Top 5 Exercises to Lose Stubborn Belly Fat

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Recently, the American Council on Exercise conducted a study at San Diego State University on how to tackle the issue of belly fat. Often at the top of the list when dieters are asked what area of their body they want to work on, getting rid of belly fat has long been an elusive task: after all, you can’t really spot reduce fat.

However, below you will find five of the top exercises that these researchers have pinpointed can aid in losing that pesky belly fat, strengthening your core and giving you the flat or washboard abs you’re after. Do each one in sets of one to three, with 12 to 16 repetitions per set.

1. The Bicycle: Lie on your back, support your head with your hands, and lift your legs up with the knees bent so that they’re perpendicular to the floor. Bring your left elbow towards your right knee as you straighten the other leg. Switch sides, moving in a peddling motion.

2. Captain’s Chair Leg Raises: Stand on a captain’s chair (a rack with padded arms) and hold onto the armrests. Push your body into the back and then raise your knees to your chest, slowly lowering them back down.

3. Exercise Ball Crunches: Press your lower back into an exercise ball and slowly do crunches, keeping the ball steady the entire time. 

4. Vertical Leg Crunches: Lie down with your hands supporting your head. Bring your legs up straight, cross them, and then contract your abdominal muscles, lifting your shoulders off the floor while keeping your legs in a solid, upright position.

5. The Long Arm Crunch: Lie down with your feet flat on the ground. Hold your arms above your head, hands clasped behind it, and raise your shoulders and arms off the floor, lifting from your abdomen. Keep your arms pressed against your ears.

When combined with a healthy diet free of processed foods, these five exercises can give you the stomach you’ve always wanted!