What Exercises Burn the Most Belly Fat? These 20 (and Here's a 40-Minute HIIT Workout Using Them)

Jan 26 2019 - 8:35am

Although it's impossible to spot-reduce certain parts of your body, when you lower your body fat percentage [1], those areas will start to lean out. If belly fat is an area you are trying to target, while healthy eating is key, there is one type of exercise proven to diminish belly fat [2]: high-intensity interval training (HIIT) [3].

David Chesworth [4], an ACSM-certified personal trainer and wellness coach at Hilton Head Health [5], told POPSUGAR that a combination of HIIT [6] and the right nutrition plan can help reduce belly fat [7]. Bodyweight and dumbbell moves are great exercises you can use in HIIT workouts. You just need to focus on working hard for a certain amount of time, followed by a period of rest, and then repeat.

Not sure how to start? If you're sweating it out at home, here's a basic HIIT workout plan you can use. Just modify it based on the moves you prefer and the body parts you want to target (example moves are listed below). ACE-certified fitness instructor John Kersbergen suggests that doing HIIT workouts that combine strength-training moves three to four times a week [8] is enough to start seeing results.

40-Minute HIIT Workout

Equipment needed: One pair of light dumbbells and one pair of heavy dumbbells

Directions: Choose what four exercises you want to do (two bodyweight moves and two dumbbell moves). Perform each exercise for 40 seconds followed by a 20-second rest. Repeat the four-minute circuit 10 times for a total of 40 minutes.

Time Exercise
Minute 1:
40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest
Bodyweight cardio move
Minute 2:
40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest
Dumbbell exercise (low weight, high rep)
Minute 3:
40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest
Bodyweight strength-training exercise
Minute 4:
40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest
Dumbbell exercise (high weight, low rep)

Here are some examples of each:

Bodyweight cardio exercise Dumbbell exercise (low weight, high rep) Bodyweight strength-training exercise Dumbbell exercise (high weight, low rep)
Burpees Alternating forward lunges Push-ups Deadlifts
Jump squats Seated Russian twists Air squats Thrusters
High knees Dumbbell swings Side elbow plank with leg lift Overhead presses
Lateral bunny hops Sumo squats with bicep curls Diamond sit-ups
Chest presses
Mountain climbers Plank with row Elbow plank hip dips Dumbbell squats

Keep reading for details on how to do each move.


Squat Jump

High Knees

Lateral Bunny Hop

Mountain Climbers

Alternating Forward Lunges With Bicep Curl

Seated Russian Twist

Dumbbell (Kettlebell) Swing

Sumo Squat With Bicep Curls

Plank Dumbbell Row

Chaturanga Push-Up

Air Squat

Side Elbow Plank With Leg Lift

Diamond Sit-Up

Elbow Plank With Hip Dips

Romanian Deadlifts

Dumbbell Thrusters

Overhead Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Squat

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