Belly fat is typically a mix of subcutaneous and visceral fat. According to Web MD, visceral or “deep” fat wraps around the inner organs and is considered to be a major health hazard. It plays a role in insulin resistance and increases risk of diabetes.
Leptin, a hormone released by belly fat, plays a role in appetite regulation but also in learning and memory. This makes it harder to control your food cravings and can affect your cognitive abilities. In fact, people with larger bellies were found to have an increased risk of dementia. (source) Belly fat can be stubborn and hard to lose, but if you put in the work and change your diet, you can blast away your belly in as little as 14 days.
Belly-Busting Exercise Routine
This routine is split into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. If you can, try to perform all 9 moves every day. If it’s too challenging, start with the beginner moves and work your way up!
1. Butterfly Crunch
Targets: rectus abdominus (“six-pack”)
- Lie on the back with the soles of your feet touching.
- Place them as close to your body as comfortable.
- Put your hands behind your head and lift your chest a few inches off the floor.
- Make sure not to lift your lower back off the floor.
- Slowly lower yourself back to the floor.
- Continue for 10 reps and do three sets
2. Hip lifts
Targets: obliques (sides)
- Lie down on your left side with your knees bent and stacked and your left elbow on the ground in line with your shoulder.
- Raise your right arm towards the ceiling and lift your left hip off the ground as high as you can.
- Release until you body is in a perfectly straight diagonal line but do not let your hip touch the ground.
- Continue for 15 reps on each side. Repeat twice.
- To take it to the next level, do the same exercise but with your legs straight.
3. Front Plank
Targets: transverse abdominals
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Lower your chest so that your forearms are touching the ground. Your elbows should be in line with your shoulders.
- Gently lift your knees off the mat so that your toes are supporting your weight.
- Squeeze your legs together and squeeze your glutes.
- Your abdominals and back muscles should be tight throughout the pose.
- Try to keep your back as straight as possible.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds at first.
- Take a 1 minute break and repeat three times.
1. Toe Touch
Targets: rectus abdominus
- Lie on your back with your legs straight above your hips and your arms straight above your shoulders.
- Slowly bring your shoulder blades off the ground and reach for your toes as you exhale.
- Gently drop down but do not let your shoulder blades touch the ground.
- Your abs should be tight throughout the exercise and your legs should be straight.
- Keep your back flat on the floor.
- Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
2. Scissor Lifts