Ditch The Pooch! 15 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat and Tighten Your Tummy!

Do it for the sexiest abs EVER!

Ditch the pooch! Tone your middle using the best exercises to lose belly fat.

Ab exercises go beyond the basic crunch. Yes, that one you had to do during middle school PE. In fact, if you want to strengthen your core and define your muscles, you should vary the exercises you do.

The abdominal region isn’t just one big muscle. The rectus abdominis is what causes that famous “six pack” shape. To each side of these, you have internal and external obliques, as well as the transverses abdominis, which are often referred to as the body’s natural corset. If you want strong, tight abs, you need to target all of these muscles, which mean you need more than just crunches.

Varying your ab exercises helps you target all the important muscles. Make sure to devote time to your lower abs, upper abs, as well as your sides.

Additionally, because so many of us store fat in our belly region, moves that incorporate cardio helps our abs appear more defined. As you lower your body fat percentage, your muscles are better able to show through.

15 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat and Tone Abs

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Russian Twist
  • Leg Lifts
  • Reverse Crunch
  • Plank Hip Twist
  • Plank with Knee to Elbow
  • Wood Chopper
  • Seated Leg Circles
  • Strengthen Core Muscles
  • Bicycle Crunch
  • Knee Drop
  • Cork Screw
  • Side Bend
  • Plank
  • Side Plank

What to Do: Choose 4-6 of these best exercises to lose belly fat and complete the recommended number of sets. Take 30- to 60-second breaks in between sets.

1. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are one of those ab moves that double as cardio. The faster you go, the harder your heart will have to work.

They work your abs by forcing you to engage your core in the plank position. You’ll see that you need to tighten your middle to perform this move correctly. Mountain climbers work your lower abs, as well as your shoulders and quadriceps.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 40 reps (20 each side).

2. Russian Twist

Russian twist is one of the best ab exercises to work your obliques (the muscles on the side of your torso). If you keep your legs off the ground, you’ll also work your lower abs. Beginners can perform this exercise without weights, and add dumbbells once they grow stronger.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 40 reps (20 each side).

3. Leg Lifts

The thing with leg lifts is that they’re deceptively simple. The first few reps won’t feel like much, but your abs will start to burn by the end of your set. Burn, baby, burn!

Leg lifts target your lower abs. You might also feel your thighs working to keep your legs straightened out together.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

4. Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch is a harder version of leg lifts. You add an extra degree of difficulty when you lift your hips off the ground. This extra lift shifts the focus on the upper abs, making reverse crunches a more rounded exercise. They target the rectus abdominis and are a great exercise if you want a defined six pack.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.

5. Plank Hip Twist

Plank hip twists target the obliques and the transverse abdominal. You’ll also get a little bit of upper body action because your shoulders and arms have to work to keep you steady.

To get the most out of this exercise, focus on keeping the proper plank position. Raising your hips too far up into the air, or letting them sag too much, takes the focus away from the abs. Additionally, if you’re swaying too much from side to side, chances are your abs aren’t properly engaged.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 40 reps (20 each side).

6. Plank with Knee to Elbow

These challenging planks work your core, stomach, and back. In order to maintain proper form, you’ll have to engage all the muscles in your core. Be sure to follow the video and use correct form.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 24 reps (12 each side).

7. Wood Chopper

The wood chopper is one of the most effective exercises for tightening the core. Any exercise that requires turning or twisting your torso from side to side works the obliques. They’re great for tightening your sides, toning abs, and improving your core’s stability.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 40 reps (20 each side).

8. Seated Leg Circles

You might remember sit ups from PE class. This move targets the rectus abdominis. Seated leg circles target the internal and external oblique muscles and are more effective at toning the entire abdominals than the old school sit ups.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

9. How to Strengthen Core Muscles

This move is for beginners to advanced. It’s a simple exercise that strengthens the core muscles which is a key when performing the other abdominal exercises listed. You’ll love this move.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 16 reps (8 reps each side).

10. Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle crunches are similar to Russian twists, but the action is more focused on the upper abs.

When doing bicycle crunches you’re going to want to focus on speed and form. Work as quickly as you can without losing proper form. The faster you go, the more your heart rate will climb. The higher your heart rate, the more calories you’ll burn.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 24 reps.

11. Knee Drop

Knee drops are ideal for working obliques and trimming those stubborn love handles, in addition to strengthening the core.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

12. Cork Screw

An effective but simple move, the cork screw targets the low abdominal muscles. Keep your legs straight for this exercise.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 8 reps.

13. Side Bends

Side bends use weights to tighten your obliques. It’s a move that focuses on building strength while burning belly fat. Incorporate it into your workout to improve muscle definition.

Don’t forget that the more muscle you have, the higher your calorie burn.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.

14. Plank

The plank is one of the most basic moves you can do. Yet, it’s probably one of the most effective ab exercises. In just a minute, it’ll get your muscles burning and your heart pumping.

Planks engage your entire body, from your shoulders to your toes. We have a couple of plank variations you can try for an extra challenge.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 45 seconds each.

15. Side Plank

The side plank shifts the focus to your obliques. When holding the pose, focus on keeping your hips up. If you let them sag, your obliques won’t engage properly.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 45 seconds on each side.

We hope that these 15 moves help you get the abs you’ve always wanted. They’re some of the best exercises to lose belly fat and gain muscle definition. We suggest doing ab workouts once or twice per week, in combination with cardio and full body workouts.

If you need suggestions for good cardio workouts, check out some of our HIIT routines, which are effective at dropping body fat quickly! Also, be sure to follow us on Pinterest so you can save all of your favorites!

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The SkinnyMs. team believes that all people, regardless of age, size, and fitness level, have the power to transform their lives — they just need the resources to do so. The SkinnyMs. method promotes healthy living through a combination of clean eating and regular exercise. We offer everything you need to be successful.

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