Perhaps one of the more difficult areas to lose weight is the abdominal area. This includes everything from the hips to your pecs. And it’s also the most overlooked. But even beginners can lose belly fat with the right exercises.
A lot of physical activity throughout the day centers on arms and legs. As a result, it’s much easier to slim these areas down. But if you’re really looking for a strong frame or a beach body, you have to work on your core.
And this is probably one of the reasons why I am still a bit bulbous in the mid-section when my arms, shoulders and upper back are looking far better.
8 Workouts Anyone Can Do to Lose Belly Fat
When you’re a beginner, you don’t want to push yourself too hard. This can lead to a variety of problems ranging from pulling a muscle to passing out. It’s better to ease into a routine and not thrust yourself into one.
You need to find your personal limitations and build a strategy to surpass them.
Let’s look at some of the best, and realistic, workouts beginners can do to lose belly fat.
1. Lying Leg Raise
The lying leg raise is one of the first exercises I started doing back when I weighed 290 pounds. It’s a simple exercise that puts effort into your abdominal muscles just by raising your feet.
I love this workout simply because you can literally do it anywhere at any time. If you’re on break, why not crack out a few reps?
How to Do the Lying Leg Raise
- Lay flat on your back.
- Place your hands underneath the lower portion of your back. I usually place my hands just above the tail bone.
- Lift your feet up slightly from the floor. This is the starting position.
- Slowly raise your feet as high as you can, and then slowly move them back.
- This is one repetition.
Today, I add ankle weights to increase the pressure on my lower abdominal muscles.
Originally, I thought planking was nothing more than a social media meme that made people look like idiots. Imagine my surprise when I found out how easy and effect the exercise variant truly is.
The ideal behind a plank is to put constant strain on the ab muscles to create density. Now, you won’t have a washboard stomach after a month, but you will notice a difference in the composition of your abs.
It was one of my favorite exercises when I started losing the weight.
How to Do the Plank
- Get onto the floor as if you were going to do a push-up.
- Instead of placing your palms on the floor, rest your arms and elbows. Essentially, you want your forearms and biceps to be at a 90 degree angle.
- Keep your body as straight as possible while holding your core up off the floor using your arms and toes.
- Start with 30 second intervals and work your way up over time.
I started at 30 seconds per set until I was reaching in excess of two minutes.
3. Scissor Kick
The scissor kick is similar to the lying leg raise with the exception that you’re moving the legs independent of each other. In essence, you’re creating a scissor motion in mid air.
This is a bit more difficult to do than a lying leg raise, but it’s not overly challenging for beginners. I was able to do them at my fattest.
How to Do the Scissor Kick
- Lay flat on your back.
- Place your hand at the small of your back. Again, I usually place my hands just above the tail bone.
- Lift both feet up off the ground.
- Raise your left foot up.
- Now raise your right foot up while simultaneously bringing your left foot back down.
Like the lying leg raise, I often do these nowadays while wearing ankle weights.
4. Side-to-Side Bends
Bending side to side is a simple exercise that you can do almost anywhere at any time. In this regard, it’s much like stretching and some forms of yoga. It’s all about keeping certain areas flexed for duration instead of repetition.
I often do stretches if nothing more than to try to loosen muscles before playing the Xbox Kinect. That’s because I hurt myself pretty bad from not stretching in the past, and I don’t want a repeat of the experience.
How to Do Side-to-Side Bends
- Stand with your feet at shoulder width.
- Place your right hand on your right hip.
- Raise your left arm above your head.
- Now bend your body to the right as far as you can until you feel the pull on the left area of your waist.
- Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Now do the same for the left side of your core.
This is an ultra-easy exercise, but it can be quite effective. In fact, many body builders and workout enthusiasts will include dumbbells when doing side bends.
Personally, I just love the stretch.
5. Bicycle Kick
Here is another that is kind of related to the lying leg raise and scissor kick. The bicycle kick is effective at working the abs and obliques thanks to its twisting motion. And it’s a personal record I am currently trying to break.
This is a bit more difficult, so don’t fret if you can’t do a lot of reps as a beginner. Start of slow and work your way up. It’s all about getting better with time.
How to Do a Bicycle Kick
- Lay flat on your back.
- Place both hands on the back of your head.
- Raise your feet slightly off of the floor.
- Now bring your right knee up to your chest while moving your left elbow to touch it.
- Lower your right leg back while raising your left knee to your chest. At the same time, touch your right elbow to your left knee.
- This is one repetition
How this burns belly fat is mostly through the strain on your abs for holding your feet up as well as the twisting motion for your obliques.
Swimming is perhaps one of the most effective, zero-impact exercises you can do. Nearly every muscle in your body is working to keep you moving. Not only is it a fun activity, but swimming is also a way to keep yourself from drowning.
The number of calories you’ll burn will vary depending on the activity you’re doing in the water. However, an intense swim will burn more belly fat than the most vigorous jog.
Because of the resistance of water, swimming is good for developing muscle mass as well as improving stamina. In reality, a lot of fighters will train in water to improve speed as well as flexibility.
How to Swim
Most people learn how to basically tread water while in elementary school. But if you don’t know how, I suggest taking classes. Not only may it save your life one day, swimming can be incredibly fun and relaxing at the same time.
7. Walking, Jogging or Running
Another easy activity to lose belly fat is to start walking, jogging or running more. For me, I wasn’t able to jump right into running. Not only was I incredibly out of shape, but I have knee problems.
Start off slow and go for nice brisk walks around the neighborhood. As you start to feel stronger, increase the distance or the time you spend on your feet.
If you’re a desk jockey like myself, get up and walk around the yard every hour or so. It’s a good break, gets you outside and helps the blood flow.
How to Walk, Jog or Run
If you don’t know how to do this by now, I don’t think I can help you.
However, it’s important to point out the importance of footwear. I walked a 5K back when I weighed far too much to push myself that hard. I managed to bust up both feet mostly because of the shoes I was wearing and how hard I pushed myself.
If you have lived a lethargic lifestyle, don’t expect to become a marathon runner or walker right off the bat.
Make sure you have good running shoes!
8. Virtual Smash: Xbox Kinect
This is perhaps one of my favorite activities for burning belly fat. However, you’ll need the Xbox 360 and Kinect. But it’s well worth the investment if you like playing games and working up a sweat.
Virtual Smash is a “Gym Game” within the “Your Shape: Fitness Evolved” title. It focuses on breaking blocks by using your fists and legs. It’s heavy on twisting and will put your core through the wringer.
How to Do It:
Blocks that appear high on the left need to be broken with your right hand. If they are low, you need to break them with your right leg. If the blocks are on the right, you use your left limbs.
The point is to rack up as many points as possible within 60 seconds.
I will play five games each at easy, normal and hard difficulties. This means I’ll play 15 rounds inside of about 25 minutes. By then end, I am a sweaty mess. And because I use weighted gloves, the workout is even more intense.
The first time I played Virtual Smash with weighted gloves, my abs and obliques felt like they were on fire. Now, it’s one of my favorite games to play for ab work.
If you have access to an Xbox Kinect, I would suggest getting Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. It’s a great game for those who want to gamify fitness. It’s also relatively cheap as not a lot of people appreciate the game as I do.
Other Methods to Lose Belly Fat
So, exercise works great to help burn through the belly fat. But what if you don’t want to commit yourself to nothing but workout routines?
In reality, there are plenty of ways to reduce belly fat outside of lying leg raises, planks or playing the Xbox.
Perhaps the most vital to reducing fat of any kind is monitoring your portion sizes. Too many people are grossly overfed without realizing it.
For instance, did you know that a proper serving size for most meats is around three ounces? No, that 1/2 pound double cheeseburger is not the healthiest thing you can put into your body.
It all boils down to making sure your intake doesn’t surpass your output. Which means if you don’t keep active, you shouldn’t eat more than you need.
Increase Physical Activity
Exercise doesn’t mean you have to stick with a workout routine. In fact, any physical movement is considered exercise. And increasing your movement will benefit losing belly fat.
This can be anything from as simple as spending 30 minutes cleaning house to going out for a night of bowling. Anything that can elevate the heart rate is going to affect belly fat in some way.
Now, certain activities that include the abs will help shred the cellulite faster. However, anything is going to help.
Drink More Water
You can’t go wrong with drinking more water. It’s funny how it’s the one element humans cannot live without, but it’s also one of the most overlooked for health and fitness.
I have a problem remembering to drink more water during the day. Which is why I try to keep a 32oz bottle next to my desk at all times.
Water is vastly important to overall health and can affect everything from how you sleep at night to processing toxins and waste within the body.
There is some debate about how much water a person needs. Some say it’s relative to your weight, which means I would have needed to drink nearly three gallons a day at my heaviest.
Unfortunately, I can’t remember the last time I drank more than 100 ounces of water.
Well, unless I can count coffee as part of my hydration.
Reduce Stress Levels
Stress is a very dangerous aspect of human life. Thousands will die each year because of the side effects. Things like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and heart attacks are common for many.
You need to find a way to relax and eliminate stressful elements from your life. Adapting and being able to handle intense situations with poise and grace will benefit your body.
Personally, I like to meditate. It’s a great way to relax the mind and melt away anxiety.
Another excellent method of reducing stress is through, you guessed it, exercise.
Get More Sleep
Contrary to the belief of some, humans need more than four hours of rest each night. Not only is it beneficial to keep your mind sharp, but it will help manage abdominal fat.
In fact, one study shows how people who get less than five hours a night gain more abdominal fat over time. So staying up late and getting up early is more than likely contributing to your belly fat. 3
Lately, I’ve put in the effort to hit they hay earlier. And I can say I am far more productive on days I get at least seven hours of rest.
You Don’t Have to Live with Belly Fat
It’s possible to have very defined leg muscles and an impressive upper body arrangement while still sporting a barrel gut. In fact, I am one of those people.
I look great from the nipples up and the waist down.
By putting in a bit more effort, you can shed that belly fat to make the whole frame look perfect.
But don’t just think of it as a way to look good. Your core is important in everyday life. And the stronger your core, the easier many tasks become.