Belly fat is one of the hardest things to get rid of but is unfortunately also all too common among most men.
But fear not! Activeman is here to help you lose that unsightly belly and get into shape that’ll make you proud to take that shirt off at the pool next summer.
Just work on a few of these exercises during the coming winter months, and watch how much better you feel by the time swimming season rolls around again next year.
The plank is one of the best exercises you can do to improve your waistline, and depending on the kind of plank you do it can also help sculpt your legs, back, arms, or glutes as well. For the basic plank, all you need to do is get down on the ground in the push-up position, bend your elbows 90 degrees, and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders, and your body as straight as you can. Then, all you need to do is hold yourself up there. Try and make to two minutes for the best results.
Another great core exercise, lay down with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor like you would for a regular crunch. With your hands behind your head, raise your head off the ground and bring your chest towards your right knee, then lower yourself back to the starting position. Repeat, towards the left side this time. Continue this alternating pattern for as long as you want, and congratulations, you did the twist! For an extra challenge, take your hands off your head and try holding a medicine ball or other weight to your chest during the workout.
Burpees can be a great belly blaster, and can even be fun to do when done correctly. To do a proper burpee, start off standing straight up, feet shoulder-width apart, and hands at your sides. From there, drop down into a squat and place your hands in front of, and a bit inside of your feet, shifting your weight onto them while you kick your legs back, leaving you in a position like you’re at the top of a pushup, keeping your body straight. Quickly jump your feet back forward, landing outside of your hands, and then reach your arms up and jump into the air. Continue repeating this cycle as many times as you can for a great exercise, building muscle and working on your cardio as well. Oh, and as a little history lesson for you guys, the burpee has nothing to do with our belly gasses. It is named after their creator, Royal H. Burpee, who invented the exercise in 1939 as a test to determine physical fitness, gauging some times they could do the movement to how to fit the individual was.
4. Mountain climbers
These are another exercise that is great for the core but can also be an excellent total body exercise, building strength and getting in some cardio. To do it, just get down in the plan position, body straight and hands about shoulder-width apart. Most people don’t realize it, but in actuality, the Mountain Climber is just a plank variation, so keep that in mind and keep those abs and glutes tight!
Now, to do the exercise, pull your right knee into your chest. While you are doing so, make sure to activate those abs to keep yourself as straight as possible. Don’t let your body sag! Quickly return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.
Keep on with that motion, right, left, right, left, so that it almost looks like you are running on the floor. And always remember to keep your body as straight as possible. You’ll start feeling this one in your core.
5. Jumping jacks
Everyone knows the basic jumping jack, and virtually any kid who ever attended a high school gym class remembers doing one. You might not realize, however, that the venerable old jumping jack is a great cardio workout and can help melt away that unsightly belly fat. To do a jumping jack, for those that forget, start off by standing with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Raise your arms above your head and jump up just enough to spread your feet out wide. Bring your arms back and bring your feet together, returning to the start position, then repeat. Try to do a few minutes of these a day.
Lunges are another easy exercise that can be done virtually anywhere and will start to show their results in no time. To do a proper lunge, remember to keep your upper body straight, shoulders back and chin up, and remember to engage that core! For some people, it also helps to pick a fixed point and stare at that while doing the exercise, but try not to make that point another person, that might get weird.
Step forward with your right leg, lowering yourself so that your knees are both at 90-degree angles, your right knee directly above the ankle, the other parallel to the ground. Remember to keep the weigh on your heels as you push back to your starting point, then repeat with your left leg forward. Always try and keep that proper lunge form to get the best results and avoid putting any unnecessary stress on your joints.
Some people prefer to make use of the equipment their gym provides, or that they may even have at home. If you are lucky enough to have access to an elliptical, this is one of the best belly blasters there is, and you should try to devote a portion of your time on one of these machines. Before getting on the elliptical, however, always remember to set a goal for your workout, and try to avoid staying at the same old pace the entire time, lest you run the risk of reaching a fitness plateau. To avoid that, interval training is the way to go. Work out in 5-minute intervals, steadily increasing resistance each time, and try to compete against yourself in a way. See if you can last at longer at harder levels, and try and get creative with the routine!
8. Kettlebell swing
A kettlebell is a great tool for fat burning, but sadly many people overlook or misuse it. To do a proper kettlebell swing, you need to remember it’s all in the hips! Start by standing up straight, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and hold the kettlebell with a weight of your choosing between your legs. Extend your hips and swing the weight up and out in front of you, then bring it back down between your legs, bending your hips and slightly bending your knees. Extend your hips again and repeat the process all over again.
9. Rowing machine
Another great machine to melt away belly fat, the rowing machine provides a full body workout while also giving you a great cardio kick. Improper use of the rowing machine, however, can lead to a diminished workout and even possible injury, so it is important to know the right technique to maximize its effect.
To use the rowing machine right, remember there are four main parts of the exercise, the catch, the drive, the finish, and the recovery. For the catch, start with your arms straight, shins vertical, upper body leaning just slightly forward from the hips.
During the drive, picture yourself on an actual rowboat, pushing through the water. Press with your legs, and then swing back and pull with your arms. Remember to keep your hands in a straight line with the flywheel, and keep those shoulders low and relaxed. Next, we have the finish. At this point, your body should be leaning back slightly, supported by your core, legs extended, and handle held beneath the ribs. From here, we can get into the recovery. To do that, simply extend your arms back out in front of you and allow your knees to bend until you return to the catch position.
10. Dumbbell bend
The dumbbell bend is a pretty simple exercise, but it can do a number on those abs. To do a bend, just pick up a dumbbell in your right hand and stand up straight, palm facing your hip, feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend at your hip as far as you can to the right side, hold the position for a second, and then repeat, bending to the left side. Continue bending right and left for however many reps you’d like, then transfer the weight to the other hand and do it all over again.