5 Moves to Help You Beat Belly Fat
It’s easy to write off belly fat as a natural state of aging, but don’t be so quick to ignore it. Too much fat in your midsection can be dangerous to your health, leading to larger issues such as cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, colorectal cancer and more. That said, there are ways to slim down your stomach and shape up your core. The key is making some tweaks to your diet and workout routine. These five moves are a great place to start:
- Burpees: High intensity exercises like burpees and sprints have been shown to burn belly fat more efficiently than slow-and-steady workouts. To perform a burpee, stand with feet shoulder width apart. Squat down, place hands on the floor and kick legs out behind you into a pushup position. Hold for three seconds and then jump your feet back to your hands and stand up tall extending your hand straight up. Perform as many you can in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds and repeat for two additional sets. If you want to intensify the exercise, you can jump as you stand back up or do a full pushup instead of a plank.
- Side Planks: Lie on your right side, body straight, with the left leg on top of the right. Prop yourself up on your right forearm so your body forms a straight diagonal line from your head to your toes. Hold for as long as possible (aim for 60 seconds) and repeat five times on each side.
- Boat Pose: Begin in a seated position with legs outstretched in front of you and back straight. Raise legs up while leaning back until your body creates a “V” shape. Extend arms in front of you with palms up to intensify the stretch, or grip your legs for added stability. Hold for 20 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds Repeat up to five times.
- Lunges: Stand tall with shoulders back and chin up, then step forward with right leg until your knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. Your knee should not be ahead of your ankle. Now lunge forward with your left leg and continue moving forward, alternating steps. Engaging your core and keeping it stationary as you repeat the motion helps strengthen those muscles. At first, hands can remain at your sides, but as you gain strength in your core, feel free to integrate handheld weights or stretch arms overhead for a deeper stretch. Complete 10 lunges on each leg and rest. Repeat two additional sets.
- Kettlebell swings: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a kettlebell in both hands and swing it under you through your legs. Thrust forward with your pelvis and swing the kettlebell to shoulder level. Repeat 10 times and rest. Repeat for two more sets.
Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan