At times, a quick glance downwards can reveal much about your body shape, especially when you notice that extra roundness at your waist – yes, the belly fat, also referred to as the gut, belly pouch, or pooch. Firstly, this is an undeniable indicator that you’re holding excess body fat. Even more concerning is that it can signal potential health problems ahead, given that fat accumulation in the waist area is associated with a higher risk of serious health conditions. To combat this, I’ve compiled a list of 10 top exercises aimed at reducing that midsection bulge and sculpting your abdomen.

To combat belly fat effectively, the optimal workout approach is strength training. This form of exercise not only burns calories but also triggers a hormonal reaction that targets and reduces stubborn fat around your belly. The key lies in performing compound exercises, which are movements that involve multiple joints and thus engage more muscle groups at once – the more muscles you engage, the more impactful each repetition becomes. This strategy yields significantly better results than isolation exercises such as bicep curls, wrist curls, or calf raises, which work far fewer muscles.

Here are 10 of the absolute best strength training movements to tackle the midsection bulge and achieve impressive fat-burning outcomes. These full-body exercises, when paired with a healthy diet, can drastically reduce your belly fat. Try incorporating some of these exercises into your existing workout plan and watch your progress accelerate.

Keep reading to learn all about the best exercises for your midriff bulge, and when you’re finished working out, be sure to read about the 5 Most Effective At-Home Workouts for Weight Loss.

Split Squat + Single-Arm Cable Row (Sets: 4, Reps: 8 per side)

Set a cable handle to chest height, and grab the handle with one hand. Stand with one foot about three feet in front of the other so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom. (Whatever side that holds the handle should have that leg behind.) Drop straight down to perform a squat, and perform a row. Don’t let your front knee drift past your toe.

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Step Up + Overhead Press (Sets: 4, Reps: 5 per leg)

Hold two dumbbells in your hands, and place one foot on a box or bench. Pull all your weight on that foot, and drive yourself up by pushing through your heel. Avoid pushing off with your bottom leg. At the top of the box, perform an overhead press.

Romanian Deadlift + Bent-Over Row (Sets: 4, Reps: 8)

Start from a stand while holding a barbell or dumbbells. Push your hips backward, keep your back neutral, and descend until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. At the bottom of the deadlift, maintain the bent-over position, and perform a row. Then, return to the start position.

RELATED: 5 At-Home Strength Workouts for Belly Fat

Reverse Lunge from Box (Sets: 4, Reps: 5 per leg)

Start by standing on a short step, roughly four inches tall. Take a long step back onto the ground—long enough so that your knees make two 90-degree angles at the bottom—and pull yourself back up with your forward leg. Do all reps on one leg, and then switch legs.

Spiderman Pushups (Sets: 4, Reps: 5 per side)

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As you lower yourself in a pushup, pull one knee out to the side, and try to touch that same side’s elbow. Get as close to the ground as you can, and push up while bringing the leg back to its original position. Alternate sides.

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Kettlebell Swings (Sets: 4, Reps: 10)

kettlebell swings, concept of exercises for midriff bulgekettlebell swings, concept of exercises for midriff bulge

Start in a deadlift position with the kettlebell a few feet in front of you. Then, hike the kettlebell back between your legs like a center in football, and explosively drive your hips forward. Imagine propelling the kettlebell to a target in front of you. Keep your arms relaxed.

TRX Inverted Row (Sets: 4, Reps: 8)

TRX row illustration, concept of exercises for midriff bulgeTRX row illustration, concept of exercises for midriff bulge

Grab TRX straps from underneath with your feet closer to the anchor point. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, and pull yourself up while keeping your body straight like a plank.

Single-Arm Landmine Press (Sets: 3, Reps: 8 per arm)

landmine press exercise illustration, concept of exercises for midriff bulgelandmine press exercise illustration, concept of exercises for midriff bulge

Place one end of a barbell in a landmine. At the other end, stand facing the landmine, grab the other end with one arm, and hold it near the same shoulder. Drive the barbell overhead without twisting. Finish all your reps on one side, and alternate. To make it harder, add weight by sliding small plates on the end.

RELATED: 10 Fitness ‘Rules’ You Should Abandon in 2024 For the Best Results

Treadmill Hike (30 to 45 minutes, 2 to 3x per week)

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Set the incline to at least 12%, and walk at a pace where your heart rate is between 135 to 150 bpm for time.

Alternating Split Squat Jumps (Sets: 3, Reps: 5 reps per leg)

jump lunges illustrationjump lunges illustration

Start in a split stance. Squat down, and explode into the air, switching legs, and landing in the opposite stance. Alternate quickly and jump as high as you can each time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the ‘Midriff Bulge’?

The ‘Midriff Bulge’ refers to the accumulation of excess fat around the waistline and stomach area. This can be a result of various factors including poor diet, lack of exercise, hormonal changes, and genetics.

2. How effective are these exercises for tackling the ‘Midriff Bulge’?

When combined with a balanced diet and regular physical activity, these exercises can be highly effective in reducing the ‘Midriff Bulge’. They target the core muscles, including the abdominals and obliques, helping to tone and strengthen the area.

3. Do I need any special equipment to perform these exercises?

Most of the exercises outlined in the blog post can be performed without any special equipment. However, some exercises may benefit from the use of a yoga mat for comfort or small weights for added resistance. Always check each exercise description for specific requirements.

4. How often should I perform these exercises?

  • For beginners: Start with 2-3 times per week, allowing rest days in between for muscle recovery.
  • For intermediate and advanced individuals: Increase frequency to 4-5 times per week, focusing on higher intensity or adding weights for more challenge.

5. Can I do these exercises if I’m a beginner?

Yes, these exercises cover a range of difficulty levels. Beginners are encouraged to start with the less intense options and gradually increase the difficulty as their strength and endurance improve.

6. How long does it take to see results?

Results vary from person to person based on factors like consistency, diet, initial fitness level, and genetics. Generally, visible changes can start to appear within 4-6 weeks of consistent exercise and healthy eating.

7. Are there any safety precautions I should take?

Always warm up before starting your exercise routine and cool down afterward. Listen to your body and avoid pushing through pain. If you have any pre-existing health conditions or injuries, consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program.

8. What kind of diet should I follow to maximize the effects of these exercises?

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats will complement your exercise regimen. Stay hydrated, limit processed foods and sugars, and aim for a calorie intake that supports weight loss or maintenance, depending on your goal.

9. Can these exercises help with weight loss?

Yes, these exercises, especially when combined with cardiovascular activities and a balanced diet, can contribute to overall weight loss, including reducing the ‘Midriff Bulge’.

10. Will these exercises also strengthen my back?

Several exercises in the list are designed to engage and strengthen the core, which includes the back muscles. Strengthening these areas can improve posture, reduce back pain, and enhance overall body strength.

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