What exercise burns the most belly fat?
While working out, most people have at least one particular part of their body they wish to improve. For many of us, it is our tummy.
Who does not want to get rid of excess belly fat? Washboard abs and a thin waist are the best proof that you lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
Our appearance and social standards are not the only issues here. In 2020 a study analyzing more than 2 million people’s data was published in British Medical Journal.
The study revealed that with the increase in waist size, the chances of early mortality rise: “analysis indicated that each 10 cm (3.94 inches) increment in waist circumference was associated with an 11% higher risk of all-cause mortality”.
Waistline measurement is considered a better indicator of fat distribution than BMI.
Burning fat – theory
It is necessary to distinguish between two basic body fat types – subcutaneous and visceral.
Subcutaneous fat is located between the skin and the abdominal muscles. Quickly accumulates due to excess calories and an unhealthy diet.
Visually, the excess of subcutaneous fat in the abdomen and sides is noticeable, for example, when a person is sitting.
Subcutaneous fat does not cause any health hazards as long as the total body fat percentage is not exceeded.
Visceral fat, also called abdominal or organ fat, is hidden in the abdominal cavity around the vital organs, causing the belly to spread out, acquiring a rounded shape.
It can squeeze the abdominal cavity’s internal organs, disrupting posture.
This type of fat is metabolically active and interferes with hormones that control mood, appetite, and other functions of our body.
You can burn both types of fat with prolonged low and medium-intensity cardio workouts that fall in the fat-burning zone of the pulse – while maintaining a calorie deficit and following the principles of proper nutrition.
Best exercises to burn belly fat
Let’s get it straight – spot reduction is not an effective strategy. Spot reduction is a targeted exercise to burn fat in specific body areas.
This means daily abs pumping to fight fat in the abdomen is useless. These muscles are too small to support significant calorie burn during exercise and eliminate belly fat.
Unfortunately, we can not choose where we lose fat first, so the goal should be to burn as many calories as possible. These exercises will help you to accomplish this faster :
Cardio training is an effective way to eliminate excess weight and fat reserves. But to start the fat-burning mechanism, you need at least 30-40 minutes of exercise.
Only after this milestone does the body begin to consume the reserves of fat cells.
There are great aerobic cardio exercises like running, walking quickly, swimming, cycling, etc. Just choose the one you enjoy; this will help you stay motivated and stick to the exercise routine better.
It combines the elements of squats, planks, push-ups, and up jumps. When performing Burpee, all body muscle groups are involved, especially the abdomen, legs, and chest muscles.
Since our goal is to involve as many muscles as possible, burpees are an excellent choice for people who want to burn belly fat.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
This approach is based on the alternation of the pace of the exercises. In a high-intensity period, the body works to its limit and spends as much energy as possible.
In low intensity, you can relax, gathering strength for a new cycle.
This type of workout burns fatter than regular cardio. You lose more fat in 20-25 minutes of HIIT than in an hour-long cardio workout.
During strength training, like weight lifting, energy consumption is anaerobic (without oxygen).
The body does not “pull out” fat cells from the reserves; their oxidation does not occur. But here we have an afterburn effect – our body continues to burn calories even after exercise. Weight loss does not happen during training, but after it, during muscle recovery.
Thanks to the formation of lactic acid, muscle fibers are strengthened and increased. This speeds up metabolism. Strength training can help you eliminate fat without losing significant muscle mass.
Just like burpees, mountain climbers are great total body exercises. While doing these, you will utilize your core, shoulder, triceps, and leg muscles.
It is suitable for everyone, from children to bodybuilders. By skipping rope for an hour, you can burn under 1000 calories.
It is also a full-body exercise: you use abdominal muscles to stabilize your body, upper limbs to turn the rope, and lower limbs to jump.
Medicine Ball Slams
There are several types of this exercise. Side-to-side medical ball slams engage your obliques, triceps, shoulders, back, hamstrings, and quads, while overhead slams focus more on your core since more work is being performed against gravity.
The plank is always good to do as a finishing exercise. The plank engages almost all muscle groups to strengthen your abdomen, waist, legs, back, neck, and shoulders.
And finally, do not forget exercises that focus mainly on your abs, like regular crunches, leg raises, and bicycle crunches.
They will not burn much belly fat but strengthen and curve your abdominal muscles.
The complete list of exercises that can help burn abdominal fat is much longer. Direct exercise choice is much less important than the regularity, duration, and intensity of fat-burning training.
Try several of these, choose the exercise that works best for you, and stick to the schedule.
Gvantsa Qvariani is a medical doctor, DTMU graduate, an American MD program based in Georgia. Gvantsa has spent the last 6 years studying and practicing medicine in Georgia and other parts of Europe. She is active in medical researches, scientific conferences, various medical projects and so on. She is specialized in writing medical content based on newest studies from most reliable sources.