If you’re looking for a dynamic and time-efficient workout to improve your fitness and burn belly fat, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more suitable form of exercise than High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Despite the shorter workouts, studies have shown that HIIT is an effective calorie burner. That’s why we chatted with Kate Meier, CPTcertified personal trainer with Garage Gym Reviews, shares her #1 belly fat HIIT workout to help you sculpt a toned midsection.
Before you dive in, it’s important to note that targeted fat loss in one specific area of the body is not possible. However, this HIIT workout can help promote total fat burning, including around your waist. “After a HIIT workout, your metabolism can stay high for hours, burning even more calories,” Meier explains. “The following workout follows HIIT principles of short, intense bursts of work alternated with rest, incorporating movements that help tighten your stomach as fat loss reveals the muscles underneath.” These exercises also promote core strength, which is important for avoiding injury and performing other exercises and daily movements with proper form.”
For the next workout, Meier advises warming up with five to 10 minutes of light movement, such as jogging, walking or jumping. Once you’re warmed up, start exercising. A great cool-down routine is also essential, so spend five to 10 minutes doing light movement or stretching to slowly lower your heart rate and help ward off muscle tightness as you recover.
“Perform the following exercises for 40 seconds, followed by a 20-second rest before moving on to the next exercise. After completing each exercise once, rest for one to two minutes until you catch your breath, then repeat the circuit. Aim to complete circuit three up to four times, depending on how much time you have and your fitness level. Change the pace or modify the movements to suit your fitness level,” says Meyer.
Read about the #1 HIIT workout for belly fat. And next, don’t miss the 3 best belly fat burning workouts for beginners.
Squats are a killer addition to any HIIT workout, especially for promoting fat burning while increasing lower body strength. This compound movement engages your core while working multiple muscle groups, boosting your metabolism and promoting fat loss.
“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly outward, and perfect posture,” says Meyer. “Bend in at the knees and hips to lower yourself, allowing the hips to move back. Keep your chest forward and back straight as you lower, and stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.”
Jumping is a dynamic exercise that increases your heart rate and burns calories. This explosive movement engages your core and lower body, helping to shape and strengthen your abs. Plus, the cardio element encourages fat burning, making it a fantastic addition to your belly fat burning routine.
“Stand with your feet hip-width apart.” Then take a big step forward with your right foot and place it on the floor. Bend your front and back knees to lower into a lunge, then jump explosively, switch legs in the air, and land lightly in a lunge with your left foot forward and your right foot back. Alternate with each jump. Make sure you have control over all plyometric movements and land lightly to avoid overloading your knees,” says Meyer.
Dumbbell Renegade Rows
Rogue Rows are a game changer for targeting the core and obliques. Adding dumbbells to the mix works your upper body and forces your core to stabilize, contributing to a slimmer waist. This exercise is essential if your goal is a stronger, leaner midsection.
“Start in a tall position, wrists, hips and shoulders in line with a dumbbell in each hand,” Meier explains. “Keep your body stable as you row one of the dumbbells up to your hips, then lower it to the floor.” Repeat with the opposite arm and alternate with each repetition. Keep a straight line with your body throughout the movement. If doing this move in full plank is too difficult, try doing it from your knees or on an incline to make it less difficult.”
Alternate finger touches
Alternating finger touches are fantastic for working your obliques and toning your core as they target hard to reach areas around the waist. In addition, the rhythmic movement adds a cardio component, making it an effective move for burning belly fat and strengthening your core.
Meier tells us, “Lie on the mat with your legs extended and your arms reaching straight above your head. Engage your core to simultaneously lift your right arm and left leg to touch your left foot (or as close as you can). Lower the leg and arm back down, then switch sides with the next rep. Continue to alternate with each repetition. Move slowly and with control to maintain tension in your abs during this exercise.”
Kettlebell swings are a classic HIIT movement for good reason. They engage your entire body, focusing on the posterior chain (back), including the core. Explosive hip flexion burns calories and raises your metabolism, helping you lose belly fat.
“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell by the handle with both hands,” says Meier. “Bend your knees slightly and hinge at your hips, letting the kettlebell swing gently back through your legs. Pull your hips forward to raise it to about shoulder height. During this movement, don’t let the kettlebell swing too far back, and make sure you also engage your shoulders to control the kettlebell at the top of the movement.”
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