Each and every one of us wants to have a perfect looking belly with a sixpack. Luckily, there are many exercises you can do to achieve this goal.
Before getting to these individual exercises, you need to realize that there are two pillars of getting a sixpack. On the one hand, you need to lose belly fat. The quickest way to achieve this is to do whole-body workouts as these burn the most calories per hour.
Such exercises are covered in the first part of this article.
Then there is the second pillar of the perfect belly – workouts and exercises focused directly on your belly and core area. You need to do these to tone your abs and make them look really sharp! These are covered in the second part of this article.
So, without any further delay, I am presenting you all you need for that perfect belly. It will take some time but you will get there.
LIST OF BEST WHOLE-BODY EXERCISES TO LOSE BELLY FAT
|EXERCISE (1 HOUR)|
CALORIES BURNED PER 160 LBS PERSON
|Battle Rope Wave|
|Running (Cross Country)|
|Med Ball Slams|
Whole body exercises will help you burn a tremendous amount of calories so you will shed that belly fat and your abs will become more visible and sexy.
TOP 10 WHOLE-BODY EXERCISES TO BURN BELLY FAT
#1. BATTLE ROPE WAVE
913 CALORIES / HOUR
Although rope may not be something that you first think of when trying to lose weight, it is one of the best ways to melt that stubborn fat. All you have to do is to follow these instructions:
- Hold the ends of the rope at arm’s length in front of your hips.
- Keep your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Brace your core.
- Begin alternately raising and lowering each arm explosively.
- Keep alternating arms for three to four sets of 1 to 2 minutes.
The best part? You will work each arm independently, hence eliminating strength imbalances as you sculpt your muscles. Also, you will work your whole body along with your back, chest, legs, and core.
See video-guide on Youtube.com.
#2. KETTLEBELL SWINGS
689 CALORIES / HOUR
The kettlebell swing is one of the best exercises you should master. Always start with the two-handed kettlebell swing and then continue to its other variations. You need to follow these instructions:
- Stand in front of your kettlebell, your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
- Bend slightly at the knees but hinge mainly at the hips. Your knees shouldn’t bend excessively during the swing – it should be a hip hinge motion.
- Grasp the kettlebell and pull it back between your legs to create momentum.
- Drive your hips forward and straighten your back to send the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Use “soft” elbows throughout the swing to take the tension out of your arm muscles.
- Let the bell return back between your legs.
- Repeat the move.
Once you learn how to perform a correct swing and want to step up the difficulty of this exercise, you can try a swing ladder routine.
You need to perform 10 double hand swings, 10 left arm swings, 10 right arm swings, and 10 swing swaps – no break in between. Then, you can continue with nine repetitions of the same four moves and continue that pattern until you do one rep of each move.
Not only will this exercise help you burn a tremendous amount of calories, but it will also help you to increase your muscle strength, endurance, and both aerobic and anaerobic capabilities.
#3. RUNNING (CROSS COUNTRY)
687 CALORIES / HOUR
Cross country running is an exercise/sport in which teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over natural terrains such as dirt or grass. The course, typically 4–12 kilometers (2.5–7.5 mi) long, may include surfaces of grass, and earth, pass through woodlands and open country and include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road.
It is both an individual and a team sport; runners are judged on individual times and teams by a points-scoring method.
Running over different types of terrain and slopes is excellent to burn body fat and excess calories. This most common form of cardio exercise improves your cardiovascular system, promotes your physical endurance and stamina, tones your legs, and significantly reduces your appetite.
#4. JUMPING ROPE
672 CALORIES / HOUR
Jumping rope is the ultimate fat burning exercise that will help boost your caloric output and lose weight. There are only just a few other exercises that can match this one.
According to Science Daily, jumping rope is much more effective at burning calories than running.
Not only that, thanks to jumping rope you build agility and quickness, increase bone density and even boost cognitive function of your brain. Also, you will significantly improve the coordination between your eyes, feet, and muscles.
600 CALORIES / HOUR
Burpees are an incredibly complex, whole-body exercise that builds strength and endurance, raises your heart rate and burns a lot of calories. Not only that, it also tests your balance and coordination.
The classic burpee is a four-point move and all you need to do is to:
- Stand on your legs, shoulder-width apart.
- From this position drop into a squat.
- Place your hands on the ground just in front of your feet.
- Then kick your feet back behind you, keeping your arms extended so you are in a raised plank position.
- Then jump your feet back towards your hands in a squat position.
- Next step is to round off the maneuver by leaping into the air with your arms straight above you.
- Then do it all again.
If you think that classic burpees are too easy for you, then you can add a press-up after entering the plank position. Although it may still sound too easy, after doing just a couple you will feel fatigued.
573 CALORIES / HOUR
Cycle sport is competitive physical activity using bicycles. There are several categories of bicycle racing including road bicycle racing, time trialing, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway.
Riding a bike competitively can result in your body burning a lot of calories.
Not only that, you will mostly exercise your legs. So, if you want to improve their look and tone them up, go for cycling. This way, you will do a lot of cardio exercises and improve the health of your cardiovascular system.
#7. HIGH KNEES
544 CALORIES / HOUR
Although high knees may sound too easy, when done right, it is an excellent addition to your whole-body exercise routine.
All you have to do is to:
- Start standing with feet hip-distance apart.
- Lift up your right knee as high as it will go and raise the opposite arm.
- Then switch quickly so left knee is up before right foot lands.
- Continue pulling knees up quickly for as long as desired.
This exercise is good for your cardiovascular system and works your lower body and core. The best part? You can do this exercise anywhere and all you will need no equipment.
535 CALORIES / HOUR
Jogging is one of the best full body workouts out there and the only ‘equipment’ you need is a pair of good shoes. Jogging a few kilometers a day will:
- Boost your metabolic rate
- Improves your respiratory system
- Improves your cardiovascular system
- Helps you to build & maintain muscle
- It’s great for your brain & psychological health
- It’s great for your immune system & bones
- It improves your energy levels & confidence
All this will happen faster than you ever thought possible. However, jogging can be hard on your knees, so it is best to make progress slowly, increasing your speed and distance as your fitness levels increase.
There is one general rule you should follow:
Never try to improve your speed and distance at the same time! It’s always best to first focus on increasing your distance, only then start working on your speed. To find out how many calories you burn during this activity, check out this calculator here.
#9. ROWING (STATIONARY)
535 CALORIES / HOUR
Rowers are possibly the most efficient exercise machines available out there. They give you a full body workout and help you burn a significant amount of calories. The more intense rowing session, the bigger the number of calories burned.
Besides helping you burn calories, it also offers various other benefits, such as an improvement of cardiovascular fitness, reduction of stress as well as toning of your muscles.
According to specialists from RowingReviews.com, rowing is low-impact, can promote social engagement, and are relatively inexpensive. As you can see, there is no excuse not to include rowing in your weekly exercise routine.
#10. GOBLET SQUATS
508 CALORIES / HOUR
Goblet squats are a perfect whole-body exercise suitable for beginners as it is an easier and more effective alternative to the regular squats. The goblet squat is usually performed with a kettlebell or dumbbell.
All you have to do is to follow these steps:
- Hold the dumbbell vertically between the palms or hold a kettlebell by its horns.
- Stand with your feet just a little bit beyond shoulder width.
- Your feet should point a tad outward.
- Lower your body slowly by bending your knees and squat down. Make sure you aren’t leaning forward or hunching your shoulders.
- Keep going as low as you can. Make sure that your feet remain planted to the ground.
- Once you reach the bottom, gently brush your elbows against the insides of your legs and push the knees outward.
- Hold this position for a couple of seconds.
- Begin raising your body and return to the starting position.
The best part? This exercise not only burns a lot of calories but also tones your thighs, calves, legs and strengthens your core. Also, it is extremely gentle on your lower back.
LIST OF BEST BELLY EXERCISES FOR A PERFECT SIXPACK
|EXERCISE (1 HOUR)|
CALORIES BURNED PER 160 LBS PERSON
|Dumbbell Renegade Crawl|
|Seal Jumping Jacks|
|Medicine Ball Lunge Twist|
|Rolling Plank Side-to-Side|
|Plank Leg Lifts|
|BOSU Plank Raise|
|BOSU Side Plank|
|Bending Side-to-Side with Dumbbells|
|Down Dog Abs|
|Diver´s Push Ups|
|Knee Strike with Side Kick|
|Elbow Plank with Twist|
These laser targeted exercises will work out your abs and core muscles. This way, your belly will look ripped and will have a sexy six-pack.
TOP 10 BELLY EXERCISES
#1. DUMBBELL RENEGADE CRAWL
612 CALORIES / HOUR
This exercise is a little bit complicated and requires a certain level of fitness. However, once done correctly, it significantly strengthens your core and abdominal muscles.
- Place a pair of dumbbells at the spots where you position your hands for a pushup.
- Grasp a dumbbell with each hand and get into the pushup position.
- Lower your body to the floor, pause, then push yourself back up.
- Once you’re back in the starting position, lift the dumbbell in your right hand to the right side of your chest.
- Lower the dumbbell and repeat with your left hand.
- Move each hand one step forward, still holding the dumbbells.
- Follow with your feet so you’re back in the starting position.
- That’s 1 repetition.
This way, you are imitating a crawl on the ground. You can either choose to do a certain number of repetitions or a certain distance.
#2. MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
497 CALORIES / HOUR
Many people look at mountain climbers and decide that they look too simple to be really effective at improving your abs and core muscles. However, as I have learned myself things that look too simple are usually the best.
Here are instructions to perform correct mountain climbers:
- Start in a pushup position, with your weight supported by your hands and toes.
- Flexing the knee and hip, bring one leg until the knee is approximately under the hip. This will be your starting position.
- Explosively reverse the positions of your legs.
- Extend the bent leg until the leg is straight and supported by the toe, and bring the other foot up with the hip and knee flexed.
- Repeat in an alternating fashion for 20-30 seconds.
This is a simple exercise that can make you sweat. Not only that, it improves your flexibility, mobility, cardiovascular health, coordination, and agility.
#3. SEAL JUMPING JACKS
490 CALORIES / HOUR
Seal jumping jacks are another exercise that engages almost your whole body and still looks pretty simple. Trust me that doing these correctly in a high-intensity interval training will highly engage your core and abs.
Here are good instructions for performing seal jumping jacks:
- Stand straight. Keep your feet close together, shoulders pinched back.
- Extend your hands to your side and in line with your shoulders, palms facing the ground.
- Engage your core muscles.
- Jump and split your legs apart. At the same time move your hands together in front of your chest, palms facing each other.
- Land softly on your feet with your knees bent a little.
- Jump again, bring your legs together and extend your hands to your side and in line with your shoulders.
- Repeat 20 times. Do 3 sets of 20 repetitions.
This simple exercise provides many advantages for your body. Not only will it help you strengthen your core and abs, it will also improve your stamina, stability, coordination, flexibility, and cardiovascular health.
#4. MEDICINE BALL LUNGE TWIST
442 CALORIES / HOUR
Medicine ball lunge twists are a great way to engage and strengthen your abs and core muscles. The best part? You just need a single medicine ball.
Follow these instructions to learn more:
- Stand with legs hip-distance apart, toes pointed forward, back straight (no leaning) and hands holding a medicine ball right in front of your chest (keep your elbows bent).
- Take a big step forward, keeping upper body as straight as possible.
- Inhale, bend both knees, lowering your body and back knee toward the floor, while pressing the medicine ball forward in line with your shoulders (straightening but not locking elbows).
- Keep your front knee in line with ankle during the lunge.
- Holding the medicine ball in front of you and keeping legs and knees stationary, twist from your waist toward the right while exhaling.
- Inhale when twisting back to center, facing forward.
- While exhaling, straighten legs and pull medicine ball back in front of your chest to return to starting position.
- This is one repetition.
My advice is to complete all repetitions on one side and only after that switch your sides (twisting to the left).
#5. ROLLING PLANK SIDE-TO-SIDE
435 CALORIES / HOUR
For me, rolling plank side to side is quite a tough exercise. It requires a certain level of stability, coordination, and flexibility.
You should start with these instructions:
- Start in a plank position.
- Your forearms need to be perpendicular to your body instead of parallel.
- Brace your core by contracting your abs forcefully as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
- Maintain this contraction and now roll to your left forearm into a side plank with your right arm raised above you.
- Then roll back to the original plank position.
- Roll to your right forearm into a side plank with your left arm raised above you.
- Then return to the original plank position.
It is up to you how many repetitions will you incorporate into your exercise routine. Just make sure you always use the correct form to avoid injury of your lower and upper back.
#6. PLANK LEG LIFTS
435 CALORIES / HOUR
This is another simple looking, yet a very effective way to sculpt your belly. Doing plank leg lifts on a regular basis will leave you with very strong abs.
Here are simple instructions to follow:
- Start in a plank position keeping your body in a straight line.
- Your elbows will be bent and under your shoulders.
- Your feet should be hip-width apart.
- Lift your left leg to a 45-degree and hold for a desired amount of time.
- Switch your legs and repeat.
Just keep your core muscles tight during your whole exercise. This is of utmost importance.
#7. REVERSE CRUNCHES
417 CALORIES / HOUR
Reverse crunches are more focused on your lower abs and internal core muscles that hold your organs in place. Just follow these instructions to avoid harming yourself:
- Lie on the ground in a traditional crunch position (your feet flat on the floor and hands underneath your head).
- Press your lower back into the floor and pull in your belly button to lift your feet off of the floor.
- Keep your knees together (bent at 90-degree angles).
- Using your core, pull your knees into your chest so that your tailbone raises off of the ground, and simultaneously perform a traditional crunch, lifting your shoulder blades off of the floor.
- Use your abs, not your hands, to lift your head and shoulders (your hands are just there to protect your neck).
- Slowly lower your shoulders, hips, and legs to return to the starting position (stop when your feet are just above the floor).
- Repeat the movement, making sure not to use momentum to power your next repetition (fully focus on squeezing those abs).
It is really important to do this exercise correctly and not use your hands or momentum to make it easier.
#8. BOSU PLANK RAISE
363 CALORIES / HOUR
The BOSU plank raise, also known as BOSU plank to push up exercise, is a perfect way to an advanced upper body exercise. This exercise targets the entire upper body and core and requires a lot of explosive strength.
Just check out these instructions to make it correctly:
- Start in an elbow-plank position on the Bosu.
- Then explode up into a push-up position starting with your right arm and then follow with your left arm.
- Lower yourself back down into an elbow-plank position, again beginning with your right arm and followed by the left.
- Do the desired number of repetitions and then switch your arms, beginning with the left one and followed by the right one.
Except for your core muscles, you will significantly boost the strength and explosiveness of your upper body.
#9. BOSU SIDE PLANK
308 CALORIES / HOUR
Although you will not burn a lot of calories with BOSU side plank, you will definitely improve your abs and core muscles. All you have to do is to:
- Get your hands on BOSU ball.
- Rest your right forearm on top of the dome.
- Stack your left foot on top of your right.
- Lift your body off the ground.
- Make sure you’re in a straight line from head to feet.
- Contract your abs and squeeze your glutes.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
This way, your belly will have a sexy and firm look.
#10. BICYCLE CRUNCHES
272 CALORIES / HOUR
I always have problems doing bicycle crunches. They look really simple but to get your abs really going, you need a certain level of coordination, fitness, and endurance.
Here are good instructions worth following:
- Start by lying on the ground, with your lower back pressed flat into the floor.
- Your head and shoulders should be raised slightly above it.
- Place your hands lightly on the sides of your head; don’t knit your fingers behind.
- Lift one leg just off the ground and extend it out.
- Lift the other leg and bend your knee towards your chest.
- As you do so twist through your core so the opposite arm comes towards the raised knee.
- You don’t need to touch elbow to knee, instead focus on moving through your core as you turn your torso.
- Lower your leg and arm at the same time while bringing up the opposite two limbs to mirror the movement.
- Keep on alternating sides until you’ve managed 10 reps on each, aiming for three sets of 10 in total, or add the bicycle crunch into circuit training and just keep going for as long as the timer runs.
The best advice is to be careful not to yank your head with your hands at any point during the exercise. Also, your elbow should stay in the same position relative to your head throughout.
The turn that brings it closer to the knee comes from your core. It might be best to think shoulder to the knee as you move, rather than the elbow to knee.
TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR EFFORTS
As already mentioned, to have a perfect six pack you need to first, shed that fat covering it and second, work out those abs and core muscles to make them toned.
If you make a lot of above exercises part of your daily routine, you will achieve great results. However, there are some tips and tricks you can do to multiply your success.
TRY HIIT (HIGH-INTENSITY-INTERVAL-TRAINING)
Did you know that not only the type of exercise you do, but also how you do it affects your weight loss efforts? If you want to have a sexy flat belly, you should try HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
Not only is it one of the fastest ways to shed body fat and increase your endurance, it also gives you a metabolic boost for up to 24-48 hours after you finish your workout. This has been even confirmed by various research studies.
The best way to perform HIIT is to do short, intense bursts of full-body exercises for about 20 seconds and then have around 10 seconds long break before resuming with exercising (can be the same workout or a different one).
GET RID OF CAFFEINE
Are you drinking a lot of coffee or green tea? Then you will not like what I am going to say to you. If you want to get rid of that belly fat, you need to ditch caffeine altogether.
I bet you want to know why?
Caffeine in coffee and green tea stimulates the release of adrenaline leading to the increase of a hormone called cortisol circulating in your body. This is a stress hormone that encourages fat-storage around your middle (belly, ass, and thighs).
Not only that, caffeine overloads your liver and slows down the rate at which your liver can process dietary fat.
REDUCE (OR AVOID) STRESS
Psychological and physical stress is all around us. That is why reducing stress is one of the hardest-to-execute pieces of advice I am going to give you in this article.
Sadly, stress leads to the release of adrenaline, that (as already mentioned above) leads to the increase of stress hormone cortisol contributing to the fat belly. That is why you need to do your best to reduce the amount of daily stress you are exposed to.
To reduce stress, try yoga or meditation. Also, doing some sport or physical exercise can help you to relax.
DRINK A LOT OF WATER
Drinking a lot of water can help you achieve a flat belly in several ways. Firstly, when dehydrated, your body may crave juicy food to get the water content. However, you will ingest a lot of unnecessary calories.
Secondly, drinking a lot of water makes you feel full. This way, you will reduce your daily caloric intake. Thirdly, drinking proper amounts of water per day will lead to the release of retained water in your body caused by dehydration.
This way, you will lose that bloated belly look.
Also, by proper hydration your promote your digestive system and healthy bowel movements leading to better excretion of the waste from your body. Adequate water intake (according to MayoClinic) is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women.
Keep in mind that these recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages, and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.