Belly fat can appear in males and females alike. Unlike other areas of the body, this can be especially dangerous because vital organs get surrounded by deep, hidden fat. If you want to burn this belly fat fast, you have to focus on weight loss throughout your entire body as well as performing exercises that focus on your upper abs, lower abs and obliques. These exercises can help strengthen your stomach muscles and create definition as the fat burns off.
Cardio is the most important exercise you need to do when it comes to burning belly fat fast. You can do anything that you enjoy as long as it gets your heart rate up and you sweat while doing it. Running, indoor cycling, elliptical training, kick boxing, jumping rope and stair climbing are all examples. If you want to boost your calorie burn, try interval training. This is characterized by alternating bouts of high intensity with lower intensity. Do a 5-minute warm-up, 20 minutes of interval training and a 5-minute cool-down. The interval portion could alternate between lower intensity bouts for one minute followed by high intensity bouts for 30 seconds. Whatever the time intervals, the lower intensity bouts should be twice as long as your high intensity bouts.
Reverse crunches are done with a flat weight bench. Sit on the bench with your hands grasping the edge. Lean back slightly and extend your legs straight in front of you. Bend your knees and pull them in toward your chest as you lean forward. Extend them back out and lean back to your starting position.
Hanging leg raises are done with the assistance of a pull-up bar. Jump up and grab the bar with an overhand shoulder-width grip. With your legs straight, lift them up in the air as high as you can, then slowly lower them back down and repeat. Make sure to keep your back straight throughout the movement and do not sway back and forth. You can use the Roman chair available in many gyms to do this exercise with less strain on your shoulders.
Bicycle maneuvers work your entire core with a specific focus on your obliques. Lie on your back and place your hands on the sides of your head. Bend your knees and lift your legs so your shins are parallel to the ground. Lift your upper body into a crunch position and bring your left elbow toward your right knee as you fully extend your left leg. Reverse the motion and bring your right elbow toward your left knee as you fully extend your right leg. Keep alternating back and forth in a smooth, rhythmic motion.
Abdominal pull-ins are done with a stability ball. Place your lower shins on the ball and place your hands on the ground directly under your shoulders. You should now be in a face down position with a perfectly straight back. Bend your knees and bring them toward your chest by rolling the ball on the ground. Squeeze for a few seconds and extend your legs back out. To make this exercise more challenging, place your toes on top of the ball and keep your legs straight as you roll it. Your body will be bent at a 90-degree angle at the midpoint of the movement. Roll the ball back out and repeat.
A V-up exercise targets your upper and lower abs at the same time. Lie on your back with your arms overhead and your legs straight. Lift your arms and legs off the ground and then swing your arms toward your feet as you bend your knees in toward your body. Try to touch your hands to your toes, then lower your arms and legs back to the starting point. Your body should be in a "V" shape at the midpoint and your butt should be the only thing touching the ground.
The plank is an static exercise that works all the muscles of your core. Lie on your stomach with your toes curled under your feet. Place your forearms on the ground and lift your hips off the floor. Contract your abdominals and form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and release.
- belly dancing image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.