back straight throughout the movement. Once the bar or dumbbells reach the top, shoot your hips forward to explode your knees back up. Raise your elbows up as the bar or dumbbells reach your shoulder.
  3. Then go ahead and flip your elbows underneath them to catch them. Next press them over your head.
  4. Lower them back down slowly to the starting position and repeat the exercise.

Goblet Squats

goblet squats
  1. Hold a kettlebell from the handles or you can grab a heavy dumbbell from the sides. Place a big medicine ball or a small box right behind you as a marker for how deep you should squat (knee to mid-shin height level).
  2. Keeping your chest high, begin to lower your hips towards the ground in a squatting movement.
  3. Once your hips touch the box or medicine ball begin to stand back up. As you stand back up press the kettlebell or dumbbell over your head.
  4. Then lower it back down to your chest before starting the exercise again.

Cross Body Mountain Climbers

cross body mountain climbers
  1. Start off in the pushup position keeping your back straight and your abs tight like somebody is going to kick you in the stomach.
  2. Begin to bring your right knee towards your left elbow. Then rapidly bring it back to the starting position.
  3. As soon as it reaches the floor immediately move your left knee towards your right elbow. Keep repeating rapidly.

Why You’re Not Losing Belly Fat Even After Exercise

One of the most frustrating parts of exercising is not seeing the results you want. If you’ve been exercising but have not lost any belly fat, then this is the main reason why.

Your diet will also play a major role in losing abdominal fat. There’s a saying amongst us trainers that “you can’t out-train a bad diet.”

To lose excess belly fat, you’re going to have to put your body into an energy deficit.12 Calories are energy, so to lose excess weight and fat, you’ll have to have less calories coming in (and burned off), than you’re consuming.

While exercise does burn calories and fat, it’ll be impossible to get a flat stomach if you’re dumping more calories in your body than you’re burning off. Most women thrive off 1200-1500 calories per day, while men do well off 1600-2000 calories per day.

The best diet method I’ve found for burning stubborn abdominal fat is to combine intermittent fasting and eating low carb.13 This combination puts your body into a fat-burning state since it doesn’t have any incoming calories, sugars, or carbs to use for fuel.

So by fasting and eating low carbs, your body is then forced to start burning fat stores for fuel… your belly fat!

For an effective drink for burning belly fat, take C8-MCTs with your coffee in the morning when fasting. C8-MCTs are the most efficient form of MCTs your body converts into ketones.14 Ketones are a fuel source your body makes from fat stores when it runs out of sugars or carbs. So, by taking C8-MCTs, you can kickstart this ketone production.

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The best exercise for losing belly fat is one that will get your heart rate cranking, uses many muscle groups in your body, and also uses your ab muscles.

Spot reduction exercises aren’t very effective for burning belly fat. Losing weight by doing a cardio workout is better than nothing, but it’ll be tough to get rid of stomach fat quickly. You’ll need High-Intensity Interval Training with full-body movements instead.

How long does it take to get rid of belly fat? There is definitely no real-time you’ll know for sure when you’ll lose this stubborn fat. It’s, without a doubt, the most stubborn and troublesome area to finally get rid of.

If you’re looking to burn belly fat fast, you’ll also have to clean up your diet in addition to doing the exercises you’ll find here. If you’re eating too many junk foods and too many junk calories, then there’s nothing you can do to get rid of your belly fat.

Follow a proper nutrition plan such as the one in the Flat Belly Formula. It contains the nutritional blueprint for losing those last stubborn pounds of fat on your belly.

Don’t be afraid to work hard, and be patient as you trust the process. Sooner or later, you’ll finally burn off your belly fat for good. Following a proven diet along with the above exercises will give you the flat stomach you want.