There are many factors that contribute to belly fat, and it’s not always the result of a poor diet or lack of exercise. If you’re dealing with the frustration of a muffin top, spare tire, or other abdominal fat, there are a number of targeted techniques you can use to reduce the stubborn fat stores in your belly and get closer to the flat, toned stomach of your dreams.

The 5 Best Exercises for Belly Fat Reduction

If you want to banish belly fat, you need to eat right. But you also need to exercise. While you can’t spot reduce belly fat, you can target the muscles in the belly area to build a strong, lean core.

The best exercises for belly fat reduction include a combination of cardio and strength training. Here are five of the best exercises to incorporate into your workout routine.

1. Walking

Walking is a great way to get your body moving. It requires no equipment, aside from a good pair of walking shoes, and you can do it anywhere. If you’re new to exercising, begin with a 20-minute walk each day and work your way up to walking more.

Increase the intensity of your walks by:

• walking up hills

• walking with hand weights

• increasing your walking time

• adding short jogging intervals

2. Interval Training

Interval training is a type of workout that involves alternating high-intensity and low-intensity activity. This can be done with any type of exercise, from running to lifting weights.

One popular type of interval training is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT workouts are short, intense bursts of exercise followed by a low-intensity activity or rest.

Research has shown that HIIT workouts may help reduce belly fat more effectively than steady-state cardio. In one study, people who did HIIT for 20 minutes three times per week lost more weight and fat mass than those who did 40 minutes of steady-state cardio.

Another study found that people who did interval training on a stationary bike for 12 weeks had a significant reduction in belly fat compared to those who did steady-state cardio.

Incorporate interval training into your routine by doing short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a longer period of low-intensity exercise. You can do this with any type of workout, including running, swimming, and strength training.

3. Squats and Lunges

Squats and lunges are two of the most popular exercises for toning the lower body. They engage your core, as well as your lower body muscles. This makes them an excellent choice for targeting belly fat.

In addition, squats and lunges can also help to improve muscle mass, which is important for keeping your metabolism healthy. A healthy metabolism can help you to burn more calories and lose belly fat.

4. The Bicycle Exercise

The bicycle exercise is a popular way to target the obliques, or the sides of the abdomen. This exercise is also a great way to get a full range of motion in your hips, which can help you to work even more muscles in your core.

1. Lie on your back and press your lower back into the floor. Place your hands behind your head for support, but avoid pulling on your neck.

2. Lift your knees to about a 45-degree angle.

3. Start to pedal your feet, as if riding a bike. As you pedal, touch your elbows to the opposite knee that’s moving.

4. Continue this movement for 1 minute.

5. Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches are a lower intensity exercise that target the lower portion of your abs. This is a great exercise if you are new to working out your core or if you are working through an injury and need a low-impact exercise.

How to do reverse crunches:

1. Lie on your back and place your hands on the floor beside you.

2. Place your palms facing down or tuck your hands underneath your pelvis to take some pressure off your upper body.

3. Bend your knees and keep your feet together. Your legs should be lifted, and your thighs should be perpendicular to the floor.

4. Draw your belly button in toward your spine. With control, lower your legs to the left. Your feet should almost touch the ground.

5. With control, bring your legs back to the starting position.

6. Lower your legs to the right.

This is one repetition. Try to do 10-15 repetitions.

A Word About Diet

You’ve heard it before: you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. And it’s true. No matter how many crunches you do, if you’re eating a diet high in sugar and unhealthy fats, you’re not going to see the results you want. In fact, you may even see an increase in belly fat.

The good news is that you don’t have to starve yourself to reduce belly fat. In fact, cutting calories too drastically can actually lead to an increase in belly fat. This is because your body will start to break down muscle tissue for energy, and muscle tissue plays a key role in burning calories and fat.

Instead of cutting calories, focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet. This means eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. It also means cutting back on sugary snacks and drinks, and limiting your intake of processed foods and unhealthy fats.

The Bottom Line

Belly fat can be a stubborn problem that’s hard to tackle with diet and exercise alone. Many people struggle to lose fat in this area, while others want to create a more defined, sculpted look.

If you’re looking to reduce fat or build muscle in your abdominal area, talk with a cosmetic surgeon. They can help you decide on the best approach to get the results you want.


If you are not satisfied with the results of diet and exercise, a tummy tuck may be the best option for you. Dr. Shienbaum can help you determine the best course of action to help you achieve the results you desire. Contact our office to schedule a consultation.