Trainer Reveals The 20 Best Exercises to Lose 5 Inches of Belly Fat

Looking for exercises to lose belly fat? Check out our research-backed guide on the best exercises to burn excess abdominal fat.
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20 best exercises to lose belly fat

Excess belly fat poses a serious health risk. To be clear, when I’m talking about belly fat in this context, I’m referring to the fat that lies close to the internal organs, not the fluffy fat that lies just under the skin.

This dangerous fat in question is known as visceral fat and excess amounts of it have been associated with increased risk for a number of different diseases and health conditions. 

Losing this fat, or any fat, requires you to burn more calories than you take in through food. In other words, you need to create a caloric deficit. You can do this fairly easily by combining high-intensity exercise with a healthy diet.

In this article, I’ll help with the exercise portion of the equation by providing you with 20 killer exercises to blast belly fat!

20 Killer Exercises to Blast Belly Fat

20 killer exercises to blast belly fat!

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1. Burpees

Burpees are a full-body, high-intensity movement that can leave you gasping for air without moving more than a few inches. This movement can be modified in tons of different ways to accomplish different goals. However, the classic burpee is one of the best fat-burning movements out there.

How to Perform

  • Start in standing. 
  • Place your hands on the ground and quickly jump your legs back so that you are in push-up position. 
  • Complete a pushup, then jump your feet forward and stand up to complete the rep.

2. Kettlebell Swings

While this exercise is termed “kettlebell” swings, you can truly use anything heavy to complete this motion. Dumbbells, center mass bells, or even a heavy backpack can get the job done! The kettlebell swing is primarily a lower body movement, but it also incorporates many different core muscles.

How to Perform

  • Grasp the kettlebell with one or both hands.
  • Contract your glutes forcefully while straightening your knees.
  • Allow the kettlebell to rise up in front of you, then guide it back down between your legs.

3. Mountain Climbers

Much like burpees, mountain climbers allow you to get a cardio blast in a very small space. This exercise is great for building explosion and endurance throughout the body. 

How to Perform

  • Start in a pushup position, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your toes on the floor.
  • Quickly, bring your right knee up to your chest, then return it to the starting position.
  • As soon as your right foot lands on the ground, repeat on the left side.
  • Continue to alternate in this manner throughout the set.

4. Overhead Slams

Explosive, full-body movements are the best way to get your heart pumping. Overhead slams can be performed with a medicine ball, a sledgehammer, or even just your fists. There’s no excuse not to incorporate this great exercise!

Below, I’ll describe the version with a medicine ball.

How to Perform

  • Grasp the ball with both hands.
  • Lift it over your head, extending your hips backward.
  • With as much power as you can generate, throw the ball into the ground. 
  • Pick it up and repeat.

5. Overhead Alternating Lunges

Alternating lunges are great on their own. But if you grab something heavy, lift it over your head, and perform the movement, you’ll get an even better workout.

How to Perform

  • Hold the weight above your head with your arms extended.
  • Step your right leg forward and bend your right knee until the left knee comes within a centimeter of the ground.
  • Step the left leg forward and repeat on the other side without lowering your arms.

6. Sprints

Got a pair of shoes? If so, you can perform sprints. All you have to do is find a wide, open area and get to work!

How to Perform

  • Define a distance you’ll sprint through.
  • Run as fast as you can to the finish line.
  • Walk back to the start and repeat.

7. Push Press with Dumbbells

Again, it doesn’t take complicated movements or fancy equipment to get a great workout. By simply squatting down and pressing up, you’ll torch calories every time.

How to Perform

  • Grab one dumbbell in each hand and hold them at your shoulders.
  • Squat down then explosively stand up, pushing the weights over head at the top.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

8. Knee To Chest Jumps

Knee-to-chest jumps, also known as tuck jumps, require a significant amount of coordination and power. So, if you can’t get it down right away, just continue to practice until you nail it!

How to Perform

  • Squat down, then jump up in the air.
  • While in the air, tuck your knees to your chest.
  • Land softly and repeat.

9. Skater Squats

Skating requires significant stability and mobility. Therefore, the skater squat helps to improve these fitness components while burning tons of calories at the same time.

How to Perform

  • Stand on one leg.
  • Squat down as deeply as you can, then quickly jump to the other leg.
  • Repeat this motion in an alternating manner during the set.

10. Jumps

Does it get any simpler than just jumping? No, probably not. But that is not to say that this simple exercise doesn’t work. Dust off your shoes and get to jumping today!

How to Perform

  • Squat down as low as you can.
  • Quickly explode upward, jumping off of the ground.
  • Land softly and repeat.

11. Modified Squat Thrusts

Squat thrusts are an oldie, but a goodie. This exercise relies on continuous muscle tension to keep your core and legs engaged throughout the entire set.

How to Perform

  • Start in a pushup position.
  • Jump your feet forward toward your hands, and release your hands from the floor, balancing in a deep squat.
  • Then, place your hands back on the floor and jump your feet back to the starting position.

12. Long Jumps

Long jumps emphasize horizontal propulsive strength, as opposed to vertical propulsive strength as seen in squat jumps or other similar exercises. This movement is helpful for athletes and those looking to increase their ability to bind across great distances.

How to Perform

  • Start in standing.
  • Squat down as you rock your hands and arms backward.
  • Then, swing your arms forward as you jump as far forward as you can.
  • Land softly and repeat as quickly as you can.

13. Star Jacks

Star jacks are an advanced form of jumping jacks. This movement is a gym class classic and one that needs to be part of your routine.

How to Perform

  • Start in standing.
  • Jump up and simultaneously bring your arms overhead and your legs out to the sides. 
  • Before you land, bring your arms back down to your sides and your legs back to the starting position. Repeat this motion.

14. Plyo Lunges

Lunges are essentially single-leg squats. Adding a plyometric, or explosive, component increases the difficulty significantly.

How to Perform

  • Start with your right leg forward and your left leg back.
  • Lunge down then explode upward, switching the position of your legs in the air.
  • Perform on the other side and continue to switch between legs.

15. In-Place High Knee Jog

As you’ll see with many of these exercises, all you really need to get a great workout is a few feet of open space. High knees are an amazing way to get your heart thumping out of your chest.

How to Perform

  • Start in standing.
  • Begin jogging in place by bringing your knees up to your chest with each step.
  • Repeat this motion throughout the set.

16. Jump Rope

Have you ever wondered why boxers are in such great shape? One reason is the many hours they devote to jumping rope during training camp. This exercise is incredibly effective for burning fat and increasing endurance. 

How to Perform

  • Grab your rope with one handle in each hand.
  • Turn the rope over your head and jump as it comes near your feet.
  • Repeat this motion throughout the set.

17. Dumbbell Burpee

Earlier, we talked about the importance of including burpees in your fat-burning routine. Adding dumbbells to the equation makes this exercise much, much harder. 

How to Perform

  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand in standing.
  • Place the dumbbells on the ground and jump your feet back into a pushup position.
  • Perform a pushup then jump your feet forward and stand, swinging the weights above your head at the same time. 

18. Clean and Press with Bar

If you have access to a barbell, you need this exercise in your routine. If not, just use kettlebells or dumbbells. No excuses!

How to Perform

  • Grasp the bar with both hands while it is on the floor.
  • Perform a clean, pulling the bar up to your shoulders.
  • Press the bar overhead, then repeat the motion.

19. Snatches with Kettlebell

Snatches are one of the Olympic lifts, which are some of the key exercises for burning fat and building strength.

How to Perform

  • Start standing, with the kettlebell on the ground.
  • Grasp the handle and, in one motion, power the weight above your head with your arm straight at the top of the motion.

20. Weighted Carry

Weighted carries are one of the best exercises for increasing grip strength and total body endurance. Again, simple is best when it comes to fat-burning exercise!

How to Perform

  • Hold two weights, one in each hand, by your sides.
  • Walk for a defined distance then set the weights down to complete the rep.


Try completing these exercises as described, for 3 rounds, 3 times per week, performing each exercise for 30 seconds each round. You’ll quickly notice that you feel more endurance and strength during your daily tasks and, in time, assuming you start a healthy diet, you’ll lose belly fat in no time!

Works Cited

  1. Elffers TW, de Mutsert R, Lamb HJ, de Roos A, Willems van Dijk K, Rosendaal FR, Jukema JW, Trompet S. Body fat distribution, in particular visceral fat, is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in obese women. PLoS One. 2017 Sep 28;12(9):e0185403. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0185403. PMID: 28957363; PMCID: PMC5619737.
  2. Kim JY. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance. J Obes Metab Syndr. 2021 Mar 30;30(1):20-31. doi: 10.7570/jomes20065. PMID: 33107442; PMCID: PMC8017325.

Bennett Richardson, DPT, PT, CSCS

Bennett Richardson, based in Pittsburgh, PA, is a dedicated physical therapist and writer. Certified as a strength and conditioning coach (CSCS) since 2014, he holds a BS in exercise science and a doctorate in physical therapy, both from Slippery Rock University. Beyond his professional pursuits, Bennett enjoys leisurely reading and staying active.

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