Getting rid of belly fat is one of the most common goals for people regardless of their experience with working out. Whether those reasons be related to looks, or health, it’s a good idea to shrink your midsection. That’s why I compiled a list of exercises to burn belly fat at home that you can use.
By reading this article, you should get a better understanding of the problems with belly fat and how to get rid of it.
Why belly fat is bad for your health
When people talk about belly fat, they normally mean the kind you can see, the subcutaneous layer of fat that sits at the top, right under the skin.
But the real problems come with what’s underneath that.
This fat sits deeper within your belly surrounding your organs. It helps with protecting them, but also is considered “active fat”, and not in a good way.
What is so bad about visceral fat, is that it produces hormones that are linked to increased odds of diseases such as type-II diabetes, cancers, or even a stroke.
Why belly fat is so hard to get rid of
Getting rid of your belly fat is a lot easier said than done.
If it wasn’t so difficult for the average person, then it wouldn’t be such a popular goal.
There are a lot of reasons that contribute to this difficulty.
The first issue you might encounter when you try exercises to burn belly fat at home, is that you can’t actually spot reduce fat.
When you lose fat, it’s going to come from all over your body, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
But knowing this, or perhaps not knowing, creates frustration in people especially, those just starting out with fitness and nutrition.
The next problem is that generally speaking, most people don’t make good food choices. This is shown by the fact that over a third of the people in the United States is obese.
It doesn’t help that processed foods are made to be so delicious and addicting. The problem isn’t avoiding these foods.
It’s ok to indulge in your favorite snack or meal, sometimes.
But, if your diet is predominantly processed foods, your belly fat will likely increase.
Processed foods tend to be high in calories, unhealthy fats, and added sugar.
All of those factors are linked to your body holding more fat in your stomach.
Your body wants belly fat
Another confusing point here, is that your body actually does want some visceral fat.
It serves important for protecting your organs with a nice cushion.
So because of that, your body does want to create belly fat.
By having an overall high body fat percentage, your deep visceral fat will of course increase as well.
The last factor I want to point out that will increase the difficulty of losing belly fat, is stress.
Stress is a likely big component of your daily life. 3 out of 4 adults can say that they feel overly stressed.
And that stress releases a little hormone called cortisol. Cortisol can do negative things like disrupting your sleep patterns or craving unhealthy sugary foods.
You probably won’t be in the mood for exercising either.
Learning to reduce stress will play an important role in your success with getting rid of your belly fat .
How much belly fat you should have
It is also important to know how much belly fat you should have.
Don’t fool yourself by thinking you are fine when you could be overweight.
Don’t trick yourself into thinking you need to lose fat when you could be underweight.
To keep track of where you stand you could consider paying attention to three important metrics.
Your BMI, body fat percentage, and your stomach circumference.
Your bmi, or body mass index, is an extremely general tool to figure out what weight you should be at for your height.
There are some things wrong with using this approach. For example it doesn’t consider how much muscle you have. You could be slim, but because you have a lot of muscle mass, your bmi could categorize you as unhealthy.
Bmi is fine as a starting point to give you a good idea of where you stand.
Body fat percentage
Next, try getting your body fat percentage. There are various methods, but one available to most people that is fairly accurate is using a body fat caliper.
Body fat calipers are relatively easy to use after some brief instruction, but it’s best to get a fitness professional’s help if you are unsure.
Using your body fat percentage will give you a better representation of your body composition and whether you need to gain, lose or maintain fat.
The last method to check belly fat is pretty basic but effective. Get a measuring tape, and wrap it around your waist to measure your waistline.
Just like the methods above, there is a recommended target to hit to stay in a healthy range.
For men that are under 40 inches, for a woman the number is 34.5 inches.
Exercises to burn belly fat at home
Aerobic movements (cardio) have been shown to be most effective at losing weight and body fat.
These high energy exercises can easily and greatly increase your daily activity level thus helping you lose weight.
Jumping jacks can be done with minimal space and are fairly easy for most individuals.
Calories burned per 10 minutes: 90
Equipment needed: none
Jumping rope can be a really intense and yet fun exercise. Different patterns or speed can be played with all while getting a really good sweat in.
It is a classic exercise that you probably see in training montages.
Calories burned per 10 minutes: 170
Equipment needed: jump rope
Mountain climbers need a little more space and demand a lot of body movement and control.
They also burn a lot of calories
Calories burned per 10 minutes: 114
Equipment needed: yoga mat (optional)
Commonly seen in fitness boot camps or sports team training, burpees will make you feel exhausted once you finish. They burn plenty of calories and are a nice power movement.
Calories burned per 10 minutes: 115
Similar to jogging in place. High knees just turn it up a notch. Very space friendly and sweat inducing.
Calories burned per 10 minutes: 70
Equipment needed: none
You might have overlooked this one, but walking is great for losing weight and less intense than the other methods.
Each step is about 0.04 calories burned, if you hit the recommended daily step count of 10,000 steps that would mean an extra 400 calories burned each day!
(Read more: How walking 2 miles a day can help you reduce belly fat. )
I already mentioned that you can’t really spot a reduction. But working your abdominal muscles will help increase how toned your stomach looks and improve the appearance at higher (not too high) body fat levels.
If you are looking for exercises to burn belly fat at home, moving your abs will at least help improve appearance and keep you moving.
Planks are easy. At least for the first few moments.
All you need to do is get into a push up position while resting on your forearms. Hold that pose as long as you can.
You will feel the burn shortly.
Leg lifts are done lying down and only require you to move your lower half.
The movement might seem easy but it’s important to move slowly and controlled to increase the intensity.
Crunches are a classic and you probably did them a lot during gym class.
We are bringing them back here because they are great for targeting your abs.
Butterfly kicks may sound pretty, but they will work for you.
This movement targets your full ab muscles and also can make you sweat, which helps burn calories and belly fat.
The last item on this list of exercises to burn belly fat at home is russian twists.
Now that you have a list of exercises to burn belly fat at home at your disposal, you are ready to go!
If you want to further improve your results, consider trying resistance training too. I have a beginners guide you can get for free here.