If you want to lose belly fat, you’re not alone, as this is a super-common fitness goal many individuals strive to achieve. WebMD explains that everyone carries around some fat in the belly area, even if you’re sporting abs. But excess visceral fat can have a detrimental impact on your health, as it’s associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, heart disease, colon cancer, and breast cancer. To help you obtain a trim midsection and stay in good health, we’ve rounded up the best exercises to lose five inches of belly fat.
We’re not going to sugarcoat it: The abdominal area can be frustrating and take some time (and patience!) to slim down. But with just the right tips and tricks, you’ll be on the road to success. In order to melt inches off your waistline, you’ll have to stay on top of your exercise regimen, get enough solid sleep, stick to a healthy diet (that includes fiber), and properly manage stress (via WebMD). Placing a major emphasis on aerobic exercise and strength training is key, along with focusing on eating at a calorie deficit.
Many individuals make the common error of only performing cardio and ab exercises, but this isn’t an effective way to lose five inches of belly fat. The goal here is to choose mostly compound movements that engage more muscle groups, are more challenging, and will torch more calories. This will elevate your metabolism, helping you achieve your fat loss goals. And at the end of your strength sessions, you can wrap up with a cardio conditioning exercise.
If you’re not sure which exercises to do, I have you covered. Many of my clients who have lost inches off their waistlines focus on the following exercises, so keep reading to learn more.
The first of these exercises to lose five inches of belly fat is the Trap Bar Deadlift. Begin by positioning yourself in the center of a trap bar. Your feet should be shoulder-width distance apart and your toes should be pointed out straight. Keep your chest tall and your core tight as you hinge your hips back and squat down until you’re able to grab the handles. Lift the bar by driving through your heels, flexing your quads and glutes at the top of the motion. Push your hips back, and squat down until the weights touch the ground before performing another rep. Complete 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps.
Related: The #1 Lower Belly Fat Workout To Do With a Resistance Band
Next up, get ready for Wide Grip Seated Rows. Grab the wide grip attachment on a seated row machine, and firmly place your feet on the footpad. Pull the handle out, and completely straighten your legs. Keep your chest tall, and drive your elbows back toward your hips, squeezing your back and lats hard. Straighten your arms all the way, and get a solid stretch in your shoulder blades before another rep. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps.
Related: The #1 Floor Workout To Get Rid of the Middle-aged Spread
Grab a set of dumbbells for your Dumbbell Walking Lunges, holding one in each hand. To get started, step forward with one leg, and firmly plant your foot on the ground. Then, lower yourself with control into a lunge until your back knee gently graces the floor. Walk forward with the other leg, and repeat the motion. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 12 reps for each leg.
You’ll need to keep those dumbbells for this exercise and lie down on an incline bench. Hold the weights up above your body with your arms completely extended. Pull your shoulder blades back and down into the bench as you lower the dumbbells to your chest. Reap the benefits of a solid chest stretch at the bottom of the motion, then press the weights back up to the position you started in. Make sure to squeeze your upper pecs and triceps at the top. Perform 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps.
Lastly, we’ll finish up this sequence with a cardio conditioning exercise: Rower Intervals. Get on a rowing machine, and warm up for a couple of minutes. Once you’re ready to go, sprint all out for a minute, and see how many meters you can accomplish in that timeframe. Rest for 3 to 5 minutes afterward, then complete another 60-second round, trying to match the same distance as your first sprint. Rinse and repeat for 5 rounds total.
Tim Liu, CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim